August 14, 2018 Does Your App Need a Chatbot?

Chatbots have become a communication tool that many brands rely on to interact with customers or users. This enables quicker responses and resolutions to issues or questions. Chatbots mean your customers also have access to help 24 hours a day. 24/7 access is one of the most popular benefits of chatbots; a study found that 64% of consumers agreed that this was the most attractive feature.
With so many other benefits associated with smart chatbots, here’s why it makes sense to include this friendly, helpful assistance toward a better user experience.

Why you should care about chatbots

When considering how to service the users of your app, chatbots make sense because people prefer to text while using an app. This preference demonstrates that they’d rather have a two-way text conversation, as opposed to a voice interaction or any other type of interaction. In fact, those that were born in the 1980s and forward — Millennials and Gen Z — prefer texting over talking.
Millennials have recently become the largest part of the workforce, so it’s likely your business is targeting decision makers from this generation. Give them the experience they expect with smart chatbots.

The role of a chatbot in an app

Many applications include knowledge apps as a means of first response to questions. With an interactive chatbot, users don’t have to hunt through FAQs or leave the app to find answers. With an intelligent chatbot, simple questions could be answered fast, while more complicated ones could be handed off to a live customer service representative.
Information is the prevailing use of chatbots in apps, but they can also work to convert users. After all, you have a good opportunity to gain more business from a company that already uses your app or software.
For example, say you develop software to help with small business accounting. Users on the go can use your app to record expenses or check cash flow. If your software is priced by feature or by the number of users, you have the opportunity to upsell them. A smart chatbot could engage users at appropriate times to remind them what else they could be doing with the app and software platform.

Integrating a smart chatbot into an app

Whether your app is in design or has already launched, adding a chatbot to it depends mostly on the type of app: native, web-based, or IoT.
With a native mobile app, the code communicates with Bot Framework through direct line API. This can occur via REST or websockets. And web-based mobile apps use web languages and frameworks, which have the ability to communicate with Bot Framework. It uses the same design as a bot embedded in a website; it’s simply compressed into a native app shell.
IoT apps allow communication with Bot Framework using a direct line API too. This application may also use other cognitive sources to enhance features like image recognition or speech.
Other differences in chatbot integration in apps have to do with the differences between iOS and Android. Because these platforms have multiple differences, the chatbots that live on them do as well.

Chatbots offer you customer experience data

By aggregating all the data from customer experiences via chatbot, your company can learn a lot of things. You can find out what the most frequently asked questions are, which could in turn affect your messaging. When you see where customer questions are on the spectrum, it can give you a good idea as to where your message needs more clarity.
You can also look at metrics for how fast the resolution occurred and if the user rated the chatbot as helpful. What you learn about in-app chatbots could help you improve the design of your next app or software.

Chatbots will get smarter

Chatbots, powered by AI, have the ability to learn. The more interactions they have with users, the more information they retain through user behavior, and the more personalized and relevant answers become. This should enable quicker resolution and happier customers. If a chatbot can resolve something in minutes that would otherwise take hours, you’re also reducing costs associated with customer service.
Another great benefit of smart chatbots is that it reduces the burden on other communication channels, like phone and email. Fewer calls and emails are a plus for any customer service department. It’s not that actual representatives won’t be needed; they’ll just be added further down the line — if the chatbot can’t resolve a more involved question. The chat should also continue in the same box so there’s no interruption to the conversation.

Integrating a chatbot into your app

Now that you understand the value of a chatbot in your app, it’s time to put a plan in motion to build and integrate one. You’ll want to engage app developers with experience and expertise in smart chatbots. Fortunately, you can find exactly that on Topcoder.

Beth Osborne

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