What Are Chatbots?
Globalization has transformed the world. The way we communicate with each other and our environment has changed dramatically in the past few decades. Today you could live in New York, pick up the phone and have a conversation halfway across the planet with someone in India.
Even now in 2019, our interaction channels continue to evolve as new technologies develop. The latest and greatest mode of communication is the text messaging medium. To facilitate conversation, chatbots have arrived on the web.
Today, chatbots are the driving force behind several sectors like HR, marketing, healthcare, legal, education, and many other industries.
From platforms like Facebook Messenger, WeChat to virtual assistants like Google Assistant, chatbots are successfully interacting with a vast consumer base, providing them with regular assistance and bridging the gap between brands & consumers.
Through a variety of avenues, chatbots are simplifying our daily lives.
If you are feeling under the weather, the health bot – Sensely – can offer advice based on your symptoms or book you an appointment.
Another useful tool the SingleLife Chatbot can help ease your insurance applications and claims by guiding you through the sometimes long and confusing process.
These are a few examples where chatbots are influencing human activities. Your collaborators, from virtual assistants to fashion advisors to legal experts, are more likely to be chatbots in near future.
In this guide, we will help you navigate through this rapidly-evolving world of chatbots that are the allies rather than the enemies. Read on to know how chatbots are the best strategy that you can adapt to boost your personal and business growth trajectory.
WHAT ARE CHATBOTS?
According to the Oxford dictionary, Chatbot is a computer program designed to simulate a conversation with human users, especially over the Internet. However, it is much more than that. Chatbots are easing communication, service provision, analytics, market research, and several other functionalities.
Today, chatbots are embracing personalization. The one-size-fits-all approach is replaced by customization and focused connectivity. This is thanks to the analytical capability of chatbots in which they refer to the conversational history, learning ability, and adaptability to different requirement of the consumers.
In addition to helping customers, chatbots are equally advantageous for organizations, as they cut down on redundancy and help employees escape the monotony of addressing basic queries that eat away at their time & productivity.
Advancements in chatbot technology have created an artificial intelligence component, closely linked with natural-language processing (NLP). Chatbots are now able to gather human intents by identifying keywords (entities) in a single utterance.
This revolutionary landmark is making it harder for us to differentiation our online interactions between humans and bots.
TYPES OF CHATBOTS
Before one plunges themselves into the bot ocean, it is important to know and understand the kinds of chatbots in existence. Every chatbot has a specific role to play, and the confusion concerning their adoption can lead to a loss in time, money and resources. Chatbots occur in 3 different categories:
- Support Chatbots
Support chatbots are the master chatbots of an organization that must have the terminologies and helping links to assist customers concerning the organization and its services.
It is imperative that these chatbots should be highly informed, interactive, multi-dimensional, proactive, and contextually aware of being able to guide the customer through the queries and resolutions.
These bots should be text as well as speech compliant with a clear enunciation of the solutions as a misguided conversation can end up in loss of a customer. These chatbots need to be built with intuition in mind to avoid irritating the customers.
For instance, just because you have loans to offer, it doesn’t mean that the customer is looking for one. It is crucial for the bot to learn where it can offer up services and where it should upsell.
- Skills Chatbots
As the name suggests, these chatbots are deployed to carry out tasks and execute activities. Since the conversation is more on the lines of command, the bots need not be contextually aware or have an intuitive persona to learn the course of communication with the customer.
For example, switching on a room’s light hardly requires any complex understanding. The only crucial factors are speed and quick grasp of commands given. Here the ability to act upon the speech plays a significant role in executing the requests and help user multitask while engaging with the bot.
Hence, zero need for contextual awareness, but it would tie the gift in a neat little ribbon if it is aware of the specific requests. For instance, switching on the correct lights on the room would be a very pleasing bot attribute. These bots require the build-up that can enable easy integration with the devices for smooth sailing.
- Assistant Chatbots
Assistant chatbots are here to help. They assist you with anything from the most menial tasks to some of the most complex ones. The assistant chatbots are the middle ground between support chatbots and skill chatbots.
Assistant chatbots can be considered as the link between several chatbots and work best when they have a little knowledge about everything. This helps link them to various other bots that can help consumers with their queries.
For instance, a user can ask Google assistant to book the tickets for an evening movie and it can connect with another chatbot on the ticketing website to take charge.
These bots need to be conversational, updated, and straightforward to help users communicate effectively and carry out their tasks in high turnaround time. The sloppiness of an assistant chatbot can quickly drive the consumers away.
Chatbots sought their way half a century ago to replicate human conversations. Today, they are crossing the borders of human interaction and actively engaging in digital transformation.
They are no longer just digital members. They are an intrinsic part of the user’s daily routine. Several chatbots like Rescue are vigilant assistants during emergencies.
On the other hand, several Facebook Messenger bots are the robust conversational interface for several non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that are swamped with administrative work and are in dire requirement of a streamlined medium of communication.
For instance, WaterAid is a chatbot offering an exclusive storytelling experience that communicates with users about work being done in these areas.
Chatbots are reshaping online experience and drawing in human attention just like a fellow human mind. It is just a matter of time for us to witness new discoveries in the realm of chatbots.