What Is A Chatbot?

When you’ve been searching the web, there’s a huge chance you’ve come across a chatbot – you might not have even noticed!

Let’s say you were looking at shoes online, and you get a pop-up that says “can I help you find what you’re looking for?” That is an example of a chatbot!

What Is A Chatbot?

Other types of chatbot will pop up when you’ve ordered something online, and it pops up with a real-time update.

The point here is, chatbots are common, and they’re types of virtual assistants, and they appear among many websites and mobile apps.

Often, these digital assistants can mimic human conversation, and it can be sometimes difficult to realize you’re speaking with artificial intelligence and not a real human agent!

But what exactly is the point of a chatbot? Why do we have conversational chatbots rather and real people?

This guide will explore that along with answering any other relevant questions you may have about chatbots!

Chatbots – A Quick Summary

First, we should just summarize what we mean by a chatbot.

They are a virtual agent that can have customer conversations either via text or voice to answer questions, meet customer expectations and even help with scheduling appointments.

Their level of use will depend on their platform.

For example, their artificial intelligence might be used simply to give one word answers whereas others can mimic human language and learn as they go providing a conversational experience.

So, how exactly do they work?

Well, chatbots can work through artificial intelligence that uses machine learning and natural language processing that responds to queries, questions or commands.

Typically, you can expect two kinds of chatbot.

Type One: Task-Orientated Chatbot

This is the type of chatbot that is designed to answer user queries with quick responses.

Although they are sophisticated, they do not use so much machine learning and can provide basic answers and information via the messaging platform but can’t go into as much detail as sales reps or sales teams could.

So, although you can interact with them conversationally, it’s much more of a case of answering frequently asked questions through the messaging applications such as “what time does the concert start?” or “when do you open?”

Type Two: Predictive Intelligence Chatbots

What Is A Chatbot

These are conversational chatbots that learn as they go with much more advanced artificial intelligence.

They’re sometimes known as virtual assistants or digital assistants. Think about Amazon’s Alexa or Google’s Home smart speakers or mobile applications.

They can learn about their users’ habits and use predictive intelligence to look for things that you might ask for, such as music, directions or games for example.

They can monitor and store information that you give them and be able to analyze this information for future use.

That way, the chatbot is ready for quick tasks and answers for its user.

What Is The Point Of A Chatbot?

Chatbots are perfect for business owners and customers, and anyone that has a device with a chatbot on it.

If we start with the predictive intelligence chatbots, we all love to use this type of technology at home.

Having a virtual assistant is not only easier for some tasks but at its most basic level – it’s super cool to use!

Using Siri to make a phone call or look something up rather than pressing buttons, asking Alexa to play some music, set a timer or tell you a recipe while you’re busy – they’re all functions that we take very much for granted these days!

At a business level both kinds of chatbots are very helpful as they can boost efficiency of the operations by saving the business’s money of hiring additional staff members to answer basic frequently asked questions.

For example, if you can install a chatbot to answer basic queries for your business between the hours of 6pm and 9am, you do not have to pay somebody to man the phones or live chat between these hours.

Chatbots can answer many customer queries and concerns or at least provide contact information for when the business is normally operating.

Additionally, one chatbot can serve hundreds or even thousands of customers at the same time, whereas a human agent can simply put someone on hold while they deal with their current inquiry.

This means the business can interact with many more customers!

For many customers, chatbots can save them so much time – and time can be a big factor in whether they stay with the business/organization.

For example, it’s been suggested that chatbots on banking apps save a customer on average around 4-5 minutes than if they were on hold ready to speak with an agent.

This can mean more time for the customer and the agent – likely keeping the customer with that bank!

But at their most basic level, chatbots are simply a time saving tool for both businesses and customers.

This is the same reason why websites have tabs for frequently asked questions – they’re trying to free up their agents and save customer’s time by trying to answer the most asked questions.

Other Uses Of Chatbots

If you’ve ever got a new job, and you use internal systems, you may have noticed when you’re doing all the contracts and paperwork that the business uses a system that you have to access via your computer.

Maybe you’re completing the onboarding tasks or trying to book off a vacation – a chatbot will be helping you though it!

The fact is, so many types of businesses use chatbots for so many reasons like hospitality sectors using them for booking tickets, rooms and travel whilst answering consumer questions, the food sector for customer orders and updates and even city services in the public sector.

The Bottom Line

Chatbots are very helpful to us, and we’re happy that they’re here! It seems like the technology will continue to advance and aims to help our businesses and consumer experiences improve.