Each generation in the modern era gets its name from a defining characteristic. For example, the Silent Generation were those who didn’t speak up or protest much, especially in the 1950s. The Baby Boomers got the name because, well, their parents were busy making babies!
Now we have a generation defined by the way they chose to interact: The Mute Generation.
Messaging has overtaken everything from emails to voice and video calls as the de facto mode of communication right now. The whole thing is out of control, and here are a few numbers to prove it:
- 98% of young Americans (aged 18-30) have a device that can text
- 75% of them prefer text messaging for everything, over emails or calls
- Americans spend more time texting (26 mins per day) than on calls (21 mins)
- 64% of consumers like businesses that use texting/live chats to reach out to them
The Rise of AI and Chatbots
Businesses need cheap and effective ways to harness messaging services to engage their would-be customers. And the rise of AI (Natural Language Processing/NLP, to be precise), in recent years has provided them with the perfect tool: chatbots. When we can have driverless cars, why not smart programs that can hold an intelligent conversation with a human?
The field of AI research and NLP is still in its infancy. We are only seeing the tip of the iceberg as far as the capabilities of chatbots are concerned. There are many hidden downsides as well, as Microsoft learned all too late with their unveiling of Tay in 2016.
But when deployed properly, a chatbot can drive your customer engagement levels through the roof. Many organizations and businesses have experienced this with their chatbot deployments so far. Here are a few that really catches the eye:
- The Einstein chatbot used by NatGeo to promote its TV show Genius
- The NBC Politics bot that provides users with customized news results
- The Lyft bot that can integrate with Messenger, Slack, and Alexa
- GWYN bot used by 1-800-Flowers to direct sales
- Amtrak’s Julie bot provides all sorts of rail passenger services to customers
Three Reasons Why They Rock
Accessibility is one the main advantages you get when you use a chatbot for connecting with your customer. As they can be integrated on all major platforms, the users do not have switch apps to use this feature. That kind of convenience makes chatbots very attractive to customers.
Messaging is quicker than email and even phone calls. Chatbots harness this speed to the advantage of all parties concerned in the marketing process. Businesses now have the power to convert queries into leads, without wasting the time of their customers.
A single chatbot program can handle numerous customer conversations simultaneously. It is much more cheaper than maintaining a large call-center to handle all your live chats. Humans simply cannot match the speed and efficiency of AI.