Business Chatbots Taking Over

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By: Kevin Jackson|

Photo credit: Shutterstock

Chat apps characteristics make them very appealing to businesses and marketers. Prominent ones include their size, user retention, usage rates, and user demographics. In fact, the combined user base of the top four chat apps is larger than that of the top four social networks. Chat apps also have higher retention and usage rates than most mobile apps. Finally, the majority of their users are young, an extremely important demographic for brands, advertisers and publishers.

These chat app traits have accelerated the blending of artificial intelligence and business service functions to create the modern chatbot. Recent advances in this area include:

  • A chatbot’s ability to conduct engaging human conversations which has allowed businesses to leverage the inexpensive and wide-reaching technology to engage with more consumers;
  • The greater suitability of chatbots with mobile devices;
  •  The robust and rapid evolution of the chatbot ecosystem which include third-party chat bots, native bots, distribution channels, and a new marketplace for its enabling technology; and
  •  A promising chatbot business model for messaging apps and the developers who build bots for these platforms.

A surprising example of this embryonic business model is my own 21 year-old daughter! Known as Ljskater_X_Void on Twitch, she uses an entire team of chatbots to manage her online audience:

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  • A customized Ankhbot (referred to as LjskaterxVoidBot) to interact with Twitch stream using a coin system to manage audience
  • Discord Chatbot for managing streaming audience requests through ankhbot commands
  • Discord Music bot that lets audience request song from You Tube to be played during the stream
  • Quorra bot used to collect requests from stream audience
  • Ankhbot Social media timers to solicit interaction from audience through Twitter
  • Floof bot used to gather detailed information on individuals
  • Master Overwatch bot for collecting and displaying game
  • Mee6 bot used to cross promote and advertise streaming partnersstatistics
  • NadekoBot used to create master bot (On Discord referred to as Skaterbot) to manage all the other bots
  • Muxybot connects through Discord to announce streaming events and stats

For technology support in the enterprise business space, a Watson-enabled Slack chatbot is being used to help enterprise teams identify and fix IT and network operational incidents. This bot blends messaging, cloud computing, IT support and network operations in order to improve customer service. To accelerate its own chatbot business, IBM has released a Watson Botkit middleware plugin that allows the Watson Conversation service to talk to Slack and other messaging channels.

Information technology is not the only industry vertical deploying chatbots:

  • News Industry uses chatbots to deliver breaking news directly as a private message in the user’s messenger. This information is displayed at login.
  • A 3D printing industry chatbot that receives a 3D file and then instantly searches for 3D printing services providing you with price quotes and material options.
  • With a chatbot implemented, entertainment industry customers can find movie and event details about movies and events, finding available timings, booking a reservation, and initiating cancellation much easier and faster without human assistance. It has also increased the business of online movie ticket and event ticket booking.
  • Health bots can answer more than 100 health questions, provides recommendations based on the query and even help to find a nearby doctor.
  • E-commerce companies use bots to provide product suggestions, price alerts, gift assistance and more
  • Customer service bots are replacing human assistance with the automated message service.
  • In the travel industry a bot can reduce the work load by sending ticket confirmation details, check in notifications, and other such important information automatically to the customer.

If chatbots are now in your business future, you should try Cognitive Concierge a part of IBM’s chatbot ecosystem that makes recommendations to the user based on a conversation with the application’s chatbot.

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About The Author

Kevin Jackson

CEO/Founder, GovCloud Network

Kevin L. Jackson is a globally recognized cloud computing expert and Founder/Author of the award winning “Cloud Musings” blog. Mr. Jackson has also been recognized as a “Top 100 Cybersecurity Influencer and Brand” by Onalytica (2015), a Huffington Post “Top 100 Cloud Computing Experts on Twitter” (2013) and a “Top 50 Cloud Computing Blogger for IT Integrators” by CRN (2015). Mr. Jackson’s professional career includes service in the US Navy Space Systems Command, Vice President J.P. Morgan Chase, Worldwide Sales Executive for IBM and NJVC Vice President, Cloud Services. He is currently part of a team responsible for onboarding mission applications to the US Intelligence Community cloud computing environment (IC ITE). He is also a National Cyber security Institute Fellow. His first book, “GovCloud: Cloud Computing for the Business of Government” was published by Government Training Inc. and released in March 2011. His second book, released in 2012 by the same publisher, is titled “GovCloud II: Implementation and Cloud Brokerage Services". His next publication, “Practical Cloud Security: A Cross Industry View”, will be released by Taylor & Francis in the spring of 2016.

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