Over the past decade, we have watched smartphones and social media usage increase in popularity. It’s fascinating to see just where the next wave of technology will bring us on how we use the internet as a whole. Right now, voice search, voice assistants, and even augmented reality have been integrated into our everyday use.
Chatbots, on the other hand, have been around for some time. Only until recently, chatbots have become an extremely effective way of doing business online.
According to Christi Olson, head of evangelism for Bing, “Gartner predicts that by 2020 people will have more conversations with chatbots than their spouse,” she continues saying “the chatbots of the future don’t just respond to questions. They talk. They think. They draw insights from knowledge graphs. They forge emotional relationships with customers.”
So How Are Marketers Using Chatbots?
It’s clear chatbots right now are being heavily used for customer service and online ordering. Whether you had a recent issue with one of your online purchases or you’re simply ordering food online, both can be done without human interaction. Chat blasting is being used more commonly as well. Marketing expert Larry Kim believes that this is the future, stating, “…like an email blast except that send your content through popular messaging platforms like Facebook Messenger and get 60-120x higher user engagement rates.”
Often times, it may be difficult for certain brands to approach their audience without sounding forced but that didn’t stop Casper, which launched Insomnobot-3000, a chatbot that is designed to keep you company when you cannot fall asleep.
Are Chatbots Right for You?
Like any other marketing strategy, a brand needs a solid plan before investing in any customer interaction platforms. Brooke Robinson, a marketing expert, explains, “Brands looking to leverage chatbots need to sit down with their agencies and/or colleagues and discuss the real objective behind undertaking a chatbot build. The objective should be deeply rooted in adding value to the consumer and/or driving efficiencies for your business.”
So the question relies on, do we (consumers) expect more and more brands to integrate a personal assistant for our user experience? If the answer is yes, then utilizing chatbot will be the perfect way to collect data and it will help brands build a better relationship with their consumers by providing an insightful answer along with conversational follow-up.