As early as December 2016, the Business Insider portal reported that up to 80% of companies are already using a chatbot or want to implement it by 2020 at the latest. These statistics show that companies are open to new innovative technologies and the possibility of automating many processes. Is it worth implementing the chatbot in your business as well? If so, how?
What is a chatbot?
At the outset, it's important to understand what a chatbot is. Chatbot can be simply described as a computer program for conducting conversations with people using auditory or text methods. It could be a program that uses artificial intelligence and is designed to simulate human behavior convincingly.
This technology is built on so-called machine learning. It is a type of artificial intelligence inspired by the human brain and thus consists of different layers for data analysis and learning. Each layer consists of its own artificial neurons, which are interconnected and respond to each other. Each link is influenced by previous learned patterns and thus the learning process is constantly improved.
Facebook Messenger Chatbot
In April 2016, Mark Zuckerberg presented big news for FB Messenger – a chatbot. Its greatest added value is that you have access to a huge audience (more than 2.3 billion active users) to be able to reach and attract a number of new customers. Based on the keywords, chatbot is able to guess what the customer wants and conduct a conversation with them accordingly and direct them to the desired actions.
It is a great way for customers to communicate with the company, get answers to their questions, access offers that interest them and so on. Through the FB chatbot you can simply buy tickets for a specific event, see the food menu of a specific restaurant, buy a plane ticket and much more.
This allows you to create your own chatbot on your FB, which you can connect to in three ways:
- Via custom URL
- Directly on the FB page (after clicking on the message)
- Scanning a QR code
In which areas can a chatbot be used?
A chatbot is a direct gift from heaven for online shops, as it can facilitate many processes, save time and bring customers exactly where you want them. You can also deploy it to customer support, where it will quickly answer questions or resolve possible customer complaints. Of course, it will not know the answer to everything and in such cases a person can intervene and continue the conversation with the customer.
Example: there are many consumers who come to the online shop saying they want to buy shoes, but they do not know exactly what type yet. This is when a chatbot comes to the rescue by offering multiple types, selecting the most suitable ones and thus turning the visitor into a customer.
The fashion brand H&M also uses its chatbot:
Is it possible that chatbots will also dominate the banking sector? No one can say for sure yet, but it seems to be gradually happening. Chatbots can track your personal finances, send you notifications about changes in stock markets, or help you find a mortgage. Banks are gradually developing and implementing chatbots that allow you to log into your account, track your current balances and overall status, and guide you in managing your finances.
Example: HSBC clients can contact virtual assistant "Amy" who provides instant customer support and answers all questions. It was launched at the beginning of 2017 and already in December it had over 97,000 questions with 90% success rate and over 38,000 conversations with clients.
INTERNET OF THINGS (IoT)
Chatbots and the Internet of Things are two areas that can work perfectly together. Imagine you have smart lighting in your house and want to activate it. With a chatbot, all you have to do is use common, colloquial expressions (slang, synonyms), which are sufficient to launch the action. You don't have to remember any precise command structure or sequence of the interface.
This is how the chatbot "translates" your command:
In the current bustling world, it is sometimes difficult to allocate your working time properly and not forget a single meeting. Why don't we just leave it all to the chatbot?
Meekan is a great example – a scheduling chatbot that knows your calendar and can learn your habits and preferences to schedule all your appointments for each day the most ideal way. This chatbot is available for Slack, Microsoft Teams and Hipchat.
Chatbots can find their place even in the field of human resources. An example is a chatbot called "Mya" implemented by FirstJob. Mya communicates with thousands of candidates simultaneously via SMS, FB, email, Skype or chat, answers candidates' questions, provides them with advice and guidance, manages their ratings, and provides managers with useful information.
Are Slovak clients interested in creating a chatbot?
In Touch4IT, we get about 10 requests per month for the design and implementation of the chatbot, which is almost 100% more than last year. We design chatbots mainly on Facebook Messenger or Viber platforms, but when it makes sense, we also offer chatbots independent of chat platforms. Demands have also increased after Viber chose us as the preferred software studio for their chatbots on the Slovak market three months ago.
Have you considered, or have you just begun to consider, a chatbot that would also suit your company? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can arrange a face-to-face meeting to discuss all options and show you how a chatbot can help.