Hi, my name is Max and I’m Molsoft’s co-founder.
In high school, I learned to make nice intros/how to slowly bring the main topic up.
In my adult life, I learned that nobody reads intros, so let’s cut to the chase.

 

What Do I Care

Why should you care? Well, according to Gartner (they know their stuff), by 2020, 85% of customer interactions will be handled by a machine (and trust me, the majority of those machines will be chatbots). As a customer, I want to know with whom (or what) I’m dealing with and as an entrepreneur, I don’t want to miss the boat/I want to leverage the automation of chatbots ASAP.

 

What the F&*?@ is a chatbot?

Well there are 3 main types of chatbots: support, skills, and assistant.

Support: Very knowledgeable but dumb as a doorknob when out of their comfort zone. The support chatbots are built to be experts in a narrow domain, often that means knowledge about a company. You usually can’t have a deep conversation with them, but if you have a common question or a standard request, they are top notch. However, if you need something special, you’re out of luck (they’ll get better, don’t worry). They are often sold as being context-aware, but they usually fail miserably on that front.

Skills: Good to execute simple tasks. There is no dialogue with these chatbots: you command and they execute. Almost always voice controlled, they follow directions quickly and let the user multitasks. They are the one that “Turn the TV on” and “Skip this sucky track”. Skills chatbots have little to no contextual awareness and they frankly don’t need to because the user will learn what to say and how to say it.

Assistant: Support + Skills sitting in the tree k-i-s-s-i-n-g. Assistant chatbots are pretty much a middle ground. What’s pretty exciting about those bots is that they might just become your real personal assistant one day. Want to book a table for two? Just ask your assistant bot to talk to the support bot of The French Laundry…

 

I’m a business owner, what should I do?

People usually start by implementing a support chatbot of some sort. Think of it as an FAQ for lazy people. How many emails have you received (and answered!) when the info was right there on your website? Yeah, me too. Let a bot do this.

But what about sales? Support is important, but without sales you don’t need support, right? Actually, without sales, you don’t even have a business.

App developers picked up on this and some solutions are starting to emerge.

 

Only sales matter

Everything a business does is a direct or indirect effort to make more sales. It’s with that idea in mind that Molsoft developed the first ever negotiation chatbot: the very aptly named Bargainator.

We’ve decided to use AI to make our bot not only perform a simple task such as answering questions, we also wanted it (him?) to engage and negotiate in real time with the customer. By the way, if you are curious to see the Bargainator in action, it’s here, if you want to learn more about it, it’s there.

 

The future is now

This is where the chatbot industry is heading: replacing human interactions, even for what was previously considered complex interactions. Nowadays, chatbots aren’t only there to hold the fort until a human takes the relay to do a better job, they should really be part of the global strategy.

Don’t blink, it will be sooner than you think.