It’s the year 2017. Smartphones are no longer the ‘latest thing’ in the market. Apps are no longer the rage they were before. So, what’s the newest trend, the next ‘big thing’ of the IT industry? Chatbots did you say?
But contrary to popular belief, chatbots are in fact not as new as you might believe them to be. In fact, the first ever chatbot to grace the world was a psychotherapist bot that went by the name Eliza. That was way back in 1967. But the ripples of excitement that Eliza generated soon fizzled out. Why? Because in 1967, the most prominent mode of communication was in fact letters, not messaging apps. You see the predicament? So, poor Eliza never made it all the way to the 21st century.
But fast forward to present times, it would right to say that chatbot platforms are coming back, and that too in a big way. Why? Because this time there are nearly a billion messaging platforms and 2 billion smartphones to support them. This time, the new generation is ready to embrace all the benefits of chatbots that the 1960s couldn’t envisage. And that’s why the new generation will ride on the wave of AI bots:
Chatbots are finally relatable
Think of chatbots, and you think of a boring, monotonic software patch. But what if your AI bot asked you about your day, and at the same time gave you an update of your daily finances. Followed by a smiley face. Too good to be true? But riding the wave of casual conversation has broken the ice between customers & companies, and chatbots have been the biggest propagators of this trend.
Seamless experience for the win
In 2016 alone, mobile digital assistants accounted for nearly $2 billion in sales. Impressive, right? But behind the magic of AI & Machine Learning, chatbots have exploited the space that was just hidden in regular businesses: seamless experience. Chatbots features allow customers to engage, purchase, transact, and give feedback without exiting the chat window. And that too 24/7. Can your local shop keep up with that?
They’re flexible too
From tacos to automobile insurance. From start-ups to large conglomerates. Chatbot platforms work across the length & breadth of the industry. They can adapt to the personalised requirements of almost every business. Scratch almost. They can handle all business verticals. And the best part is that they are extremely cost effective.
Messaging apps everywhere
Lastly, and perhaps the most important; The society has moved towards a form of communication that is fast, seamless, and direct. That’s why text messaging apps are dominating every person’s smartphone. These billions of messaging apps are in fact windows of opportunity for companies to deploy chatbots, without intruding on people’s personal space. It’s a win-win for everyone.