July 11, 2016
An increasing numbers of brands and companies are turning to chatbots as a means of enhancing user experience and reaching customers in new ways. With many such chatbots popping up on the widely used platform of Facebook, the spread of chatbots is gaining considerable speed.
Aside from being an obvious step forward for technological advancement, chatbots are surprisingly useful for and centered around enhancing user experience-more so than you might think.
Chatbots are a simpler alternative to building an app. Shifts in browsing behavior has made mobile-first accessibility of paramount importance for brands and businesses of all disciplines. While the norm has long been to build in app, that’s a process that demands a lot of assumed engagement from users (downloading the app, creating a username and log in, allowing push notifications, etc.).
In place of apps, chatbots are a way to reach users in a more direct way that actually requires much less effort for them. Instead of going through the process of downloading an app, users can simply shoot a text to a chatbot to get what they need. The chatbot can then respond to the users with what would be the app equivalent of push notifications, but in a more conversational tone.
Chatbots can create a more personalized user experience. While users have long had the ability to set personal preferences within news, shopping, and gaming apps, the effect is much more personal when it’s coming in a personalized message via chatbot. This worked especially well for makeup giant, Sephora:
By naturalizing the experience between brand and customer, brands are able to take the easily recognizable sales-pitchy aspect out of the communication process. In doing so, brands can engage with consumers on a more personal level at a rate much cheaper than the cost of an app.
Chatbots offer utility with a twist. The performance of a chatbot is in many ways entertainment-based, which is something users notoriously respond positively to. The capabilities of chatbots provide expected services-customers queries, troubleshooting, promoting content and products-but in a way consumers can relate to.
Perhaps what’s most effective about chatbots are that it puts a name and face (sort of) to brands, making them more acknowledgeable by their users. The customer experience then becomes much less like talking to a sales or brand rep, and more like getting suggestions from a knowledgeable friend.
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