Companies may be hesitant to implement chatbots as a part of their business plan because it’s a new, unfamiliar tool. However, the benefit of AI-powered chatbots for many businesses may outweigh its challenges. TechRepublic spoke with Gupshup co-founder and CEO Beerud Sheth to discuss the pros and cons of integrating AI-based chatbots.

Sheth:In terms of challenges, first and foremost is, it’s a new medium. It’s a new medium because all prior interaction mechanism, whether it’s a website or an app and so on, they were all structured interactions. You have buttons and pages and tabs and you click here and something happens and so on, then you get to this conversational medium now it’s unstructured. It has to be very flexible. You have to be, it’s unpredictable in that sense and therefore the biggest challenge is sort of firstly, understanding and educating yourself. What is a good shopping experience in the conversational side? What is a good marketing campaign with these conversational capabilities?

SEE: How we learned to talk to computers, and how they learned to answer back (PDF download)

So, it starts with that. Understanding the medium. Training it, testing and doing little experiments to figure out and get good with it. That’s the first challenge. I trigger a lot of new ideas as you go through it. That’s what I recommend. Kind of crawl, walk, run, right. Because many businesses will say, “Well, we don’t know how to build it,” and it’s like yes. You don’t know, but you got to start somewhere and start with experiments and get better over time.

But, the advantages are immense. Once you get over all of these challenges, figure out how to put it together, how to create a delightful experience, I think, and we’ve seen this before. When the web medium came about, companies that were already, that had retroactive websites, or that had great mobile apps, they always benefited in terms of market share. In terms of competitive dynamic. In terms of customer satisfaction and so on. So, the benefits are immense and with each successive wave of technology after web and mobile app, this is the next big wave.

Companies that jump to this, the challenges are high, but the rewards are far greater in terms of just earning, getting more revenues, more market share and more satisfaction.

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