Chatbots escalation began in early 2016; in less than 6 months, major tech giants either launched Bot development platform, created their own Chatbot or both. According to Gartner’s reportx, By 2020, 85% of customer interactions will be managed without a human.
Chatbots can replace Mobile apps isn’t a new affair. The tech industry has always undergone critical transformations and this happens to be one of them. Trends began when browser replaced the desktop Operating Systems as the new platform. Just as websites replaced client-server applications then, messaging bots will replace mobile apps now.
It’s now that customers notice the emergence of endless mobile applications such as WeChat, WhatsApp, Slack, Telegram, Line and Facebook Messenger. Chatbot facilitates customers as well as the businesses to interact with 3rd party services from within the messaging application interface.
Mobile Apps had a good run since the Apple store launched in 2008, officially naming the tiny mobile programs as “Apps”. There have been more than 100 billion apps download from the Apple store by itself. As Apps are convenient and quick they have seeped from Smartphones to tablets, watches, laptops and also TVs. They have become the primary interface through which we interact with all our smart devices. But in March 2015, Gartner published a report, that showed App usage is going to plateau. As many Smartphone users were becoming exhausted and didn’t want to increase their current usage levels. It’s not that people don’t want to use Apps anymore, there’s just too many and even device has memory issues too.
Apparently, Apps are not quite obsolete yet, but the explosive growth of new apps just can’t extend. Mobile app usage time rises, but not app diversity. But despite the increase in app usage and app choices, the number of apps used per user is staying the same, according to a recent report from Nielsen.
Thus, only a handful of apps is going to survive. Apps will become the primary channel through which we work, play and communicate, but companies from Airlines to Food chains will have to search for an alternative way of reaching customers.
Chatbots are one of the best way to reach out to the customer base. At present, approximately 75% of all smartphone users use some sort of messaging apps such as WhatsApp, WeChat, Facebook Messenger, etc. Famous companies from different industries have already made their Chatbots available on Messenger such as CNN [News Chatbot], Hyatt (Hotel Chatbot), Spring (Ecommerce Chatbot), HealthTap (Health Chatbot) and much more.
Chatbots are not just a better way of reaching customers for companies but are more sort of efficient and intelligent assistants.
If we critically evaluate various UI elements, all mobile apps and websites become just a collection of information. All this can be packaged into a single messaging app where a chatbot can offer all the services. With conversation as the main form of interaction, chatbots can replace mobile apps and perform various types of tasks.
Merging the services such as buying movie tickets, groceries or booking a hotel or flight in a single messaging app is much convenient rather than downloading multiple apps taking up your precious storage. Chatbots can help in reducing this multiple downloads.
With the innovative, exceptional and highly functional features of messaging chatbots, customer support mobile apps seem to be moving towards a farewell. End users will now have functional and interactive chatbots enabling effective interactions and communications.
Chatbots also have the opportunity to track customer’s responses. Whether it’s simple workflow or critical scenarios, chatbots can ensure successful mapping of these operations onto the framework. Chatbots simplifies organization’s workload as well as makes customer’s experience pleasant.
As we know messaging apps are growing fast than any other. Facebook Messenger is used by over 1 billion people every month and it’s increasing faster than Facebook itself. If messaging app becomes the first way people communicate, then businesses are going to need some innovative ways to reach out to people through them. Chatbots are the answer to this question. Bots are the way businesses can engage more with their customers.
At a very elementary level, our lives are very much centered around communication with people or businesses to fulfil goals. Our preference for direct and simple communication is signified by the accelerated rise in usage of messaging apps and platforms such as WeChat, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, etc. In this scattered place, conversational Chatbots provide much needed and simplified way of handling tasks via a natural and human-like approach of interaction.
Chatbots aren’t that smart yet that they can train themselves. Times are not far when people will talk to businesses through chatbots just as good as or better than using the website or mobile apps. Why may people prefer Chatbots over Mobile apps?
The websites and mobile apps offer static user experience and less personalization. Chatbots used to behave in a similar fashion, but advancement in Natural Language processing or in some cases Artificial Intelligence has made chatbots smarter and more expandable. Bots can constantly learn from user’s behaviour and offer much more personalized responses. Compared to the first conversation, you will observe better and intelligent response in the 100th conversation.
Customers as well as Developers both prefer Chatbots. Building bots on any messaging platforms are relatively simple than developing an iOS or Android Apps. With the increase in bot development platforms, it has become even easier to deploy on multiple platforms at once.
Chatbots definitely offer various advantages in terms of overall user experience and development but the developers must take caution while developing the interface and choosing the platforms.
Every website and mobile apps are designed with a visual interface like buttons, text, images, etc. But you constantly have to learn new visual interfaces in order to use your favourite products. Imagine a scenario when you are planning a trip and you will go to travel website to search for relevant hotels and restaurants. Instead of this, if you have a bot who does all this, you just need to message your preferences and the chatbot will give search results accordingly. Apparently, people are going to prefer the second option, chatbots. They make it much simpler.
So, language as an interface is the most natural interface humans understand and that’s the interface that chatbots use. Instead of needing to learn visual interfaces, Chatbots will enable us to naturally use language, the first interface we were ever taught. This is going to be the one of the biggest shift how people will interact with computers.
We cannot deny from benefits offered by messaging chatbots. Apart from ensuring integrated operations, these chatbots decollate and change the mobile experience completely. Whether it is getting information, searching for a travel place or ordering pizza, chatbots can be the best alternative to mobile apps and websites. Eventually, we may see completely new platform emerging that will power next generation of browsing experience and lead to a paradigm shift in the way we use apps.
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