Several years ago, when many social messaging apps such as Nimbuzz took users by storm, the concept of Chatbot was introduced. Users were surprised that despite being a bot that was powered by artificial intelligence, interacting with it was quite similar to interacting with a human being. However, before its potential could be fully realised, it was flattened by the incoming waves of search engine marketing and social media marketing. Surprisingly, in the last few years, Chatbots have made a comeback and are getting more attention by marketing gurus and business experts. Here are 5 reasons why chatbots are emerging as the future for business and marketing.
The honeymoon period for the apps is over and smart phone users are done with apps. Even social media apps and sites have taken a hit. People now want their interactions to be more personal and are steadily losing their liking for conventional apps. It’s just too much hard work and time to download an app, feed your data, choose the right options and so on.
A chatbot, (a computer programme or a virtual robot that is designed to stimulate conversation and human like interaction with humans over the internet) on the contrary, promises the kind of privacy and ease people now are asking for. No more clicking on different options and choosing the right tab to click. It’s like having a personal secretary who can do everything for you.
Unbelievable as it may sound, messengers have beaten social media sites and apps and their users have surpassed 3000 million in the last year. Social media is not the cup of tea for many people who want to restrict their social interactions to pure and simple one-to-one messages. Even social media wizards feel that there are simply too many groups, too many pages and too many comments to keep track of. Therefore, a switch to simple messengers gained traction and ended up in the surprising hike in their numbers.
The fact that chatbots are riding on the back of these very messengers is enough to explain why they are a better tool to gain new customers and interact with the existing ones. The huge number of users of messengers only make it a more fertile ground for chatbots, an opportunity that has not gone unnoticed by business experts. For instance, Facebook’s messenger itself has more than 900 million monthly users and it has recently started allowing third party chatbots on its platform. That’s not a wave to go unnoticed.
Chatbots make users feel like they have a personal secretary who can manage their little affairs and chores that despite being boring, are important. Whether it is booking a cab or finding the price of something, chatbots give users a personal touch. They are easy to use and interact with. They never sleep. Is that not the definition of a perfect customer care service?
Chatbots have a text based interface that can be imbibed with a deep learning AI. This makes it a great solution not only for users but also for manufactures. Businesses can now learn more about their customers and customise their services in a more detailed manner. It is evident that personalisation and customisation will determine a business’s acceptability in the future.
Chatbots are an opportunity that does not have big risks attached to it. They are more affordable and easy to build and can generate a huge amount of interest among the customers. Despite the fears of becoming a spam bot, chatbots are more controllable. The type of customisation they can help bring by getting information from customers is something that cannot be compared with any other technology that uses such less amount of resources.
In Microsoft’s Build Conference last year, CEO Satya Nadella had delivered a highly insightful statement when he said that the future of human technologies lies in human language. It doesn’t take a genius to make the connection!