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Millennials, Trust and Chatbots.

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What Unites Them?

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Millennials matter. They spend massively, grow wealth, decide what business will stay and what business has to go rest, clearly know what they want and how much it should cost. Millennials are digital natives, however they don’t bridle up, but use it as a perk. They are unwilling to share their personal information, but expect you to provide personalized services to them. Toughies.

With this level of confidence and wit, Millennials are the power to sort out what technologies were born to survive. In the context of chatbots, what chatbots are worth investment and efforts.

It’s no surprise that marketers keep their eyes on Millennials here and there. Being a marketer myself, I watch Millennials building relationships with bots and try to find out how to offer these small software smarties to the new generation.

Millennials want to talk to a bot, but…

Researches show that there is actually a “but.” This familiar survey by CARAVAN proves that Millennials openly express their will to rely on chatbots, but in simple operations, such as ordering food, doing shopping online, or even scheduling meetings, with two out of five trusting bots more than humans.

Image Credit: CARAVAN Omnibus Research

At the same time, common sense suggests that it’s the Millennials who kickstarted “chatbot revolution.” Their demand and trust have been the tipping point, for the stars have already aligned:

  • the history of chatbots is long, though only now the technology became robust enough to develop into a fully-functional AI-based solution;
  • businesses are always hungry for a new cheap technology to keep up with the demands their customers make;
  • the canvas of already existing socially endorsed products like messengers is prepared to adopt new features embedded into its ecosystem.

Here’s the question: is it the Millennials who will keep on shaping the way chatbots develop, or the technology itself will determine its path?

On the way from A.L.I.C.E. to SIRI and Alexa, “the muggles” didn’t have much to do with the prospects of bot technologies. It was the developers, entrepreneurs, VCs, CEO’s and other decision makers who were shaping bot environment. Up to 2016, when the first chatbot playgrounds started appearing on messengers and such kitchens as started offering any smarty to cook his own talking bot over the weekend.

Industry matters

If we deep down into the research by CARAVAN Omnibus Research, we’ll notice, that 74% of Millennials will trust a chatbot their choice of spring rolls, while only less than 30% will ask chatbots for a piece of healthcare advice.

What does it mean? Industry matters, and Millennials will be the ones to decide where chatbots are going to live. The success of a newly embedded bot will depend on the level of trust it will gain. And people, even as flexible as Millennials, tend to be more suspicious to innovations in the fields that are associated with greater risks.

Image Credit: NASA,

— Huston, we have a problem!

— Hello, Apollo! This is HusBot speaking. Please, explain your problem in a couple of easy sentences.

— Huston, are you kidding me?

— I didn’t quite get you, Apollo. Let’s try again. Could you, please, explain your problem in a couple of easy sentences?

So does customer education

What Millennials need at this stage, apparently, is a ready-made comfort zone, prepared for them in the form of education on chatbots and the services they provide. Once a customer feels comfortable with the technology, it’s no longer a challenge to use it.

“Educating your customers about chatbots can raise their comfort levels, regardless of your business. Our survey showed that customers who were knowledgeable about chatbots accepted them more readily across all industries.” by ORC International

Trust wins it all

All in all, a large number of industries, from entertainment and communications to healthcare and finances, already plan to count on chatbot technologies in the foreseeable future.

Some stakeholders in banking, for example, already see how AI technology can make Millennials trust their sensitive financial information to talking bots. I wonder if they take into account the fact, that Millennials don’t see texting or social media secure, according to Pew?

Image Credit: Pew Research Center

A chatbot for education and healthcare is another pair of shoes. It can bring real value on a global scale, most notably, at a cheap price. The cost of a simple programmed chatbot starts at $15k, while the opportunities of talking software are endless.

However, the businesses engaged in these industries should think seriously if it is reasonable to place stakes on simple chatbots today. It takes one misunderstanding to undermine the existing trust Millennials put in developing AI. On the contrary, one Uber-like bot approved by Millennials may reshape not only the ecosystem of chatbots, but the industry workflow in general.

In this context, the stakeholders in these fundamental fields may feel more secure relying on the expertise of “A” players not only in building a bot, but also in figuring out if it is worth even to start planning one.

Will you be in Helsinki around the 11th of October? If yes, then let’s meet on business breakfast to discuss chatbots and their perspectives in winning new customers.

magnoliaMillennials, Trust and Chatbots.

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