The Advent Of Chatbots


Countless Hollywood movies have predicted this. Scientists have been gruelling since 1950s to perfect this technology. And for years, industry leaders have been waiting to fast forward to it. Well, the future everyone has been waiting for with bated breath is here and now. And unlike what the popular Terminator series would have you believe, it is definitely going to change our world for the better.

Artificial intelligence has been a global hot topic for a while now. With opinion leaders like Mark Zuckerberg and Elon Musk at loggerheads over what the future could look like for us, it’s safe to say that, for now, we need not worry about cyborgs driving humans to extinction. However, the latest scoop which has businesses doing a double take is the revolutionary power of chatbots.

Most of us may remember chatting with Cleverbot, a pioneer in chatbot technology which has been here since 1996. Chatbots have come a far way since those zany conversations we had for our entertainment. Today, this represents vast opportunities for businesses as the autopilot for customer services. If you want a glimpse of how brands are pivoting to keep up with this, have a look at the Discover page of Facebook Messenger. Swamped with brands pushing in their automated messaging services, it doesn’t take a genius to tell that chatbots has the world of business on its toes.

The New Customer Service Experience

It is natural for customers to seek informational support and solutions to their problems. Connecting the two has always been sort of a hit-or-miss; even the biggest brands falter here sometimes. And as any human customer service agent will let you know, there is nothing worse than a harried customer kept on the waiting line for too long. Well, chatbots are here to smooth things over and present a seamless customer service experience. Angry customers may soon turn into a thing of the past.

Equipped with a conversational interface, your chatbot can do all the talking for you- and at any hour of the day. More than just a programmed machine, these are now intelligent informational assistants which get smarter over time, thanks to machine learning. Chatbots can, thus, cater to the basic requests of your customers such as placing an order or tracking product delivery with an efficiency and precision unheard of. GearBest, the one stop solution to all your tech needs, is a masterclass on how to integrate the pinpoint precision of chatbots to the human customer service experience by letting customers choose what they want.

Ending the Follow-up Fiasco

Marketers, with their tendency to overdo communication channels, have made the process of following up with customers a dreaded experience. Look at the spammy email influx, for instance. Hardly anyone looks forward to opening the generic follow up email these days.

The advent of chatbots is capable of changing this. Their rich data source can do much more than just ease the transaction process. And when done right i.e. at tasteful intervals and without being pushy, this could easily be the most effective way to ensure that customers listen to what you have to say. Announcing new products or discount offers, asking for feedback or even sending a simple personalized happy birthday message, chatbots are reinventing the protocol of traditional business-customer interaction. To top it off, they can also be used to send urgent alerts, making sure your customer is well-assisted every step of the way. Omega Air’s Facebook Messenger Bot has adopted this novel way to inform customers of any delays.

Branding Your Business

Contrary to popular belief, chatbots are great if you want to inject your business with a shock of personality. You may wonder how. After all, one of the most common criticisms against the chatbot influx is its lack of humanization and situational context.

Your chatbot does not necessarily have to be a mundane informational outlet. You can design it to be much more while also maintaining adherence to the business’s core values. CoverGirl, the American cosmetics company, showed everyone how it’s done by creating a branded chatbot version of Kalani Hiliker, the popular social media influencer. Mimicking Hiliker’s personality and conversational style, the chatbot has garnered an amazing response since its inception while also establishing the company as being an icon of youth culture.

The existing technology presents a lot of potential for chatbots to intercept the way we do business. The soaring success of this trend predicts that 80% of global businesses are going to be jumping in on this bandwagon by 2020. And with the exponential technological progress we are experiencing, we can expect to see much more innovation here. The future of customer services, it seems, spells chatbots in big bold letters.