Hello, You're Speaking to a Chatbot, How May I Help You?

Josh Smith - 11/08/2016
Are chatbots the next big thing? Microsoft and Facebook certainly think so, so we think it’s time to start listening to them. The initial idea is that chatbots will be implemented into already available messaging software to allow users to talk to the bots, find out the latest news, place orders, track orders and so on. 
 
Over 2.5 billion people have a messaging app installed on their phone and this number is expected to jump up to 3.6 million billion in a few years (http://www.economist.com/news/business-and-finance/21696477-market-apps-maturing-now-one-text-based-services-or-chatbots-looks-poised), so chatbots could, should and probably will take off.
 
Brands are forever on the lookout for new and unique ways to interact with their customers and it seems that chatbots are the answer. The first brand to make a splash exploring this exciting feature was Domino’s. The huge pizza brand allowed customers to tweet in the ‘pizza slice’ emoji to make an order for delivery. The bots examine the tweet, ensure it is legit (not spam) and boom, the order is placed.
 
dominos tweet
 
More recently, StubHub, working in partnership with Skype, released their own chatbot and as of yet, we believe this is up there with the best. Created back in June, the StubHub chatbot allows customers to find out information about events, prices, and then book tickets for an event if they so wish. 
 
Sounds good? StubHub have gone one step further. Their chatbot will then ask the customer if they want to invite friends and will produce a list of close friends based on the customer’s friends/contact list. 
 
Sounds great? StubHub went further again. The chatbot will then try and arrange plans for before and after the event. Local restaurants, bars and hangouts will be recommended and reserved by the same bot. Now that? Sounds perfect.
 
We’re really intrigued as to how these chatbots are going to grow in the future and looking forward to developing them for our clients. Stay tuned for any updates on the possible new social revolution…

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