What Is a Chatbot?
A chatbot – also known as a “conversational agent” – is an artificial intelligence (AI) software that simulates a conversation or interaction with a human. The software mimics written or spoken human speech so that conversations flow naturally as if users are speaking to real people. Conversations are programmed into websites, messaging applications, mobile apps or phone calls. Chatbots are entirely automated, meaning no human interaction is necessary to engage in conversations on the chosen platforms. Today, most businesses utilize chatbots to support their customer service divisions.
How Do Chatbots Work?
There lies two types of tasks behind chatbots: user request analysis and returning the response. The first task for a chatbot is to analyze the user’s request to then identify the user’s intent and extract relevant information. This step is the most critical as the chatbot must first understand what the user is wanting to receive in order for it to provide the relevant answer. When an option is chosen or a text is given to the chatbot, a complex series of algorithms interprets and analyzes the user’s requests, then determines a series of suitable responses. The second task is returning the response after the chatbot has processed the user’s request and determined the most appropriate response. Answers can vary depending on the question and context, but can be controlled by businesses.
The conversations and responses that chatbots follow can be prepared by the owners before activating the bots onto various platforms. Owners can establish the context of the conversations including all the various options that users can choose from. As a result, the conversation flow is predetermined to suit each and every need.
Some chatbot conversations conclude solely with the predetermined script. However, some customer inquiries require further attention. As a result, chatbots can provide basic customer service to ensure customer requests are received and ask for contact information so that customer support teams can then directly follow up with customers regarding their inquiries.
The Value Chatbots Bring to Businesses
Chatbot softwares streamline interactions between people and services, while maintaining or even enhancing customer experience. With the simple integration of conversational agents, businesses are shown new opportunities to improve operations in several areas.
Streamline Customer Service
Answering to customer service-related inquiries can be highly inefficient when buried with other tasks. Integrating chatbots boosts operational efficiency and convenience while reducing costs associated with any service for customers. Businesses can easily solve and answer any customer-related problems without the need of human interaction. The problem with efficiency becomes greater when the number of inquiries become too great to handle. Unlike human capacity, chatbots can serve as many customers at the same time while providing the same quality of service.
Automate Repetitive Tasks
There are often times when customers seek answers to simple and highly redundant questions. At times like these, incorporating automated responses becomes extremely beneficial to business operations and productivity. Reduce employee workload by allowing customers to directly speak to chatbots that can provide instant and correct responses to any question.
Chatbots have the ability to distinguish key variables such as the user’s name, phone number and email address. However the conversation is constructed, the chatbot can ask for key personal information which can then be incorporated into the conversation to provide the user a more personalized experience. Moreover, chatbots answer specific questions users seek rather than displaying a long list of information. Visitors are presented with what seems like greater attention which increases customer engagement and satisfaction.
Improve Response Rate
Approximately 90% of questions sent to business pages through Facebook are left unanswered. In contrast, chatbot is capable of responding to each and every request with no human error. Consistent and reliable service is vital when businesses want to convert more visitors into buyers.
Increase Lead Generation
As chatbots can grab contact information from potential customers, this is a great tool for businesses to capture leads. Once contact information is secured, businesses can directly follow up with leads and nurture them to hopefully convert into customers. Chatbot provides an incredibly advantageous opportunity for businesses to get more leads as visitors are immediately captivated by the messaging tool.
Research shows that consumers are increasingly choosing the option to connect with businesses through online messaging apps for certain types of transactions. Some chatbots provide remarkably authentic and real conversational experiences where distinguishing its AI software becomes difficult. With the increasing popularity of chatbots and consistent customer service that has the capability to exceed human expectations, incorporating chatbots into business operations can only be beneficial. If you are interested in learning more about chatbot or want to start integrating this software with your business, contact us and we can help you from start to finish!