A chatbot is a program designed to mimic conversation with users. Unlike the digital assistant on your phone or the robots you see in movies, chatbots typically have a limited range of subjects they can discuss.
You've likely encountered chatbots online as a little speech bubble that pops up to ask if you have any questions about a product or service. For example, the Whole Foods chatbot, which users can access via Facebook, can provide product descriptions, share recipes and help users locate their nearest store.
Many chatbots are limited by their dependence on third-party platforms like Facebook Messenger, but developers can overcome these limitations with SMS. In fact, users can speak with SMS chatbots on any cell phone – even old flip phones. This ubiquity greatly increases the value chatbots can bring to organizations.
SMS is an Ideal Engagement Platform
According to data from Statista, more than 304 million North Americans own some type of mobile phone. Considering that the vast majority of these devices are SMS-enabled, an SMS chatbot deployment makes a lot of sense. Furthermore, an OpenMarket survey found that more than 75 percent of millennials prefer texting over talking on their phones.
SMS chatbots can be a powerful engagement tool because they utilize a communications platform, with which almost everyone is familiar and comfortable using. The convenience of SMS cannot be ignored, either. For instance, if a user wants to connect with a customer service representative on a weekday, he or she may have to duck out of work to make a call. SMS could allow them to send a few quick messages to get the information they need.
Exciting Chatbot Use Cases
As chatbot technology becomes more sophisticated, it will be able to take on greater responsibilities, saving valuable human resources for in-depth interactions with customers. Many businesses have already deployed chatbot solutions to great success. Here are a few examples of use cases you might encounter today:
Customer service: Today, many companies utilize chatbots as first-line customer service to answer frequently asked questions and provide answers to simple questions. These solutions are just beginning to take advantage of machine learning algorithms to become 'smarter' over time, as they interact with customers. In the future, chatbots connected to databases could answer even more complex queries.
Customized experiences: Organizations that offer many types of products and services can identify returning customers by their phone numbers to provide highly personalized experiences. While a human representative may take a few moments to pull up customer data, a chatbot could recognize users instantly and immediately provide assistance.
Audience engagement: No likes waiting on hold, but companies can only afford to employ a finite number of representatives. Chatbots could engage customers while human operators are busy. Additionally, fields that require frequent communication, such as recruiting, can use chatbots to engage prospects when recruiters are otherwise engaged.
Chatbot solutions can support your businesses' other customer-facing functions, and SMS is an ideal way to deploy this intelligent technology quickly and effectively. To learn more about Swift SMS Gateway and how it can benefit your organization, sign up for a free demo today.