In 2016, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced the new chatbot feature for the Facebook Messenger app. This feature would allow a bot to respond to a customer inquiry. The goal was to provide real-time engagement for customers with large brands.
Sounds pretty great all around, right? Since then, many marketers have jumped at the chance to use this technology to improve customer relations while boosting conversions. But what does the future look like? And how can your business harness this tech for your own benefit?
Where we are today
Before we look too closely at the future of chatbots, it’s a good idea to get a pulse on where we are today. Quite frankly, the launch of this new technology has been rocky at best. Many of the bots were buggy, and customers said they felt downright annoying rather than helpful.
Ouch. That’s the opposite of what marketers were hoping to achieve with this technology, so is it still worth paying attention to? Absolutely!
Facebook admits that the artificial intelligence just hasn’t become as powerful as it needs to be to dominate the market in the way that many predicted it would — but that doesn’t mean the future isn’t bright for these bots.
Facebook is doubling down on the technology and planning to make it better, faster and more powerful than we’ve seen over the past year, which makes it worth paying attention to.
This technology has a lot of promise, and the future looks bright. So bright, in fact, that it’s time to start planning or refining your strategy so you’re rocking and rolling with the developments as they come (and they will come fast and furious with the amount of manpower behind this technology).
But this technology isn’t for everyone. Here are the future pros and cons to using Facebook chatbots for your business.
Pros and cons of using Facebook chatbots
Pro: It’s personal
One of the biggest challenges with any kind of automated marketing is personalization. How do you make an interaction with a robot look and feel like a conversation with a human? The answer: chatbots.
Take this example from Pizza Hut (which could be used by any kind of e-commerce business with a customer order history on file). When a customer writes “reorder,” Pizza Hut answers with a list of his or her last three orders, making it easier to choose and get the pizza in the oven.
For quick transactions like this, it’s nice not to have to wait on hold while the clerk finishes up with a customer in store or takes another order on another line. You’re able to get your pizza cooking quickly with as little fuss as possible.
Con: It won’t replace the human touch
No matter how helpful these bots are, they still can’t do everything a human can. Sure, you can program messaging that sounds empathetic to problems, or you can create excitement with personal messages, but is that enough?
Some opinions expressed in this article may be those of a guest author and not necessarily Marketing Land. Staff authors are listed here.