How Chatbots can benefit your business
Chatbots are being used by more and more businesses to perform simple operational tasks and interact with customers.
A wide range of businesses now employ chatbot technology to save money while providing a better and responsive service to their customers at a fraction of the cost of a human customer service agent.
Below, you can learn all you need to know about chatbots and whether they make sense for your business.
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Chatbots are computers programmed to simulate human conversation via voice or text interactions. Little or no coding is necessary for a chatbot to be integrated into a business’ service or sales department.
Chatbots leveraged by a business offers many benefits, not only for communication but also for seamless company operations.
What does a Chatbot Do?
In a business context, chatbots are typically used to answer routine questions or carry out simple, repetitive calls to action. They can help salespeople who are short on time gain phone numbers more rapidly.
To create a chatbot, an appropriate natural language processing (NLP) engine should be selected.
For example, If the user speaks to it via voice, it requires a speech recognition engine. It must be decided whether organized or unstructured discussions are desired. Because the scripting is decreased, a well-programmed system is usually easier to design and develop than an unscripted system.
Chatbots have evolved considerably since then. They are AI-powered systems that use natural language processing, deep learning, and machine learning (ML) approaches. They require a vast amount of data.
The longer a human interacts with the bot, the better the voice recognition becomes at choosing an appropriate response.
The Various Types of Chatbots
Chatbots are expected to gain popularity in the near future. According to a recent Oracle poll, 80 per cent of brands intend to use it by 2021.
Let take a look at some of the types of chatbots used in business:
- Scripted or quick-reply bots – These bots respond in an impromptu or scripted fashion. They are the most basic and work as a decision tree hierarchy.
These bots interact with users by replying to predefined queries predictably until the user’s question is answered.
- Keyword recognition-based chatbots – These use terms recognized in previous conversations to comprehend what the user is typing and respond accordingly.
This bot responds to the user’s request with a customized message using user-specific keywords and AI.
- Hybrid – In this example, menu-based and keyword recognition-based chatbots are combined. Users can opt to have their questions answered in-line.
Still, if the keyword identification process fails, they can navigate to the chatbot’s menu to make their selections.
- Data-driven – These chatbots look to be significantly more complex than the others mentioned before. Using artificial intelligence and machine learning, they record client discussions and interactions.
They then evolve and expand over time. These bots employ keywords, but instead of relying purely on keywords, they pay attention to what customers search for and how they want it to answer.
- Voice-enabled chatbots – Voice-enabled chatbots are the future of chatbot technology. Voice-enabled chatbots are a combination of user-provided spoken dialogue and prompt that assist in providing responses or tasks to the user.
They can be built using text-to-speech (TTS) and voice recognition APIs (application programme interfaces). Today’s intelligent assistants include Apple’s Siri and Amazon’s Alexa.
Typical Use Cases for Chatbots
For a long time, various chatbots have been used in online interactive games and instant messaging apps. Still, they have recently expanded into business-to-consumer and business-to-business services and sales.
They are being utilized to assist online customers in locating product information such as shipping and delivery costs. Service departments have also employed chatbots to help service professionals in answering frequently asked inquiries. It can only manage a certain level of complication in a conversation before passing the conversation on to a support professional.
Furthermore, there are various examples of chatbots that are frequently used as virtual assistants. Apple, Amazon, Google, and Microsoft all have virtual assistants. A personal chatbot is used in products such as the Amazon Echo with Alexa and services such as Siri.
How Chatbots are Changing Customer Experience
Customers have more favourable customer experiences as a result of chatbots. Customers’ expectations are shifting and rising in the fast-growing digital environment.
Customers have grown to expect enterprises to be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. They regard customer service as just as necessary as the quality of the products or services are given.
The potential for altering consumer experiences is demonstrated by the following:
- Reducing customer wait time whilst on hold while still providing rapid responses
- Providing consumers with round-the-clock customer service
- Removing the risk of crude human-to-human interactions generated by the emotions and moods of both the sales or service representative and the customer
- Streamlining interactions and reducing wait time, which reduces the aggravation and stress that specific consumers experience
- Enhancing a brand’s individuality by introducing personalized elements
- Personalizing each client experience through the use of artificial intelligence
Additionally, chatbots are migrating to messaging services. Rather than integrating a chatbot into an app or website, organizations may create chatbots that operate within messaging applications such as Facebook Messenger.
Indeed, Facebook advertising is becoming far more engaging and efficient as a result of chatbot technology. Not only are chatbots more accessible, but they also give businesses more possibilities to engage customers in dialogue.
