You may well have heard about chatbots: their use is increasing exponentially. A chatbot is a piece of software that interacts with you on websites and channels such as Facebook Messenger. You could consider Google’s Assistant and Apple’s Siri to be types of chatbot, although the typical chatbot uses text rather than voice for interactions.
Many large organisations are building chatbots, especially those that engage in online interactions with customers and clients. This is because more and more people are spending their online time within their favourite social media channels rather than browsing for websites.
If you can chat to someone within Facebook Messenger, say, and answer their queries, sell items, make bookings etc, that is clearly going to be the future. To take one of many recent examples, Barcelona FC have launched a chatbot that you can interact with on Messenger.
The main proponents of chatbots are those companies that want to save time handling routine queries from customers. In India, for example, HDFC Bank has a chatbot that in the course of six months dealt with 2.7 million queries. National Australia Bank estimates its new chatbots will save the bank A$16m a year.
The TV and movie industry is really getting into chatbots, mainly as a promotional tool. Recently there were chatbots for Westworld, Unfriended, Zootopia, Lights Out, Star Trek, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and a dozen more films.
On the SnatchBot platform, worldwide companies such as Accenture, Allianz, Aman Bank, Uber, Veolia and Vodafone are benefiting from using chatbots to handle customer interactions.
The best analogy for the chatbot buzz is with apps. It is not even ten years since Apple launched its App Store. And now we are all used to apps. Well, in the same way, SnatchBot has launched the first Chatbot store. Chatbots are coming and many people believe they will replace apps.