Not all bots are created equal. Remember Microsoft’s chatbot? What started out as an attempt to have the AI learn and adapt through having numerous playful conversations with Twitter users ended up…regrettable. If you wish to take a walk down memory lane, Gizmodo lists the craziest rants made by Microsoft’s bot: Click Here
But luckily, there are other bots out there that show substantial promise in serving both individuals and businesses–and a far smaller likelihood of being corrupted by the internet.
As it stands, the market for bots is wide open. Not enough businesses have launched an exciting, customer-facing bot. This is the perfect moment to get involved–while the road is untravelled. Being an early adopter of AI would allow you to engage your audience (and potential audience) in a fresh, new way. To understand the potential benefits of bots, we’re covering two companies that have jumped on board.
Taco Bell just developed a new AI for ordering called TacoBot on Slack, a corporate messaging platform (source). Compared with traditional online order systems, TacoBot will offer customers ease of ordering, and interactivity. For instance, one could–hypothetically, of course–open up a chat while looking through work tasks and shoot TacoBot a message:
The plan is for engaging, fun customer interactions. Currently on private beta mode, TacoBot has an open waiting list for anyone excited for next-level ordering.
Another AI example out there is one launched by Practo, an online medical service. Practo’s bot, Practo Consult, invites people to send their queries to the bot’s Twitter handle @AskPracto. The bot will either provide them with medical tips or direct them to relevant, helpful links. Practo Consult answers questions in real time, with responses coming from “verified doctors and experts on the Practo Consult platform” (source).
Practo’s bot is far from perfect, but its future is promising. The bot will not only elevate customer service and collect valuable customer data, but will make health information available to more people around the world–in different languages–for free through internet access.
Other than clear benefits for your customers (faster, more efficient online help and path to purchase), companies have much to gain from creating a bot:
a) Engage Customers: Customers are more likely to have meaningful interactions with your company through bots, as bots are smart enough to answer most of their questions on the spot. Furthermore, the novelty of interacting with an AI will likely intrigue your audience and increase communication.
b) Cost-effective: Bots will help businesses with keep customer service costs low. For instance, as it stands, properly running an online order system requires a rather large team of people to run it, especially if you happen to be an e-commerce company. With bots, it will be possible to keep the system running smoothly with fewer individuals, and a lower budget.
c) Collecting Customer Insights: Your customers are likely to ask your bot a bunch of questions. You will find valuable customer insights among those questions. For example, Taco Bell, through TacoBot, may find some customers enjoy seafood, and wish Taco Bell offered seafood options. Taco Bell could then choose to apply that information to add new variety for that type of customer.
So are you interested and/or ready to launch a bot for your business?