Last Updated on June 6, 2022
What Are Chatbots?
Nowadays, humans are fascinated by the idea of having auto-operating AI-driven gadgets to ask them how they’re doing, and what they can do to help.
So, it’s no surprise that the use of chatbots is taking the tech industry by storm.
The innovative ways of simplifying customer service online. People speculate that one day, chatbots will be programmed to be more human-like than just automated.
With immediate responses, and connectivity, will chatbots be more trustworthy than regular human customer service reps in the future?
The answer might be yes.
Table of Content:
- What Is a Chatbot?
- Chatbot Definition
- How Chatbots are evolved?
- Types of chatbots
- Rule-Based Chatbots
- Intellectually-Independent chatbots
- Artificial Intelligence chatbot
- What is an open source chatbot?
- How do chatbots Work?
- How to create your own chatbot?
- Why Are Chatbots Essential?
- Chatbots for business
- Reduce response time
- Reduce operational cost
- Increase customer engagement
- Chatbots Examples & Use cases
- What are the challenges of using chatbots?
- The Future of Chatbots
- Which chatbot platform is best for your business?
What Is A Chatbot?
“Chatbot is an application of natural language processing that permits primarily text-based but increasingly voice-based bidirectional dialogues between a user and the digital interface,” says Liz Miller, vice president and lead analyst at Constellation Research.
So, what are chatbots, in simple terms?
A chatbot is “a computer program designed to simulate conversation with human users, especially over the internet.”
For example, let’s say you wish to buy some shoes from a local retailer’s website. However, you had some reservations when looking. If the business had an online chatbot, you could have gotten answers to all of your questions right away instead of sending long texts.
According to Mordor Intelligence, the worldwide chatbot industry is predicted to increase at a compound annual growth rate of 35 per cent from 2021 to 2028, reaching $102 billion. Chatbots have several advantages, including that, unlike apps, they do not need to be downloaded. They don’t need to be updated, and they don’t take up any memory on the phone. Another advantage is that we may have many bots in the same conversation. This way, we wouldn’t have to go from one programme to the next depending on what we needed at the time.
How Chatbots Are Evolved?
Alan Turing, an English computer scientist, released “Computer Machinery and Intelligence” in 1950, which marked the beginning of the evolution of chatbots. He also popularized the Turing test, which is still used to assess an intelligent program’s ability to pass for a human.
A group of ambitious scientists followed Turing’s lead in the next decade. In 1966, Joseph Weizenbaum developed ELIZA, one of the earliest chatbots.
Kenneth Colby built the PARRY chatbot six years later, in 1972. PARRY mimicked a paranoid human using a system of “emotional reactions” caused by variable weights assigned to linguistic inputs.
Rollo Carpenter invented the Jabberwacky chatbot in the late 1980s, especially around 1988. It used the artificial intelligence approach known as contextual pattern matching, which has led to increased utilization in academic research.
Dr Sbaitso was a chatbot created by Creative Labs for MS-DOS in 1992. It was one of the earliest AI-enabled chatbots, with fully voice-operated chat software. The chatbot was supposed to operate as a psychotherapist and ask people questions like, “Why do you feel that way?”, or “What is the issue you are facing?”, and more.
Richard Wallace founded A.L.I.C.E. in 1995. (Artificial Linguistic Internet Computer Entity). Heuristic pattern matching was used in this global language chatbot. A.L.I.C.E. was designed to mimic the experience of speaking with someone online.
Smarterchild, the forerunner of Siri and other similar software, was not released until 2001. With Siri, Google Assistant, Alexa, and Cortana, chatbots began to take over between 2010 and 2015. These chatbot apps might do things like executing web searches, replying to voice requests, and playing music, among other things.
Types Of Chatbots
There are three types of chatbots in today’s digital realm in broad terms. These are:
Decision-tree bots are another name for rule-based chatbots. As the name states, they follow a set of given rules. These guidelines serve as the foundation for the sorts of problems that the chatbot is familiar with and can solve.
Rule-based chatbots plot out talks like a flowchart. They already have a set of questions to ask the customers they are trained to answer. The customer can choose between those questions and keep moving ahead.
There are either simple or complex rules that are used in rule-based chatbots. However, they can’t answer any inquiries that aren’t in line with the established guidelines. Interactions do not teach these chatbots anything. Furthermore, they can only execute in specific circumstances for which they have been prepared.
While rule-based bots have a less flexible conversational flow, these safety nets are also beneficial. Chatbots that use machine learning are less predictable, so you can be more certain about the experience you’ll get from them.
