Chatbots: the future of marketing

In just a few years, chatbots have become the indispensable tool for companies to strengthen the bond with their customers and to attract new ones. Chatbots are everywhere; from customer service to virtual recruitment assistants. Now, they are part of our daily lives.

What is a chatbot?

It is a computer program that, thanks to artificial intelligence, is able to talk to its users and offer them services tailored to their demands, directly from an instant messaging application. These tools interact with users using natural language and this can be vocal or textual.

According to the study “Can Virtual Experiences Replace Reality?” published by Oracle’s in December 2016 , 80% of brands will use chatbots for customer interactions by 2020 and 36% have already implemented chatbots.

The chatbots market, which was only worth 113 million dollars in 2015, is predicted to be worth more than 1 billion dollars by 2024 (Statista 2018).

The brands have therefore seized the opportunity at the right time; it’s necessary to invest in chatbots ! Many have invested in chatbots in recent years across a wide range of industries :

– E-commerce (H & M, Sephora)

– Fast food and Catering (Burger King, Dominos)

– Travel (SNCF, Uber)

– Dating sites (Meetic)

– Banking sector (Axa, MAIF, Caisse d’Eparge)

– Media (The New York Times)

-…and many more

Thanks to these tools it is possible to have personalized advice when you shop online, beauty tips, order your meal or train ticket directly, or be assisted in the management of your own personal budget.

So, chatbots seduce more and more companies. A study conducted by the French company “Do You Dream Up” revealed in November 2017 that 74% of professionals believe that chatbots value the image of the company. 

But what are their real advantages?

The benefits of these bots are numerous, both for professionals and users. They offer:

– a personalized exchange with the user: the chatbot adapts to the request and the comments of his interlocutor and initiates a real dialogue, which will allow to guide  the customer through the purchasing process

– direct access: no need to download an additional application, the bot is accessible directly from the website used by the user

– a service available 24/7: the chatbot is ready for the user at any given time, day and night, and responds without delay

– an ability to instantly analyze all the data available on the user via his answers, but also thanks to the information that the company obtained about said user

Once developed, the chatbot doesn’t incur significant maintenance costs, unlike more traditional customer service resources. Also, a chatbot is much faster and cheaper to develop than an application. It ensures a company presence on very popular platforms like Facebook, Messenger or WhatsApp, aiding to manage the brand’s image and publicity.

Obviously, all of the above raise the question of the impact of these chatbots on more traditional jobs in the customer service sector. According to a study conducted by “Aspect Software Research” in 2016, 29% of the current customer service functions could be automated. This would represent an annual saving of 23 billion dollars across the United States. We could then argue that in view of this figure, many employers will be tempted to cut jobs in the concerned sector.

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