Simply put, bots refer to automated, conversational programs coded to perform specific tasks. Bots are a simple form of artificial intelligence software that enable conversations with humans, such as answering questions and recording information.

Currently, the largest opportunity for businesses to use bots is specifically with chatbots, which are already commonly used among businesses and online messenger platforms such as MasterCard and Kik. Chatbots are becomingly widely adopted in a variety of industries ranging from customized banking to retail customer service.

Chatbots enable users to bypass vocal communication, similar to the rise of text-based communication, and save time by reducing the complexity of traditional customer interactions.

There are plenty of benefits for customer as well. They include:

Sales

Many vendors and online stores are adopting chatbots to simplify the sales process. Bots can help in the purchasing process by suggesting related products or specialty deals to customers, which drives additional revenue. Bots can also gather customer data for advertising and product performance analysis based on customer interests.

Questions

Customers now typically interact with businesses online and sometimes have difficulties finding product or service information on the company website. For example, a user could be searching for a product online but may have questions about shipping restrictions. Chatbots can help answer questions and provide related information such as specialty sales, product dimensions or store location. Additionally, chatbots can be programmed to reply to customer FAQs directly on the homepage.

Social Media

Social media supports direct messaging with customers, who prefer swift, hassle-free communication. Chatbots effortlessly integrate with digital communication because responses can be automated without employee resources. There are several social media platforms currently embracing chatbot technology to help customers interact with businesses through social channels, such as Uber, Disney and CNN.

As to benefits for the organization, they include:

Human Resources

Chatbots can be programed to interact with employees and gather information, such as meeting attendance, lunch orders, supply needs and human resource questions. In addition, there are companies also incorporating bots to automate the prospective employee interview process, including WHO. Chatbots are able to efficiently collect contact information and qualifications before being reviewed by an employee.

Management

Many large-scale enterprises employ internal messaging platforms to manage communications and projects. A number of these platforms, such as Slack, incorporate customized chatbots to increase efficiency. For example, bots can be automated to intermittently check-in on employees for project updates or monitor online activity to ensure productivity.

Human interaction will never be replaced, but bots are the next step in digital evolution, which will enable businesses to overcome many challenges that traditional technologies have created for consumers. The intuitiveness and ability to quickly respond make bots ideal for businesses who need to adapt to consumers’ changing digital preferences.

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