What is a Chatbot? (and why you should care)
As an eCommerce entrepreneur you have probably heard the term Chatbot being used in too many ways and with all the incorrect information out there it's hard to get the facts... Here are the basics to get you started:
What is a chatbot?
There are three main types of chatbots: support, skills, and assistant.Support Chatbots:
These are built to be experts but only within their specific field. They are built for common questions or standard requests. If you have a more niche request however, you're out of luck (they'll get better, don't worry). They are often sold as being context-aware, but they usually fail miserably on that front.Skills:
These chatbots are good for executing simple tasks. There is no dialogue with these chatbots: you command and they execute. Almost always voice controlled, they follow directions quickly and let the user multitask. Skills chatbots have little to no contextual awareness and they frankly don't need to because the user will learn what to say and how to say it.Assistant:
Support + Skills sitting in the tree k-i-s-s-i-n-g. Assistant chatbots do just that, assist. What's pretty exciting about those bots is that they might just become your real personal assistant one day. Want to book a table for two? Just ask your assistant bot to talk to the support bot of The French Laundry...
I'm a business owner, what should I do?
Business owners usually implement a support chatbot when they are growing their business. Think of it as an FAQ for lazy people. How many emails have you received (and answered) when the info was right there on your website? Yeah, me too. So let a bot do it.
But what about sales? Support is important, but without sales you don't need support, right? Actually, without sales, you don't even have a business.
App developers have picked up on this and exciting solutions are starting to emerge.
Only sales matter
Everything a business does is a direct or indirect effort to make more sales. It's with that idea in mind that Molsoft developed the first ever negotiation chatbot: the very aptly named Bargainator.
We've decided to use AI to make our bot not only perform a simple task such as answering questions, we also wanted it to engage and negotiate in real time with the customer. By the way, if you are curious to see the Bargainator in action, it's here, if you want to learn more about it, it's there.
Gartner, a global research firm, forecasts that by 2020, over 85% of customer interactions will be handled without a human.
By 2022, chatbots are expected to help store owners save 8 billion in costs. Yes that's a LOT!
The future is now
This is where the chatbot industry is heading: replacing human interactions, even for what was previously considered complex interactions. Nowadays, chatbots aren't only there to hold the fort until a human takes the relay to do a better job, they should really be part of the global strategy.
Don't blink, it will be sooner than you think.