You might be familiar with the rising trend of chatbots. In the past year, technology has witnessed significant waves of changes affecting how people search, buy, and communicate. One of the most prevalent technology trends is the rise of chatbots and investments across different industries to utilize more artificial intelligence in their marketing. (In fact, Gartner forecasts that by 2020, over 85% of customer interactions will be handled without a human.)
So what’s the 411 on chatbots? Why are people so excited about them? What does it mean for your business? Read on.
What are bots?
Bots are simple artificial intelligence systems that interact via text, handling automated tasks to save time for users with human-like conversations to solve problems and answer questions. Bots manage many tasks, from something simple like telling you about recent news in your town to complex interactions like recommending restaurants that meet your criteria.
Why do people use bots?
There are already many types of bots out there, from the very common chatbot that answers questions and simulates human interaction to a somewhat controversial Christian Grey bot simulating 50 Shades of Grey dialogue. Bots meet different needs for different people.
Some reasons bots are used by millions of people include:
- Productivity and promptness – quick access to information even when a human isn’t available to answer questions (after business hours, for example)
- Immediate access – one of the convenient things about bots is how quickly and readily they can answer complex questions without intervention or interruption. To get answers, you don’t have to leave the platforms you’re already in (the thousands of bots available on Facebook messenger, for example)
- Personal amusement – many bots can tell jokes, play games, answer questions, and help you pass the time with interesting dialogue; many users use these bots to interact with technology and be amused at what the technology can do.
- Interaction – when chatting with a bot, the natural language approach makes it feel like you’re talking with a person; as humans, our need for connection can somewhat be met through the interactions we have with bots. (That bots aren't judgmental doesn't hurt either!)
Why should I care? How does this affect my business?
The currency of today’s world is instant gratification. No matter what we do, we can’t move as quickly as a computer or be available 24 hours a day. With the rising trend of bot technology, businesses are providing answers 24 hours a day, which makes it feel like a conversation. Lots of information, readily available, no need for search – just ask the question, and a bot can answer it.
Bots help your business sell more, be more helpful, and ultimately delight your customers or prospects more, without extra staff-hours; their ability to take repetitive tasks and automatically perform them also means your existing staff is more efficient. Try automating lead search, offer delivery, and making recommendations.
Bots are a way to grow your theme without having to pay new staff. More importantly, as bots continue to rise, you won’t fare well if your competitors are taking advantage of this technology while you’re employing humans for the same tasks.
Want to know more about bots and how they can be a part of your marketing strategy? Contact us today.