Takeaways from Chatbot Summit 2018

The takeaways from the Chatbot Summit held last week in Berlin by our Marco Castrucci, Digital Solutions Product Manager, originally published on his LinkedIn Pulse

Back from two-days Chatbot Summit 2018 in Berlin, I share my first takeaways about messaging and chatbot industry from this international event.

ENERGY

+1500 participants from all continents. I felt a lot of energy around the stands.

ADOPTION

People prefer chat over voice, and companies are starting to take advantage from this.

Finally, after a period of post-hype disillusion, the messaging and chatbot industry is entering the adoption phase, with a consistent number of companies starting to deploy messaging solutions and chatbots to connect with their customers. The way to the creation of conversational experiences is open.

FEEDBACK FROM THE FIELD

What I appreciated most were the feedbacks and recommendations from companies showing their experiences with working messaging and chatbot solutions. In few words:

  • Instant messaging solutions are evolving from limited ad-hoc in-app solutions. They are now integrated with widely used channels like Facebook Messenger, Apple Business Chat, Google RCS business messaging, Whatsapp, etc. I’m sure customers will appreciate it, and companies will benefit from this.
  • Start small: only small and well defined chatbot use cases can guarantee a high level automation with great customer experience. The most advised approach is to start with a small chatbot solution and then extend it to cover additional use cases step-by-step.
  • Bot and human interoperation: to guarantee high level customer experience in complex scenarios, chatbot cannot work alone. Human agents support is needed and provides real value.
  • Customers use to converse. Not to chat with IVRs. So chatbot should be designed to provide conversations and not only buttons.

GOOD NEWS FOR THE FUTURE

  • It is estimated that in 2021, 50% of companies will invest more money on chatbots than on mobile apps.
  • The era of commercial voice interfaces is coming, with endless opportunities: I’m sure we will see a big number of companies starting to invest on this in the near future.

CONCLUSIONS

As a professional in this area, I see good opportunities in the future as market adoption is starting to grow up and a lot of work needs still to be done to create conversational experiences enabling messaging channels and automating conversations.

As a customer, I’m happy to know that soon I will be able to chat with my e-commerce site or service providers instead of spending time to search for hidden items I would like to buy online or on hold at the phone!