The chatbots are coming! Or, rather, they’ve already arrived. You’ve been living under a rock if you haven’t heard some hype about chatbots in recent years. Heck, most of us have been interacting with them for years, now (Siri, Alexa).
Chatbots have been designed to act as a communication interface which helps individuals and companies to converse; without requiring humans (on the company side, at least).
Quick Bot History
The first chatbot ever created was developed by MIT professor Joseph Weizenbaum in the 1960s. This bot was called ELIZA. It used pattern matching and substitution methodology to simulate conversation. It essentially mimicked human conversation. ELIZA used a script that simulated a psychotherapist.
Aside from this being a historical invention, the most interesting learning to come from ELIZA was how people interacted with it. Despite knowing that ELIZA was a scripted computer program, users began opening up to the machine and sharing their deepest thoughts.
Bots that bare human characteristics can quickly gain our trust.
Bots of the 21st Century
There have been many bots since ELIZA. Siri and Alexa being the most famous and frequently used today.
The increase in their creation as a business support tool came from the messaging platforms. In 2009, WeChat in China created an extremely successful chatbot on their platform. In 2013, the company capitalised on the opportunity to create the first on app chat platform which would allow developers to create their own bots, housed on the WeChat platform. Facebook, WhatsApp, Telegram, Slack and the slew of others are actually still infants; although, their technology has more AI tech, and thanks to the popularity of Facebook as a business platform, the majority of bots for businesses are on Facebook’s Messenger platform.
Bots to Support the Gaming Industry
The Gaming industry is certainly not the pioneer for utilising bot technology in their support services, but it is an industry set to gain a lot through the adoption of chatbot technology. Online gaming is 24/7. Chatbots present an opportunity to interact with customers round the clock, reducing (not replacing) the need for support staff of the human variety.
Chatbots can help the gaming industry to lower player support costs and speed up resolution times.
2017 was a big year for bot adoption in the gaming industry. Let’s take a look at some of the pioneers:
Sky Betting and Gaming
In January 2017 Sky Betting and Gaming were the first in the industry to adopt chatbot technology. Not for customer support, however, theirs was an AI recruitment chatbot called ‘Ask Jeff’. With Sky Sports presenter Jeff Stelling lending his face to the platform. The bot has artificial intelligence and natural language processing which provide job applicants 24/7 access to the recruitment process. Giving candidates a responsive and interactive experience from the moment an application starts, right through to someone’s first day with the company. As a Facebook platform, users can respond to questions using the interactive buttons in chat on the applicant’s status, company culture, business locations, benefits and social opportunities.
A few months later, May 2017, Paddy Power became the first bookmaker to embrace artificial intelligence and introduce its chatbot for customer support. Also on the Facebook Messenger platform, users can compose a message to the Paddy Power chatbot. Customers can also use the mobile messaging app to check their balances, place wagers, and receive personalised sporting updates through push notifications, alongside access to Paddy Power’s videos, blogs and podcasts.
Kabam’s Marvel Contest of Champions
November 2017 saw Kabam launch the MCOC Infobot for their Marvel Contest of Champions (MCOC) free-to-play mobile game. The bot can answer simple questions, provide high-score information and direct users to relevant FAQs.
The benefits chatbots offer the gaming industry are undisputed; lower player support costs and speed up resolution times. Bots improve human customer support by gathering information about issues before being passed onto support staff, and this collection of data can help businesses to learn more about their customers enquiries and issues, enabling you to get ahead of them faster.
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