So, there’s been a question daunting me off lately. Why chatbots after having received a warm reception suddenly dropped in popularity? I am surely not alone. Perhaps in its two years since its inception, we expected them to be perfect, to answer all our queries, to solve all our problems.
“Forget Apps, now the chatbots take over”
Perhaps, the statement mentioned above acted both as a trigger to raise the curiosity for bots and eventually the premature drop in its enthusiasm. We wanted chatbots to be highly intelligent operating systems. Eventually, realizing that there’s a lot that still needs to be done!
As someone who works in the space, I am entitled to have a set of biases. Yes, I do encourage people to engage with chatbots. I try to steer their excitement towards appreciating the fact that chatbots do not require any additional downloads and that they can help cut down on our app consumption. Slowly but surely I am witnessing a change in trend. People have to start adapting to if not fully accepting our beloved bots.
When Facebook introduced the world to bots, people were clueless. They had all sorts of questions regarding its usability and feasibility. “This chatbot is dumb, it does not respond properly,” says my friend to whom I had shared a simply structured bot. One that was not designed to excite humans with its intelligence but rather help customers buy clothing and lifestyle accessories. My friend wanted it to answer questions like, “Can you help me with the weather?”, “who is the president of USA?” and so on. Rightfully, the bot kept throwing the fallback message seeking honest apologies.
“Chatbots is not equal to google”
I told my friend, chatbots aren’t a one stop for all your questions but rather programs to make processes easier. My friend didn’t look convinced. As the ecosystem evolved and thanks to an explosion of articles on chatbots over the internet people have started to go easy on the cynicism we found earlier.
“Dude, this bot makes awesome memes, I love it!” goes that same friend who found them dumb. Of course, its been a while since we met but I was still pleasantly surprised. This was the first time when someone I knew shared a positive review without me having to ask for it. Such interactions are becoming more and more common. One vertical where chatbots have really flourished is customer feedback and providing instant support. More and more businesses are harnessing the power of bots to reduce costs and provide round the clock support to customers.
Well, it’s just the beginning! We are still to witness the global explosion of bots like how we saw for apps. Surely enough though, the change is happening. The bots are coming 🙂