Chatbots have been around for quite some time now. From the famous cleverbot, which came out back in 2019, to Siri, we have been talking with robots for a long time now.
However, the mystery around chatbots still remains, and as we approach 2019, we want to take the time to talk about this particular technology, and understand just how important it will be during the upcoming year.
But, before we continue, make sure to check out our previous blogs about the top technologies to keep up during 2019. Just in case you want to know what to expect for the next year.
Before we dive in into what chatbots are, let’s talk a little bit about bots, what they do, and why they are so important. You see, a bot is simply any software that performs an automated task.
Bots can be used for almost anything, including chatting. The whole idea of bots is to automate repetitive, heavy tasks, making people’s jobs significantly easier than before.
There are many types of bots, but the most popular one, and the one we will talk about today, are chatbots.
Let’s start from the beginning, what are chatbots? The concept of chatbots is really simple, it’s simply a program or software built to engage with any messages they receive, automatically generating a response.
So no, you’re not really chatting with a robot, but rather with a software that has been programmed to generate an automatic response for any message you send it.
There are many different types of chatbots depending of their purposes. For example, there are some that generate the exact same response every time, and others that are programmed to give out a more personalized answer based on the text/message itself which gives a more customized experience.
We will talk later on about the types of chatbots, however, you must know their main purpose is to help internet users get the information they need, and helping companies automate this process.
In essence, chatbots are computer programs create to simulate a conversation with real human users over the internet. This way, the user expects to have a fluent conversation through the chat.
This question is tricky, since chatbots are a type of computer program (software) however, they aren’t a software application on its own. Like we said, chatbots are programs usually found inside a mobile or web application.
Basically, a chatbot is a tool you use inside a website or a mobile app to further enlarge your customer experience. It’s a tool software engineers use to automate a job or task.
There’s also the fact chatbots are created to act as an online agent, helping the user interact properly with the application itself. This tool isn’t the core purpose of the app, but a feature to help users.
So no, chatbots are not the same as a software application, at least not for now, although it is possible business will start to create message platforms that that act as mobile/web apps.
We are not gonna full-dive into the architecture of chatbots, however, it is important to understand how these computer programs work. Basically, chatbots artificially replicate the patterns shown in human conversations through machine learning.
The way chatbots are able to generate a response and simulate a conversation its thanks to their architecture, which combines pre-made scripts and machine learning applications.
There are three types of classification methods chatbots use to identify what the user is saying and reply with an appropriate answer:
Natural language processing
Natural language understanding
Pattern matches, through this method, chatbots are able to separate the message into groups of texts, “read” them and generate an answer. It is one of the most common types of methods used in these bots.
Natural language processing or NLP simply converts the user’s message into data, and uses this data to choose and create a right answer. This is one of the most complex methods and is made of five steps in total.
Last, but not least, Natural language understanding or NLU is based on the idea of using a historical backdrop of answers and conversations to implement when answering the user’s questions. Keep in mind that if the user formulates a question that isn’t on the database, the chatbot won’t be able to fulfill the task.
Chatbots are simply a tool that will help you automate another one of your processes or tasks, something that is extremely important in a world where automation means being one step ahead of everyone.
These computer programs aren’t only silly robots talking to you to entertain you (Like you do when you talk with cleverbot, or when you mess around with Siri and Alexa) they are here to make YOUR life easier.
Just think about it, when iPhone started implementing Siri, everyone started using it to do things they did before: Writing a text, finding a contact number, doing their searches on Google… Same thing happened with Google Home, Alexa, Amazon Echo and so on. The point is, people are buying and using these products because they work, because they’re making their lives easier.
But how does this benefit companies trying to evolve? Well, there are three main benefits:
Much like it happens with any automation tool, chatbots help you save time and money. Not only you’re cutting costs by not having to hire people to do tedious, boring tasks, but you also can focus this energy into other more important tasks that your business requires.
Chatbots allow you to automate tasks like customer services, allowing your collaborators to stop wasting so much time “chatting” and actually focus that energy into solving the problem ahead of them.
Chatbots don’t only answer your client’s messages, but they gather important information along the way, information that can be used as a database to understand your clients and users, or to enhance the potential of your chatbot.
Using this tool as a way to gather more information on your client can lead to your company improving their services and increasing their levels of engagement.
Chatbots can be programmed to say specific things or asked specific questions like “Would you like to receive our weekly newsletter?” or “Would you like to stay updated with our promotions?” and so on.
This means you get an easy way to gather your future’s clients emails and instantly expand your email marketing campaigns, generating more leads and turning them into regular clients.
In conclusion, chatbots are a necessary tool for companies who are looking to further automate tedious tasks while enhancing their sales and customer engagement.
As to the type of method you should use, or what type of chatbox you should implement, feel free to contact us for further assistance, we will be happy to help you!