Today is the millennial generation. People like to try out before they want to buy something. People like to be informed and want to make informed decisions. It is natural that people want to connect to business to get more information.
But, time is also a major constrain on this system. People want to ask, but do they really want to visit a business personally, just for answer? May be not. The hassle of traffic and pollution may not be ideal situation for someone to visit a business branch. Yes, telephone calls are cheap. But does an automatic IVR system — which ask people to enter some number before hanging up, really gives the personal feel that a telephone is supposed to do???
Welcome Social Media. Internet access is widely available and rates are decreasing. Plus FB already has a customer base of more than 1 Billion. FB Messenger app alone has monthly active users base of 1.2 billion on April 2017. Tell what you may, we do check facebook almost everyday. It might be for accessing news, entertainment, connecting with friends or asking some business houses if they provide some facility.
Last time i checked in to a business house, i was stuck in traffic for around 1/2 hour, spent 10 minutes in line for customer service — just to ask : do i get charged if i changed my pin number?? I know — you must be thinking, why on earth would you not use telephone? I did — 12 times..Each time i was asked to input 0 to get in touch with customer service and after waiting for 2 minutes each time, i got disconnected. And when i tried to connect to the bank via FB, you know what happened? That organization had disabled customer messages via FB.
I was like — whoa!!!!Why would someone disable FB messaging. May be they got lots of consumer messaging and do not have enough staff to respond to those consumers. But, disabling a means for consumers to reach you also means you are disabling a means to reach the consumers. I totally agree, business may not have enough HR to be online 24x7, but we do have a workaround for that. Don’t we?
Enter messaging bots.
We, people working on IT, are supposed to automate jobs that are too repetitive or labor intensive, aren’t we? We have created amazing IT platforms for business — eCommerce, Survey System , On-the-go banking. Businesses provide so many facilities to grow but rely on 20 people handling customer service department. The ratio just doesn’t seem right. Business want millions of consumers to be associated with us, but are not willing to be responsive.
This is where a chatbot or a messaging bot comes in play. Setup once, run anywhere is the core concept on messaging bots. Create a bot, feed data to the system and let the built-in NLP and AI take care of consumers. And you know what, once a system is ready, it can be deployed on any medium — website, or any messaging platforms.
Yes, on surface, developing a bot sounds expensive. But lets look at the benefits here. How many people are engaged in customer service, answering the same question, on day to day basis? What about their pay, bonus, insurance, emotions, raise? Not to mention the real estate cost associated with that?
Bots are machines. They will answer and work tirelessly. They don’t care about how much money make, they only care about how much questions can they answer, or how much customer satisfaction they garnered. I understand that bots may not be able to add all the personal touch people might, you know what, there are ways where bots and people share common goal of customer satisfaction. & that is the blog post for another day.