Chatbots have the potential to be a vital source of client data. A chatbot may gather data on consumer interactions because of the high volume of client contacts that occur each day.
This data may then be utilized in a variety of ways to improve products and services.
Each year, communicating with a chatbot will grow increasingly similar to interacting with a real person.
The capacity for chatbots to accept orders and queries by speech and reply with voice feedback is one method for them to grow more human-like, but there are others.
Chatbots will become more conversational, simulating the experience of speaking with another person.
By 2023, Juniper Research estimates that more than 8 billion voice assistants will be in use. As a result, digital voice assistants will begin to take over many of the functions previously performed by apps.
Consumers may access a variety of services using a voice assistant such as Amazon’s Alexa. The voice interface will significantly improve convenience.
Every day, more chatbots become available, and this trend is anticipated to continue for the foreseeable future.
Chatbots will only grow more competent and handy as technology advances. With advancements on the way, this will only increase acceptance of the technology and sustain the market’s development.
Advantages of Chatbots
- Cost-effectiveness — Investing in a single chatbot is faster and less expensive than developing a specific, cross-platform software or hiring more people.
Reduces the need for manual work – It can do tasks that must be completed regularly and at particular times.
This allows human employees to dedicate more time to their more essential duties.
- Proactive customer interaction – Rather than being reactive to customers, businesses used to wait for them to contact them.
Chatbots that monitor and manage website usage enable businesses to communicate with customers more proactively.
- Monitoring and analyzing consumer data – By leveraging feedback from each encounter, you may improve your services and goods or optimize your website.
They can track user data to monitor client habits and purchasing patterns in addition to collecting user actions.
- Improves customer engagement — Using social media improves customer engagement. Businesses can improve employee involvement by incorporating chatbots into the process.
The Challenges of using Chatbots
The primary advantage of chatbots is the customer service benefits offered. However, whilst these are some of the most critical rewards, they do come with many drawbacks. The biggest issue is that its technology is still in its early stages and is yet to considerably mature.
On the other hand, AI-enabled bots can improve their behaviours with each interaction since they can learn from their mistakes. Unfortunately, the first interactions that cause customers to disengage and turn away can cost organizations much money.
Another issue that must be addressed is chatbot security. Users must have trust to give their personal information. Its design should be safe and hack-proof to prevent hackers from accessing the user interface.
Because of the variety of approaches employed, it might be difficult for a chatbot to understand how humans interact. Words may be abbreviated differently by different users, and slang and acronyms may be misused.
Related: Risks and challenges of artificial intelligence for business
Creating a Customized Chatbot for your Business
While there are many developers available that you can hire to develop your bots for you, several do-it-yourself applications are available. These programmes make it quite simple to do it yourself, often in a matter of minutes.
Facebook Messenger Bot-Builders
- ManyChat – A straightforward Facebook Messenger bot builder that offers a free basic plan with limited functionality and ManyChat branding.
Paid subscriptions without advertising and with extra features begin at $10 per month.
- Chatfuel – provides an easy interface for building bespoke chatbots for Facebook Messenger. For up to 5,000 subscribers, creating a simple chatbot with “Powered by Chatfuel” branding is entirely free.
Specific sophisticated capabilities are only available as part of a Chatfuel Pro subscription, starting from $15 per month.
Bot-Builders for Multiple Platforms
- Botsify – Creates a chatbot for Facebook Messenger or a website using a drag-and-drop template. Botsify is now offering a 14-day free trial with unlimited chatbots.
After the trial time expires, you’ll need to upgrade to the $50/month Pro subscription to continue utilizing your generated bots.
- Flow XO – Provides templates to assist you in developing a bot for different platforms.
The free plan allows five bots and 500 chat interactions; premium subscriptions begin at $19 per month.
The Future of Chatbots
As artificial intelligence and machine learning advance, new features and superior text and voice-enabled user experiences will be introduced, further revolutionizing the customer experience.
The greatest chatbots have gone a long way over the years. The newest generations of chatbot learning systems use AI technologies such as deep learning, natural language processing, and machine learning (ML) algorithms.
The longer an end-user interacts with the bot. The more accurate speech recognition grows at predicting a suitable response.
Voice technology is expected to become a frequent and necessary component of the IT ecosystem.
Aside from the necessity to create a conversational agent that knows several languages, there has been an increase in interest in developing a voice-based chatbot that can function as an all-around conversational agent.