The world of marketing and sales has reached a saturation point. There are plenty of options for customers to choose from. The margin of difference between competitors is growing lesser and lesser. The buying decision is decided by the experience the customer receives. Every user journey from the point they enter into business to the point they exit has to be exquisite. The expectations are much higher. Also, providing such an experience is no longer possible with human effort alone. You require automation and intelligence to back you up. One of the driving forces in the automation space has been chatbots. Chatbots have changed the landscape of customer communication. They have progressed from being a buzzword into a functional tool that every marketer is trying to learn,  understand and implement for their clients.

Here, I am sharing some of the insights and trends on chatbots that we have seen from our end based on the data that we have been collecting for the past year. We will also look at the reports from leading publications on the same matter. Tech giants like IBM, Facebook, Google and other leading corporates are increasingly promoting the use of these conversational agents. We can call them chatbots, virtual assistants,  conversational interfaces or simply automated chat. The effect they have on your business is enormous. They make your websites come alive. They start to engage your online audience, makes their experience interactive and most importantly they help you to capture data on your website visitors and convert them. There are many advantages benefits to having a chatbot.

  • They cut down Operational Costs 💰

    Per year there are a reported 265 Billion Customer Requests. Businesses spent nearly $1.3 trillion to service these requests. Using Chatbots can help you save upto 30% of this.

  • Chatbots empowers your Team 💪

    Chatbots will not entirely replace humans. Rather they will become the first-level support that filters a customer request and save you time.

  • They boost your Brand Outlook 🙌

    The visual interaction offers a friendly experience and ensures a healthy rapport with your customer base spread across the world.

  • It’s easier than making an App 💁‍♀️

    In the productivity category, chatbots outperform apps in all aspects of functionality and is more cost-effective.

  • Millennials love Chatbots 👫

    The speed of communication and ease of use has given a sweet spot for chatbots in the Millennial audience compared to legacy tools.

Countries Obsessed with Chatbots

The above infographic is based on our own data from Aug 2017 to Jan 2019.  Our platform provides chatbots for websites. Therefore you are looking at countries who are engaging customers through the chatbot interfaces on their sites. As expected United States made it to the top of the list. There is much interest coming from India, the country with the second highest number of internet users. Enterprises are confident about the impact of chatbots, and they are harnessing the power that chatbots hold. The fact that our chatbots can be translated into any language meant Germany got third place. Closely following the UK and Brazil in the list, we had Spain, France, Canada, Italy, Australia and also the United Arab Emirates with a similar share.

Industries Profiting from Chatbots

Moving on we are looking at the different verticals where chatbots are performing well. One of the primary use cases of chatbots today is in lead-generation. It is common knowledge that lead-generation capability is the most sought after necessity in the real estate industry. If there are no leads, you don't have anybody to sell to. It is as simple as that. This explains why we have many customers from this industry, using our chatbot solution.

Next, we have the travel industry. Here the chatbots have been very useful in fastening the process of answering and filtering through travel bookings. Their 24x7 presence on the site makes sure that all of the leads coming in are attended. The education industry saw more wide applications. From getting students to engage in online courses to communicating with parents who are interested in admitting their children to an institution, the automated bots came quite handy. In the healthcare industry, health professionals and clinics are able to efficiently manage their bookings with the aid of the conversational interfaces. Finally, we saw an increase in the number of financial institutions adopting chatbots for pre-assessment and consultation with their prospects.

Insights for the Future

For the next five years, we have many predictions on how chatbots will change the world. These reports come from major publications who foresee the rise of chatbots. The above infographic sums it up nicely and here are the references for each year: 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023 and 2024

Chatbots have found their rightful place. From being sceptical of intelligence and automation, people are rapidly embracing chatbots as the next big change to grow in the web. One of the reasons they have been able to earn their seat in this crowded space is because there was no learning curve for the users involved. Platforms like ours made it easy for non-tech folk to rip out a chatbot in under an hour and the end users were already accustomed to messaging for conveying information. Bots took this to the next step. Let's see how far we will go in the near future.

Originally published here.