We all love to chat – and chatbot technology is the solution to better customer engagement

1966. The year that the Mamas and the Pappas topped the charts, the Vietnam War continued apace, and England won the soccer World Cup. And… the invention of the very first chatbot.

Today, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and chatbot technology is changing the way we live, work and spend our leisure time. People are using messaging apps to communicate not only with their friends, but with brands too. And of course, the Covid19 pandemic has accelerated those trends, requiring shopping centers, entertainment venues and the retail sector to rethink how they engage with customers.

What is a chatbot?

Simply put, a chatbot is an AI software that allows a conversation to happen with a user, via a messaging app (e.g. Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp).
Unlike earlier versions, modern chatbots use natural language – making them an extremely useful tool for communicating with customers.
How can a chatbot build relationships with customers?

The Covid pandemic has changed how shopping center retail venues communicate with their customers – for good. In past, relationships have formed, and brand loyalty established because of face-to-face interaction and a strong digital presence online via a company website.

This is however no longer sufficient.

In recent months, as customers have spent more time at home, they have increasingly turned to messaging apps to communicate with retailers and brands.
This shift requires shopping center managers, retailers and entertainment venues to adapt. To develop and embrace technology to respond to customer enquiries and answer questions, supply information, communicate the latest news and exciting offers – and more.

Chat marketing – or conversational marketing – is therefore a key part of the solution. As businesses face huge challenges due to fewer staff and a reprioritization of resources, an investment in chat marketing is the way forward.

Let us give you an example.

Personalization is nowadays particularly important. We like information to be tailored to our interests, shopping habits and lifestyle. Chatbots and chat marketing is perfect for this, by asking the customer questions, responding to their preferences and delivering personalized answers.

Chatbots are ideal for shopping. They reduce the time we spend searching through a catalogue online for a particular product or looking for a brand that matches our interests. Simply message a ChatBot- “what are your opening times” for example and it will tell you.