A rule-based chatbot also has the following advantages:
- Easier to train in general (less expensive).
- It’s simple to integrate with legacy systems.
- Streamline the transition from a computer to a human agent
- Extremely dependable and safe.
- Interactive components and media can be included.
- Aren’t limited to text-based exchanges.
These Chatbots use deep learning and machine learning to learn from their surroundings. These rely on giving thousands, if not millions, of instances of what the bot needs to comprehend to educate it to “think” by itself to a neural network. They improve with time and are largely used for entertainment and scientific research. They respond to various inquiries saved in the Chatbot’s database, and then these bots provide user-oriented responses.
Chatbots that use machine learning are meant to fully grasp the demands and inputs of customers (with some training in the beginning). By identifying similar phrases over time, these bots learn on their own and become less reliant on training. Hence, they are known as “intellectually independent chatbots”.
Artificial Intelligence Chatbot
A chatbot driven by Natural Language Processing is an Artificial Intelligence chatbot. So, unlike a rule-based chatbot, it won’t respond with keywords instead of attempting to grasp the guest’s purpose or what the guest wants. The more it interacts with guests, the better it will develop at deciphering their intentions and responding to their demands.
This form of the bot is better suited to more sophisticated types of inquiries and a bigger number of them. Using an Artificial Intelligence chatbot has several benefits, including:
- the ability to recognise typos and grammatical errors while still responding to the inquiry.
- It will continue to improve without any additional help.
- Speaking with an AI chatbot is far more natural and human-like than conversing with a person.
What Is An Open-Source Chatbot?
Open-source chatbots refer to messaging applications that have the power to replicate a communication just like humans. The term “open-source” means that the software is easily available on the internet and can be modified without extra effort.
Open-source software achieves better transparency, efficiency, and control levels through shared contributions. This helps developers to produce higher-quality software while also learning more about the software platforms.
Some of the best chatbot examples are Microsoft Bot framework, Botkit, Botpress, Rasa, and others. Which chatbot is ideal for you will be determined by the technology and code languages you presently employ and how other businesses have used 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.
Here is how natural language processing may work with chatbots:
- Some 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 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 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 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 helps chatbots look for subjects and objects in a given text, which will lead them to dependent phrases.
- Sentiment analysis 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.
How To Create Your Own Chatbot?
Chatbots, sometimes known as virtual assistants, aid in the automation of key corporate operations such as sales, customer service, and marketing. Here are the six major steps that will guide you through how to create your own chatbot to provide conversational support to your clients.
- Define the company’s goals – You must list all of the business functions that must be automated. What will your chatbot be able to do?
- Select the most appropriate medium for client engagement – Identify the ways via which your consumers like to contact you, whether it’s through your website, mobile app, Facebook Messenger, Telegram, or other messaging services.
- Teach your bot — Depending on your company objectives, you may use detailed FAQs to train your bot. This will make it easier for the bot to respond appropriately to your customers or visitors.
- Give your bot a voice and personality — Give your bot a name and an image that compliments your business message to give it more personality.
- Create a balanced approach — Most chatbots aren’t very effective, and consumers will eventually seek chat help. You may specify when your consumers will have the opportunity to speak with a live representative.
- Test, launch, and iterate — Once your bot flow has been designed, you can test it to see if it appropriately satisfies the use case. After you’ve launched your bot, you’ll need to keep track of its performance and iterate as needed.
You may construct chatbots in one of two methods. The following are the details:
1. Use a chatbot platform – Chatbot platforms are a godsend for firms that want to construct a chatbot quickly and easily. A ready-to-use bot platform includes a pre-built template that makes it simple to customize your bot and distribute it across numerous channels. You can design a chatbot with zero code, requiring less effort and time and improving consumer interaction.
2. Build from scratch – If your company requirements are unique or extremely complicated, it’s best to design a bot from the ground up. In such cases, the ready-to-use bot platforms are unlikely to be able to deliver the precise answer that your company requires.
Why Are Chatbots Essential?
Starting to use chatbots might inspire both excitement and apprehension in a marketer. That’s because modern marketers understand the logistics that need to be considered when launching a new marketing channel – and chatbots provide a whole new way for prospects and customers to connect with you!
On the other hand, ‘chat’ or ‘instant messaging’ might conjure 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.
Live chat in the past was vastly different to chat now.
Chat support reps weren’t available 24/7 and in all respects, it wasn’t really ‘live’ chat – when contacting a company via their website chatbox, you’d be more likely to receive a message saying ‘thanks for contacting us – we’ll be in touch as soon as possible.’ This caused some problems for businesses and customers alike.
