Chatbot Definition – What is a Chatbot?

A chatbot is a computer program that takes the place of a natural human conversation online” –  Nelson Herbst

What are Chatbots?

A chatbot is an artificial intelligence (AI) software that can simulate a conversation (or a chat) with a user in natural language through messaging applications, websites, mobile apps, or the telephone.

The chatbot uses natural language processing, which translates human language into data deciphered with recurring text and patterns and shapes them into automated answers and responses.

With that said, chatbots can interpret and process a user’s words or phrases, whether it is set to know English or is programmed to recognize multiple languages. Then, within seconds, the bot can provide an instant pre-set answer for users. 

Types of chatbots

Different types of chatbots process data and deliver quick responses to users. No matter what kind they are, they all come with their own preset rules and programming. Consider these three types of chatbots:

Types of chatbots

Rule-Based chatbots:

These chatbots have predefined paths to follow when holding a conversation with a user. As the conversation progresses, the user may be tasked to pick options that correspond to their inquiry. Then, the chatbot will determine the next step in the conversation, depending on what the user has selected.

Key Attributes:

  • Tend to follow predetermined rules to make scenarios simpler for both it and the user.
  • Highly structured and compatible with customer support functions, making interaction easy for users.
  • Able to answer basic customer inquiries like business hours, the status of one’s delivery, tracking information, etc. 

Intellectually-Independent chatbots:

Machine Learning (ML) bots allow bots to learn from the user’s inputs and requests. As they know from the data provided, they’ll recognize recurring patterns and common user behaviours to decide what to do with little to no human interference.

Key Attributes:

  • They understand specific keywords and phrases from either past experiences or whatever is programmed in them.

AI-Powered:

These bots are hybrid of both the rule-based and intellectually independent chatbots. Artificial intelligence (AI) is a simulation of human intelligence; it focuses on making machines work and think like people.

Key Attributes:

  • Understand free language, but can also have a predefined flow to ensure accurate responses to a user’s problem or inquiry 
  • Remembering the context of a conversation and the user’s preferences 
  • Alternating from one conversation to another, depending on what needs the most attention at the moment

Different types of chatbots process data and deliver quick responses to users. No matter what kind they are, they all come with their own preset rules and programming. Consider these three types of chatbots:

How do chatbots work

Converting text or speech into structured data is a process for chatbots, especially when they’re programmed to process natural language. Regardless, it’s a process that has to be done to give users a proper response to their questions and concerns. 

How do chatbots Work

Here is how natural language processing may work with chatbots: 

  • Tokenization: Chatbots use tokenization to divide certain words into pieces – or, in this case, “tokens” – that can be quite useful or significant for the application.
  • Named entity recognition: With this chatbot looks for categories of words, like the name of a product, a user’s name, or an address; and the chatbot will know what those entities are when the user enters that information in the chatbox.
  • Normalization: It processes text in such a way that it finds common spelling or typographical errors that could happen, whenever a user creates a typo or doesn’t know how it spells a certain word.
  • Speech tagging: It allows the chatbot to identify parts of speech such as nouns, verbs, etc. This is so that the chatbot can understand complex sentence structures, and how they impact meaning. 
  • Dependency parsing: It helps chatbots look for subjects and objects in a given text, which will lead them to dependent phrases.
  • Sentiment analysis: It lets chatbots watch and learn if a user is having a good experience, or if they still need help, but this time from a human customer support rep.

Why are chatbots important? How to build chatbot?

“Chatbots are known to boost operational efficiency, and save companies money while assisting customers in quick, convenient ways without the need for human interaction,” says Freya Richardson, a web developer writer at Brit student and Next coursework

Once you start using a chatbot, you can stimulate both excitement and anxiety in the trader. This is because modern marketers understand the logistics to consider when launching a new marketing channel. Chatbots provide a whole new way for prospects or customers to connect with you.

Chat support personnel weren’t really “live” chats in all respects that weren’t available 24/7. You are more likely to receive the message “Thank you for contacting us” We will contact you as soon as possible when contacting the company via the chatbox on the website. This caused problems for both the business and the customer.

