If Using the messaging services they use every day,

If 2016 was the year chatbots
became popular, 2018 is going to be the year of chatbot revolution. ELIZA was
the first AI chatbot to be created in the mid 60s. Chatbots have moved from
just replying with set lines when they read certain keywords to joking with
people. Cleverbot, a chatbot that imitates people by learning from them (image
below) hit the internet in the year 2006, but chatbots have evolved from replying
with simple sentences to participating in complex dialogues. Chatbots have
upgraded and it’s good news for everyone, especially for business with complex
needs and innovative streak. They’re are not just learning from the end users
but they’re also mining the internet for information to stay updated and
relevant.

chatbots were once limited to memes

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What can a chatbot do to your business?

According to the Chatbots Survey 2017
chatbots are here to stay – 96% of the respondents of the survey thought that
chatbots are here to stay, 90% of them believe that most businesses don’t have
the awareness on chatbots. Did you know after a month of usage, the average
retention rate of users of chatbots is around 40-60% where as the figure is
just 20-40% for apps? Time is right for your business to shift its focus to
developing a chatbot. The resources you need to develop a chatbot are
available, all you need to do is choose the right platform, which suits your
needs.

Chatbots for customer services

Chatbots are now replacing
customer services in many businesses. Although chatbots cannot handle complex
scenarios, they’re adept at handling simple and routine queries, which
typically make up most service requests. Chatbots are effective where the
customer requests are predictable and the solutions, well known. Using the
messaging services they use every day, users can access your chatbot for the services
they require.  This increases your
visibility and improves accessibility. People who wouldn’t want to install an
app for these requests and services can easily access chatbots from Facebook Messenger,
WhatsApp, Telegram, WeChat, etc. Here are a few platforms for the customer
service industry:

Chatfuel

For businesses with simple needs,
Chatfuel is the best option. Chatfuel not only allows you to integrate your
chatbot with other services, it is also incredibly user friendly. They boast
about allowing you to launch a chatbot in 7 minutes, all you need is a Facebook
account to create a simple chatbot. Their AI understands simple user requests
and provides answers, and this platform is used by many businesses around the
world.

Flow XO

This platform specializes in
integrating and allows you to create bots for multiple publishing platforms. You
only need to create the chatbot once to use it on different platforms. Their
built-in templates and ‘drag-drop’ user interface allow you to create a chatbot
easily. Flow XO also allows you to save the data from the chats onto different
apps Google Sheets, etc. which will allow you collect data to make data-driven
decisions.

Chatbots for e-commerce

Chatbots are not just changing
the customer service industry, they are also taking pizza
orders from customers. E-commerce is another area where chatbots can perform
with ease. While most of the user requests in e-commerce industry can be easily
predictable, one might also encounter complex requests. You can use chatbots in
sales, which will allow you to use your personnel on more skilled tasks. From
letting customers buy services / products to allowing them to ask queries, chatbots
will simplify your task at hand easily. Here are some of platforms for
e-commerce businesses:

Morph.ai

This platform allows you to
create a chatbot that helps your business with sales and marketing. Morph.ai
allows your chatbot to become mini landing pages for products and services. It
allows users to view the products they’re going to order and also allows you to
target customers and run campaign from the chatbot. It is a free service which
can be deployed on multiple platforms like Facebook, Twitter, your website and
mobile app.

Magic

Magic is a chatbot that acts like
a human. This chatbot can actually be used to do almost anything – way to stand
up to its name. Magic is the best tool out there for conversations e-commerce
and it also scalable which means you can adjust the chatbot to your needs. All
the users need to do is send a text on the chatbot to acquire any service or
inquire about a product.

In conclusion, if you are looking to decrease cost
to business, chatbots are the way to go. With good design and implementation, a
chatbot can resolve 80% of chat sessions. Beyond cost reduction, chatbots can
also improve the quality of service, reduce the response time, and increase
customer convenience and satisfaction. Plan and run a pilot to check what
scenarios work best for your business and to check if chatbots are right for
you. The cost to run a pilot is relatively low and the