The global chatbot market is expected to reach $1.23 billion by 2025. According to research, more consumers now prefer communicating with chatbots for customer service issues, which has prompted CMOs to step up chatbot development by 2020. Chatbots are on their way to being fully capable of conducting human-like conversations and providing improved customer experiences across different text and audio platforms. Here’s the “how” and “why” your brand can benefit from using chatbots.
Chatbots are a cheap and effective way for you to automate certain day-to-day tasks, allowing you to focus your resources on the primary operational aspects of your business. Chatbots allow you to engage your audience more efficiently and respond to most customers’ queries seamlessly. Powered by a set of simple rules and varying degrees of AI, these bots converse with real people via messaging apps such as Facebook Messenger and Telegram. As E-commerce becomes a more popular method of shopping, consumers become more comfortable interacting with machines, and chatbots will follow that shift to dominate the online landscape.
Chatbots can heavily influence the backend for many sales teams and marketing campaigns. One example lies in Kit, the business-facing virtual assistant purchased by Shopify, which leverages messaging platforms to help companies market their online stores. It can help send email campaigns, post updates, and run ads on platforms like Facebook and Instagram. Enlist chatbot tools to help make automation more approachable between your teams and your customers.
The key to a truly successful chatbot is to balance between being conversational, friendly, and helpful. As AI platforms become more developed, they can learn and save customer preferences and give recommendations for related or similar products. Rue21, a specialty retailer of teen apparel and accessories, is one company to launch an effective chatbot. Designed by mode.ai (a company that builds bots for retailers), Rue21’s chatbot is a virtual stylist that does a few things: it learns the shopper’s interests and preferences, responds to their requests, and offers recommendations for complementary items. Aim for similar features that simplify and improve the overall customer experience.
Humanizing Digital Interactions
Some brands focus on making digital interactions as human as possible. A few problems can arise if people realize they’re talking to a computer, so companies must set proper expectations prior to any interaction, in order for customers to not be put off by a chatbot’s limited understanding or ability, to keep their impression of interaction positive. Sephora’s “Reservation Assistant” allows customers to make appointments with beauty specialists seamlessly by sending a message to the chatbot. Through smart learning capabilities, the chatbot can understand the language used by the customer to make the interaction even easier. Focus on having chatbot interactions with contextual responses that augment the human experience (not replacing it).
What’s Next For Chatbot Technology
Chatbots are expected to perform far more advanced services that deepen relationships with customers. According to a recent Forrester Research report, messaging apps will rise in tandem with adjacent technologies within the next three to five years. The authors of the study state that “Technology innovation in natural language processing, semantic search, image and voice recognition, and especially A.I. will progressively blur the lines between messaging apps, bots, and voice-based assistants.” In other words, messaging apps will utilize more data sources and technologies to deliver smarter, contextually driven services for companies.
According to Eitan Sharon, founder, and CEO of mode.ai, “Chatbots are developing faster than apps did when the App Store was introduced. Every month, messaging services roll out more functionality that improve chatbot capabilities — resulting in more and better chatbots.” The market for chatbot integration will continue to grow as smarter developers focus on chatbots that are simple to use and provide value.