What is a chatbot? Like SIRI, chat bots are now becoming the rising voice in customer communications. These are computer programs that mimic conversation among people with the use of Artificial Intelligence. From your list of to-dos to your everyday conversations, these bots change the way people use and interact with the internet. So, has your business considered a Chatbot?
How do chatbots work?
The Kik, a popular mobile app to teenagers has launched 16 bots, including the Weather Channel, H&M, Vine and Funny or Die, but expect more soon. Facebook’s messenger platform made it possible for developers to connect with millions of people around the globe who are using messenger every month. From Barbie to the Washington Post, every brand seems to be working on a chat bot of its own.
Chatbots are somehow replacing individual apps. Without a chat bot, a user will probably direct himself to the browser weather.com, typing in the zip code to find the weather forecast. Using Kik’s Weather Channel bot, a user will just simply send in a chat asking what’s the “current condition” or a “3-day weather forecast” and the bot will simply reply with an answer.
So, how good is it?
The weather bot is smart in remembering zip codes – but not too smart when asked “how hot is it?” The bot will adhere to its prescribed inputs (“Current Conditions”; “3-Day Forecast” etc).
The H&M bot introduces a prying sales associate into your online shopping experience. The bot prompts you first, allowing it to look through your style with a series of questions (pick which look you like out of two photographs), then it starts to recommend outfits. If you like a piece of clothing, the H&M bot sends you to its mobile website, so you can buy it.
Some of these chat bots have their own pre-programmed, passive-aggressive personality. Developers are now infusing chat bots with personality since they were originally stiff and format, let’s say ROBOTIC. If you’ve noticed that changing, then you’re not alone.
Bots can deliver anything from automated subscription of the weather and traffic updates, to customized communications like receipts, shipping reports, and live automated messages all by interacting directly with the people who want to get them.
Instead of downloading individual apps like Uber, Postmates, and Seamless, a user can just send a chat to Assist with his preferred chat platform (Facebook Messenger, Slack, or Kik) and tell Assist his requests.
So, if you feel like sending a text rather than filling out a field, you’ll prefer the chat bot experience.
Should my business be using one?
The future of Chat bots are currently in preview for some, but others are already out. Though it is flashy like how virtual reality is changing our lifestyles, it is still gaining attention this year. Big tech enterprises are all supporting the chat bot space, so does the startup industries.
The question is, should your business be paying particular notice too?
As businesses start to interact with people – from reservations to customer service, building a chat bot would definitely be the easiest way to streamline that interaction with the customer by providing information more efficiently than a customer service representative.
So, building chat bots are at a developer’s fingertips, but why do you need to build one? What benefit does a chat bot brings you if you don’t sell a product or run a chat messenger?
Well, as it turns out, the most essential practical use of the chat bot is for customer service. In a business, customer service plays an important factor to success, and to understand human language in enhancing the user’s experience is what chat bots are trying to accomplish. This kind of bot could create an enormous difference in beating out the competition.
Though, chat bots are the latest thing in digital marketing right now, there are still predictions pointing how chat bots can change how users interact with the businesses over the internet in a large scale.
Do you think your business is ready to develop its own chat bot this 2017? Perhaps not, but in the next two years? Definitely YES.
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