Humans may have created chatbots, but it’s the chatbots that are teaching us about the future of marketing.
The creation of the simplest of chatbots require a good understanding of the interplay between humans and machines. The middle-ground between the two is what marketers and advertisers are now focusing on filling with amazing digital experiences through chat interfaces.
These experiences can be embedded within the digital platforms of brands themselves, or on their websites. Users are most familiar with seeing them on messaging platforms, such as Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and the like. The popularity of chatbots are putting brands in a position where they need to start picturing a world where these AI agents are interacting with their customers on behalf of the brand, to enrich the customer journey.
Marketers realize that chatbots allow brands to get closer to their customers by interacting with them in their preferred mode, in preferred environments. By nature, that gives customers a greater sense of familiarity, comfort, and of course, speedier service. But can customers really feel comfortable to speak with a machine? It all comes down to the humanity of the machine itself. The chatbots need to be built in a way that delivers a positive human experience, while knowing its limitations as a chatbot:
Users want to know offhand whether they are chatting with a chatbot or a human
Users want to know whether a human can step in if additional assistance is needed
Users find it creepy if the chatbot pretends to be a human, especially by asking questions like “how was your day?”
The future of marketing, especially with chatbots on messenger apps, presents many advantages. For starters, it costs far less than building and maintaining cross platform apps. There is also less friction for users, since they won’t have to download and install additional software. Also, contextual information can be extracted for brands to analyze.
The impact of chatbots and the AI behind it is profound, and is changing the face of marketing and customer interactions. As technologies continue to rapidly evolve, it is up to businesses to use AI to power interactions with their customers, to take it to the next level.