Surrounding the development of chatbots for businesses is an interesting topic. Promising opportunity or overrated hype? We will take a brief look at current use cases and the potential for the use of chat bots.
A chatbot in general terms is a messaging application designed to help a user get information about a specific topic or to complete a specific task. Bots are designed to sound and type like humans and some bots are continuously learning through AI. This goes as far as implementing delayed replies to simulate a human typing the answer. The possible use cases are endless.
The Chinese messaging app, WeChat, is using chatbots to help users schedule doctor appointments, shop for shoes, play games, or send money to friends. The longer the consumer is in the app, the better. Similar utilization can be seen by KiK, Slack, Telegram, and Facebook to name a few.
While many platforms promote the implementation of chatbots, the number of businesses using them has been relatively low in the past. The deciding factor that pushes businesses to endorse chatbots is the value that can be delivered through usage. And while there are limitations, there are also various levels on which benefits can be generated. First, let’s talk about the benefits.
Benefits for Users
Convenience! There is a low barrier for interaction. No need to download an app — chatbots take seconds to message as they are often a natural part of existing messaging platforms. They are similarly fast in replying and the experience for customers with a brand becomes enjoyable as requests are prompted immediately. Time is not an issue. You can be half way across the world and ask a question in the middle of the night and the bots will respond. Providing better customer service than your competitors is key to building strong customer relationships and being available an important factor of that. Reaction time to contact requests can be kept continuously low with the support of chat bots.
Providing better customer service than your competitors is key to building strong customer relationships. Click & Tweet!
As messaging becomes the most used way of communication for users — not only for private communication — brands that adopt the technology can get rewarded because they are where their customers are, in messaging apps. The threshold of contacting a business becomes incredibly low. Opening a messaging window is intuitive, takes very little effort from a customer side, and meets them in their wish for convenience.
Additionally, communication within messaging fosters informal and personalized interactions. Again an important factor that contributes towards stronger customer relationships and the capability to differentiate from competitors. The mapped data can be tracked and used by a brand for more advanced personalization.
Benefits for Businesses
Most import thing for businesses, time and money. Chatbots can be scaled to whichever degree needed, regardless of how many requests come in per minute. Automation means less manpower for answering requests and faster responses mean quicker problem handling.
As chatbots offer various benefits, there are also limitations. Many businesses let chatbots operate like automated phone assistants, this limits purpose and value that users are looking for.
In the current state of AI, bots primarily answer simple and quick responses that need a limited degree of complexity. As time goes on, you’ll see more complex issues being resolved by bots.
So what can we take away from this?
Chatbots can deliver valuable benefits that save money and time while improving processes, fostering greater customer relationships, and establishing very important consumer data. Consumer expectations are shaped according to the availability and way of communication that becomes a commodity. When implemented the proper way, chatbots will be seen as a dominating technology.