How and Why (or Why Not) to Build a Chatbot

By Marcia Riefer Johnston

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Let’s say your organization has the best content in your industry. Prospective customers go to your site, enter their questions in your search box, navigate through a few clicks, and – voilà – they get instant answers to their questions.

Excellent. For today. But are you ready for tomorrow, when your competitors lure those customers away with a superior Q-and-A experience? They won’t do it by hiring thousands of people to take phone calls. In 2011, Gartner predicted “by 2020, customers will manage 85% of their relationship with the enterprise without interacting with a human.”


Customers will manage 85% of business relationships w/o humans by 2020, says @Gartner_Inc.
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How will your competitors lure those curious customers away from your superior content if not with human beings?

With chatbots. Friendly, helpful chatbots.

Unless you beat them to it.

So says Cruce Saunders, founder and principal content engineer at [A], in his Intelligent Content Conference talk Engineering Content for Chatbots, AI, and Marketing Automation. In this article, I sum up some of Cruce’s advice. Unless noted, all images and quotations in this post come from his talk.

Chat-whats?

Chances are, you’ve interacted with a chatbot, even if you didn’t know it. A chatbot (also called a bot, a virtual assistant, or an intelligent personal assistant) is “software that automates the task of talking with people, especially over the internet,” says Kristina Podnar in this article from which I borrowed the animated example below. This example shows Taco Bell’s chatbot – “tacobot” – sounding downright personable (“Sounds good,” and so on.)

tacobot_preview

Some chatbots use artificial intelligence (AI) and some don’t. A simple, scripted chatbot, like tacobot, uses programmed-response technology based on rules or decision trees. “Its paths are limited, and users select from defined options,” according to …read more

Source:: content marketing

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