Chatbots are transforming the customer experience and quickly moving into new sectors — but before marketers can expect conversation-mimicking software and artificial intelligence to replace live customer service representatives, they’ll need to find ways to overcome some consumer obstacles.
“Facebook has long been a force in post-sale retention and Messenger can really play a huge part as a CRM tool,” Mike Blumenthal tells David Mihm. “I see it as the “real” social network… the one where folks communicate with those closest to them.”
Although automated messaging has been around for years, today’s chatbots combine machine learning with artificial intelligence to create enhanced user experiences. Chatbots are also giving brands a chance to flex their creative muscles, utilizing technology in innovative ways.
At Street Fight Summit we raised a little controversy around the potential disruptiveness of voice search to the hyperlocal economy. Street Fight believes voice search is a critical emerging technology, a view that seemingly contrasts with that of many companies on the supply side of hyperlocal.
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With chatbot technology, communications between local businesses and their customers via flok can now evolve into more complex conversations. These conversations yield better data for the business owner and more detailed information as well as a more engaging customer service experience for the consumer.
The trillion dollar question is if this emerging chatbot technology will annihilate the phone call. Though I’m bullish on messaging and chatbots, the answer to that question is likely no.
The pieces are in place for Messenger to become a major new marketing platform. Indeed, the various (mostly mobile) use cases range from customer service to e-commerce. So far, none of my experiences has been great. But there’s huge potential over time.
Bots could displace apps just as apps displaced search. “Search started with consumers typing into a box,” Pingup’s Ron Braunfeld said recently. “[AI] is all about knowing where you are, time of day, what’s in your refrigerator; and giving you the right information without having to search.”