By now you’ve no doubt heard about chatbots. In fact, you’re probably talking to one already on your smartphone (Hey Siri!) to help you make hands-free calls, get map directions, search for information on the internet, set reminders, schedule meetings … perhaps even order tacos, flowers, and more.
And you’ve likely read that Apple isn’t alone in betting big on chatbot technology. In April Facebook announced that bots can now be employed on Messenger, allowing companies a new opportunity to engage with nearly 1 billion Messenger users. Microsoft, Google, and IBM are all investing heavily to develop their own bots in the race for supremacy of the ever evolving Digital Age.
But what you might not know is that chatbots aren’t an exclusive, expensive space reserved only for global tech and media giants. In fact, the aforementioned big boys are diving into a space driven by messaging apps like WhatsApp, Slack, Kik, WeChat and others.
These companies capitalize on the idea that conversational interfaces provide better and more natural experiences for users. It’s a simple but powerful premise: People prefer to just say or type what they want and have it happen, rather than wind through a series of menus and fill out endless forms with the same personal info over and over again.
So how do colleges fit into this equation? Glad you asked. The rise of conversational user interfaces, coupled with the access to millions of students provided by popular platforms like SMS text messaging and Facebook Messenger, means that colleges that adopt chatbot technology have the means and the opportunity to communicate effectively with many students at once. Feel free to request a demo if you're interested in seeing how colleges are using chatbots.