"To manage, one must lead. To lead, one must understand the work that he and his people are responsible for. [...] He must learn from his people what they are d...
Chatbots are currently a much hyped topic. Many companies and developers are searching for the ultimate use-case. Something to really start the chatbot revolution. So far, it has not been found. But the idea to use chatbots to engage with customers is very appealing.
The idea behind chatbots is simple: build some computerized logic and connect it to some already existing conversational platform. For example, a customer uses Facebook Messenger (or Skype, Telegram or even e-mail) to contact a business - and gets an answer from a computer program. A chatbot, that is.
Due to great technological advances in the last couple of years, these programs do pretty good in "understanding" what the user says. "Understanding" means the program is able to extract some meaning from written language by processing it automatically. Add to this that programming the logic behind a simple bot is no longer rocket science either.
So the status is: the technological part of simple chatbots is taken care of. They are able to do some understanding of written language, they can be programmed by regular programmers and they can easily be integrated into chat platforms like Messenger, Skype and the likes.
It is now on marketing, sales, business people to find use-cases for these little fellows - even in B2B marketing. There are already some start-ups with innovative B2C (and some B2B) chatbots offering everything from financial services to medical consultation. Large brands have fancy chatbots for booking flights or sending interactive greeting cards. Non-profits use chatbots for legal counseling or crisis prevention. And that's great.
But how can a regular business or enterprises working in B2B make use of chatbots? I believe, it is through finding simple, easy to understand use-cases that bring an instant benefit to your customers. And once you have found them, just get going. There are not many really successful chatbots around yet, so now is the time to play with the idea and the technology.
Here are some use cases I consider worth looking at right now:
Maybe these ideas can help you loose fear of the chatbot topic and get started with a Bread-and-Butter chatbot. Of course, the future will belong to very smart and very cool AI powered chatbots. But now is the time to start playing around with them. Some ideas will fail, but some will actually benefit your customers and therefore your business.