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Is 2017 going to be the year of Chatbots?

The year 2016 saw the birth of thousands of new chatbots engaging with users on a variety of platforms. These chatbots helped users perform various tasks ranging from booking flight tickets to checking their bank statements. Clearly, chatbots have made a place for themselves in our lives and this year we would see them getting further integrated into our day-to-day lives.

The tech giants are visibly excited about tapping the potential of chatbots. Facebook launched its own ChatBot Builder Platform in 2016 and since then thousands of brands have come on board each deploying their own bot. Chatbots are going to be pervasive in a few years since they can play a role in almost every industry ranging from Healthcare to Banking.

In a saturated market where players are finding new ways to differentiate themselves, having a chatbot, which offers a unique experience to the customer, can be a big advantage. According to a study conducted by Oracle more than 80 percent of businesses have already incorporated chatbots or are planning to add them by the year 2020 (Source: Business Insider).

Few key reasons why 2017 will be the year of chatbots are:

1. Chatbots have received support from all major companies. A new technology cannot take off without the support of major tech players. Fortunately, in case of chatbots, every major company has shown the willingness to support them. Moreover, many promising startups have sprung up in this space that are doing some cutting edge work.

2. Millennials prefer to use chat and are moving into their prime spending years. Millennials want quick answers to their queries and prefer to use chat over email. They are also tech-savvy and open to adoption of new technologies. As they start spending more actively, there is a big scope for chatbots that can influence their buying behavior. Chatbots can actually help companies make more profits as a result.

3. There are some big information gaps that chatbtots can fill. Currently, industries like healthcare and others are struggling to give their customers adequate customer support. The cost of maintaining a big support team is weighing down brands and they want a solution to their problems. Chatbots can play a huge role here and greatly reduce their burden.

The year 2016 saw chatbots grow into something substantial from just an idea. This year, we should see chatbots making further inroads into our lives and improve upon their previous versions. The possibilities are endless and the market is ripe for innovation.

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