Q&A: What are Chatbots, and What are the Advantages of Using One?
More consumers are leaving email and migrating to social media to keep up with their favorite brands, which has created an ideal environment for companies to experiment with implementing chatbots that can improve the customer experience.
So, what is a chatbot?
A “bot” in general refers to any computer program that automates certain tasks. A chatbot is one such program that is made to converse with users via text. Some chatbots are powered by artificial intelligence (AI), but this technology is still in it’s infancy. With AI, the program “learns” to understand complex questions and can provide personalized responses.
Most modern chatbots, however, are much simpler and are easily programmed to provide canned responses to specific statements.
What impact does the technology have on consumers?
Imagine being able to troubleshoot a technical issue with your new laptop simply by exchanging texts with a bot. Image being able to add a bot to a Facebook Messenger chat in order to easily book a hotel room for an upcoming trip.
This is what makes chatbots so cool.
Unlike traditional customer service representatives who may leave you waiting on hold for an hour, chatbots respond quickly and efficiently to common requests and questions.
How can businesses make use of chatbots?
As discussed, chatbots will be able to handle customer complaints and streamline the customer service process, which is already a game-changing development. However, these chatbots will also have a huge impact on how companies market goods and services.
With chatbots, digital marketers can personalize messages to their audience. For example, the makeup brand Sephora launched a chatbot in 2016 that delivered customized recommendations and inspiration based on users’ answers to a few simple questions.
Other retail businesses could adopt a very similar model to help pair customers with their ideal products.