Chatbots expedite the completion of complex tasks.
We often find ourselves scrambling between multiple apps and tabs for certain tasks like booking a trip and scheduling a meeting. Tasks that involve comparison between pieces of information and decision-making are often tedious and time-consuming. That’s where chatbots can be deployed to improve efficiency. Take Operator for example - the chatbot serves as a shopping concierge that pulls data from various sources to bring you products that you have requested for. It definitely speeds up the search process for shoppers who have something specific in mind.
Chatbots can also make use of the conversational interface to simplify an interaction that can be pretty complicated if done on an app. Because the conversational interface of a messaging app presents only so few affordances (usually just a text input space and a ‘Send’ button), interacting with the chatbot is much more intuitive and straightforward. Let’s take an expense-tracking experience as an example. Tracking your spendings using a wallet app can be quite intimidating at the start. There are categories to build, budgets to set, spendings to key in and reviews to view. It can be confusing because there are so many menus and buttons to click on. If a chatbot takes over the job, typing ‘Just spent $20 at a supermarket’ replaces the need to click on multiple buttons to enter and categorise an expense. The bot will complete those actions for you.
All in all, chatbots present great opportunity to increase reach through messaging apps, and well-designed bots have the potential to improve the user experience of various services. A general review of chatbots currently available in the market suggests that bots need not be revolutionary in terms of the service they offer. Something simple, effective, coupled with a hint of personality may be sufficient to attract early adopters. From what we've seen so far, the best chatbots are those that are highly focused on fulfilling a specific utility, but of course, that's just the tip of the iceberg. With new chatbots being added everyday, we're truly excited to see developers pushing chatbots to the limit.
At 2359 Media, we are super excited about the potential of chatbots. We've been working on some chatbot concepts and it’s been a challenging but exciting process, with many new insights gained along the way. Be sure to stay in touch for more chatbot updates and insights!