Chatbots make people's lives much easier - order a pizza or taxi, book tickets or buy a new phone now without leaving the messenger.
Using them, on the one hand, is useful for customers, because they can get the information they need or take some action in a simpler and more convenient way, and on the other hand it is beneficial for companies that can promote their brand or replace customer support with the help of chatbots.
Mark Zuckerberg talked about the effectiveness of chatbots at the F8 conference in 2016 - in his opinion, they significantly reduce the time for customer service and are one of the most relevant trends to date.
There are two types of chatbots - one functions based on a set of rules, and the other more advanced version uses machine learning.
Chatbot that functions on a set of rules is very limited. This bot can only respond to very specific commands. If somebody says the wrong thing, it doesn’t know what it means. So this bot has clear boundaries and it is only as smart as it is programmed to be.
Chatbot that functions using machine learning has an artificial brain AKA artificial intelligence. You don’t have to be very specific when you are talking to it. It understands language, not just commands. This chatbot is constantly learning. It gets smarter when it talks with people and listens to their conversations.
Nowadays many companies use chatbots to give customers some info, to notify about updates, to promote the product or to accept payment and for many other purposes. Here you can find different types of chatbots and examples of their use in Facebook Messenger and Telegram.
Chatbots can be created to sell any kinds of goods your company is producing.
For example, a popular Skyscanner flight search engine has a chatbox in the Facebook Messenger. To buy a ticket, you just need to enter the travel dates and the city of departure, and the service will show the most inexpensive destinations.
Chatbots are often used by online shops and private individuals offering their services (for example, fitness trainers), - they can help customers in the process of buying, notify about promotions and discounts, etc. using chatbot.
Ebay’s chatbot – Ebay ShopBot is available on Messenger. It immediately suggests to proceed with the choice of the goods - first, you need to specify good’s type (I chose guitars), then – give a specific info - brand, configuration, color, cost, etc. Chatbot selects the most suitable options. After choosing a product, some bots offer to pay directly in the chat, and if the client is not ready to make an order immediately, he can return to the dialogue at any convenient moment.
The use of chatbots for the support service is a really common practice. Automating the processes of communication with customers helps to save a lot of time and effort of company’s "living" employees and give them more time to solve more complex problems.
Here’s an example of a customer support bot we’ve created for German company TecInStore.
P.S. you can learn more about it here - TechInStore Case study
Chatbots for delivery (flowers, gifts, etc.) are very popular with customers. A lot of bots help with the delivery service of food.
For example, Hungry chatbot (also our development) – bot that will help you to find nearby restaurants and order food from them. Bot proposes you to place an order. Then you have to either pick restaurant or cuisine and a bot will send you information where you can order your food.
Chatbots can be great helpers in everyday life - for example, they can remind you of important meetings or things like the Hello Jarvis bot does.
Chatbots are used by many newspapers, magazines and TV channels.
For example, the bot from CNN shows articles on the topic chosen by the user and pleases subscriber with the news and the freshest publications.
Chatbots can also be used to distribute your content. If you have a blog or you create any type of content (videos, podcasts, etc.), you can advertise it with chatbot in messengers, - it's very convenient way to keep track of new releases, besides, users will have access to all recently publications and companie’s news so they would hardly miss something.
There are bots that play the role of a friend or a psychologist - they can always lend an ear and give actual life advice.
In China, Microsoft has created a girl-bot called Xiaoice, with whom more than 20 million people share their experiences. This chatbot constantly learns from its dialogues, and its speech and behavior in the chat are very similar to human. It's amazing how Xiaoice is sensitive to the feelings of its users - so if a person has something happened, in the next dialogue, she may wonder how he or she feels.
Despite the fact that communication with such a bot can have a therapeutic effect (simply saying what was boiling in the chat room), listening to his advice can be unsafe. People should remember that they are dealing with a robot.
So, the chatbot Tay, created by Microsoft to observe and analyze how the millennials communicate among themselves, has repeatedly been convicted of racism and misanthropy.
Chatbots are also created for learning - they provide educational material on the discipline they teach (small volume texts), "communicate" with students and evaluate their knowledge through testing. The creators of such bots are trying to make the "teacher" sound like human as much as possible.
For example telegram bot Words helps you to learn new words via tests, games, etc.
Chatbot-doctor can advise treatment based on the symptoms of a user or find the nearest hospital, and he takes his knowledge from medical directories.
In such bots, you just have to input your inquiry and bot will try to answer it. Or the bot can check in with your health state. Then, of course, you should schedule an appointment with a doctor.
For example – Joy chatbot. It takes care of your mental health. It asks you a few questions and then it can give you a treatment based on your statistics
Another one of the most popular and convenient in everyday life chatbots - a bot providing weather forecast. Using Poncho chatbot, you can get the weather forecast just in a couple of seconds - you only have to enter the name of the city.
In spite of the fact that more and more chatbots have appeared recently, this niche is still in its infancy. So now you have a great opportunity to become one of the pioneers.
Here are some other reasons why you should create your own bot: