Why do people use chatbots

Throughout the extent of this blog, we cover the benefits of chatbots, general use cases, how businesses benefit from blogs, how chatbots are made, etc. But one of the questions that linger in a user’s mind is how people receive chatbots and why they use them.

From a business perspective, chatbots make sense. We have been moving towards automation steadily, ever since the industrial revolution or perhaps, even before that. With the progress we made on the science front, such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, natural language processing, etc, it is only natural if not expected, that we move into automating tasks that we previously needed humans.

That isn’t to say that chatbots are replacing humans, a common misconception that most people have, both employees on the supply side and the end users on the demand side of a product/service. It, however, is far from the truth, chatbots are designed to complement us. These can make lives easy on both demand and supply side of products/services.

No product/service can survive the market if people don’t like it. Innovations, even brilliant ones fall out of fashion and fade out in time if the people are not ready for it or satisfied by it. The fact that more B2B companies are implementing chatbots than B2C hints at how users are receiving bots. (Typically, B2C sales trends take slightly longer to settle than B2B, the initial hype fades and the noise resolves over time. B2B providers react faster to market movements and client expectations, as interacting with clients and working on their feedback is an essential part of their business.)

While businesses undoubtedly benefit from adapting to chatbots, the necessity for bots stems from the consumer’s expectations. Let’s see how the end users, customers or clients receive chatbots.

Why are people interested in using chatbots?

According to an online survey, about 44% of customers in the US prefer using chatbots over humans for communication. People are without question interested in bots right now, but not much is attention is given to understand the motivation for people to use chatbots. The motivation is of significance as it becomes the key to predict the reception and hence the evolution of chatbots in the years to come. Also, as a business owner or a decision maker, it is of considerable importance to know if chatbots are right for your business too. So let’s move to the why of chatbots.

1. Productivity:

The primary motivation for people to use a chatbot is that it is productive. This itself is threefold, the ease, speed and convenience.

A user typically had to call the customer care or sales teams to ask their questions or search through the internet to fish out relevant answers. With the advent of bots, that step can be completely avoided.

The users no longer need to wait for a human operator or salesperson to respond. Removing human from this step also means that the user can be supported during non-working hours, making 24×7 support and live chat a reality. The chatbots can answer instantaneously, within a few moments, which is critical in case of emergencies or time-bound situations, and very convenient even otherwise.

2. Social and relational purposes:

This reason may come as a surprise because chatbots are clearly not human, one would not expect social or relational purpose to be a motivation to use chatbots.

But it is essentially an upgrade for us from its alternative of having to search for information by themselves. The users are can converse with the chatbots while the bots work their magic to tend to the need of the users.

Another factor that comes into play is that in some cases, people feel more at ease asking questions to a bot, than a fellow human being. People feel comfortable asking even the most basic questions to a bot which they would not ask another person, as it could come across as irrelevant or even silly.

3. Novelty:

Chatbots of today are close to the futuristic science fiction fantasies turned reality. People are curious about the technology, intrigued by the realization of chatbots and are interested to experience interacting with bots. There are people whose motivation of using a chatbot is the skepticism too!

The portion of people using chatbots for novelty, however, is not substantial, with the productivity being the primary motivation and relational factors being a minority. But it is nonetheless true that there is a novelty factor to why people are using chatbots too.

Conclusion:

The fact that not a major portion of chatbot users are not using them novelty alone is noteworthy. The first two factors, productivity and relational motivations, dominate in terms of numbers and priority of preference. These factors also happen to be longstanding and will hold the test of time.

Current innovations in chatbots and progress being made in artificial intelligence and natural language processing will only make the chatbots more efficient and human-like, cementing that chatbots are here to stay.

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