Guest Post: Are Chatbots the future of customer service?

Guest Post: Are Chatbots the future of customer service?

By Charles Duncombe director of Holidaysplease

Facebook Messenger now has more than 900 million active users a month and last year it was the fastest growing app in the U.S. Could this be the perfect platform for businesses? Mark Zuckerberg seems to think so.

At the F8 Development Conference, Facebook’s plans to introduce instant messaging between businesses and customers were revealed with the launch of Messenger Platform. Using “Chatbots”, Messenger will allow businesses to respond to customer questions automatically.

Businesses can now feed Facebook’s Bot Engine with sample conversations. The bot will then be able to deliver any variation of that conversation by itself, using a combination of artificial intelligence and machine learning. There is no coding required. Over time, the bot will get more accustomed to consumer questions.

Zuckerberg believes that users will find instant messaging with businesses more convenient than picking up the phone. Facebook thinks that customers want to communicate to businesses as they would a friend.

On the day of the announcement, Zuckerberg used CNN as an example, explaining that users could ask for certain information to make news gathering an easier process. Rather than search for more detail on a news story, you can now request it from a Chatbot and receive it instantaneously.

Domino’s Pizza decided to launch an advert to show how they’re utilizing their own Chatbot called Dom. Once you have an account set up with Domino’s, you can order by simply sending the pizza emoji! Other companies have also introduced their own bots, including Disney, Burger King, HP and Hyatt.

With 60 billion messages sent daily over Messenger and WhatsApp it’s clear that consumers love this form of communication. But will they love it so much if the other half of the chat gives is artificial, stilted, incoherent answers that lack grammar, correct punctuation and spelling.

…Mind you is it much different to the conversations we are having online anyway??

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