Are Chatbots a Better Investment Than Apps?

This is a guest post by Snaps, written by Rae Steinbach.

Why Chatbots? 

Businesses are always looking for ways to use technology to boost customer interaction. For many companies, building an app seems like the most obvious way to increase their reach. Apps do offer a number of benefits for brands that are trying to raise engagement levels, but they also have their limitations.


A smartphone app can have trouble connecting with users on a personal level; it is not easy to implement a conversational design within an app. For brands that want to encourage this sort of personal interaction, developing a chatbot marketing automation strategy can offer more value.

A chatbot can be conversational and it has the ability to personalize the experience for the individual. You also have to consider that there are some situations in which a chatbot can provide better service. According to the State of Chatbots 2018 report from Drift, many consumers are starting to prefer using chatbots for some of their brand interactions.

Chatbot technology has come a long way in just the last few years. Before long, chatbots will develop capabilities that allow them to perfectly replicate the experience of talking to a real human. Here are a few reasons why a company may want to invest in a chatbot instead of developing an app.

Chatbots Can Cut Business Expenses

While chatbots cannot completely replace a human customer support team, they can help to improve the experience while also allowing the business to cut down on the number of support professionals that they need to hire.

Most customer support requests require very simple solutions that can be addressed by a chatbot. This provides a better experience for the customer because they do not have to wait for a human professional to become available. It also takes some of the work off the human support team, allowing them to focus on the more complex issues that need their skills and attention.

According to numbers from Aspect Software, 71% customers want the option to solve problems without having to talk to a support team and 61% say that chatbots provide faster answers. With a well-designed chatbot experience, a company can save money on staff, while also providing better customer support.

Chatbots Are More Convenient

Apps can sometimes come with hurdles that may discourage some users from engaging. The first hurdle is that apps have to be downloaded onto a phone. This requires a commitment on the part of the consumer. Not only do they have to find the app, they also have to decide whether they want to download it and allow it to take up space on the device. With Facebook Messenger chatbots, you can build your bot for an app that most of your customers already have.

Even if customers download your app, they still have to learn how to navigate the platform and push the right buttons to get what they need. With advances in conversational design, interacting with a chatbot is similar to chatting with a person. Instead of having to learn their way around an app, all they have to do is talk or text and the chatbot does the work for them. A good example of this is the Messenger chatbot from Wells Fargo. The user can make simple requests and the chatbot can provide results in an easy to navigate format.

Chatbots Can Provide Customer Insights

Most chatbots answer questions or fulfill simple requests. By tracking the types of questions and requests that are common, a company can learn a lot about their customers. These insights could be used to inform your marketing strategy or improve the customer experience. Chatbots use conversational design, and in doing so can even learn about each customer to provide them with a more personalized experience.

With the technology getting better and the cost of development going down, more brands are starting to embrace chatbots as an important part of customer engagement. As these trends continue, some brands are going to see chatbots as a better option for reaching customers and providing them with a good customer experience.

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