A chatbot is a computer program that is designed to simulate a conversation with a real human being. This conversation occurs through the sending and receiving of messages. It can work on any other popular messaging platform, including Facebook Messenger, WeChat, Telegram, LINE, Kik or even SMS. On several occasions, chatbots have been projected as the future of customer care; they are causing ripples in the marketing sphere.
Savvy marketers who know how to use chatbots properly are already enjoying their benefits. In 2017, we witnessed different influential trends that changed the way brands use chatbots. Since we are just a couple of months away from 2018, it would be wise to acquaint ourselves with upcoming chatbot trends. Here are some chatbot trends that are expected to have a significant impact in 2018.
1. Using chatbots in more Social Media Platforms
Most people use popular social media platforms to send each other messages. To keep up with this consumer trend, a good number of social media platforms are already allowing companies to develop chatbots on their platforms. Chatbots can initiate a conversation while one is browsing through a company's social media page. In most cases, such conversations will be aimed at enticing potential customers.
2. Using Chatbots to Collect Customer Insights
Businesses spend massive resources to get critical data from customers. This information is used to implement various decisions later on. In 2018, chatbots are expected to collect customer insights from different avenues; this is possible because they are able to retrieve and store all kinds of information from questions customers ask. The insights gathered by chatbots will then determine how to implement the different stages of a marketing funnel.
Marketers will utilize the conversations chatbots have with customers to gain a clear picture of their exact needs and then respond by implementing necessary changes.
3. More affordable chatbots
In 2018, the price of chatbots is expected to decrease by a significant margin. A decision made by different social media companies to allow third-party applications to develop their chatbots on respective social platforms will fuel this trend.
In addition to the pricing factor, the process of building chatbots is expected to become much easier. 2018 is also expected to witness the introduction of many tools that allow you to build a simple chatbot without applying any programming knowledge, which will motivate many brands to use chatbots.
4. Power to Negotiate
Another chatbot trend for 2018 is the capability of chatbots to negotiate. These conversations won’t merely be question and answer sessions; instead, they will persuade or convince customers, providing more fulfilling sessions.
Through the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning, chatbots will be able to negotiate with the AI belonging to other companies. In other words, the machines will be talking and negotiating with each other.
From these trends, we expect chatbots to make 2018 an exciting year for both established and upcoming brands. Those that will utilize this technology to the fullest will undoubtedly help shape the future of this technology.