Enough with the chatbots. Unless it’s good.

Pssst. Down here. Yeah, the popup in the bottom right corner. I’m talking to you. That’s pretty much how the majority of chatbots and digital assistants feel when you jump on a site. What seems like a cool idea for marketers and customer service reps, has turned out to be a pretty weird and sometimes infuriating experience for users. Unless its done right.

Big business

Just about every industry is using an assistant or chatbot of some sort. Some companies are dipping their toes into the water with Facebook’s auto responders but others are diving in head over heals by adding the tech to their websites right away. It is expected that the market for digital assistants and chatbots will reach more than $7.7 billion by 2025 with 1 billion active users. That’s billion, with a b.

Let me talk to someone real

Before you put the blame on spoiled millennials who want everything right now, just know that surveys are showing a little different. There’s actually not much difference in opinions. In fact, 64% of Americans say 24-hour service is the best feature of chatbots.

This same group of people also mentioned that if a chatbot can’t help find the answer right away, they expect to be referred to a real person that can. So now you really will have to sleep with a laptop next to your head to respond to customers.

The bottom line

Just like any shiny new toy, chatbots will only become widely adopted and accepted by the general public if it’s shown that they can solve real problems. Otherwise, the novelty will eventually wear off and people will have to start talking to one another again. Woof.

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