Facebook recently added a new product to its growing portfolio, according to Wired. The social networking giant publicized a software solution called ParlAI, a virtual communications workshop designed to improve artificial intelligence-equipped online messaging programs called chatbots. Facebook is one of the many technology companies investing serious resources in these tools. In fact, the market for these solutions totals $85 million at the moment and is projected to grow more than 35 percent over the next four years, according to Research Nester. Why?
Chatbots possess immense potential, specifically in the area of sales. Big name brands such as Cheese Cake Factory and H&M have already begun experimenting with the innovative messaging programs, The Washington Post reported. H&M customers can strike up conversations with chatbots via the instant messaging application Kik and ask for outfit recommendations, while Cheese Cake connoisseurs can source gift cards via the restaurant chain's chatbots. Both allow users to check out within the messaging window. There are even chatbots that allow messengers to book vacations and seek health advice, The New York Times reported. This software is already making a substantial impact, essentially transforming how companies connect with customers and orchestrate the sales process. That said, there is still more room to grow.
"Chatbots possess immense potential, specifically in the area of sales."
While chatbots are currently relegated to the retail and food service realm, they could soon find their way into more complex dealings, Inc. reported. Some professional services firms currently use them in customer support scenarios and, with a little fine-tuning, they could soon become key cogs in targeted lead-generation campaigns. With this eventuality in the works, businesses in all sectors would be wise to monitor the development of chatbots and position their sales teams for a chattier future. Of course, this preparation starts at the top. Human Resources personnel must find forward-thinking sales executives willing to embrace burgeoning innovations such as the chatbot.
A talent acquisition firm like YES Partners can help. Our staff members leverage deep industry ties to find passive candidates who have the experience, vision and drive to implement transformative, revenue-driving strategies.
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