Today, we are launching a series of articles on various types of minimum viable products (MVPs)—products that have basic functionality and are usually created during startups’ initial stages to test business hypotheses and create viable business models. Our readers know that there are two categories of MVPs—the ones designed to prove business hypotheses and the ones intended to disprove assumptions. However, until now, we have not mentioned the various types of MVPs, although this is a topic that deserves special attention. To correct this, today we will talk about the so-called “chatbot MVP”—a virtual assistant that uses artificial intelligence to mimic human conversation and allows businesses to gain validated learning about ideas directly from potential customers.
Some of you probably do not consider creating chatbots to be a serious activity. For many, it is still something belonging to the hackers’ world, unworthy of a serious businessperson's attention. If you belong to this latter category, you might be interested to know that Mastercard, KLM, eBay, Sephora, Uber, and thousands of other such companies are actively using chatbots in their business practices, and they are helping to collect information, organize technical support, automate transactions, raise brand awareness, streamline activities in social networks, and retain customers. However, this is not all they do. You might also be interested to know that the chatbot is one of the most inexpensive and efficient types of MVP.
This may seem strange, but let's recall: for what purpose do entrepreneurs create MVPs? The goal is always the same: validated learning. This is exactly the task that chatbots do best! Chatbots are programs that live in the very center of your potential customer’s social activity—inside messengers, whose audience, according to Business Insider’s research service BI Intelligence, surpassed the audience of social networks in 2015! In other words, it is entirely possible that Facebook Messenger is the place to gather information about your customers' needs, not Facebook.
The advantages of a chatbot MVP are not limited to the ability to test business ideas where potential customers spend the most time, that is, in messengers. Chatbots also provide one of the easiest, fastest and cheapest ways to develop minimum viable products. In some cases, the development of a chatbot MVP can take only a few hours, which is especially important when it comes to creating a set of several different MVPs, or when a fast entry into the market is critical. The process of creating a chatbot MVP is usually completely automated; there is no need to build a complex backend or interfaces, and no need for several developers, complex analysis, or testing processes. For those Yarandin, Inc. customers whose task of testing business hypotheses can be completed through a chatbot MVP, we usually assign a single specialist to handle the entire project, working with the client directly from the very first day until the work is done.
Of course, chatbots do not suit all projects. In the next article, we will discuss the specific problems related to chatbot and MVP implementation. However, this should not scare away entrepreneurs. Understanding modern information technologies is a distinctive feature of Yarandin, Inc. All you need to do to make technology work in your favor is contact us, and we will help you find the best solution.