ChatBots for Business?

What is a ChatBot  – “A chatbot is a computer program or an artificial intelligence which conducts a conversation via auditory or textual methods. Such programs are often designed to convincingly simulate how a human would behave as a conversational partner.” As defined by Wikipedia.  So what does this really mean?

A chatbot is a tool, in this case a software program, which is governed by a set of rules or “workflows” that interact with a person via a smartphone app, website interface, etc. to provide a structured one-to-one conversation. 

These workflows are setup for a business’ specific needs, for example, a Dentist would have a different workflow / industry specific language than an Insurance agent.  Although the bot software presides on a social media platform, like Facebook Messenger, the chatbot itself can be referenced from websites, print media using a scan code like a QR code, an active link in a video, in a social media post and many more.

The marketing potential is essentially unlimited and 4th qtr. 2019 implementation statistics show that less than 1% of businesses are using ChatBot technology.

Why does my business need a chatbot – First you ask why does anyone care about chatbots? They look like simple text based services… what’s the big deal?” For the first time ever, people are using messenger apps more than they are using social networks.

 “People are now spending more time in messaging apps than in social media and that is a huge turning point. Messaging apps are the platforms of the future and bots will be how their users access all sorts of services.” — Peter Rojas, Entrepreneur in Residence at Betaworks

Logically, if you want to build a successful business online or a brick & mortar, you must have a presence where the people are. That place is now inside messenger apps as stated before.  Professional digital marketing can focus people into the chatbot and your business can begin to nurture that person by giving them a more personal interaction with your brand.

“There is hope that consumers will be keen on experimenting with bots to make things happen for them. It used to be like that in the mobile app world 4+ years ago. When somebody told you back then… ‘I have built an app for X’… You most likely would give it a try. Now, nobody does this. It is probably too late to build an app company as an indie developer. But with bots… consumers’ attention spans are hopefully going to be wide open / receptive again!” — Niko Bonatsos, Managing Director at General Catalyst

A chatbot is essentially having a 24 hour a day employee waiting to chat with any potential customer interested and willing to have a conversation with your business.  In this modern age with instant gratification and the world at our fingertips, shouldn’t your business have the capacity to interact with potential customers even after normal business hours?  Chatbots enable this interaction.  I am going to leave you with one final quote that sums this article up.

Messaging is where we spend a ton of our time and expect to communicate. It is ridiculous we still have to call most businesses.” — Josh Elman, Partner at Greylock

Quotes & some material were republished from “The Complete Beginner’s Guide To Chatbots” by Matt Schlicht dated 4/20/2016 on