Changes in consumer behaviour and social commerce are encouraging the adoption of chatbot platforms in the business sector, says Beryl 8 Plus, a Bangkok-based consulting firm and solutions provider.
"More businesses are likely to reduce repetitive tasks as they move towards digital transformation," said Nithinart Sinthudeacha, chief executive and co-founder of Beryl 8 Plus.
The company has developed a platform for automated customer inquiry responses in the form of BO, a chatbot platform where customers can create their own bots without writing a single line of code. The bot also packs integrated support for direct order and reservation processing in commercial situations.
The BO chatbot platform can detect and interpret important keywords from customer input and quickly provide the appropriate response as dictated by the bot's designers.
"The chatbot can serve booming social commerce platforms in Thailand, which has 46 million social network users," said Mrs Nithinart.
The Electronic Transactions Development Agency reported the total value of e-commerce transactions via social media in Thailand is more than triple all other e-commerce channels combined.
Mrs Nithinart said BO is compatible with any messaging platform that offers an open application program interface, including Facebook Messenger, Line, WeChat, Twitter, Slack, and Telegram.
This chatbot platform can handle requests from small businesses to large enterprises, though most have been in the service sector such as hotel and airline bookings as well as online merchants, she said. The platform can also help internal use on help desks, human resources, and procurement support for employees in large enterprises.
Up to 60% of questions through call centres are repetitive, meaning chatbots can save staff time to focus on other premium customers.
"Comparing to the solutions available in the market, which normally cost several hundred thousands of baht, our solutions are more affordable, with a starting prices just over 10,000 baht," she said.
Chatbots are still a blue ocean market and will continue to gain momentum in 2018. Globally, Technavio reported that during 2017-2021 chatbots are expected to have a compound growth rate of 37%, with financial, government, retail and e-commerce, travel and hospitality sectors as early adopters.
"Chatbots are still evolving and they may soon support real-time translations of multi-language conversation for international businesses," said Mrs Nithinart.
The company also developed Integra8, a cloud-powered mobile sales solution, covering every single aspect of sales, from inventory check-ups, order processing and customer profile access to in-depth sales analytics, and payment processing.
She added that the company decided to innovate two of its own products to stimulate faster growth instead of relying on implementers and designing cloud-based services from Salesforces and Google.
In the long run, products sales will account for 50% of the company's revenue. The company has expanded overseas over the past several years in Asean and the US. Last year, overseas revenue comprised less than 20% of the total, but is expected to be half of total revenue in the future.