Chatbots are the topic of conversation in various industries at the moment, yet there are still people out there completely unaware of what exactly they mean for everyday life and society. Hence, we’re chatting about chatbots.
If you don’t know by now…
Chatbots are defined as computer programs designed to simulate conversations with users via the Internet through voice recognition technology. It’s AI technology designed to ask and/or answer our questions, as the user.
Surely you’ve heard of Siri (Apple), Cortana (Microsoft), Alexa (Amazon) or Google Assistant (obviously Google) by now? They are all integrated examples of chatbot technology in our everyday lives. Not everyone is a fan of Siri and the technology can, at some times, be frustrating especially if you have to repeat yourself five times for her to pick up what you’re trying to ask.
But there will never be a time where everyone in the world is happy with what’s available. So, if you still want to take a contact centre support course, the rise of chatbots shouldn’t stop you. There will always be a market for actual human to human interaction.
Their direct influence
Chatbots are already making their way through various industries in big and small ways that have a direct influence on us as users and on the companies that have adopted its technology. Here are a few examples:
- Insurance: Allstate Business Insurance in America incorporated ABIe (a chatbot) to relieve traffic from the call centre and is able to handle thousands of queries from both agents and consumers directly.
- Finance: Capital One Financial (also in America) has Eno – the balance-checking, payment-making, credit-card-informing, text-message chatbot. It only communicates via text.
- Hospitality: Marriott International makes use of chatbot technology in Facebook Messenger and Slack (soon WeChat and Google Assistant as well) and allows for rewards members to research and book their trips.
- Therapy: There is a chatbot out there that you can have conversations with and build a relationship through Facebook Messenger. Well, a relationship in the sense that Woebot, as you talk to him, gets to know you and your moods better. Woebot changes the way people think about therapy and is available 24/7 to chat, give expert advice, share a quote or crack a joke.
There are more examples, but that should be enough to give you an idea of where and how chatbot technology can have a direct influence on you. Well, it’s not too surprising seeing as they were designed to directly interact with us, but if you weren’t aware of it before, you are now.
Chatbots affecting the future
- Personalisation of content based on trackable user behaviour through interaction
- Humanising chatbots with personalities will better the user experience
- Increased brand engagement stimulated through user-bot interaction.
- Chatbots retrieve direct user insight in an unobtrusive manner
- Quick and direct way to interact with the brand
- Additional/external applications are not necessary for interaction making it convenient for users
The future of marketing is all about messaging and interacting with a user in a way that is convenient and not intrusive. A way where they have a choice to partake in the marketing campaign – by means of conversation.
Companies making the move
A lot of people are on the move to better their customer’s experience with their brand, so much so that the experience is beginning to rely less on the actual product conversion and more on the process of bringing them to that conversion.
Coca-Cola is one of the larger brands preparing for a digital future. David Godsman, Coca-Cola’s chief digital officer, says “It isn’t about changing digital experiences but also about helping customers make decisions in a more effective manner. It’s about an operational transition.” And the transition he’s talking about? Oh, just some talk about chatbots and AI vending machines.
Starbucks has also dived into the chatbot-pool with a “bot-barista” from which customers can order and pay for drinks remotely. Other companies include Pizza Hut, Mastercard, Sephora and Spotify, mostly through Facebook Messenger and Twitter.
How you can do it too
The market and customer improvement opportunities with chatbots are incredible developments for any company that values their customer experience, which should be every company. If you were wondering, it is possible for you to make the most of it too.
Some places you can look at to help you create and test your bots are The Bot Platform, Chatfuel, Engati (through a 10-minute process), ChattyPeople and ChatScript (considered “next-generation” and was awarded for having the most human-like AI).
The internet can help take your business to all the places you’ve been struggling to get into by the click of a couple buttons. The process to use technology is never as complicated as the process to create the technology was and that should be comforting in a world of constant technological innovation.