Introducing Chatbots to your Business: Worth the Hype?

Here we explore the impact of chatbots on today’s businesses and ask if it’s worth the investment for your business.

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Ramzi Chamat / 8 Ways Media
2019-04-19 08:11:00

Drawing of a Chatbot

Image by Mohamed Hassan from Pixabay.

Technology is continuously evolving, there’s no denying it. Some recent examples include the shift from desktop to mobile, the increasing use of APIs, as well as the service-oriented architectures (SOAs) built entirely in the cloud.

Clearly, there’s no stopping the evolution of technology. One of the next big shifts that’s taking place is the increasing use of chatbots to streamline communication between businesses and their customers.

This latest trend involves integrating chatbots within messaging platforms, and customers expect a seamless, real-time customized experience.

What are Chatbots?

Chatbot are automated software and scripts designed to automate certain tasks, improve the speed and efficiency of searches, and communicate with humans. They perform a range of functions, from web scraping and data scraping to scheduling meetings and acting like e-commerce concierges. They also interact with customers over messaging platforms, answering questions, providing suggestions and much more.

Examples of companies using bots include:

Facebook: Has introduced bots into the Messenger platform

Twitter: Has enabled deep links that let companies redirect customers to Direct Messages for private conversations

Slack: Features inline bots for a range of tasks

CNN: Bot summarises stories for you

Taco Bell: Bot uses artificial intelligence and natural language processing to take orders and payments for food.

With people downloading fewer apps, it makes the most sense to shift your marketing and services where your customers are via integrations with messaging platforms. As a business, it makes sense to use bots, as this enables you to leverage someone else’s app, rather than spending a great deal of time and money driving traffic to your app.

Evidently, Facebook Messenger has significantly more users than a start-up jewellery brand, or a local Food & Beverage company, so it makes sense for many companies to capitalise on a platform that already has a massive audience.

Bots also provide around-the-clock customer support, which is hugely convenient and cost- effective and a fantastic way to improve customer service. As such, more and more companies are investing in bot services.

A little robot standing on a desk beside a laptop

Benefits of chatbots

Automates services

Decreases response time to customer queries

Makes the buying experience more convenient

Helps customers find exactly what they’re looking for

Adds value to the overall customer experience

Augments customer engagement levels

How do chatbots work?

Chatbots respond to queries by pulling data from a database and responding to those queries with a conversational tone. Most mobile and web-based bots involve a mix of:

Scripts (PHP, Ruby, JavaScript etc.)

JSON data

APIs and HTTPS connection to interface with server

The Cloud

More complex bots that seek to be more ‘human’ involve:

Artificial Intelligence: Involves either assisted intelligence, augmented intelligence, autonomous intelligence, or a combination of the three.

Natural Language Processing: Helps bots distinguish between literal meaning and slang meaning.

Sentiment Analysis

Machine learning: Helps improve bots’ performance along the way

Nowadays, any business can try out bots as the technology that creates their foundations is readily available and accessible for skilled developers. They can be integrated without major changes to your existing technology stack.

Are you ready to revolutionise how you chat with your customers?

Bots are getting smarter and smarter with the passing of time, and there are many benefits to introducing them into your business structure. To discover more about bots and how they can benefit your business, get in touch.

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