Why ‘talk to our chatbot’ will replace ‘send us an email’

I’m known to be a bit negative about email. When you receive a few hundred of them a day, it tends to make you a little skittish, even a little depressed. Yet, it’s still my primary form of communication, especially when I’m trying to find answers to problems. In our highly digitized world, it’s amazing we still use asynchronous communication so often.

Here’s my big problem with how this all works. When you send a message, there’s no way of knowing if the recipient is doing anything about it. Sure, there are apps for this. In marketing, it’s an art form. Even Outlook can generate a “read receipt,” but I’m talking about getting an immediate response that tells you what kind of action the message recipient is going to take. Instead, we send an email and hope someone eventually reads it and responds in a way that is actually useful. Read more

Oracle is also getting in on the chatbot revolution

Oracle CTO Larry Ellison ordered himself some new business cards on stage at the company’s OpenWorld conference in San Francisco on Sunday, just by having a conversation.

As part of his keynote address to attendees, Ellison took the time to show off a new set of tools for creating intelligent chatbots that integrate with Oracle’s software. It’s aimed at making it easier for businesses to build bots that let users connect with their enterprise software, and help businesses connect with consumers. Read more

Siri’s legacy: How next-gen bots will change the way business gets done

Siri’s descendants may soon be able to help you improve customer service at your company.

William Mark, president of information and computing sciences at SRI International (best known for inventing and selling Siri to Apple in 2010), is now creating virtual assistants that can help customers perform complex tasks in banking, shopping, and business. Read more

India’s Niki chatbot features in Facebook’s global messenger bot success story

Niki chatbot , which is backed by Ratan Tata, Chairman Emeritus of Tata Sons, has been featured in Facebook’s global messenger bot success story.

Nitin Babel, co-Founder of Niki , says it is the first and the only chatbot from India to get such a recognition. The other bots that are in the lists are Shopify, Meetic, and Hyatt. With Nikibot, one can hail a cab and pay for bills, without having to leave Messenger. Read more

Facebook Messenger chatbots will soon accept direct payments and more

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Facebook’s head of Messenger, David Marcus announced the same at the TechCrunch Disrupt 2016 event. Marcus also revealed that the latest version of the Messenger app will give 30,000 chatbots the ability to accept payments. The feature will comes as a part of the app v1.2. It will soon be rolling out to the users. Facebook has not yet mentioned when India will receive this feature and when. Read more

FB may monetise its messaging service soon by making it an e-commerce app

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Facebook announced Monday a new online payment system that will allow businesses to sell directly to consumers on its Messenger application.

“We’re kicking off the beginning of messages with payments that will allow businesses to sell products and services directly to customers in Messenger,” the huge social network said in a statement.

“Customers can check out with a few easy clicks, without ever leaving the Messenger app.” Read more

Facebook’s path into the messaging future

There has been quite some buzz around Facebook’s Messenger platform lately. And that’s not all. Almost daily, you can read new articles about chatbots, conversational interfaces, digital assistants, AI and messaging platforms. Is chat the next generation of how we connect and interact with the internet? Can Facebook’s Messenger eventually become the platform that connects all services that consumers need? Read more

The 200 billion dollar chatbot disruption (part two)

In the last post, we highlighted the disruption that chatbot technologies are poised to make in call centers. To recap, we are seeing the trend that Generation X and Y have now shown a preference for text-based communication over voice. This results in consumers increasingly wanting to talk with brands via messaging platforms like Whatsapp and Facebook Messenger. Simultaneously, there has been an explosion of conversational A.I. technology tools and frameworks in which natural language processing can be used to automate customer support inquiries. As the last installment discussed, this trend provides a compelling opportunity for companies to drastically reduce the costs of running their call centers. Read more

What The Guardian has learned from chatbots

For the past two months, the Guardian has been testing a Facebook Messenger bot, “Sous-chef,” that provides recipe suggestions to people based on what they had in their fridges. Now, it’s using the learnings to shape its main news bot, which launched a week ago.

It’s too early to get data on how many people are actively using the news app, though the Guardian’s 6.2 million Facebook followers all have access to the bot. Read more

Chatbots are revolutionizing customer support

Customer support is one the most resource-intensive departments in a company. Staff spend their day answering queries, on the telephone with customers, communicating with other departments, and much more. It is also a part of the operation that is hard to link to an ROI.

Although the concept of “customer success” is gaining traction in the startup world (particularly in SaaS), it is still tough to report the real value a customer support team can deliver. Therefore, anything reducing the need for manpower in customer support is considered a good thing. For example, on a basic level, we have seen companies add a knowledge base to their website — a self-service area customers can browse to find answers to their questions. Read more