First of all … chatbots—what is a chatbot?! And what do chatbots have to do with help content? Great question! Check out this post on chatbots and AI.
Chatbots have witnessed a massive surge of interest over the past several months, and companies like Facebook, Google and Microsoft are investing hundreds of millions of dollars into them.
Here are nine reasons why chatbots are such a big deal — and why they’re especially exciting for those of us interested in customer success.
1. All of Your Customers Already Use Messaging Apps
The top four messaging apps have more than three billion active monthly users. Think about that: three billion. That’s more than Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and LinkedIn combined. It’s even more than the number of global email users. And your own habits likely reflect this. You probably use messaging to chat with your son, your mother, and your spouse. Messaging apps are pervasive.
2. Chatbots Are Both Push and Pull
Email is a push medium—you “push” messages to customers, who have no control over when they will receive them.
Websites are a pull medium—customers “pull” content by requesting it in a web browser.
Chatbots are both push and pull. You can broadcast messages to customers when you need to (for example, “Service alert for Frigidaire Deep Freeze”). Or customers can request content on demand by entering simple queries like “diagram for Whirlpool 300X” or “HP OfficeJet drivers.” This flexibility addresses the need of the Customer Success department to get a message out on their schedule, and customers’ need to access information on theirs.
3. Chatbot Content is Easier to Read
Chatbot messages are easy to read because they’re short and to the point. The medium simply doesn’t support long-winded essays.
4. Chatbot Content is Easier to Write
Short content is not only easier to read, but it’s also easier to write. Every time a technical writer sets out to document a feature in long-form, it’s a challenge. But a chatbot message is often just a single sentence, and chatbot help content is often just a few short paragraphs.
The CNN chatbot, for example, condenses long articles into three or four sentences. Writing 50 words is a lot easier than writing 500.
5. You Don’t Have to Log Into a Chatbot
In order to personalize help content, you need customers to create an account or log in. But you don’t need to log in to use a chatbot. The underlying messaging app knows who you are and can share that information with the bot. You don’t have to launch an app, either — messaging apps are always running in the background, ready to receive content.
6. Chatbots Are Fully Accessible by Users with Disabilities
Supporting users with disabilities can be a challenge. Some companies’ help documentation doesn’t even attempt to adhere to the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG). But adherence is both a requirement for many large organizations and the right thing to do.
Chatbots don’t have an issue here. One of my wife’s good friends is blind, and the two of them message each other all the time. The underlying messaging apps and operating systems used by chatbots are fully accessible and work very well for users with disabilities.
7. Most Chatbot Messages Are Read Within Minutes
Do you check your phone when it chimes, alerting you to a new message? Most people do. According to one study published by Tatango, 90% of text messages are read within three minutes of delivery. That’s the kind of instant and complete penetration that email and web sites can only dream of.
8. Chatbots Work Perfectly in Low Bandwidth
Because they’re short and text-based, messages from chatbots don’t need high-speed internet. For customers in remote locations, chatbots are an ideal way to send content.
9. Chatbots Work Perfectly Without Internet
Not only do chatbots work with poor internet, but they also work with no internet. Chatbots work just fine over SMS, the basic text messaging that’s been standard on every mobile phone network for over a decade.
The nine reasons we covered here focus primarily on the advantages of the delivery channel used by chatbots, namely, messaging apps. You might also consider chatbot advantages as they relate to advances in artificial intelligence and agent assistance.
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To learn more about what makes chatbots tick, read our ebook on the secret to better chatbot experiences.