The technology behind a chatbot can be useful to any company that uses social channels to provide customer service. The connection of chatbots through Facebook Messenger doesn’t require users to install anything. An additional added benefit is that chatbots are simpler and cheaper to develop for businesses than apps.
Now that chatbots have the extra ability to be able to accept payments through Messenger, it eliminates the need for consumer to be sent to an external website. With consumers on Messenger totalling 1 billion active users a month, there are plenty of reasons for businesses to develop their own chatbots to start interacting with this audience.
Chatbots could just be a fad, but they could also be a brand new way of interacting for both consumers and businesses.
So far, 2017 has seen an increase in experimentation with bots, so here’s a rundown of our a few of our favourites:
Consumers now have the ability to request rides and even Uber status updates through Messenger.
Feeling spontaneous? Consumers can order a ride directly from a conversation with their friends. Clicking on an address results in a prompt to order an Uber.
The Gods have answered. You can now order pizza via a bot!
Pizza Hut’s chatbot allows consumers to place an order just by typing what they want into a Messenger conversation. You can also ask for info on local deals and questions about dietary requirements too.
The first eCommerce fashion and shopping chatbot for Facebook Messenger, ChatShopper asks users about their fashion sense and replies with product suggestions.
The bot, called Emma gives advice, inspires and helps you find the perfect fashion product for your needs. A good way to avoid fashion faux pas!
Instalocate is your personal travel assistant. In addition to real time flight info, it also tells you about the security wait so that you don’t have to waste time standing in long queues, as well as being able to claim compensation costs for any problem you may have faced.
Facebook’s own experimental chatbot, M, doesn’t just repeat simple pieces of information pulled from database but can actually understand complex orders and take actions such as booking tickets or contacting companies on your behalf.
A unique feature is that when the bot cannot answer, instead of receiving a message along the lines of “I don’t understand the question”, a human takes over and responds to your requests as though it is still M.
If you want to try it out you’ll have to wait, the bot is still being refined by the good people at Facebook.