Perhaps best of all, they are really easy to implement. With very minimal work, you can get a chat tool live on your website – you don’t need anyone to help you with engineering or software, either!
It typically takes as little as half an hour to implement.
“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.
According to Forbes, 80% of marketers will be more apt to use a chatbot in some way or another by 2020.
So, it’s this reason alone that brands are investing in chatbots, in hopes of beating out their competitors and offering the best services and customer experiences out there.”
Chatbots For Business
We hope our readers are clear about chatbots and some other crucial questions around them. Now let us explain to you what are chatbots used for? Why chatbots for businesses have become so famous?
Reduce response time
Chatbots are artificial intelligence-based bots that assist in response to client inquiries. Chatbots benefit a business in various ways, but we’ll focus on their influence on a company’s CRT in this article.
Chatbots are intended to take the role of live chat as the primary method of consumer contact. A chatbot has several advantages over live chat, including the ability to function 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and the ability to reduce the cost of labour necessary to run a live chat. The fact that a chatbot may be available at all times cuts response times dramatically.
This will allow your customer service representatives to focus on more critical concerns. A chatbot can almost automate the majority of your customer service. Customers are more inclined to trust your brand and support your business if you respond quickly. Chatbots are a great way to balance out your support team by removing repetitive tasks and allowing them to focus on more difficult client concerns.
Reduce operational cost
Chatbot benefits businesses by increasing operational efficiency and saving costs while providing convenience and extra services to internal staff and external clients. Chatbot makes a business capable of answering various client concerns while decreasing the need for human involvement.
A firm can expand, customize, and be proactive while using chatbots, which is a key differentiation. When a company relies only on human power, it can only reach out to a certain number of people at any given time for its services. Human-powered firms are compelled to rely on standardized models to be cost-effective, and their proactive and personalized outreach skills are restricted.
Increase customer engagement
Chatbots enable companies to interact with an endless number of consumers personally, and they can be scaled up or down based on demand and business needs. Using chatbots, companies become capable of providing humanlike, tailored, proactive services to a wide range of customers in multiple locations at the same time.
According to consumer studies, messaging applications are becoming the preferred means of communicating with businesses for some sorts of transactions. Chatbots, delivered through messaging systems, give a degree of service and convenience that is often superior to what people can provide. When compared to traditional contact centres, bank chatbots save an average of four minutes for every query. Customers benefit from the same capabilities that help organizations achieve more efficiency and cost savings in a better customer experience. It’s a win-win scenario.
Chatbots Examples And Use Cases
When used across various company departments and sectors, chatbots operate as a catalyst for improved performance. Here are some of the most common ways consumers make the most of conversational chatbots.
According to Business Insider, 67 per cent of consumers worldwide engaged a chatbot for customer service. Chatbots influence customer services significantly. Businesses may reduce customer support expenses and increase key productivity indicators that improve the customer care experience by using AI chatbots. The following are some major customer service use cases:
- Customers today demand real-time responses from websites. Chatbot technology is being adopted by businesses to provide rapid consumer involvement.
- Chatbots can assist your IT helpdesk in increasing the productivity and effectiveness of your personnel.
- Having a bot answer frequently asked questions within an app increases user engagement. It allows firms to send alerts to customers to keep them informed.
For customer service, the HDFC Eva banking chatbot is a fantastic example. The banking business and chatbots work well together. It is beneficial to both the banks and their clients. Eva is India’s first talking banking chatbot powered by AI. Eva understands the user’s queries using the most up-to-date Natural Language Processing (NLP) technology and responds with appropriate information in real-time.
Bots may learn from user interaction and give useful information about your company, goods, and services. In other words, it can up-sell and cross-sell in a customized, conversational, and engaging manner. According to 57 per cent of organizations, customer service chatbots provide a high return on investment with little work.
The following are some marketing use cases for greater client engagement:
- You may use bots to suggest items or package deals depending on the customer’s trip.
- While the consumer is trapped in the product, the bot may start a proactive chat and properly point them.
- You can learn more about your customers and enhance your dialogues by tailoring your notifications.
Spotify is an excellent example of a marketing chatbot. Spotify’s Facebook Messenger bot makes searching for, listening to, and sharing music simple for its users. You’ll get playlist recommendations depending on your mood, what you’re doing, or whatever type of music you choose once you’ve begun.
What Are The Challenges Of Using Chatbots?
