While half of the world is surfing the net and yellow pages to find best places to stay at, restaurants or events, the other half chooses to keep up with the times and acquires new skills to interact with innovative intellectual technologies bringing cost-effectiveness and simplicity of use. Meet chatbots – a brand new way to get the information needed via the conversation between people and a computer, conducted automatically.
With the development of social networks, the popularity of messaging systems has increased significantly. Statistics show that messaging apps (WhatsApp, Telegram, Viber, Facebook Messenger, etc.) are being used even more than social networks. More and more people prefer texting to calling. Just look at the stats:
- 900 million people use Facebook Messenger upon raw monthly statistics;
- WhatsApp is used by 1/7 of the whole planet population;
- 650 million people actively use WeChat according to monthly statistics.
Incredible figures, right? Who knows, maybe they are pointing at the shift from social networks and mobile apps to messaging apps which will take place soon?
Сurrently chatbots are becoming an integral part of messaging apps. The principle of their work is as easy as an apple pie: a user types a question or request in, and the bot provides a reply or solution in the form of a text or media message. In other words, to make effect from the system, a user talks to a computer which has access to a knowledge base.
From the chatbot development point of view, no designers’ work needed, developers’ work is focused on the system itself, and the user doesn’t feel uneasy in the front of a new interface with hundreds of lines and buttons. Such a simple and user-friendly approach has contributed to the rise of chatbots recently.
Social messengers such as Facebook, WeChat, Telegram, Slack, and Skype attract more interest becoming platforms for chatbot development. Such chatbots can be used in many spheres including, but not limited to e-commerce, food, content, banking, workflow and chart, acting like support agents, e-learning tutors, sales agents, and guides.
Some giant companies have already caught up with the new trend and launched their own chatbots to help their users with information acquisition and other. CNN has adopted Facebook Messenger’s new bot platform seeking an opportunity to reach the global audience. Burger King is working on the introduction of a chatbot which will let users make orders via messaging. Shopify has purchased a Kit CRM start-up which helps businesses interact with their customers over text messages in a manner of “conversational commerce”. In other words, what business is facing today is chatbots conquering the enterprise space.
All the chatbots mentioned above have a wide range of advantages. They are able to reduce support costs, provide processes automation, adhere to up-to-date technologies, improve service, collect data and statistics, and accelerate sales.
Perhaps, many people have heard about chatbots’ advancement just in passing. Some of them are a bit sceptical about the idea that chatbots can replace all mobile and web apps soon. The only question remains without the answer. Will people they get back to their old loved websites and mobile apps for help once they try using chatbots?