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There’s a Bot for That: How Big Players Are Leveraging AI Chatbots

Chatbots are becoming very popular. Already, a number of large companies are leveraging them to produce tremendous results. Chatbots can be used in a wide variety of applications.

Perhaps the most common application for a chatbot is in the customer service department. Chatbots can provide customer service 24 hours a day, seven days a week. However, chatbots are being used in a wide range of other roles as well.

Many chatbots are being integrated into Facebook’s Messenger platform. This allows businesses and other organizations to quickly communicate with customers and other stakeholders. Facebook is the perfect platform for a chatbot. More than 1 billion people are already active on Facebook.

Chatbots are being used by many of the biggest brands in the world. Heck, even the White House has a chatbot connected to its official page! The White House chatbot can walk people through the process of sending questions or feedback to the President. People want to write to the president, and many have questions about how they can get their letters read. In the past, White House staffers had to try to cope with the massive floods of inquiries. Now, chatbots can take care of much of the burden!

Other popular chatbot platforms include Microsoft Azure Bot Service and Kik. There are much more platforms that can run chatbots.

1. Sephora Giving Really Helpful Recommendations

Sephora is one of the most popular beauty brands in the world. It should come as no surprise then that the company is often bombarded with questions and requests regarding beauty products and services. To deal with these requests and to provide customers with needed services, Sephora launched two chatbots, one on Facebook Messenger and another on Kik.

One app allows people to make and edit makeover appointments through Facebook messenger. This helps Sephora identify and service customers. The other app helps customers identify lip colors and shades by matching them with photos uploaded by users.

The Facebook chatbot called Sephora Virtual Artist allows people to upload photos (such as a selfie) and to then try different lip colors. In other words, you can try out makeup without having to put on makeup. The app has proven to be a smash hit. Over 4 million people have chatted with the bot, trying out 90 million different shades.

2. Make Troubleshooting Invisible

Expensify offers a chatbot tool that automates expense reports and reimbursements. The tool is already being used by Uber, Warby Parker, and Virgin Hotels, among many other companies. Managing bills and expenses is a very big burden for many companies. This is especially true for those companies that have to process a lot of transactions.

Another app, called Concierge, walks new users through the setup process. Concierge makes it easy for customers to connect their credit cards with Expensify breaks. The chatbot also gives users instructions on how to fix connections should a problem arise. This relatively simple chatbot has greatly reduced the burdens faced by Expensify’s customer service department.

3. Aggregate the Daily Drudgery

Let’s be honest. A lot of the work done around the office can be described as “drudgery.” These days, many office workers are the new assembly line workers. They might not be manufacturing products, but the work can be just as boring. However, just as robots took over much of the boring work in manufacturing, chatbots can take on much of the drudgery in the office.

Fintech startup Trim, for example, created a simple SMS-based chatbot. Users can simply sign up, register their credit cards, and then Trim can scan their bills for re-occurring subscription charges. Then, Trim can ask users if they would like to cancel a subscription via SMS. If so, Trim can handle the cancellation process.

People hate unsubscribing from subscriptions. Quite often, it’s a heck of a hassle. Long waits on phone lines, multiple emails back and forth, it can be difficult. This helps explain why Trim as a 94% retention rate. Trim can also send people active quires regarding balances and recent transactions. Otherwise, Trim can also send passive notices about late charges, large transactions, overdraft fees and other things.

In other words, the Trim chatbot can act as a personal account in many ways.

Chatbots Are Going to Help Every Company

Chatbots are becoming more advanced and more intelligent. The more big players put into the industry, the better it is for everyone. Facebook and others can lead the way, but many startups and smaller firms will also reap the benefits.

Chatbots will be able to take over many of the menial tasks and tiny burdens that overwhelm so many companies. Death by a thousand papers cuts, as they say. Chatbots will reduce many of these burdens, allowing companies and employees to focus on more important tasks.

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