Automation across all forms of media is increasing. How much is enough? Automation is on the rise but none more so than the use of Bots. What are Bots? A bot is software that is designed to automate the kinds of tasks you would usually do on your own, like making a dinner reservation, adding an appointment to your calendar or fetching and displaying information. The increasingly common form of bots, chatbots, simulate conversation. They often live inside messaging apps — or are at least designed to look that way — and it should feel like you’re chatting back and forth as you would with a human. Chatbots already exist in many of the places where you communicate, primarily messaging apps, which lend themselves to a conversational interface. There are bots in Slack, the business-focused messaging service, many of which aim to help with work-related tasks like expenses or to-do lists.
However how much is enough? Customers want quick answers and generally if a customer phones or contacts a company or service provider and has to speak to a Bot that is definitely a non human, the experience can go downhill fast. Language issues, translations, accents and individuality is something Bots don't know about because they are a non human entity. Have you noticed that selected companies and service providers clearly state your enquiry will be answered by a human and no more than 3 rings? These organisations will win every time over a computer voice that frankly is there to save money. Why employ humans? Try it for yourself and see which one works best.
To be fair Bots have a place when a transactional process is taking place like booking an airline ticket or ordering take away food. But in the real world the human to human interaction will always win.
If your media policy, media strategy, media planning and media buying have not addressed Bots and if they are suitable in your media programmes, Media Futures recommends you seek out an independent media specialist. Media Futures presents industry related articles in the quest to continually improve media practices.