Messaging apps are now bigger than social networks, there are around 3 billion active users on the top 4 messaging apps. Can brands leverage this user base, have conversation with them about their products and services? Well the answer is Chatbots.
What is a Chatbot?
A computer program powered with high volume of information, artificial intelligence and machine learning, which understands the context, natural language and is turbo charged to process user queries in few milliseconds. They could help users book a cab, hotel, restaurant, order products, answer queries and have a meaningful conversation all within the chat interface. Facebook, Telegram, WeChat among others provide the capability for businesses to have Chatbot accounts to connect with consumers.
Apart from messaging apps, there are voice activated bots like Amazon Echo, Jibo, Google home, Siri, and Cortana. Example, Uber integrated with Alexa (Amazon Echo) to provide voice based booking, all you need to say now is “Alexa, ask Uber to request a ride”.
How do you design Chatbots for your business?
To start with you will have to feed the bot with all possible intents of the users, questions users might ask, various synonyms and dialogs. Over time make the repository comprehensive so the bot can handle more situations. It will also require you to integrate with your backend systems so bots can answer questions like “What is your return policy”, “Please list catalog” or “Show me coffee tables”.
Of course, bots won’t be able to do everything which a human agent can, so it would be good to go with a hybrid model where the bots can transfer control to live agents wherever required. Machine learning will help the bots learn from their experience and perform better over time.
Benefits of Chatbot for businesses/brands?
- During peak time you might fall short of customer support and Chatbots can help fill the gaps and scale depending on your needs. It’s also available 24/7 online.
- As the bots learn more about the users based on their inputs, it will personalize content and products for them, which will lead to higher engagement.
- Seamless customer journey from conversation to commerce without having to leave the chat interface or move to a different app.
- Conversation can be triggered by bots as well, by sending users notification about new arrivals or delivery status or recommended products.
- On-board new monthly subscribers, perform payment transactions and deliver content through messaging apps
So where does it take us?
A lot of brands will have Chatbots to engage with consumers on messaging apps, will enable conversational commerce, and not just commerce, but discovery too. Anything users want to know or find, a bot can help them get there. All basic apps like weather, contacts, reminders, timer, to-do list will be connected with Chatbots so you can set reminders, know the weather, track your meetings. More and more IoT based products will integrate with Chatbots to provide voice-based control over home appliances, automobile, smaller equipment etc.
Be the early adopters of Chatbots to engage with your consumers and drive revenue through conversational commerce.
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