Chatbots are a combination of machine learning and artificial Intelligence Systems designed to simulate a human touch on automated technology platforms. In many cases, chatbots are the best way for businesses to directly reach out to individual customers en masse. Chatbots are versatile in their application from functional to fun! You might have even encountered some of these on well- known chat products such as Facebook Messenger, Telegram etc. A chatbot is also known as ChatterBot, TalkBot, Bot, InteractiveBot, Artificial Conversational Entity or Interactive Agent. They are typically used in dialog systems for various practical purposes that include customer service to information acquisition and everything in between.
Chatbots may still be in their infancy but according to Global Web Index statistics, it is said that 75% of internet users are adopting one or more messenger platforms for both work and leisure. This is not surprising seeing as chatbots offer unprecedented messaging functionality.
Chatbots are essentially virtual robots and unlike human support staff, they never get tired, they never act up and will always continue to obey the commands that are fed into them. Bots are now replacing the live chats and other forms of contact such as e-mails and phones calls. From social platforms to websites to mobile applications, chatbots are everywhere.
A company comprises of many employees. Every employee is an added expense. Plus, employees get sick, go on vacation or just get bored of their job. The thing is, not all the companies can afford to bear the expenses incurred by hiring support staff that they may not need most of the time. A chatbot, on the other hand, is a one-time investment that helps businesses to reduce the number of idle staff on their roster.
Provides 100% Satisfaction
When a company hires employees for a live chat with the customers, the quality of the conversation depends on the mood and emotions as well as physical and mental well-being of that employee. The thing is, chatbots never get negative customer reviews. Chatbots are bound by certain rules to give out standard replies and obey them as long as they are programmed to – and with deep learning and artificial intelligence in place, the user experience with chatbots is only going to improve.
Chatbot Trends for 2018
As per Gartner’s top strategic predictions for 2018 report, more than 50% of enterprises will spend more on chatbots and bot creation compared to traditional mobile app development by 2021. Here are some predictions on how Chatbots are poised to evolve in 2018:
Increase in Conversational Interface
If you’ve been paying attention to the Chatbot evolution in 2017, you already know that we have witnessed many user applications for Conversational Interfaces. Sales and marketing chatbot functions stole the limelight among the many conversational interfaces for one simple reason – they are reasonably affordable to deploy, can increase sales exponentially, and they help cut costs drastically. In 2018, we are continuing to observe strong growth in Conversational Interface. Experts are speculating that soon, there will be some players emerging as early winners in this market.
Emerging VoiceBot Experience
In 2017, Google and Amazon enticed the users towards smart home products like Echo Devices and Alexa. These were mainly voice-based interfaces – albeit in their rudimentary avatars. Today, Google is trying to make its assistant available on all Android devices. Some prominent applications for this technology include devices such as AndroidWears, SmartTV, SmartSpeaker and Google’s smartphones. However, this technology is still in its infancy and we believe that this year will reveal key insights into the VoiceBot experience as the technology for VoiceBots is refined and rolled out to users en masse.
Chatbot development for Websites
If you have a human employee sitting around answering user questions on your web platform day in and day out, that expense could add up over time as you pay the employee month on month. Despite doing this, there will be no guarantee that their performance is optimal on a day-to-day basis. Chatbots are a one-time cost and extremely effective in providing a prompt, consistent user experience. Finally, Chatbots help increases interactions on websites that have no chat functionality.
The emerging Chatbot Industry has just taken the mobile world by storm. There are a lot of opportunities for established players as well as the newbies in this industry but only time will tell which chatbot applications will be viable, profitable and practical in the long run. We at &Apps believe that in the second half of 2018, we will witness a new phase of maturity and growth in the rising Chatbot industry.