By Kerry Blake

They seem to be the topic of conversation everywhere. While most of us have heard of Chatbots, few of us know what they are! More important… How do they help us in our day to day life? For those of you seeking answers to those two questions, let me start by explaining what they really are.

In essence, Chatbots are a text based service, which is why you find them commonly integrated within the apps of your phones. The apps that use this service are messaging apps like Whatsapp and Facebook. Businesses also incorporate Chatbots into their brand’s app.

Please note that these Chatbots can be accessed by using your desktop, tablet or laptop too! It isn’t just something that is restricted to mobile phones!

How Do Chatbots Work?

We have all dealt will the long and tedious process of contacting a company whenever we need to get some work done. Imagine if you had to go through the same process every time you needed to order your groceries or book a cab. I’m sure most people would prefer to just walk down to the grocery store!

Chatbots have redefined the way a business interacts with a client. They are designed to reduce the entire interaction to a simple text based service. Let me explain further.

The old method of contacting a company was by searching for their phone number and giving them a call. You had to go through a series of options (which could get confusing) until you got to speak to some customer care executive. There were times when you would make a mistake. This would either prolong the process or you would have to start all the way from the start once again!

Today’s generation does it a little differently. Recently I read the easiest description on how the chatbots work on Swrve’s blog.

“Here’s how it would work with the chatbot experience:

1)   Open Facebook Messenger and search for the business name

2)   Start the conversation by making a request

3)   Receive rich media feedback (text + images + hyperlinks + voice) that answers your question.”

The use of Chatbots has led to a big difference in the way customer relationships are handled.

Advantages of Using Chatbots. Chatbots aid a business in different ways. It is wise to know what they have to offer before incorporating them in your business model! Let’s take a look at how Chatbots have revolutionized the way we manage our customer relationships.

Standardization. Chatbots have helped to make the communication process between business and client more standardized. It also reduces the complexity that was involved in the previous communication process!

Automatic Verification. The process of automatic verification takes place every time you use a Chatbot. This is because all the Apps have access to your private information. Facebook and Twitter are just two examples.

The Transferring Scenario Has Changed. The old call the business system used to involve a lot of frustration. A large amount of the frustration was linked one particular sentence. Namely, “Please stay on the line. We are transferring your call to…” Chatbots however do away with this frustration. There is no need for any call transfer because you aren’t on a call. It also means that your queries are solved quickly.

Access to a Wide Amount of Information. Today, a large chunk of the world cannot function without the internet. Chatbots allow the company to provide you will a lot of information. They do this by using text, images and hyperlinks. The access to this kind of information helps provide the customer with a better and more useful interaction!

How Do Chatbots Benefit Companies? We have just seen that Chatbots help in bettering the company’s customer relationships. It however does much more than just that. When you compare Chatbots with the old means of communication, you will realize that the number of employees required to manage the communications is much less!

The reduction in employees means that the company in itself saves a lot of money. That is how Facebook is able to run its company which earns $20 million in revenue with just 55 employees!

Chatbots sound brilliant, innovative and even informative! While some forwarding thinking companies have already incorporated the use of Chatbots in their business model, a large majority of the companies/businesses are still to follow suit.

Chatbots seem like the future of our customer communication systems. The ease at which they streamline the communication process appears to be a boon to businesses everywhere. The real question is… How long will it take for everyone to join the bandwagon?

Kerry Blake is an MS Office expert, for eight years he was working as IT trainer and lecturer. Currently exploring a life in Ireland and writing about technology on sites like IT Briefcase, Tech Acute and Microsoft. Follow him @KerryBlake.