It is almost impossible these days to have not heard of or encountered bots. So, what is a bot and how has it integrated itself into our lives? Bots have been around for a long time; search engines like Google have extensively been making use of bots, also known as spiders or web crawlers, to analyse content and index the web.
Bots are essentially software that perform automated tasks, sometimes to simulate or replace human presence – this is especially the case for chatbots. Chatbots are designed to interact with humans in a conversational manner. This comes in handy for busy online sites that do not have the capacity to personally respond to every enquiry or request from their customers.
Bots are increasingly used in the form of virtual assistants. Voice controlled assistants like Apple’s Siri, Microsoft’s Cortana, Amazon’s Echo and Google’s language control are some of the major examples of how businesses have capitalised on the advancements of bots to answer customers’ queries and help get things done swiftly without needing to speak to another human being.
Bots have made its way to Facebook, Skype and several other services to help improve businesses’ customer service and to speed up shopping processes and response rates. Microsoft’s CEO, Satya Nadella deemed bots as the “new apps” as everything is done through existing messaging apps you likely already have on your smartphone.
Besides the ability to effectively book flights, hotels and order takeaway through messaging apps, bots also build relationships between brands and customers. As businesses shift to these familiar platforms that their customers already love and are familiar with, they are able to provide real-time customer experiences that are tailored to individual preferences. This unique hyper-personalised and prompt service draws customers and invokes loyalty.