Chatbots for business

Updated: October 05, 2019

2019. ServiceNow teams with Workplace by Facebook on service chatbot



Workplace, Facebook’s enterprise collaboration and communication application, and ServiceNow announced a new chatbot to make it easier for employees to navigate a company’s help desks inside Workplace Chat. The integration can involve IT or HR help desk scenarios. A chatbot can help companies save time and money, and employees can get answers to common problems much faster. Previously, getting these kind of answers would have required navigating multiple systems, making a phone call or submitting a ticket to the appropriate help desk. This approach provides a level of convenience and immediacy.


2017. HubSpot unveiled Conversations



CRM, marketing, sales and customer experience provider HubSpot unveiled a series of product updates that include integrations with Facebook (advertising), Shopify (ecommerce) and a new "Conversations" tool that, with the help of chatbots, unites customer messages into one inbox. According to HubSpot, Conversations is the evolution of our live chat platform. Having messages in one place is critical for moments like the handoff from sales to support. Features include conversation tie-ins to HubSpot CRM and the ability to build chatbots to aid the conversations process — leveraging technology from HubSpot’s recent acquisition of chatbot platform Motion AI.


2017. LogMeIn acquires chatbot and AI startup Nanorep



LogMeIn, the company that provides remote access app and new alternative CRM solution Bold360 (launched in June) has acquired for $45 million Nanorep, a startup that develops chatbots and other AI-based tools to help people navigate self-service apps. In essence, its platform helps anticipate what customers are trying to do when they’re on a website — say in a technical support or search situation — and reduces the number of steps needed to get there. It looks like all of Nanorep’s existing business will continue as its tech also gets integrated into Bold360.


2017. Freshdesk acquires chatbot startup Joe Hukum



Help desk service Freshdesk has acquired Joe Hukum, a startup out of India that offers a platform for businesses to build their own chatbots. Joe Hukum, formerly known as Speedy, was originally focused more on building its own personal assistant / concierge app to help people order goods and services before pivoting to present the service as a platform for building bots for other businesses. Joe Hukum’s knowledge tree coding has been built to automates sales, service and support workflows, and so the team from the startup will be building bots on top of existing Freshworks products to help it stand out over alternative services. The deal underscores the continuing interest in chatbots that we’re seeing from the world of customer support: companies are looking for more efficient and less expensive ways to provide basic information and help to their customers, and many have their sights set on chatbots as a viable solution, notwithstanding that a lot of what is being built right now still in its very early stages.


2017. LinkedIn launched new desktop version with chatbots



LinkedIn is unveiling redesign of its desktop site, complete with a simpler, app-like look; a new messaging experience that appears as a pop-up on the homepage; and updated search features. LinkedIn said the new desktop version will be rolling out globally over the next few weeks. The new app is moving away from the busy pages of the past and attempting to reduce clutter by reducing the navigation to seven areas: Home (Your Feed), Messaging, Jobs, Notifications, Me (your old profile page), My Network, and Search. Besides LinkedIn has introduced its own form of chatbots. They are little helpers that will suggest things to talk about to “break the ice” with people. They will also suggest people you can chat with at companies if you aren’t even at the ice-breaking point.


2016. Duolingo adds AI-powered chatbots to help you learn languages



Language learning startup Duolingo added a new feature that uses chatbots to help users practice conversations. The feature only works for Spanish, French and German for now but the company is planning on adding more languages soon. Start a conversation and the bot, which has a few different "personalities," will guide you through a text conversation around a particular subject. If you get stuck, the app suggests responses. And when you make a mistake the app will correct you. The conversations start out simple but get steadily more complex as you go along. The bots themselves are surprisingly adept at handling different types of conversations, responding differently to different variations for any given chat.


2016. Facebook Messenger allowed to build chatbots



Facebook Mesenger will now allow businesses to deliver automated customer support, e-commerce guidance, content and interactive experiences through chatbots like Kik, Line and Telegram that have their own bot platforms. Zuckerberg explained that with AI and natural language processing combined with human help, people will be able to talk to Messenger bots just like they talk to friends. Through the Messenger Platform’s new Send/Receive API, bots can respond with structured messages that include text, images, links and call to action buttons. These could let users make a restaurant reservation, review an e-commerce order and more. You can swipe through product carousels and pop out to the web to pay for a purchase. A new persistent search bar at the top of Messenger will help people discover bots.