On the other hand, ‘chat’ or ‘instant messaging’ might evoke up archaic ideas of the chat of the past times – marketers don’t realize how much chat has changed and advanced, and how beneficial it is to have a chatbot on their site. 

Perhaps best of all, they are really easy to implement. With very minimal effort, you can get a  live chatbot on your website – you don’t need anyone to help you with engineering or software, either! 

If you want to create a chatbot. It typically takes as little as 10 minutes to build one from the scratch and deploy it to your website.

According to Forbes, 80% of marketers will be more apt to use a chatbot in some way or another by 2020.” – Forbes

What are chatbots for and how do companies use them?

To better understand the importance of adopting the chatbot strategy in your business, let’s look at the benefits.

  • Reduce response time: Chatbots reduce the waiting time, making customers happy, helping the business run smoothly. Unlike (most) human reps, chatbots are more intelligent and faster when giving immediate responses to customers. Unlike humans, chatbots are available 24/7 and can engage with customers no matter what time (or night). And, chatbots tend to be conversational, where they can start a conversation and offer personalized recommendations. This is beneficial when boosting sales and customer experience. They can even operate during peak business hours to where there’s no additional cost to customer service.
  • Reduce operational cost: Chatbots are especially significant in online retail. According to Juniper Research, the number of successful retail chatbot interactions worldwide will reach 22 billion by 2023, which is more than an estimated 2.6 billion in 2019. This is beneficial for businesses because chatbots help them save customer service costs by hiring more support reps, and training and paying them to do the Work.
  • Increase customer engagement: Engaging with customers has never been easier with chatbots. Chatbots are an efficient way of reducing bounce rates while increasing conversions – turning possible leads into successful sales. While you’re at it, chatbots can help you create sales funnels that nurture leads, keep them hooked, and eventually have them make a purchase.

The future of chatbots

As mentioned earlier that messaging apps are used much more than social media platforms. Facebook Messenger has over 1 billion people every month and is growing faster than Facebook. It is proof that messaging is the future of communication and online platforms.

So how exactly do chatbots fit into this picture?

If messaging apps are the #1 way for people to talk to each other, then every business will need a way to communicate on these platforms! 

There are two obvious ways to do this:

  • The business employs many people to sit and answer instant messages all day, similar to a call center. It’s not cost-effective, and 99% of companies don’t have the money or workforce to do this.
  • The second option is chatbots. The business ‘employs’ chatbots to respond instantly to questions, communicate with many people simultaneously, and is incredibly cost-effective. 

Chatbots will be faster than websites and even mobile apps – because people can message the business, via the bot, directly over Facebook Messenger.

The websites load in seconds. Bots load instantly. People will always choose the more accessible, faster-loading website – because that’s what people do!

Moreover, mobile apps need to be downloaded, which can be frustrating if you don’t have enough space on your phone or poor connectivity. Bots don’t need to be downloaded. 

Finally, chatbots are even easier to use than apps and websites. Think about it – all apps and websites are designed differently, with varying visual interfaces. Chatbots on instant messenger apps fit into the instant messaging interface – no one needs to learn anything new!

Which chatbot platform is best for your business?

There are different ways to develop and perfect your company’s chatbot. Depending on what your company is, what your customers want, and how you address issues. To get the best results, try experimenting with the different types of chatbots, and choose the best one.

Here is a list of the best platform to develop your first chatbot:

Conclusion

For many applications that people will use today, a chatbot is there to assist when needed. Of course, a database sustains the chatbot, allowing it to provide the correct answers and responses to every user.  The most crucial part is that the chatbot won’t know what to say or respond to words and phrases without natural language processing.

Therefore, with:

  • Natural language processing
  • Interactive interface
  • The right programming

Chatbots will be able to help businesses better engage with their customers, regardless of scale or industry.


At Kommunicate, we are envisioning a world-beating customer support solution to empower the new era of customer support. We would love to have you onboard to have a first-hand experience of Kommunicate. You can signup here and start delighting your customers right away.

Author

Avinash is a passionate marketer with a proven track record of quickly understanding a marketing campaign's mission, vision, and objective and then communicating this to potential customers. He has an in-depth knowledge of all digital channels. Whenever he is not marketing, you can find him reading books, swimming or cooking.

Write A Comment