Why the world needs chatbots

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When Facebook announced the Messenger platform for building chatbots some 2 years ago, there was a lot of excitement in the market. Everybody was of the belief that bots are the next biggest thing in technology. In fact it wasn’t very hard to find an article with the title along the lines of “How chatbots will replace mobile and web applications” published every day. With major labels like Spinnin’ and Revealed Recordings hopping on the Facebook Messenger bot bandwagon, the hype became real – but why? In this article, we’ll delve into the benefits of chatbots and why they’re so popular.

Cheaper than an app

Apps cost a lot to develop, especially high-quality apps that run on Android and iOS devices. The cost of developing a high-quality chatbot is not immaterial either, however, the costs aren’t as steep as building an app. It must be remembered, however, that even if it is cheaper to build a bot, the bot must add real value to the end customer. When investing in a chatbot, make sure your “bot” can learn over time.

Forget downloads

When smartphones first came to the consumer market, most consumers enjoyed downloading apps. Now that the novelty has worn off, app downloads have dropped off significantly. A chatbot is like a webpage in that it can be used without being downloaded. It also has the advantages that the user doesn’t need to be authenticated and it can be used directly in the chat platform. As long as the experience is better than a standalone web page on these and other important dimensions, the consumer may prefer to use a bot. This is especially true for simple tasks such as checking into a hotel, for which the user has very low incentive to download an app.

Convenience is key

Chatbots encourage people to inquire. “Hi, can I help you with something today?” is a simple invitation which can work miracles with engagement and time spent on your website. Sometimes people give up, merely because they cannot find something straight away. Having someone who instantly provides answers is gold for any digital age consumer.

You wield the power

You have full control over what is communicated to your customers. When designing a chatbot, your developer will ask you for a script you would like to be implemented. This means that never again will your prospect get outdated information, rude attitude or wrong details. In return, you will always have the correctly spelled name, phone number, the correct booking date etc. You can get integration with your CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software and get this data straight away.

Phone calls are overrated

People are intimidated by calls. People have become accustomed to texting due to the sheer convenience. As a result, it becomes second nature to send a text message, leaving some people apprehensive towards phone calls – especially with telemarketers. When on the phone with a telemarketer, people are quick to dismiss whatever is being sold, due to the stigma established long ago. However, on the off chance you’re sucked into their little gauntlet, you’re forced to make a decision on the spot, leaving you with little time to properly think about the choice you’re about to make. Chatbots, however, are different. You can always get back to the chat later on if you have any questions. The bot will not pass judgment.

All aboard the messenger train

The use of messenger services is increasing. In Germany, 80 percent of 19 to 64-year-olds use messenger services such as WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and similar applications on a daily basis. The use is no longer limited to the sending of text messages, with GIFS, videos and emojis all now very commonplace. Using a chatbot will prove to be a convenience, as consumers won’t be required to go out of their way to make contact with the bot. Meeting people halfway by entering their world catering to their habits is a surefire way increase customer retention rates.

With the evolution of messenger apps such as Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp, customer convenience has never been better. With the ability to customize your bot to your exact specifications, you won’t need to worry about paying employees in call centres, thus reducing costs significantly. Whether you’re a corporate business or an aspiring DJ, eventually, you’ll grow to a point in which you’ll need an extra helping hand. Consider investing in a chatbot.