Mobile apps have grown rapidly since the Apple Store opened in 2008, with over 100 billion apps downloaded from the App Store alone. They quickly spread from smartphones to tablets, watches, laptops, and televisions and became the main interface through which interactions with services, media resources and smart devices took place. But already in March 2015, Gartner published a report that showed that the use of applications is reaching a plateau. There are a lot of applications, while modern devices have a limited memory resource, and users, apparently, have a set threshold for the total number of applications they want or can actively use. This is not to say that applications are completely outdated, but the explosive growth of new applications has ended. According to the Nielsen report, despite the increase in the use time of applications and their large selection in stores, the number of used applications per user remains the same. Thus, a limited number of applications can be expected to survive.
At the time, Gartner predicted that by 2020, customers will manage 85% of their relationships with the enterprise without interacting with people.
Since 2016, the era of chatbots has begun: in less than 6 months, large tech giants have either launched a bot development platform, or created their own chatbot, or both.
Chatbots have become effective and smart helpers for companies. And in fact they are starting to turn into new websites, messengers, web browsers and even mobile applications.
What makes chatbots more advanced and capable than mobile apps is that they learn the way we humans do — through progression. Machine learning allows them to continually learn and adapt to the queries that are being asked over time. In addition, this is a familiar format of communication for us: as with friends in instant messengers. You can also interact with bots in familiar tools that are already on your phone, so there is no need to install additional applications.
Yes, chatbot technology is unique, but it's still in its infancy. But chat bots are gradually becoming indispensable helpers both within corporations and in building communications with customers. In this article, we will focus on the benefits of using chatbots in intra-corporate communications. So the benefits:
If we critically evaluate the various elements of the user interface, all mobile applications and websites will appear to us as collections of information. All of this can be packaged into a single messaging app where a chatbot can offer all services and perform different types of tasks.
Users can access multiple services simultaneously through a single interface. The chatbot can be used as an assistant for coordinating documents, performing tasks from various systems: be it SAP, 1C or any other corporate system. He can help in reviewing documents, coordinating HR applications (recruiting and hiring employees, vacations, business trips, transfers), invoices and much more. In a modern corporate environment, this is how a chatbot in Microsoft Teams is implemented for employee communication.
Every website and mobile application has a visual interface such as buttons, text, images. To start working with new services, the user must first learn all this. With a chatbot, you go straight to your request. And, for example, a chatbot in Teams also allows you to embed convenient data entry forms that minimize the number of dialogs. And everything that is not enough for the bot to understand, he will specify additionally.
Imagine a scenario where you are planning a business trip, you need to physically apply and also go to the booking website looking for suitable hotels and flights. Instead, if you have a bot, you simply tell it the date and place to get relevant results. It's much easier. Instead of having to understand visual interfaces, you assign a specific task to a bot. This is the biggest change to come in human-computer interaction.
Lower development cost
It is cheaper to build and deploy a chatbot. If you calculate the cost of developing, deploying and maintaining a mobile application for your business, then this will be a significant amount. The average cost of developing a full-fledged mobile application is about $ 10,000. There are also additional costs for maintenance and constant updates.
Chatbots, on the other hand, can self-learn and update themselves, collecting information received from the user. This leads to a significant reduction in the cost ratio for the business.
Less storage space
Mobile apps require significant storage space and are often slow. The chatbot takes up less space on your smartphone, loads instantly and responds to requests.
Chatbots like human
Mobile apps will help you solve all your everyday problems and make your life easier. But they cannot communicate “humanly”. Chatbots can understand human language because use natural language processing (NLP). NLP can understand the syntax as well as the semantics of the human language.
Also, in mobile apps, users have to navigate the menus to find one option. To use any bot, you don't need to do a lot. You just install the software once and then the chatbot helps you complete your day to day tasks in minutes. That is why experts are confident that chatbots are the future.
Comfortable transition to remote work
Chatbots replace physical communication with departments, which means they provide a more comfortable transition to a remote format. It is easy and convenient for people to communicate in the chat format.
Effective employee adaptation
Very often in companies, for example, in large retail, you can see that there is one HR specialist per store. And this is against the background of high staff turnover! Therefore, such companies inevitably face the need to automate adaptation processes. This is where a designated personalized chatbot assistant comes to the rescue. We wrote about this in detail here. Websites and mobile apps offer the new employee a static user experience and less personalization.
What's in store for us?
A chatbot instead of a mobile application is a development path for business. In the future, every company will have its own chatbot. They will lead to significant cost savings as well as improve the user experience where human interaction is expected. Sooner or later, on average per day, we will talk more with bots than with humans. Will mobile apps die? Not really. It's just that chatbots will dominate mobile apps in terms of presence and usage. In addition, companies will continue to hire a human assistant in the background to work alongside the chatbot in case situations go beyond previously known scenarios.