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Chatbots: A Quick Guide

Learn how chatbots are revolutionizing customer support and why AI is playing a crucial role. Discover the benefits, uses, and future of chatbots.

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It’s predicted that by 2020, consumers will perform 85% of their communications with businesses without ever interacting with another human being. What’s filling these roles once performed by humans? As usual...it’s robots. 

When it comes to chatbots, these ARE the droids you’re looking for. Let’s break down some FAQs:

What is a chatbot?

A chatbot is essentially a computer program that automates communication through a chat interface on your website and app, OR via Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, SMS, etc. Most bots are pretty simple, using “if-then” scenarios to deliver canned responses based on common inquiries. 

Want to try one out? Have a quick giggle with this chatbot comedian before you keep reading.

 

How are chatbots used? 

The possibilities for chatbots are vast and varied. Some chatbots can assist with product recommendations. For example, hair dye supplier Madison Reed’s “colorist,” Madi, uses photos sent by users and LOADS of cosmetology science programming to help users meet their hair color goals. 

Chatbots have also been a game-changer for the travel industry. Top hotels have found success using chatbots to assist guests with basic inquiries such as reservation requests or booking changes. Services like Lyft use chatbots in a similar way, allowing customers to schedule rides right from their messaging apps by using “@lyft” to bring the chatbot into a conversation with friends.

We could go on and on! Wherever there’s an opportunity for human conversation, there’s a purpose for a chatbot.

 

What are the benefits of chatbots:

  • Instant Gratification: Humans, particularly millennials, LOVE instant gratification. When an immediate answer is required, chatbots get the job done. 

  • 24-hour service: For night owls or communication across time zones, 24-hour service is a game-changer. 

  • Reduces business costs: Chatbots augment a company’s support team by taking on the repetitive, menial tasks. This frees up time for human support to focus on more complicated requests, and helps a business scale to accommodate increasing customer interactions.

 

Are chatbots here to stay?

Like any other technology, chatbots are bound to evolve quickly as capabilities and user demands change. That being said, AI-based customer support is not going anywhere...it just may look very different as time goes on. 

 

How do I implement a chatbot into my business?

With great power comes great responsibility. There are many tools online to help you build a chatbot...but it should not be an afterthought. A chatbot represents a very important customer touchpoint. For that reason, your chatbot should be fully integrated into your business model and marketing strategy. If you could use some guidance on creating a chatbot, reach out to the experts at Tobe. We’d love to chat...as long as you don’t mind communicating with a very enthusiastic HUMAN. 

Happy marketing!

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