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Chatbots and the future of customer experience

Chatbots and the future of customer experience
Chatbots are being hyped as the future of customer engagement. The truth is, chatbots have been around for decades but our expectations have changed.

There has been a shift in society where we no longer expect exact human-level interaction: chatbots are being presented as machines, we know we are talking to machines, and we are ok with it.

In this white paper we explore:

  • How the integration of chatbots into platforms like Facebook Messenger has changed the course of business
  • The evolution of chatbot technology and the science behind chatbot-human interaction
  • How the human experience with modern computing is paving the way for this phenomenon
  • What chatbots need to do to give businesses competitive advantage

The first chatbot was invented in the 60s and serves as the basis for modern bots. Now chatbots are are integrated into new platforms like Facebook Messenger, Slack, Outlook, and Skype – and augmented with artificial intelligence and machine learning. Chatbots, or chatterbots, used to be exclusively embedded into smart devices, but can now be expanded across chat or voice based mediums.

The emphasis on business use cases that dominated the spotlight in 20161 has awakened more businesses (and developers, some 10,000 and counting) to the opportunity.2 This is clearly a wave that will not subside in the near future, but the best way forward can be confusing. 

What do chatbots need to be successful?
  1. Mark Zuckerberg announced April 12, 2016 that Facebook Messenger was launching a platform for developers to build chatbots so that people could message businesses as they would their friends, which was music to the ears of the 50 million businesses active on Messenger. Most companies don’t have the capability to create their own, so Facebook provides the application program interface (API) and the bot engine, “ai” standing for artificial intelligence. The news went down at Facebook’s F8 summit in San Francisco, its annual conference for software developers, and generated massive buzz before, during, and after the announcement from dozens of media outlets.
  2. Lucas Matney and Josh Constine, “Facebook says 10k+ developers are building chatbots, analytics are coming,” TechCrunch, May 10, 2016, https://techcrunch. com/2016/05/10/facebook-chatbot-analytics.
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