1. Users’ way of texting
People type messages in different ways (short phrases, big sentences, an extremely long sentence in a conversation bubble, several very small words in multiple chat bubbles) So, how do you deduce the user’s intent?
2. User language
When chatting to a person, you’re talking to a one-of-a-kind individual. Her grasp of the language, her use of slang, her love of specific words, her tendency of misspelling certain words, her use of abbreviated forms, her use of cool phrases that originate regularly, and the list goes on. We also have to deal with all of them when we want a chatbot to talk like a person in the same way. Natural language processing alone is ineffective in this situation; comprehension is required differently.
3. Limitations of NLP
Processing isn’t quite advanced enough to deal with everything in the state of natural language today. Synonyms and entity extraction have been taken care of, but what about the blending of the local language, the terms and slang introduced to the lexicon? Though it is engaging, and you can always change the current level, it takes time. It’s a process that will continue to evolve as the need arises. Can we use it for chatbots? Great tools leverage it for search, tagging, sentiment analysis, and recommendations.
4. Randomness of being a human
Human beings are emotional beings. Emotions are in charge of user behavior. You have different feelings at different times, and they are not permanent, and you may quickly shift your mood with the correct stimuli. As a result, change the method you send communications.
Mood plays a significant role. Your user may want to instruct the bot what to do one instant and then recommend the next. She could wish to persuade or be reminded of anything. As a result, understanding randomness is beneficial.
5. Need for more
Your customers are constantly looking for the finest experience possible. They want your chatbot to be average if it’s below average, and if it’s average, they want it to be better. Better isn’t good enough; they want the best. On par with a human’s intelligence level. To be honest, if I want to talk to someone, I want to talk to someone smarter than me, which is what people anticipate from chatbots. People want to employ chatbots that can assist them and are intelligent enough to rely on. That may fail, but they should do it well and with panache whatever they do.
6. Limited attention span
Because consumers’ attention spans are limited and frequently diverted, it’s not enough to understand them. Conversational UI comes into play here. It’s more about figuring out how to entice them. So how you reply to a user message is where you get the user’s attention. The more efficiently you perform, the more likely you will be called upon again. As a result, responding to consumer inquiries should be considered seriously.
The Future of Chatbots
As we mentioned earlier that messaging apps are used much more than social media platforms. It is proof that messaging is the future of communication and online platforms.
Facebook Messenger has over 1 billion people every month and is growing faster than Facebook.
So how exactly do bots fit into this picture?
If messaging apps are the #1 way for people to talk to each other, then every business is going to need a way to communicate on these platforms!
There are two obvious ways to do this:
- Either the business employs a bunch of people to sit and answer instant messages all day, similar to a call centre. It’s not cost-effective and 99% of businesses don’t have the money or workforce to do this.
- The second option is the chatbots. The business ‘employs’ chatbots to respond instantly to questions, communicate with a lot of people simultaneously, and is incredibly cost-effective.
Bots will be faster than websites and even mobile apps – because people can just message the business, via the bot, directly over Facebook Messenger.
The websites load in seconds. Bots load instantly. People will always choose the easier, faster loading website – because that’s what people do!
Moreover, mobile apps need to be downloaded, which can be a frustrating process if you don’t have enough space on your phone or poor connectivity. Bots don’t need to be downloaded.
Finally, bots are even easier to use than apps and websites. Think about it – all apps and websites are designed differently, with varying visual interfaces. Bots on instant messenger apps fit into the instant messaging interface – no one needs to learn anything new!
Which Chatbot Platform Is The Best For Your Business?
Kommunicate Kommunicate is a chatbot technology platform that provides real-time, proactive, and tailored support to growing businesses. Customer discussions and assistance are broken, redundant, and wasteful, both time and money. It is the goal of Kommunicate to fix this. This platform’s chatbots are simple to connect with programmes like Whatsapp, WordPress, Squarespace, and Facebook. It’s simple to use because it’s code-free and has simple chatbot integration techniques. It also offers a simple and user-friendly dashboard.
For many applications that people will use today, a chatbot is there to assist when needed. Of course, a database is what sustains the chatbot, allowing it to provide the right answers and responses to every user.
Though the most important part is that without natural language processing, the chatbot won’t know what to say, or how to respond to words and phrases.
- 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.
Ultimately, there are 3 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.
And take comfort in the idea that chatbots, like other up-and-coming AI devices and machine-learning gadgets, may soon make life easier for everyone, especially in retail and customer service.
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 on board to have a first-hand experience of Kommunicate. You can signup here and start delighting your customers right away.