In the last few months, I’ve read different articles or posts which reassured that implanting chatbots on web pages could be considered the main trend in the digital marketing field.
After carrying out several experiments with this sort of technology, I don’t have a clear perspective about the benefits of working with chatbots. However, I truly believe that it would be by no means a factor that we need to get rid of. I share my opinion with you, looking forward to hearing your viewpoint on this regard.
First of all, what is a chatbot?
Based on the definition that we find in a Wikipedia article, a chatbot is a software that simulates to follow a conversation with an user. This bot provides automatic answers to questions posed by the user. In a nutshell, if we speak about a chatbot service on a web page of a professional-services firm, we come across a machine which was previously programmed. For instance:
- If the user types ‘severance pay‘, our bot could show him documents related to information which our firm had addressed in the past.
- If the user writes ‘I would like to speak with an expert‘, our bot could ask him about the reason of his request and offer different options to schedule a meeting.
Obviously, these are two basic examples but, indeed, we would humanise the bot to the roots a deep way. As a matter of fact, several companies have already tried experiments with artificial intelligence. Thanks to these breakthroughs in the field, a bot has the ability to answer a great variety of behaviours.
I have bumped into very clever chatbots linked to the IT area, for example. Overall, the bot of Vodafone strikes me because, without a human operator, you have the option to get information about a wide range of topics: prices, promotions, how to buy a new phone and so on.
Professional services firms
However, when we speak about professional services firms, it’s necessary to deal with a more complex casuistry: our user doesn’t want information related to something specific. He needs to explain that he had a problem with his boss because he didn’t get paid and offers a background of the situation. In this case, the bot couldn’t understand the whole context and, less so solve the issue.
It does not look easy either for the business consultancy sector in which there are a huge number of factors in play: the size of the company, accounting entries number of invoices, whether if our potential customer wants other service.
I believe there is still plenty of room to improve. Building a chatbot could be considered a hard task and you can’t expect to have one fully ready in two weeks. Before that, you need to analyse the behaviour of your users, knowing beforehand the questions that they will ask you and drawing the alternatives.
Nevertheless, I can admit without a shadow of a doubt that bots are going to be a trend and definitely its presence will increase over the following years.