Texting is Tony Stark, Chatbox is Iron Man

The inventor of the hashtag recently declared 2016 “the year of conversational commerce.” Conversational user interfaces are rising to dominate the way we consume internet content and conduct commerce. Today, WeChat has 600 million people in China buying tickets, checking into flights, making doctor’s appointments and booking taxis — all without touching a web browser. Facebook is on a mission “to make Messenger the best place to communicate with all the people and businesses in the world.” Conversational interfaces represent “a major point of disruption” as part of a broad shift away from “traditional point-and-click apps, towards chat-based user interfaces.” Like the “mobile first” wave that came before it, entire companies are starting “chat first,” or even “chat only.” Chat-first will challenge business processes and commonly held beliefs about user design. Chat-first is a movement.

Chat-based user interfaces make sense because the way people communicate is changing. Americans now spend about 26 minutes a day texting, compared to spending about six minutes a day on voice calls. They’re tired of installing and logging in to new apps. Most Americans download ZERO apps every month. Apps are exhausting. People don’t want to install another app just to get in touch with a business. Today’s consumer is either using the stock messaging app on their phone, or a small handful of others like Twitter, Facebook Messenger or SnapChat to communicate with friends. People want to communicate with businesses the same way.

Chatbox partners are ready to text — and tweet, and chat with their customers, but in a way that makes it easier and faster for everyone to do business. Chatbox partners can interleave payments, photos, forms, files, and e-signatures into messaging threads to advance each customer engagement toward results. We call these in-line applications Chatbox Interactives.

If texting is Tony Stark, texting with Chatbox Interactives is Iron Man. Businesses using Chatbox get superpowers when they text, tweet or chat with their customers. With Interactives, each message has the potential to be much more than just text:

  • Marketplaces are building virtual concierge teams around the platform that speed data exchange and matchmaking between buyers and sellers.
  • Telesales teams are driving up conversion by using text and chat before, during and after complex phone calls, combining the best of voice and mobile screen.
  • Service centers are asking customers to snap and send photos to their agents in real time so they can better diagnose problems, and route this data to others within a team.
  • Residents are texting Property Managers about problems, and going seamlessly into sharing photos or work orders with technicians.
  • Travelers are clicking immediately from Google ads into text exchanges with travel agents who now gather all the information they need to advise and book within the chat.
  • Local businesses are adding texting and an inbox to their existing business phone, and asking customers to complete forms or waivers with a quick text to save time for everyone.

Businesses running on Chatbox blend the simplicity of texting with the advantage of interactive tools. Now, companies can nest the objects, forms, wizards and more that drive commerce all within a threaded, digital conversation. The unprecedented mash-up of messaging and structured data means our partners can deliver the best of natural conversation with the efficiency of user self-direction.

Conversational user interfaces are rising, but to reach their full potential, they need to give businesses the ability to transform unstructured chat conversations into something better, stronger and faster. That’s why we’re building Chatbox, to give conversational interfaces superpowers.

To learn more, text or call us at 206.693.2723, or visit us at chatbox.com.