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Make Chats With Chatbots Work Plot your bot.

By Mikal E. Belicove

This story appears in the October 2016 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Getty Images/Thomas Faull

Who wants to chat with a chatbot? More people than you'd think, says Brian Heikes, VP of product at 3Cinteractive, a Boca Raton, Fla.-based mobile marketing company.

Techies have long been talking about chatbots. And once Facebook announced this spring that brands could create their own bots for Facebook Messenger, the rest of the world caught on as well. A chatbot is software that simulates online conversations with humans -- helping customers place orders, check in on deliveries, ask questions and more. Thousands of businesses are now using them on Facebook, Twitter and Slack, and for standard texts. And maybe, Heikes says, you should set one up, too.

1. Imagine the customer