Chatbots are most effective in conditions wherein a customer is trying to resolve routine problems, complete specific assignments. This involves guiding a user through a multi-step process. Chatbots shows a great effect in increasing traffic, Lead generation and ROI, reducing manpower and improved customer satisfaction.
Over the last three months, the chatbots hype has started to quieten a little (in line with the Gartner Hype Cycle). Some had even started to get all super-doom-and-gloom, suggesting the end of chatbots in their entirety (FYI, chatbots are going nowhere - conversational software is the next paradigm in UX and human-computer interfaces). However, what we have seen is the sudden realisation that off-the-shelf and button-led chatbots are not very good, they are just glorified web forms. Therefore, naturally, people started to question: "what's the point of a chatbot?".
Back in August I shared some thoughts about the current situation of the chatbot industry. I was quite surprised by the amount of interest the post generated. Many readers contacted me in private and shared lots of exciting information from their Chatbot experience. As we are nearing the end of 2017, I would like to make a recap and share my personal opinion regarding how the chatbot industry will evolve in 2018. As I argued in the past, AI technologies are still in its infancy so in 2017 we haven't found any Chatbot that can pass the Turing test yet.
Estimated at $113 million in 2015, the chatbot market is expected to reach $994.5 million by 2024. Since Facebook launched the bots on Messenger, the market has not ceased to develop by creating a real craze around the Virtual Robots. With the Democratization of AI Technologies, Chatbots are becoming a true pillar of Customer Relationship Management, driving adoption among enterprises. In France, 35 Chatbots Startups has been detected by myFrenchStartup, the data-driven platform of the French Startup Ecosystem: 22 Startups are targeting the professional services market while 13 startups are leading the consumers services market. With 33% of these Startups created in 2016 and 75% based in Paris, the French Chatbot market is only in its embryonic stage.
A report by Markets and Markets reveals that the chatbots market is set to be worth 3,172.0 It isn't too far fetched, at this point, to claim that bots just may be one of the most popular AI technologies today. However, despite their popularity and increasing awareness around the incredible benefits that chatbots can bring to businesses, there hasn't been nearly as much discussion around what chatbots can actually do for users. So while chatbots are touted as the next big thing across a variety of industries, businesses still do not know them for much beyond their ability to answer their customer's most basic FAQs. Before we delve into incredible new benefits that chatbots can bring to your users, let's first take a step back to understand chatbots and their functionality.