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Posted by Dhara Naik on May 25, 2017

Change is the only constant factor and who can vouch for it more than the communication industry. The advertising world has grown from paper to television to the latest digital communication, and now this digital universe is chanting a new mantra: Chatbots

Chatbots are refined and sophisticated marketing tools that “humanize” a brand’s communication with its consumers and make it more efficient, effective and engaging. Let’s focus on the retail industry for example; gone are the days when a product brought customers to the business, now it’s consumer engagement that drives the industry.

Chatbots are artificial intelligence (AI) platforms that can respond to text or voice commands and deliver a response. They've been around from the early days of computers, but recently marketers have explored this technology for customer engagement purposes.

Regardless of the size of your business, if you have a customer service department then you should take advantage of a bot. Chatbots are there to make things easy - for brands and consumers - by automating simple processes and returning answers to questions in real time. For a long time the “next big thing” was creating apps to engage consumers; this required a big investment in interface design and development. The Chatbot revolution, is still focused on engaging consumers, but does so by focussing on messaging rather than interface.

Retail businesses are the ideal industry for bots. Bots can enhance loyalty programs, and link to the backend e-commerce system to process the order and payments. A fashion brand can use a bot to share personalised styling advice, accessory recommendations and reviews with customers. A café or a restaurant can install a bot to process pick-up orders.

Small retailers strive hard to gain new customers and retain existing ones, in order to do so, a lot of monetary recourses get utilized in the form of human customer service employees. Chatbots are completely automated; they can be a great cost-saver. They can interact with hundreds of consumers at the same time, answering more queries in a shorter amount of time which helps not only save resources but also keep multiple customers happy at the same time.

Of course, as AI becomes more and more sophisticated, so will the algorithms powering chatbots. We've already reached the point where bots can adopt natural speech patterns, and they are becoming better and better at understanding colloquialisms and slang. But there's still a long way to go: there are infinite scenarios to which a bot may have to respond, which makes coding these algorithms very complex. We’re very excited to see what the future of this technology holds, and what it means to marketers.

Want to know more about this budding technology, and how it can impact your brand? Let's Talk.