An introduction to an informative and factual blog post titled “Why use chatbot?”. Chatbots are the latest trend in customer service, and for good reason. They’re much cheaper than hiring a real-life employee, they don’t require benefits (or computer equipment), and it’s nearly impossible for them to get sick or go on strike. Chatbots also excel in areas where humans might traditionally fail: handling complaints all day, fielding hours of questions about products, and answering multiple queries at once.
Chatbots are also much more effective than tools like Google Now or Siri, both of which come with high levels of accuracy, but are still frustratingly limited in what they can do.
The technology is progressing rapidly, and now there are thousands of companies making chatbots, each vying to provide the most seamless user experience. Though early offerings were amusing or interesting (like Whoopi Goldberg’s “whoopi”), the newest wave of chatbots has been driven by a true business need: customer service.
So how does a chatbot work? The process is simple: input questions, receive answers, and output an appropriate response. A script is triggered whenever a user types a question or sends the bot a message. The script then gathers any appropriate data, analyzes it, and provides an answer.
The best chatbots are trained to recognize certain keywords to trigger automatically-generated responses—this is known as “natural language processing.” The bots automatically-generated responses are sometimes humorous or snarky or well-phrased jokes. But they’re also getting much smarter—the technology is to the point where chatbots can actually have meaningful conversations with users.
There are all types of breakthroughs in this arena. One company is working on a “walkie-talkie” chatbot: one where the user can send a message and receive an immediate, real-time response. Another company has created a conversational chatbot with the ability to carry on a conversation with the best of them. The technology is making rapid progress—and, for companies that can implement it, it’s already proving useful.
The future of chatbots is incredibly bright—we’re just scratching the surface of what these bots can do. A few years ago, it would have been all but impossible to imagine that you could walk into a store and buy a television with your phone. Now, consider this: you can do exactly that and be completely entertained and amazed by the experience.
There’s no reason chatbots can’t replace the phone operator, the customer service representative, or even your own staff in your business. They’re cheaper than hiring employees and they don’t need benefits—they only need a line of code and an internet connection.
If you want to start using chatbots in your business, the first thing to decide is if they’ll replace staff entirely. If you need someone to work 40 hours a week, then there’s no reason to use a chatbot. The same goes for businesses that thrive on personal relationships or one-on-one service.
However, if you’re looking for a cost-effective way to reduce phone calls or e-mails, then chatbots are just the ticket. Companies have seen a 20 to 40 percent boost in customers when they use bots. They also see a boost in web design leads, leads for their service department, leads for sales, leads for webinars, leads for seminars…the list goes on.
Chatbots are still being developed and tested—and there are still some bugs that need to be worked out. If you’re thinking about using them in your business now is the time to jump on board. The technology is rapidly improving and it’s easier now than ever before.
One last thing to remember is that there’s no “best” chatbot available right now. It doesn’t exist. There are already thousands of them available, each with varying capabilities, and there are even more being created every day. You can find someone with a basic offering for nearly nothing—you can also pay big bucks for something with an exemplary customer service reputation.