What is Chatbots and should every Business adopt one?

Processes, Customer Service, Business Automation and Scalability are few of the things chatbots do.

Chatbots are widely used in retails and they are the newest ecommerce trend. Retail bots have the ability to scan all pages of websites across the world immediately an item is listed on sale and alert their owners so they can snap them right away beating ordinary human process.

Okay! It’s not just Retail bots, there are numerous of them out there and everyone is talking about them and businesses want to figure out how to use them.

So, lets understand what is Chatbot and what can they do?

What is Chatbot

Chatbot is such a programming that simulates human conversations through interactions of voice or text. In various business to business and business to consumer environments chatbot virtual assistants are commonly used to deal with basic stuff. One of the leading benefits that chatbots possess is the cost reduction which is done by effectively using less staff while chatbot easily handles the task of many other employees. Chatbot not only performs nearly similar level of duties as performed by the staff members but also it would be available to provide the customer services in hours when staff members are not available.

Chatbots can be of different types and different levels depending on its complexity which can be either stateful or stateless. A chatbot working in stateless condition will approach every conversation as its dealing with a new user whereas a chatbot working as stateful chatbot will take previous interactions into consideration and come up with responses accordingly. To add up a chatbot to any company line of service or sale require very minimal or at times no coding at all.

So how does chatbots work ? the working of chatbot varies and depend on the type of task the specific chatbot is assigned to do for example an important aspect of any chatbot would be the selection of appropriate processing of language if the chatbot is assigned to deal with voice interactions. In this case speech recognition engine will be required by the chatbot. The business who use chatbot must also decide whether they require structured or unstructured conversations. Chatbot will be scripted if they are designed for structured conversations and it helps in the simplifications of programming but on the other hand it makes a restriction in the type of things a user may ask. Scripted chatbots are useful in business to business environments as there is a need to respond the frequently asked questions and to perform simple basic actions. It may also be a quick way of getting phone numbers by sales reps in the department of sales. Another department where chatbot is commonly used is service departments in assisting service agents for answering repetitive requests. A common example of such a task can be when a member of staff asks chatbot when the order was shipped by providing it with the order number. Eventually when a conversation gets complex and chatbot starts to struggle it automatically transferred the call or message to the member of staff.

In the past the attempts of creating a program that could fool a normal human being for a short period of time into believing that they were talking to a real person was ELIA and PARRY. In 1970s the PARRYs was benchmarked with the help of turning test and only the tester correctly identified a human being while at this level the chatbot just man random guess. But that was of course the past and since then the chatbots have covered a long journey, now they are built on artificial intelligence (AI) technologies which include natural language processing, machine learning (ML) algorithms and a great amount of date is required for them.

In terms of uses of chatbots they are used in both markets of consumers and business. With the improvement of chatbot there is less headache of interacting with staff for the consumers. Before chatbots were commonly used as in application of instant messaging and interactive online games but now recently they are also used in business to consumers and business to business services and sales. In games the chatbot can be easily added up as a single game player with the ability to intact with rather than waiting for other players to come live. In a case where the bot stands sophisticated enough then the user may not even recognise that he or she is interacting with a computer programme. Chatbots are also used by consumers in online shopping by either providing answers to basic product related questions or giving any useful information which may be later searched for by the consumer. Again, if the conversation gets complex the chatbot will transfer the consumer to a service agent. Today chatbots are also used as virtual assistants. All major electronic and technology companies such as apple, amazon, google and Microsoft used virtual assistants. The most common virtual assistants’ knowns today are Siri by Apple, Cortana by Microsoft, Alexa by Amazons echo, these all uses chatbot.

chatbot, bot training, automation

Chatbots have massively increased its importance in todays world as the amount of time saving and efficiency through artificial intelligence chatbots are very attractive to huge companies who are always in a constant search of increasing sales or promoting products. In near future chat based modes of communication are expected to increase as the consumers slowly starts to move away from traditional form of communications where they have to wait a long period before they are connected to any service agents and at times they are unable to get their issue resolved as they don’t get a chance to speak with any service agent due to timings out of working hours. Today with the help of chatbot the consumers expect companies to be available 24/7 to provide customer support and this service is equally important as the product quality or the service which is provided by the company. Moreover, with the help of chatbot the product variety and service are more effectively informed to the buyers. Taking customer experience as an example, chatbot has enhanced this department is several ways such as,

  • Reduction is customer waiting time
  • 24/7 customer service availability
  • Getting rid of human to human interactions which may not be pleasant at times.
  • Taking the customer queries to the right line of department.
  • Providing each customer with enhanced customer experience with the help of Artificial intelligence chatbots.

As all these facts state, chatbots have directly and indirectly enhanced our way of interaction whether it’s at consumer level or companies’ level and the technology of chatbot will continue to grow in the coming years.

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