12 Oct 2017

Whether we like it or not messaging platforms are becoming more a part of our daily life than ever before. They are pretty much the only application that we devote our time to and allow interrupting our day-to-day lives with notifications.

Messaging platforms have become such a part of our lives; they give us ways to communicate in ways we normally would not when face to face. The voice call is fading fast and this is not just in personal use but also in business communications.

BOTS ARE HERE TO STAY

Bots are becoming one of the fastest growing trends with messaging with companies exploring the potential for conversational interfaces. Facebook Messenger, Google Allo, WhatsApp, We Chat, Slack, Skype, kik, and Twitter to name but a few are all creating bot experiences on the messaging platforms. These are being created for commercial automated use.

The staggering number of business users on Facebook Messenger (currently 50 million) are seeing an explosion in the capabilities of the platform, allowing transactional operations to happen through simulated bot experiences, from booking a flight, to ordering food and sending a payment.

AMERICANO TO GO

Bots are maturing fast within this emerging medium and marketing / service teams are looking at ways to embrace these bots into a solution for many self-service processes, try downloading the Starbucks App to get a sense of what this looks like from a customers experience.

A bot is never going to be the answer to all processes that a user wishes to undertake online. There are going to be tasks and requests that are weird, wonderful and sometimes just too tricky for a bot to resolve and this is where a human can, hopefully, help.

BOTS ARE LIKE NEW UNDERWEAR – CONSTRICTING AT FIRST BUT THEN BECOMES PART OF YOU.

As users become more and more familiar with this form of messaging and the absorption of content with messages increases, brands and services will have to step up to the plate when it comes to communicating in this manner. We may be still some time from a perfectly seamless e-commerce service with a bot experience but there are strides being made in this area. The case for exploring purchasing simplification has never been as important as it is today.

I CLEARLY DID NOT SAY DUCKING

It is still early days in building and using automated commercial services. The assumption is that a users intention will be misunderstood and attempts to interact with the service will fail. It is therefore really important to consider your system dialogue flow to prevent your users from hitting dead-ends and frustrations.

NOT QUITE SKYNET

There is about to be a global explosion in automated conversational UI with the number of platforms both commercial and personal increasing at an exponential rate along with language integrations, machine learning and the evolution of UX and UI.
The challenge for brands is to increase their internal learning at the same pace as this growing trend. Do the services and products that are on offer fit into this medium and will the competition beat you to market?

This could be the dawn of a truly AI age but at the heart of it all we have to put the UX any given platform and not just embrace technology because it is the next big thing.

The iCentric platform is the perfect solution to underpin the automation of your site and any bot functionality that you are thinking of adopting. If you are thinking of bringing bot technology to your customers talk to Graham on 01234 292200.