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Why People Are Saying 'Thank You' to Chatbots Discover why consumers and job seekers might just be nicer to chatbots than their fellow humans.

By Somen Mondal Edited by Dan Bova

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Song_about_summer | Shutterstock

"Thank you."

Most of us offer these two words various times a day to coworkers, friends, family, strangers -- and robots?

Related: A Humanoid Robot Called Sophia Mocked Elon Musk After Being Asked About the Dangers of AI

These robots, better known as chatbots, are surfacing in nearly every aspect of business. Recruiting, marketing, HR and sales are being impacted the most by this AI-obsession. An impressive 56 percent of industry experts say using new interview tools is very/extremely important, and 35 percent say the same about AI, according to Linkedin's 2018 Global Recruiting Trends.

However, business leaders remain skeptical about the effectiveness of AI. In fact, in a 2017 PwC study, CEOs noted their top concerns around AI adoption are disruption to the way they do business and choosing the right areas to implement the programs.

The unfamiliarity of something new is always intimidating, especially when it impacts a company's overall performance. But, today's job seekers and consumers are unphased -- and unoffended -- by the use of AI.

Here at Ideal, customers use our chatbot to reach out, engage and screen job candidates. In a recent study of those customers, we found users aren't just using chatbots, they're thanking them at the end of their discussions. We didn't anticipate so many thank-yous, and as a result, had to reconfigure our chatbot. This courteous interaction between bot and human proves people are warming up to AI, no longer seeing it as mindless machines.

Related: Top 10 Best Chatbot Platform Tools to Build Chatbots for Your Business

Now, the mystery remains -- why are people so nice to robots? To fully implement effective and productive AI tools, you need to know the thoughts behind the thank-yous. So, let's dig into why people are showing chatbots all the love.

Chatbots offer the preferred channel of communication.

The digital revolution isn't over -- we're still in the midst of all the greatness it can offer. Consider the increasing popularity of mobile devices. Just when you think people can't become more attached to them, they do. In fact, 49 percent of consumers in the 2016 Aspect Consumer Experience Index say they prefer to conduct all their customer service interactions via text, chat or messaging.

Consumers are so addicted to their phones because these are personal devices. An overwhelming 70.1 percent of Gen Z and millennials across the globe sleep with their phone within arm's reach, according to LivePerson's September 2017 report, The Digital Lives of Millennials and Gen Z. Another 65.5 percent of those respondents bring their phone into the bathroom with them.

While this is slightly disgusting, it's not overly surprising.

Text messages and apps are no longer about people chatting loved ones -- they're about connecting to the entire world. Consumers and job seekers alike are appreciating how chatbots allow them to connect with your sales team, recruiters and help desk using the same technology they use for everything else -- no matter where they're located. This forms an immediate positive experience and attitude surrounding your company's brand.

Related: Artificial Intelligence Is Likely to Make a Career in Finance, Medicine or Law a Lot Less Lucrative

Chatbots add the personal touch people desire.

Much of the hesitation surrounding technology, especially chatbots, revolves around the fear of disconnecting from consumers and employees. With inboxes filling up and notifications popping up every two minutes, the fear of not effectively engaging with your target audience is a valid concern.

Chatbots, however, are revolutionizing the way you engage with both consumers and potential employees. As a result, you're increasing connections and adding value to each moment. That's because their advanced abilities to automatically send text messages, place orders and respond immediately are filling the need for immediate gratification that everyone in today's technological world needs so badly.

While 58 percent of consumers have expressed feelings of being underappreciated by companies they do business with, according to the previously mentioned Aspect report, chatbots are making them feel seen, heard and appreciated more than ever. Rather than simplifying your internal processes, chatbots are giving people the critical engagement factor of welcoming and belonging.

Related: 5 Reasons Machine Learning Is the Future of Marketing

Chatbots put the power in peoples' hands -- where it belongs.

Five million. That's the incredible number of questions Amtrak's chatbots answer annually, according to a recent case study by the Overthink Group. Five million answered questions combined with 71 percent of consumers in the Aspect report saying they want the ability to solve most customer service issues on their own, and Amtrak's self-service chatbot option was exactly what their consumers wanted.

When it comes to building your company up from a new hire standpoint, job seekers are equally excited about having more power over their career moves. With an 18-year unemployment rate low, candidates want the freedom to screen, interview and schedule meetings with hiring pros on their own time and with their favorite devices.

Somen Mondal

Co-Founder and CEO of Ideal

Somen Mondal is the co-founder and CEO of Ideal. In 2012, Mondal received the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award. Today Mondal works with his team to help employers use AI to reduce bias and improve quality of hire.

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