Ask ten people to give you a definition of bots – and there’s a good chance that you’ll get ten different answers. Bots are applications that independently carry out tasks that were previously carried out by people. The name bot obviously is derived from robot. In this context, it would actually be more correct to talk about chat bots, because bots can also be engaged for countless other purposes. When bots are having a sales conversation and a purchase is preferably completed, we call it conversational commerce. Developing a good bot isn’t as easy as some media make us believe. But it does hold true for the advantages and the business case, in many cases.
Bots are the cornerstone of conversational commerce. Bots have several advantages: they are always available, easy to use, and more accessible to use as the telephone. They are scalable by definition and you also capture a lot of data from conversations that your bots have. Bots can automatically answer a part of the (frequently asked) questions that get to your employees, making you save money de facto.
Bots have become very popular in a short period of time because Natural Language Processing (NLP) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies have become available for commercial purposes. In addition – and maybe much more important – so-called messaging apps as Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp have evolved to the most used apps on smartphones. Facebook Messenger, for example, had 1,2 billion monthly users in April 2017. Worldwide, an estimated 2,5 billion (and more) smartphone users had installed at least one messaging-app at the end of 2017.
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