Are chatbots a fad?

Are ChatBots A Fad?

Are ChatBots a fad?

In a recent article for BizEDGE I shared my thoughts on whether humans and this technology are truly compatible.

Do people really care to order their favourite pizza from their FB messenger app? Or is there more to the story…?

These are the questions I ask myself whenever I’m reminded of the so far fruitless hype of this new technology.

But I would argue that much like AR and VR tech, both of which saw the daylight years ago but have only recently seen a steady rise of commercial application, we are only in the very beginning of the ChatBots era…

The challenges with ChatBots are primarily oriented around user-behaviour;

  1. The use of these features is a learned behaviour. And so far it hasn’t caught on. Mainly because our/your customers aren’t being reminded often enough, and are not aware of the many uses that are already available.
  2. For the behaviour to stick we need more ChatBots… Sure, ordering pizza is good, but can I do something meaningful with it to make my life better/easier?
  3. “Will the ChatBot be able to help me?” The ChatBots still have very few options and answers. The lack of which motivate the customer to revert to native app experiences where they are guaranteed the answer they are looking for.

I for one believe that ChatBots will be revolutionary and I welcome the change – but we need to first address the 3 points above.

Where ChatBots have enormous commercial appeal is in the convergence of the voice recognition, AI and machine learning technologies. The three of which create a pretty potent, hands off experience.

So where to next – where should we focus our attention?

The best customer experiences and services stem from a sense of empathy towards our customers.

“What are they looking for? And how can we deliver that in an intuitive and interesting way?”

Consider the possibilities that ChatBots can provide for your customers, play around with the technologies, deliver experiences and let’s see what sticks.

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Logan Merrick is the co-founder and Director of Buzinga, as well as one of Australia's most recognised entrepreneurs, keynote speakers, investors and mentors. His writing on startups, technology and mobile marketing has been featured in The Australian, Business Insider, Startup Smart, Smart Company, and more.