Key to Improving the Chatbot: Interactivity

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We’ve written previously about the growth in chatbots, noting that the data indicates that there’s plenty of growth in chatbots.

Investopedia reports: “According to Citigroup, the chatbot economy saw 170% growth between the third and sixth months following the launch of Facebook Messenger. There were more developers working on chatbots during the sixth month after launch than there were working on apps 14 months after the launch of Messenger, Citigroup found.”

In fact, we wrote elsewhere about where monetization around chatbots might come from: Chatbots use artificial intelligence to provide virtual assistance or understand how users are behaving with content, and to surface relevant experiences.

But chatbots also could help users find the products they seek – even sending coupons related to indicated interests. In other words, even if chatbots don’t result in immediate direct sales, they could help users determine type of product they’re looking for.

But is there too much hype around chatbots?

USA Today reports: “According to a recent Forrester Research executive survey, just 4% of companies have deployed chatbots, but 31% are testing them or plan to roll them out. The percentage of companies using human-manned chat services is higher, with 17% saying they’re using them on Facebook Messenger.”

And now VentureBeat asks: “Are chatbots just another fad?”

The challenge – and, not incidentally, the opportunity for effective brands and publishers – is how to make chatbots more interactive.

As VentureBeat outlines: “One traditional argument against chatbots that everyone seems to agree on is that their interactions with clients can seem canned. Early adopters claim chatbots have the same variety of conversational skills as automated call menus. Users can ask very general questions to a chatbot to get a very standard, short response.”

The post continues: “If chatbots are going to take over as an alternative to emailing and calling brands, they’ll need to be able to help consumers through the whole buyer journey, mistakes and all.”

 

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