When Facebook launched its Messenger API for chatbots in 2016, established companies and aspiring entrepreneurs could hardly contain their excitement. The app was in the pocket of 900 million individuals across the globe, and suddenly offered them the unprecedented opportunity to communicate with their customers in a personalized and automated fashion.
Despite the early hype around the technology, though, chatbots have yet to prove their worth for many businesses. In a recent survey, over half of chatbot users found the technology to be “not effective” or only “somewhat effective.” Not to mention a similar proportion of chatbot owners themselves were found to be unsatisfied with the technology’s performance as well.
But it would be naive to assume that these findings point to a grim future for the technology. High-profile chatbots for companies like American Express and Capital One have seen huge success thanks to their slick designs and ease of use, demonstrating that the technology’s slow start has really been the fault of uninformed creators — not uninterested consumers.
The truth is that chatbot usage is on the rise, and that 80 percent of businesses expect to leverage this type of AI technology by 2020. With that in mind, companies looking to adopt the technology should keep a few things in mind when looking for a vendor to build it: