Chat bots are making a resurgence, and Facebook just announced their role in last week’s F8 developer conference in San Francisco. What is a chat bot? It’s a simple piece of software that uses artificial intelligence to carry on a conversation. In simple terms, you are messaging a robot. Chat bots have been around for over a decade and now companies are taking another look at this technology to communicate with customers in a big way. Facebook is rolling this out with a few select partners like Spring, 1-800-Flowers, news partners and Poncho, a weather app. Eventually, all companies with a Facebook business page will have access to the technology via Facebook Messenger. What could this mean for businesses? Here are 3 major ways we believe this technology will affect you, the business owner.
- 24/7 access to your company and its products. Not only could your customers ask questions about your business or products, the chat bot can direct them to purchase those products by offering various options based on the questions and answers during their interaction. Amazing!
- Reduction in customer service costs. At this stage, I don’t believe this software is going to replace people when it comes to customer service. However, simple answers to questions about your business can be taken care of by a chat bot, while your more sophisticated staff can help trouble shoot and expand the relationship with your customers even further.
- Facebook will become a data extravaganza for marketing. As if the information available for marketing purposes on Facebook isn’t staggering right now, just wait! All of this data direct from customer chats will certainly be leveraged to create even more customizable audiences for those businesses who market on Facebook. The possibilities are truly endless.
The timing is perfect, as studies indicate that people are growing tired of downloading multiple apps to communicate with their favorite brands (NY Times). Why not just give your customers access to you where they are logging in the most to begin with? It does make sense. As the Facebook version develops further, we will stay on top of it and help you navigate the best ways to utilized this new tool! Contact us for more information.