Are chatbots the future of customer service?

We’ve all uttered the words “there is an app for that” at least once, but what we should ready ourselves for is the upcoming version that goes “there is a bot for that.” What are chatbots and could they be the next big shake up to an ever-evolving customer experience?

By definition a robot designed to hold a conversation with humans, chatbots rely on artificial intelligence to communicate with users. They have been around for quite a while now – remember the last time you asked Google to convert a currency to another? Or asked Siri to remind you of your next dentist appointment? However, their ability to help you sell more has only recently been tapped into.

As artificial intelligence becomes more and more advanced, chatbots are now turning out to be great ‘employees’ for businesses looking for new ways to get their customers’ attention. You can now text companies to place new orders, send an email to a supplier to request an invoice or send a Facebook message to a company to obtain more information about a particular product, and get a reply from a chatbot. No human interaction is involved in the responses (bar the actual brains behind the virtual ones), which means that the response is quick, effective and available 24/7 at no extra cost to businesses using the bots.

Chatbots continuously learn, and whereas their language and commands were quite limited in the past, they can now interact with your customers on a more familiar basis. Remembering specific details about ordering habits and analysing trends, which enables them to suggest similar products to buy. Not only do they handle your customers’ requests, they also advertise your other offerings, allowing you to sell more while potentially reducing your costs in staff and advertising.

People now use social media platforms less than messaging applications, and with the lack of real commercial functionality available on these at present, chatbots are set to revolutionise the way businesses interact with their customers in years to come. If you wish, dig deeper into the new trend already. It is as easy as picking up your smartphone and ask Siri, Cortana or Google to tell you more about chatbots!

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