Every day, more people are discovering the many benefits of chatbots.

They're easy to use.

They save your customers' time.

They've got personality.

In fact, many people prefer to interact with brands and businesses via chat or messaging - and this trend is only growing with the younger generations.

The key is making sure your chatbot meets your customers' expectations. Your chatbot must stand out - like a unicorn in a sea of donkeys.

I've previously shared 11 amazing facts about chatbots.

Here are 10 more fascinating chatbot facts.

1. Half of Consumers Want Interactions Via Chat

The demand for chatbots is only growing.

In fact, if a company could get it right, 49 percent of consumers would rather conduct all their customer service interactions via text, chat, or messaging. That's according to a survey of 1,000 U.S. consumers conducted by Aspect.

But that's not all. Millennials said texting was the most effective communication option when engaging with a company. If chatbots aren't part of your plans now, they better be soon!

2. A Positive Perception of Chatbots

Chatbots are getting more sophisticated all the time. However, we're still in the early days of chatbots, which means people are going to have some negative experiences.

Despite some early growing pains, overall people have a positive perception of chatbots, according to LivePerson survey of 5,000 consumers in six countries (as reported by Business Insider).

Globally, 38 percent of consumers view chatbots positively, whereas only 11 percent have a negative perception of chatbots. The remaining 51 percent stayed neutral about chatbots.

3. Chatbots: Here to Stay

Sixty-one percent of consumers believe chatbots are "here to stay" in customer service.

This isn't surprising, considering that 69 percent of consumers in Aspect's study said they interact with a virtual assistant or chatbot at least once a month.

4. Our Relationships With Chatbots

Um, it's complicated.

According to PwC, this is the percentage of consumers who agreed that this is what their relationships with digital assistants is like today (and who the relationship will evolve in five years):

  • Adviser: 14 percent (17 percent)
  • Acquaintance: 10 percent (7 percent)
  • Teacher: 7 percent (12 percent)
  • Friend: 6 percent (8 percent)
  • Stranger: 5 percent (2 percent)
  • Manager: 4 percent (7 percent)
  • Confidante: 3 percent (5 percent)
  • Coworker: 3 percent (7 percent)
  • Adversary: 2 percent (3 percent)
  • Spouse/partner: 1 percent (1 percent)

5. The Blurred Human/Bot Lines

Think back to your interaction with a business or brand. Were you talking to a human or a bot?

Not 100 percent sure? Then you're among the 27 percent of consumer surveyed in the same PwC report.

However, one thing is clear: people still want a "human" touch. So make sure you always give people the option of whether to interact with a human or a bot - or some hybrid of both.

6. People Want Chatbots to Solve Their Problem

OK, people really aren't asking, "am I talking to a human or a bot?" As long as that chatbot is helping them, that is.

Forty percent of people surveyed by HubSpot said they don't really care who or what they're being helped by.

Chatbots are helping brands and businesses with customer service. They're using bots to answer questions, provide information, book appointments, solve problems, and even make purchases.

7. Personality vs. Ease Of Use

People don't really care if your chatbot has a great personality. Especially if that chatbot can't solve an issue that one of your customers is currently experiencing.

Make sure you focus on utility over personality. Forty-eight percent of respondents in the same LivePerson survey said they prefer chatbots that can solve problems.

However, don't forget about speed! Consumers value friendliness and ease of use the most in chatbots, but speed is a close third, according to Aspect's research. Speed is more important to consumers than having a successful interaction and even accuracy.

8. People Will Buy Through Chatbots on Facebook

Facebook has evolved a ton over the years. It's no longer just a place to keep in touch with friends from school and spy on your ex. Now it's also a place to buy things.

In fact, a new model is taking shape - one where people don't have to click on a link, leave Facebook to visit a traditional company website, add stuff to a shopping cart, and complete a purchase.

That's because 37 percent of people are open to the idea of buying items on the social network, according to the same HubSpot research. And you can be sure that number will continue to grow as more people are exposed to and adopt chatbots.

9. Women Have Higher Expectations of Chatbots

Aspect's survey also asked consumers about their expectations when it comes to eight customer service tasks:

  • Getting basic information about a company, product or service.
  • Confirming a purchase.
  • Seeing if a product is available at a local store.
  • Confirming a booking.
  • Scheduling, changing, or tracking a shipment.
  • Requesting service at a hotel.
  • Ordering food for delivery.
  • Booking a ridesharing pickup like Uber or Lyft.

They found that women tend to have slightly higher expectations when using a chatbot for simple and moderate interactions and transactions. So make sure your experience meets and - even better - exceeds user expectations.

10. The Most Popular Chatbot: Poncho

Poncho is the top ranked chatbot on ChatBottle.

Available on Facebook Messenger, Poncho is "a weathercat from Brooklyn. He sends you personal weather forecasts wherever you are, whenever you want them...with funny GIFs and pop culture observations rather than boring things like humidity indexes."

You can check out thousands more bots for Messenger, Skype, Slack, Kik, and Telegram on ChatBottle.

Published on: May 18, 2017