Chatbots have recently come into the spotlight — more and more brands are using them for communication with customers and interaction with employees. Chatbots has different goals, interface, and level of complexity, but all of them introduce a new way of connection between organizations and their clients.
But still many have a question: do they really add long-term value to the business or it is just a passing fad? In this article we will find out how chatbots work, what are the benefits chatbots for business bring, and see some chatbot examples.
What is a chatbot?
The answer to the question “what is a chatbot” is simple — it’s an artificial intelligence software that can simulate communication with a human via messages or voice commands. AI chatbots are integrated into the website and apps to handle welcome conversation and more sophisticated interactions. To understand what is a chatbot imagine a usual messenger — the only difference is that you are communicating with artificial intelligence instead of a person.
Chatbots have changed the landscape of customer communication — now 56% of people prefer messaging with them than calling customer service. AI-powered systems give a quick answer in case of emergency, provide a detailed explanation, make a reservation — new opportunities are being discovered. They ensure easy communication and quick solution of the problem.
Chatbots are the result of the evolution — in-person meetings and phone calls used to be a dominant way of communication, then came the turn of emails and messages, and now we are welcoming chatbots.
How do chatbots work?
Chatbots are trained through conversation logs. From those logs a chatbot understands the type of a question, and what answer it has to provide. Developers use logs to analyze a customer request and train a chatbot to interpret it correctly and give a response. Chatbot uses past conversations as a reference — the more there are such conversations, the more likely the system is to find an answer.
In many cases chatbots are sustained by databases that provide responses to the users. Natural language processing interprets human language into the data and patterns that are recognized by the system. Chatbots are powered by self-learning artificial intelligence — the more data it has, the more accurate response it gives.
Chatbots for business
Customers are developing expectations about the way our brand should communicate with them through this medium. As a result, more and more companies are now creating chatbots in order to meet these expectations. Gartner predicts that 85% of all customer service interactions will be powered by chatbots by 2020.
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Chatbots bring a completely new way of communication with customers. They accelerate the development of business providing:
- 24/7 customer support
Always-available customer support has a positive impact on customer satisfaction. Bots can be trained to give automated answers to common questions and forward requests that need a real person help to the company representatives. It eliminates the necessity to do simple but time-consuming tasks and helps to assist more important cases.
Perfect example is Watson Assistant — chatbot developed by IBM to help businesses improve customer communication. It can be pre-trained with content from specific industries to analyse the chat history and call logs, provide an answer from the knowledge base, or forward customer to human representatives. It can be implemented into a website, messaging channel, customer service platforms, or mobile apps.
2. Increased capacity
Unlike people, chatbots can hold thousands of conversations at the same time. More requests can be handled at the same time so customers don’t have to wait. It doesn’t matter at what time of the day and how many customers send requests to the organisation — each of them will get answers instantly.
3. Proactive customer interaction
Most organizations apply passive customer interaction — they respond to customers’ request. They don’t have resources and time to proactively contact with customers and initiate communication. Chatbots at the same time start a conversation regardless of the time of the day engaging new people and increasing brand awareness.
4. Better customer engagement
Chatbots instantly give customers the information they need, and don’t overwhelm users. They don’t bore customers with irrelevant data, instead chatbots provide content flow to keep them longer on the platform.
Pizza Hut chatbot allows to easily order and re-order pizzas, ask questions, pull location, and see current deals. No unnecessary features, just guiding customers through company’s services.
5. Insightful data about customers
Chatbots are great to collect valuable information about customers that can be used to optimize the company’s website or make improvements on its services/products. Chatbots are also able to monitor consumer behaviour and buying patterns.
6. Brand Promotion
Innovative chatbots that are enjoyable in use can be a great tool for promotion of the brand or product. National Geographic was one of the first to use a chatbot for promoting their new show. For all those who ever wanted to talk to Einstein they created a conversational chatbot who talked just like he would. The result was 6–8 minute average conversations, 50% user re-engagement and a mass community of followers.
7. Cost effectiveness
Implementation of a chatbot is much cheaper than hiring employees for customer service. Chatbots are automated solutions — once created, they will work without any assistance. As they provide improved interaction with customers, chatbots also increase the conversion rate.
What is your chatbot looks like?
Chatbots offer a wide range of capabilities what makes them a great business tool. Once you define what goals you want to achieve with chatbot implementation, you can design it to reach them in a most effective way. Our team has expertise in designing and integration of AI-powered solutions, so we will gladly help you to build a chatbot to improve the efficiency of your business.
Don’t get left behind. Chatbots can transform the way your business interacts with customers.
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