Chatbot: All you need to know?
Chatbots or Virtual Assistants is a new tool in the market which is designed to simplify the interaction between humans and computers.
What exactly is a chatbot?
There are many possible definitions and some confusion about what a bot is. This is partly because there are so many varied use cases for bots and these influence what people perceive a chatbot to be.The most intuitive definition is a chatbot is an artificial intelligence (AI) software that can simulate a conversation (or a chat) with a user in natural language through messaging applications, websites, mobile apps or through the telephone.
This definition however often leads to two potential misconceptions.
The biggest misconception that arises is that a chatbot is a bot that converses with a human in the way that another human would converse with a human. While this may the end goal, this is simply not possible using the current technology. Not only is it not possible, it often leads to unrealistic expectations regarding the chatbots capabilities and inevitable frustrations when those expectations are not met.
The second misconception is that a chatbot communicates using only text or voice. Actually chatbots allow users to interact with them via graphical interfaces or graphical widgets, and the trend is in this direction. Many chat platforms including WeChat, Facebook Messenger and Kik allow web views on which developers can create completely customized graphical interfaces.
Why does a business need chatbots?
We are living in an era where customers are tech- savvy, always connected to social platforms through their smart mobile devices. This new generation of customers expects intuitive and seamless customer experience from the brands they engage with. They demand near real time response to their queries and expect more personalized recommendations/ suggestions from the brand. To satisfy these customer demands and to address the increasing competition in the business space, more brands/ businesses are turning their focus to build chatbots or virtual agents that can manage customer queries round the clock without any delay. In fact, chatbots engage their customers in the right place, at the right time, with the right information in a cost-efficient way. It acts as a human face of the brand where customers can build trust and empathy.
Advantages of Chatbots
- Ability to engage with the customers in a natural and friendly manner
- Chatbots fuel conversions and enhance social experiences. Chatting with bots also helps to avoid lonliness, gives a chance to talk without being judged and improves conversational skills.
- The novelty of chatbots sparks curiosity. People want to explore their abilities and to try something new.
- Easy to interact using a simpler interface
- Interactions are possible through familiar platforms like Facebook chat through API.
- Capability to outperform humans with the speed of handling customer queries.
- Improved efficiency with round the clock customer service.
- Easy to build and cost efficient.
Types of chatbots
Depending on how the specific bots were programmed, we can divide them into two large groups:
1>Simple chatbots work based on pre-written keywords that they understand. Each of these commands must be written by the developer separately using regular expressions or other forms of string analysis. If the user has asked a question without using a single keyword, the robot cannot understand it and, as a rule, responds with messages like “sorry, I did not understand”.
2> Smart chatbots rely on artificial intelligence when they communicate with users. Instead of pre-prepared answers, the robot responds with adequate suggestions on the topic. In addition, all the words said by the customers are recorded for later processing. However, the Forrester report “The State of Chatbots” points out that artificial intelligence is not a magic and is not yet ready to produce marvelous experiences for users on its own. On the contrary, it requires a huge work.
Many business owners are just beginning to understand what benefits chatbots can bring to them. This technology is still in an early stage, its capabilities continue increasing and the best chatbots have yet to be created.
Invest in building a chatbot for your business and be at the forefront of innovation!