Gone are those days where you enter information into a chat, and it goes offline because a human isn’t present to respond at that time. The evolution of artificial intelligence has brought us one step closer to all-powerful machine intelligence, and the popular ‘chatbot’ is one example of its use contributing to progress.
If you have heard this term being bandied about far more than often, you might want to find out more. Let’s turn our focus onto the capabilities and the role of a chatbot in this tech-stricken world.
What Is A Chatbot?
A chatbot is an automated conversational agent based on artificial intelligence software that interacts with users in a natural language, usually over the Internet. It is the most visible tool of artificial intelligence application that has gained popularity in little to no time. Chatbot for website is widely used and has evolved to become an integral part of consumers, businesses and industries.
In a recent survey by HubSpot, 40% of consumers do not care whether a chatbot or a real human helps them, as long as they are getting the help they need.
The excitement surrounding chatbots for a website is only strengthening. As You Can See In The Below Infographic.
How Does A Chatbot Work?
The working of a chatbot is quite human-like except for being automated.
The back-end process that lies in the chatbot is the same as in virtual voice assistants – Natural Language Processing (NLP). When a user inputs any text in the chat, the chatbot processes it according to a complex of algorithms, infers the meaning, decides what the user means or wants before sending out an appropriate response.
The above process can be classified into two core tasks of a chatbot namely: user-request analysis and returning the response.
While that’s a classic working example of a chatbot, there’s more that goes behind it. Not all chatbots are the same. Their level of complexity and intelligence can vary depending on the requirement of the bot Which you can find out more about here.
Types Of Chatbots
Coming in all shapes and sizes, the first step in deploying a chatbot is to determine which is the right one for you and your business. While some businesses currently use basic chatbots to suffice the gaps, most other companies are in need of elaborate chatbots that can do so much more.
Broadly, there are 3 types of chatbots – Custom, Smart & Intelligent.
1. Custom Chatbot
A custom chatbot is the most basic type of chatbot available in the market. These bots are presented to the user in the form of buttons which directs them to the relevant answer. The user interacts with the chatbot by clicking on these buttons all through the chat before arriving at the final answer.
This will require the user to dig deeper until the chatbot can comprehend the result of the interaction based on its limited set of information. They serve an efficient base of support queries and FAQ.
2. Smart Chatbot
A smart chatbot example would be the keyword recognition-based chatbot that will listen to the words typed by the user and try to respond accordingly.
It is ‘smarter’ in terms of its inference capabilities as it can also process slightly inaccurately typed data (e.g., typos) by the user. The algorithms in here can detect mistakes, rectify it or ask the user to rectify it if needed.
3. Intelligent Chatbot
The intelligent chatbot is hardwired to NLP and artificial intelligence. It can adapt to human behaviour with an aim to fix and achieve a goal autonomously. The 3-step process that an intelligent chatbot follows is what puts it on the right path every single time: Sense, Think, Act.
After it realizes the environment it is in what it’s expected to do, the intelligent chatbot converts the user input into an understandable format and makes a decision by leveraging its pre-existing knowledge.
Neural networks are used in the chatbot to simulate human behaviour and thinking. Intelligent chatbots are on the rise to help the brand build its image, user perception, and promote personalized experiences.
An uncomplicated example that can simplify the complexity of these chatbots for you is an online food delivery website.
Suppose you want to order a “Penne white-sauce pasta with extra chicken and mushrooms.” The keywords in your order aren’t simple for a chatbot to understand at first sight.
The custom chatbot will require you to enter or click on buttons like “pasta,” which takes you to the option “penne” eventually and so on. But if you mistype any of the keywords, the custom chatbot is unlikely to understand and reroutes you to a human for assistance.
The smart chatbot will ignore the mistake and go ahead with the questions whereas the intelligent chatbot will understand your requirement in much lesser iterations.
“Chatbots represent a new trend in how people access information, make decisions and communicate.”
~ Christie Pitts, Verizon Ventures
What are the benefits of Chatbot?
Having 24/7 access to information and solutions are preferred by most consumers to clear round-the-clock confusions and doubts.
Does a human guarantee you that? No.
Does a chatbot guarantee you that? Yes.
1. Support and Scale Business Teams
Chatbots can help employees maintain a better rapport with their clients by significantly decreasing the average time taken to respond. With access to internal data, they offer human-like personalization without human error.
2. Engage Customers Within Chat Platforms
Most questions asked on business pages of Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn remain unanswered. A chatbot will respond to 100% of messages and increase conversions at a faster rate.
3. Accessible Anywhere, Anytime
A conversational, personal assistant at your service anywhere, anytime is what the chatbot proves to be. Say, a customer wants to make modifications to his order and of course will not be happy to spend time on hold because ‘your call is valuable.’ A chatbot comes to the rescue and does the job. Every client matters!
4. Handle A Large Capacity
A human executive can only have a one-on-one conversation while at his job whereas chatbots can simultaneously communicate with thousands of people.
5. Streamline Shopping Process
Directly connects the customer’s needs to the sales department and stores your preferences for future purchases.
6. Cost Effective & Reduced Onboarding Time
Employees are continually changing or shifting to various other roles within. This requires the constant effort to train new employees, teach them how to go about the job, etc. Well, with a chatbot, the onboarding time is close to zero and massively cost-effective in the long run.
Industries that Benefit from Chatbots
Artificial Intelligence is only beginning to revolutionize enterprises. The chatbot wave is sweeping the business sector, and many industries are using this to their advantage. While every industry is trying to pilot chatbot innovation, a few industries have already implemented and reaped the benefits of it. Here are the top chatbot industries:
Everyone has a brand they are loyal to, and other brands trying to snatch the customer away. In such a competitive market, any downtime in customer experience can have serious repercussions. Companies use chatbots to provide a one-to-one service to customers by helping them look for what they need, cross/upsell purchases through recommendation, etc.
Every customer needs help to navigate through the various policies of a bank. To get a better idea on where to invest, how much to invest, what are the policies for each plan, etc., customers turn to Fintech companies. Chatbots intervene by reducing wait times to solve problems and queries. They provide solutions to the customer and direct them in the right direction in an hour of need.
3. Media & Entertainment
Chatbots have quickly risen to complement the new media sector by creating new opportunities and interactions. The personal and intimate nature of chatbots helps them connect to the sporadic masses ad resume conversation at the users’ convenience. This would help the industry to curate and push content directly to the people who would most likely read and engage.
It is vital to be perpetually available to diagnose health-related problems. Although this isn’t possible due to the limited time and unrestricted set of patients. This is where chatbots can fill in a vital gap. Chatbots are implemented for medical assistance at all times and can also virtually monitor a patient’s health status. Who wouldn’t want timely reminders to take your medications on time?
The chatbot revolution in the hotel industry is as important as customer engagement is within the hospitality function. A chatbot can be incorporated into every function within this industry right from helping the reception desk staff to delivering a better guest experience. If the bot cannot answer any query, it will be immediately re-directed to human interaction, like every other chatbot.
Every customer wants their products quickly and services to be catered to immediately. It is not humanly possible to consider each individual preference, but AI-driven chatbots can make this happen. The services of the bot are not only limited to customer service and managing inventory but go beyond smart search too.
The chatbot technology is still at a stage where capabilities of it are being explored. Invest in a chatbot for your website that can be fully customized and automated according to your business requirements. Making the chatbot useful and sharp will limit the user’s desire to talk to a human executive thereby reducing the employee workload.
Be at the forefront of business innovation and experience with a customizable conversational chatbot – SmatBot!