Back in the day when your grandparents used to tell you tales about “the robots will run the world one day”, you probably laughed it off and made some judgements about them internally. Well guys… It’s happening! Chat bots are more available than ever and are the flavour of the month with the advancements in artificial intelligence, making them a solid alternative to live chat plugins.

So what does this actually mean for the state of digital marketing? Is it really a situation where humans will allow AI to have such an important role in our digital user experience? The answer is Yes. A recent study from BotCore shows that 66% of online users are comfortable with the thought of using a chat bot to help with their purchasing process and it is estimated by that by the year 2020, 80& of businesses will be using some kind of chat bot on their website.

So let’s break it down a bit more and fully understand what we can look forward to in the world of chatbots:

What is a chatbot?

A chatbot is an artificial intelligence software that simulates conversations (referred to as a “chat”) with a user online in natural language through specific messaging applications. The reason they are so important is that they are one of the most advanced forms of interaction between human and machines to date and the technology advancements in this space are making the interactions more and more seamless. This allows businesses to utilise this technology and save resources in hiring human’s to fulfil the same responsibilities.

What are the next steps for chatbots?

2019 will be a big year for chatbot technology as companies will look to transition away from the technology of “apps” as the estimate from BotCore is that 50% of businesses by the year 2021 will spend more per annum on developing bot and chatbot technology. This is a huge deal as it is expected that chatbots have the potential to cut business costs by $8 billion by 2022, not just in their marketing process but also in IT helpdesk work, business CRM’s and even intranet systems.

The movement for chatbots is pushing towards a conversational user experience for end users which has already been coined as “CUX” which is a newer version of UX design, but involving the utilisation of AI to implement. The idea will be for the AI technology to assist with advancing a user’s experience and help a customer reach their desired goal quicker, which can often be a labour intensive process for a business.

How can you prepare for chatbots in your business?

You need to prepare yourself and your team, so start doing some research. Reading up on the capabilities of chatbots is a good start to get your head around things and then relaying this information to your team will start to get everyone prepared for the inevitable.

You would have heard this over and over again, but you need to have a proper marketing strategy in place to really benefit from chatbots. Brands that are looking to leverage the technology need to understand the purpose of implementing chatbots across their communication platforms to ensure that the company’s core beliefs and messaging are portrayed properly.

Remember, chatbots are not a “set and forget” type solution, they require maintenance and data to ensure that you are achieving the desired KPI’s from them and this means that a human will need to be in charge of maintaining the integrity of your chatbots, so be warned!

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