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Chatbots Changing The Game For Business

From adding character to the brand to helping people with shopping, there seems to be an endless list of things chatbots can do and this list is set to grow in the coming years. Not surprisingly, chatbots are seen as a positive feature and companies that use them regarded as being innovative by 43% of respondents in a survey.

Ubisend reports that 69% of consumers prefer to chat with a chatbot as they can get a quicker response as opposed to talking to a human. In the survey, 21% of respondents also said chatbots are the most convenient way to make contact with businesses.
Users also are keen on buying a product or a service with assistance from chatbots.

The reasons for the rise in popularity of chatbots are believed to be one or more of the below:

  • App fatigue: Consumers are tired of the laborious process of installing apps and business of investing in expensive app development that really offer very minimal return on investment, if any.
  • Messengers are the trend: Gone are the days of Facebook wall posts. It is now the era of private messages through WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and WeChat.
  • Chatbots on social media: Microsoft and Facebook have invested in chatbots on social media with Bot Framework and Messenger bots.
  • Reduced costs: Chatbot development is becoming more affordable. Chatbots can also help businesses cut back on labour costs. Bots can save up to 30% of costs associated with customer care, according to one estimate.

Chatbots are changing the way business works and this effect is seen in many different sectors.

Education: A research by UK-based Tech Company +rehabstudio resulted in a collaborative effort with National Geographic who provided the data to introduce an “edubot.” Tina, a tyrannosaurus rex asks questions and interacts with kids to explain concepts. The creative way of teaching may facilitate learning and retention and pave way for more chatbot development in this sector.

Therapy: Chatbots can be worthy therapists as seen in Xiaoice created by Microsoft and used extensively in China. Integrated with deep learning technology, Xiaoice answers queries with human responses, besides being able to track activities of the users that may come in useful in the conversations.

Health: HealthTap is a chatbot that can answer health-related queries with appropriate matched answers from doctors. Although not a replacement for a physician consultation, some groundwork for those initial queries or follow-up questions can be easily tackled by the bot, available on Facebook Messenger.

Transport: Timetables for Metro trains and buses are particularly suited for chatbots. A case in point is the TfL travelBot on Messenger used by commuters in London.

E-commerce and shopping: Beauty and fashion retailer Sephora launched two bots on Snapchat and Kik, a messaging app. The bot engages the user with relevant questions and guides towards what the user is likely to be interested in. The bot enhances user experience in more ways than one and gives the brand a face that consumers can better identify with. Not surprisingly, Tommy Hilfiger offered the services of a bot during the New York Fashion Week on Messenger as brands are trying to understand how to engage with consumers better and provide more relevant content.

Banks: The finance sector is all set to reap the benefits of using a personalized bot to answer queries such as debit card loss and requests for new. ‘Matilda’ is a finance bot that can have a human conversation on pensions and also in the fray is “Luvo” by RBS that can help with common queries.

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