INBOUND16 Reveals the Future of Digital: Chatbots

November 21, 2016 Brandon Moore

As you probably already know, HubSpot was the first to coin the term “inbound marketing.” Naturally, co-founder and CEO Brian Halligan and co-founder and CTO Dharmesh Shah are experts on everything inbound. They started the movement that has taken the business world by storm. And they are the thought leaders in the industry.

So when the SalesHub team attended INBOUND 16, we weren’t going to miss their keynote. We’re sure glad we didn’t, either. Because we gained tremendous insights into the future of digital. Specifically, we learned about chatbots and how they’re “the biggest wave we’ve seen in technology in the last two decades,” according to Dharmesh.

What Are Chatbots and Why Are They the Way of the Future?

The shift to messaging is undeniable. Audiences are far more engaged with messaging than they ever were with email. So focusing on messaging just makes sense—it can help you build stronger relationships with your customers. But it can be time consuming and tricky to be online at all times and keep track of the messages you’re getting on your website, on Facebook, and everywhere else to ensure that you’re replying in a timely manner.

With chatbot, you don’t have to worry about that. Customers can still have conversations with your brand, without your time commitment.

A chatbot is a software program designed to simulate natural conversation with people over the internet. Using a chatbot is a way to connect with your customers via messaging. Unlike bots of the past, like Clippy the Microsoft Office Assistant, technology has advanced so much that we can now have natural conversations with software—with bots.

How Chatbots Can Help You in Business

Dharmesh spoke briefly about a new innovation to come out of HubSpot Labs: GrowthBot. This bot is still in beta testing, but it clearly shows the advantages of using bots in business. This bot was specifically created as a marketing and sales digital assistant. By chatting with a bot, you can quickly get answers to your questions, like “What did my sales look like last year?” and “Are there any prospects in Boston?”

GrowthBot can also work in the background to update you of new trending content, to inform you of how well your blogs are doing, or to update your CRM system automatically, adding efficiency to your workday and helping you save valuable time.

How to Use Chatbots to Help Customers

Bots aren’t just effective at improving your business through added efficiency and time savings, though. They can also allow you to help your customers.

We started using websites to help customers. They’re available 24/7 and can answer all customer questions easily and quickly. Chatbots can do the same thing. So you might be thinking, “Why use a bot if I already have a website?” As Dharmesh said, “The future of digital? Bots. Bots aren’t going to replace websites. They’re going to power websites.” Instead of having to scour your site to find information, visitors can just ask the bot and get an immediate answer, allowing for a better customer experience. Bots can even allow customers to find information or make purchases through text messaging.

The idea behind the power of bots is that they can build a seamless experience for users who can access services via a messaging app.

Though still in its infancy, the chatbot is an innovation that we’re definitely going to see more of in the future. The possibilities are endless. And we’re excited to see where this new wave of technology goes!

When you’re in the inbound selling and marketing field, you have to stay ahead of trends, innovations, and new technologies in order to stay at the forefront of the industry, stay relevant, and stay profitable. Chatbots will be the future of digital. If you didn’t have the chance to attend Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah’s keynote at INBOUND 16, you can check it out here and learn more about chatbots.

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