Why We Should All Be Watching The Rise Of The Chatbot
Technology is progressing at lightening speed, and many of us can only try to keep up as many aspects of online businesses are caught in the momentum. With all of our tools becoming more and more innovative, it’s time to look at the advancements in customer service- and to meet our new best friend, the Chatbot. With customer service being the face of a brand, it’s imperative to have the best, most informative, and comprehensive options available. So, what is a chatbot?
“A chatbot is a computer software program, designed and developed to operate as artificial intelligence. It simulates conversation with the user, through spoken or written text, and can often be indistinguishable from a regular human interaction. It operates by receiving a customer query or statement, and matching it to the appropriate reply on that database.”
Chatbots allow customers to interact with the brand as easily as if they were interacting with a service representative, and are proving to be a hit across the board. In fact, the CEO of Botego Inc expects 2017 to be the year where our bot seeds come to fruition, by considering the efficiency and power of the technology, predicting a $2 billion market size.
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The pressure has been on customer service for a while now, with consumer’s expectations higher than ever before. In an age of ‘what you want, when you want it’, slow customer service times, misinformed or unreliable representatives, and call centres from various continents have all paved the way for this advanced automated system. And with SEO leading the way for intuitive user experiences, it was only a matter of time before the rest of the internet caught up. Any good SEO company is ready for Google’s latest adjustments and changes, and as chatbots sweep across the digital landscape, we can see the online experience becoming even more integrated with our daily lives.
From Siri to Cortana, many of us are already comfortable engaging with our devices; whether it’s to ask about the weather in the weekend, when the next cricket match starts, or what the purpose of life is. These have all been quietly introduced into the collective psyche, paving the way for further advancements. Facebook has already unrolled new and exciting bots such as the Springbot, in Messenger.
As a personal shopping bot, you can tell the Springbot you need to get a new pair of sneakers, for between $75 and $250. It will immediately give you a range of choices to scroll through and select from. In the Messenger, you will be able to interact with your favourite brands as though each one has a representative on speed dial- obviously a huge step for customer service, and one to watch closely.
Why Do You Need A Chatbot?
There’s little to be said for traditional customer service, with the incoming tide of bots intending to swamp the industry. Chatbots don’t require a minimum wage, they work at all hours, can be trained instantly and respond with accuracy and efficiency. They are usually cheap to replicate- probably why a study from Oxford University and Deloitte found 35% of all current jobs in the UK are at risk, due to automation. Even now, opening a website can sometimes be accompanied by a pop-up chat window offering assistance, and from a customer perspective, I doubt many people will miss call centre phone calls, instead being able to interact smoothly with the bot. If you’re looking for the next step to ensure your customers receive attentive, accurate service, then a chatbot is a great idea. However, there is nothing like a little human interaction, and many businesses are choosing to let bots iron out any creases for the standard inquiry, and keep a trained tier of human employees to resolve any more complex issues.
No matter how you look at it, chatbots are coming for you- whether as a chatbot for your business, or an operating system to help you order tacos. Either way, we’re all in for an exciting ride. Ensure your business is ready for these new developments, starting with an effective digital marketing strategy. But ensure that you don’t follow in the footsteps of Tay, the Microsoft chatbot released to engage with millennials on Twitter. As a Perth news report shows, it didn’t end well for the chatbot, and was shut down 24 hours later due to sexist and racist tweets.
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