Chatbots are computer programs which emulate the processes of human conversation (both written & spoken), allowing people to interact with digital devices whilst feeling as though communicating with a real person on the other end.
Chatbots can be as basic as answering simple questions with single-line responses, or as intricate as digital assistance which learns and evolves to engage customers with greater personalisation and flexibility as they harvest & process additional data.
There’s an exceptionally good chance that you’ve already interacted with a chatbot without realising it. As an example, when you’re sat at your computer researching a certain product and a window pops up on your screen asking you if you’d like any help. This is a chatbot in all of its glory, ready to point you in the right direction.
Chatbots are driven by AI, automated by rules, and powered by natural-language processing and machine learning (NLP+ML), in order to process data and deliver appropriate responses to all kinds of requests and interactions.
There are two main types of chatbots that you will encounter:
– Task-Oriented: Task-oriented chatbots are single-purpose programs which focus on performing one function alone. They use NLP with a splash of ML in order to generate automated (and yet impressively conversational) responses to customer inquiries. You can think of these chatbots as an interactive FAQ that speaks to you. There won’t be a huge number of variables and interactions will be structured and highly specific.
– Data-Driven: Data-driven chatbots are a step up from the interactive FAQs and serve more as a virtual assistant. They are significantly more sophisticated, interactive, and personalised than their task-oriented counterparts. This A is contextually aware and able to leverage the natural-language understanding as they go, powered by machine learning technology. These chatbots demonstrate predictive intelligence through analytics and their ability to personalise their response based on a user’s preferences (past behaviour) recorded over time.
Chatbots are able to effortlessly boost operational efficiency and ultimately introduce your business to some irrefutable cost savings. This, coupled with the fact that they add convenience and a greater quality of service to your customers, is why so many forward-thinking businesses are enlisting chatbots to their cause.
They allow business owners like yourself to easily resolve all manner of customer queries that may arise, whilst simultaneously reducing the need for human interaction on your end.
Chatbots also allow businesses to scale, personalise services, and be proactive at the very same time. As an example, those relying solely on manpower can service a limited number of people at once. However, chatbots can be cost-effective solutions to processes with limited capabilities thus boosting you to greater heights. Chatbots allow you to engage with an unlimited number of customers at once, each in an accurate and personal (yet professional) fashion.
Messaging apps are becoming increasingly popular as the preferred method of connecting with businesses for certain transactions. For example, banking chatbots are now enabling users to save an average of four minutes per call. That might not seem like a big deal, but we can all agree that four minutes less spent on a call with the bank is better than nothing! In fact, it’s a huge step in the right direction and precisely why you should seriously be considering chatbots if you haven’t already.
The chatbot originated with Alan Turing’s 1950 initial vision of intelligent machines. AI is the foundation of the chatbot and has progressed a remarkable amount since the earliest concept.
It began with the phone tree, leading customers on a slow and frustrating path through an automated customer service model which would hopefully end with a positive revolution. We can all agree that that isn’t always the case.
Chatbots continued to evolve as new advancements were made and machine learning capabilities grew. And here we are today, with digital assistants helping businesses interact with their customers with greater effectivity and minimal human interaction—directly from customers’ digital devices.
AI is incredibly good at automating mundane and repetitive processes. With machine learning and the vast amounts of data being collected, programs like this can develop rapidly into tireless processing machines that pump out essential time-consuming tasks that would otherwise be subject to human error, to perfection.
We’ve all seen Terminator and the ghastly things that Skynet get up to in the not so distant future. It’s put some people a little unease. That, and many people fear for their job safety as AI becomes more and more sophisticated over time.
There’s no need to panic! AI and chatbots, in particular, are designed simply to make our lives easier. It’s to speed up the customer inquiry and resolve issues faster, whilst freeing up the human personnel to focus on more important and time-rewarding tasks.
If this is something that is of interest to you and you’d like to explore the prospect of chatbots working for you, then please do not hesitate to contact us today. We will gladly guide you through the fog and bring you up to speed with everything you need to know about this exceptional service.
Then, we can get to work on implementing your very own personalised chatbots into your system. Take your customer service game to greater heights and be there for your customers 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year!
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