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Chatbots for the Corporate World

The progress of artificial intelligence combined with various messaging applications, fuel the development of ChatBots that can perform different types of tasks such as scheduling a meeting or help users to buy a new gadget. The bot revolution is still in its initial phase, but the enthusiasm of customers and companies is felt. Let’s take a look at the existing ChatBots that can already be used by companies.

Bots are clearly one of the biggest social media trends to watch for, especially those built within email applications. What do these Bots do? They are a of tool to which you can ask a question and which will answer you accordingly.

The trend of automatically speaking robots in e-mail applications has created the conversational economy. They allow you to do many more things than mobile apps, they also come in handy since you do not need to download a different application each time and use them through a chat interface.

What should we expect?

Technology analysts have predicted that the Bot Stores will be the biggest entrants after the Facebook Messenger and the biggest advance since the rise of the App Stores. For example, Telegram, an email application with more than 100 million active users, has launched a bot store with many features. You can find bots in apps that allow you to play games, communicate or buy online. Bots are the future of how we communicate, buy, travel. We can even predict that the bots will become the new websites.

The year 2016 marked the beginning of the use of ChatBots. It turns out that messaging platforms are actually the most used applications for smartphones. By 2015, more than 1.5 billion people had used chat applications. In addition, almost 70% of all applications use from just 200 applications. This shows that most applications are not used. Many developers think it will be much easier to get users to chat with ChatBots than to download apps, connect to them, learn how to use them. Now let’s see how bots can be used by businesses.

Bots significantly reduce the number of applications on your phone. For example, you no longer need to have the Uber application on your phone, you can now send a simple message to Uber with “pick me up from this destination” etc.

What is a Business Bot?

This is essentially a text service that allows users to perform tasks such as scheduling a meeting, ordering a product, booking a flight, via text. If you are an e-commerce company, a company or a brand and you do not consider using bots as one of your strategies, you definitely need to rethink your strategy in order to be competitive in the market .

Here are some examples of Business ChatBots that are gaining ground:

KUDI:

 

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KUDI is a ChatBot that allows you to pay bills and make transfers via e-mail. It currently exists in Facebook Messenger and will soon be available in Skype. It helps users to transfer money, to buy credit for their phone, to pay bills. More info: https://kudi.ai

MY STARBUCKS BARISTA:

 

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Starbucks recently launched a ChatBot that is activated vocally. It allows customers to place orders while talking. The functionalities of this bot also allow to pay the orders. More information: http://money.cnn.com/2017/01/30/technology/starbucks-mobile-app/

Currently, there are five big players in the bots market: Facebook, Google, Amazon, Apple and Microsoft. ChatBots will soon be ubiquitous in our way of acting and communicating. This opens doors and many opportunities for developers in building ChatBots and aiding to the Bot Revolution on Messaging Applications.

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5 Ways the Facebook Messenger Update Can Affect Chatbots

Facebook has recently announced new updates on Messenger, the changes affect not only the application itself but also the algorithm that developers are primarily concerned with creating their chatbots on the platform. Facebook has launched these recent changes as new ways for users to discover, share and engage with the community.

What does this mean for Chatbots? Let’s take a look at the important updates and what they do:

  1. A complete redefinition of the already existing menu
  2.  New tools that it easier for users to share a Chatbot
  3. Improvement in purchasing conversions
  4. Better statistical data
  5. New methods to improve e-commerce solutions

Changes to the menu have caused many debates in the developer community, especially the new feature that allows the developer to disable free data by typing and limiting user-bot interactions via menus or buttons.This raises a known problem that developers and users have experienced in the past:

One of the primary drawbacks to Facebook bots is the fact that there are often misunderstandings on how to start the conversation. The chat directory on Messenger was not available before and now it only turns out once you have started the conversation in the application. And once it has been added it’s not always very clear to understand how the bot starts to talk and how the user can navigate back and forth inside the bot and sections.

The new feature update is on the same page as the standard “start” button but now allow developers to solve this problem and create a simple messenger experience without any conversational potential. Which brings us to a big question: Can we still call it a chatbot if we can not have a conversation?

The primary reason behind this issue is the behaviour of brands. Brands have been trying to sell products or build brands targeting the generation of “chatters” or “Millennials” and they have tried to create chatbots more and more intelligent in order to keep the conversation flowing with users. The result is a remoteness from the very idea as these brands continue to see Messenger merely as a primary means of reaching their consumers and not as a means of engaging with them in a relevant way.

However, there is no single opinion on the development of chatbots and the reactions to Facebook’s announcement have been mixed between the “it’s great” and the “that ruins the whole concept”.

This depends on what type of bots the business wants to develop. If you want to create something with a transnational nature that should support an easy and fast navigation and serve consumers in a tactical manner, then the new menus will be very useful to turn off unnecessary text and help set up a good experience for the user. On the other hand, if your bot has to handle complex situations and it is difficult for the bot to cope with a given situation, then it may be worthwhile to mix traditional conversation features with additional menus and buttons.

The new menu proposed by Facebook Messenger can be found here.

Bot developers have always been interested in the question of how to manage an interaction model that would function as an intermediary for consumers. While initially the expectations were to go to a natural language and have a simple interaction, it is now time to combine different elements in the same interface of a native messaging application, such as carousels, Graphics and buttons combined with text. This will become the most effective way to use chatbots.

In conclusion, the main goal is to provide billions of Facebook Messenger users with solutions they already enjoy with a well-designed chatbot that provides an effecient conversational experience.