General Article

What You Need to Know About Chatbots and How You Can Use Them to Improve Your Business

All social media platforms including Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, et cetera have some form private messaging features where people or entities can have private conversations. This makes it possible for businesses to receive queries and feedback from customers via these platforms. With about 2 billion and 300 million users every month respectively, Facebook and Twitter are by far the most popular social media networks.

Today, nearly every business or brand is active on at least one social media network. While all social media platforms have the private messaging feature, not all of them support chatbots. Facebook’s Messenger and Twitter’s Direct Message have one thing in common; they both support chatbots. More recently, Twitter added customer support features to their private messaging feature, Direct Message, to enhance the conversational experience for businesses and their customers.

What are chatbots?

Simply put, chatbots are text based services designed to simulate human conversation. Usually, chatbots are powered by artificial intelligence (AI), and people can interact with them on social media networks’ private messaging platforms or messaging apps such as Telegram. According to tech insiders, chatbots have the potential to revolutionize the e-commerce in the world. Chris Messina, Uber’s director, hailed 2016 as the year of chatbots.

According to the Uber director, 2016 was the year the consumers would learn to interact with various brands via chatbots and find it normal. There are two broad classifications of chatbots, these are:

  • Script-based chatbots. Script-based chatbots are created for a particular purpose. The flow of predefined for that particular task. For instance, a business could have a shopping assistant bot, customer service bot, or even weather update.
  • AI powered chatbots. AI powered bots have machine learning capabilities. They are designed to learn to have human conversations with people. The artificial intelligence in AI bots allows them to draw context from a discussion and give a response within context.

Typically, businesses use chatbots for customer service purposes, though they have many use cases. Using chatbots for customer service purposes helps resolve issues faster and at the same time, makes the representative’s job easier. For instance, if a customer needs assistance with the location of a company’s offices via its Facebook or Twitter page, a chatbot can provide the location and directions. If the client feels the need to talk to the actual customer service representative, the bot can connect them to the available agent.

Why Your Business Needs Chatbots

Developing an application for your business is probably a good idea, but how effective can it be? Well, that depends on quite some factors, but the point is that there are other better options. Chatbots, for instance, can be far more effective than a company app will ever be.

Just consider this, of all the apps you have installed on your smartphone, which ones do you use on a regular basis? That’s probably Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, Telegram, etc. and that’s true for a lot of people. That means that your business is better off using chatbots to improve customer service and perform other functions via popular social media platforms.