Business bots are taking over online interactive spaces. Even if you don’t know what business bots are you’ve probably already encountered and interacted with them online. Business bots are taking on the role of mundane online tech support to answer questions and assist people as they navigate websites and online services.
Although this might seem like a brand-new technology, it’s actually been around for quite a while. Who isn’t familiar with phoning a call centre and having to deal with interactive voice responses (IVRs) where you are prompted to push buttons according to your service query until you are connected to the appropriate customer service person? Business bots or ‘chatbots’ are the next evolution of this technology. According to an article in Inside Big Data; “chatbots are programed to mimic human conversations based on artificial intelligence, natural language processing, technological databases and programmable algorithms.”
Business Insider predicts that business bots are going to be huge this year and has named them one of the biggest tech trends for 2017. Their prediction according to frog strategist Toshi Mogi, is that entrepreneurs and businesses will increasingly rely on the artificial intelligence of business bots to ‘handle the logistics of running a business’. Mogi says; “The entrepreneur will commission an assortment of business bots to bring their vision to reality.” He uses the example of selling high-tech skateboards where different bots can perform different tasks for the company. One bot might be programmed to order designs from freelancers while another works on the online e-commerce platform, all to help the business work faster and more precisely.
If you’re wondering how business bots might help your business, here are some of the ways business bots are currently being utilised:
1. Helping with customer queries: customers frequently interact with businesses online to search for information about products and services. Chatbots on websites can now interact directly with customers and be programmed to answer customer queries as well as share additional information on sales and promotions or other important details.
2. Collecting information from employees: Chatbots can be utilised by a company to interact with employees and collect information such as office supply orders, office event or meeting attendance, lunch orders or employee questions.
3. Streamlining online sales processes: Business bots can assist in walking customers through the various stages of the online sales and purchasing process. They can also offer customers related products or special deals during ordering and checkout, which can help increase sales revenue.
4. Direct communication over social media platforms: business bots on social media platforms can enable quick, hassle-free interactions with customers. The bots can seamlessly integrate to deliver responses from a database of information. Many social media platforms are adopting chatbot technology to help businesses interact with their customers on social media channels.
5. Employee productivity and task management: internal messaging platforms are already used by many companies to enable teams to better communicate and manage projects. These platforms can also integrate custom chatbots designed to increase productivity by getting status updates and monitoring employee activity to ensure efficiency.