Chatbots aren’t a new technology, but they truly emerged as an interface for consumer interaction only in 2016, when Facebook opened his Messenger API for developers. Talking to Messenger chatbots works just like messaging a friend and the expectation is that businesses will take advantage of this natural form of communication to connect with people in a more personalised and automatized way.
Brands and companies main focus with chatbots will be to provide information and help people complete tasks in a quicker way — as machine learning allow chatbots to become more and more sophisticated. This means that on-demand information will be available 24/7 and companies’ services will be 1-click away in a natural and conversational way.
Many people are not yet convinced that chatbots have the power to transform the customer experience and there has been much debate over their future use. The question is whether chatbots are just another complementary technology or a true disruption with the potential to suppress websites and apps. We believe chatbots working within messaging apps represent the next digital shift in consumers’ behaviour and decided to share with you the top 5 reasons of why a chatbot is superior when compared to a website.
No need to learn a new user interface
Websites and mobile apps are designed with different visual interfaces and this way people constantly have to learn new ones. Since messaging apps are being more and more used (Facebook Messenger alone has 1.2 billion monthly active users), talking with a business through chatbots will feel like something natural and easy to do.
Chatbots User Interface is standard, so there will be no new UI to learn and first-time users can get an immediate value of the product, solving their problems quickly. As people have less time to learn new user interfaces, texting and voice will be the primary way we interact with brands. Nowadays, using messaging apps is becoming so natural that even the least tech persons are masters at chatting.
A truly personalised user experience
Chatbots’ ability to parse language understanding users’ intent, being always aware of the user context means we can now create much more meaningful and personalised experiences. For a chatbot, it’s really easy to segment their audience and give different users different experiences.
Every time someone opens Messenger and starts chatting, the business knows the user identity and have access to all past interactions. This way, the chatbot will get smarter with each new interaction and can constantly learn from user’s behaviour, offering much more personalised responses based on past purchases, complaints and requests.
Re-engage with users in a relevant way
There are many tools out there allowing companies to communicate one-to-many, from email marketing to social media and websites, making it easy to reach a large audience. Unfortunately, these tools do not allow companies to communicate with people on an individual level. The beauty of chatbots is that you can now do individual targeting and reach mass amounts of people at the individual level.
As you collect more information in your chatbot about your customers, it’s possible to use that information to re-engage with users and build a stronger relationship that will lead to in-chat orders. Brands are able to send relevant messages in a personalised way at the right time, and the best part is that it is done through one of the most popular apps on everyone’s smartphone.
A better and faster experience
Spoken language is the most natural way of communication between humans and messaging apps just happen to be the most recent way to use language as the primary way to connect users and businesses. For this reason, using messaging apps is becoming so natural that even the least tech persons are masters at chatting.
One of the great advantages of chatbots is that even basic Natural Language Processing (NLP) capabilities give users the power to almost instantly reach the information they are looking for, instead of having to search the entire website.
Handoff to a Human Agent in a seamless way
Chatbots alone will not solve each and every problem users may have, as websites and apps don’t do too. In the chatbots this happens due to limitations of NLP technology, but also because sometimes the chatbot (or website) simply cannot have the expected answer — imagine someone asking if there’s something left in the lost and found after staying in a hotel.
In a chatbot, there’s always the possibility of having a human agent prepared to step in the conversation in a seamless way. In a website, it’s more difficult to know when there are doubts and once the user closes the tab he’s lost forever. On the contrary, in a chatbot a late answer from the human agent will result in a notification in the person’s phone, re-engaging the user.