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6 Things You Need to Know About Chatbots

Posted by Mark Hemmer on 5/11/18 10:00 AM

ChatbotsChatbots are the future. Marketing is always evolving and the next wave is going to focus on bots. With messaging apps usage on the rise and people in search of quicker answers from businesses, chatbots make perfect sense. Here are 6 things you should know about chatbots: 

1. Artificial intelligence helps bots improve

Without artificial intelligence, interacting with bots can be a poor experience for users. If your bot isn't able to handle complex requests, tailor specific responses, and improve over time, it's going to frustrate users rather than help them. Bots are most effective when they're able to pick up on context and intent, answering questions quickly and accurately. In contrast to most marketing tools that are all about your business, bots provide a valuable service to your customers and make their lives easier.

2. Messaging apps are overtaking social media

Messaging apps are now bigger than social media. For businesses to participate effectively on messaging platforms, bots are a must. Instead of downloading and using several apps each day, more and more people are using one or two main apps (usually messaging apps and social media) and it's up to businesses to meet them there. It's unrealistic to expect someone to download a native app for every company they do business with. Instead, build a bot that will provide value where and when they need it. 

3. People expect bots to deliver answers quickly

Chatbots have the potential to be the quickest route between problem and solution for customers. But, that's only true if the bot is well designed. People have a low tolerance for customer service mistakes in general and an even lower tolerance for mistakes made by machines. People simply expect bots to work. AI increases the likelihood that customers will feel good about their interactions with bots. AI enables bots to detect what a customer is looking for and can deliver that information fast, with little fluff or banter in between. 

4. Chatbot use is growing rapidly

Chatbot use is increasing every year. With more and more businesses adopting this technology, it's important to get on board soon. Like any other marketing tool or channel, it's going to become saturated. Your bot will need to be better at providing value than your competitor's bots. Think about how you'd like an interaction with a customer service bot to go. You'd want it to be fast, friendly, and accurate. Create your bot with those things in mind. 

5. Utility bots are the future

Chatbots are the future. Utility bots are the future of that future. Informational bots are bots that alert you to something - like a new article posting on your favorite news site. Utility bots helps users solve problems. From ordering an Uber to making a new purchase to setting up a meeting, utility bots serve a specific purpose: to help the user find a solution or complete a task, efficiently. As long as your bot is user-prompted (your potential customer initiates the interaction), the utility bot is a user-friendly experience. 

6. Successful bots are helpful 

That sounds obvious, but that idea should sit at the heart of any discussion around creating a chatbot for your business. Let that principle guide how your bot comes to be and how it serves your customers. AI can play a major role in shaping how helpful your bot can be. Artificial intelligence enables your bot to remember or call up specific details about the person it's interacting with, which gives it the ability to infuse the conversation with the necessary context. Above all, ensure that your bot helps. If you help your potential customers, it will help your business. 

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