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One of the biggest opportunities in this 21st century is chatbots. Actually, you might have realized that most worlds’ large organizations such as Facebook and Kick are already using them and seemingly, all computer coders are trying to develop them. Now, what are they? Why are most companies eager to benefit from the Artificial Intelligence (AI) trend? And how do they work?
If you want to use chatbot to drive your ROI, there are many of them in the market to help you achieve exactly that. Research shows that the majority of internet users spends around 90% of their time on messaging and email platforms. That alone should tell you why chatbots are becoming more popular today and why coders are developing more. But first, what are chatbot?
What are chatbots?
Basically, a chatbot is a simple artificial intelligence system that people can interact with through text. The interactions can be aboveboard such as asking a chatbot to provide a weather report, or complex such as having a bot troubleshoot problems with a business’ internet service. Several factors have contributed in development of chatbots. A major reason is that people are tired of downloading every new mobile application.
The history of chatbots
In the 1980s, some technology companies including Microsoft, Apple, presented computer users with graphical interface with an aim of making technology more user friendly. To use a computer, the average consumers did not have to learn about binary code, therefore the big minds at the leading technology companies planked a screen on technology and began offering buttons, icons, toolbars and some other graphical elements so that the market could easily consume computers.
Today, no consumer can imagine a technological device without a graphical presentation and a computer. Earlier in 2016, people witnessed the introduction of artificial intelligence in form of chatbots. Some social media platforms such as Facebook allowed developers to start making chatbots for their services or brands so that their consumers could easily carry out their daily actions from the messaging platforms. The artificial intelligence development has excited everyone and expanded possibilities.
Chatbots introduction into the society brought us to another technological era – era of conversational interface. In other words, the interface will not require a mouse or a screen to use. You will not have to swipe or click to communicate with a brand. The interface will be entirely conversational in nature and the conversations will be indistinguishable from conversations that you regularly have with your family or friends.
How Chatbot Works?
Natural language processing chatbot take some steps combination to convert speech or text into structured data that you can use to select the right response. Generally, there are two main types of chatbots, some function based on set of rules while the advanced versions use machine learning. A chatbot that functions based on set of rules is very limited. In other words, it can respond only to specific commands. The chatbot will not understand what you mean whenever you say something wrong. The bots are as smart as they are developed or programed to be.
On the other hand, chatbot that use machine learning to function have artificial brain (artificial intelligence). For them to function, you should not be ridiculously particular when talking to them. They understand the language in addition to commands. The bots continuously get smarter as they learn from conversations they have with people.
However, you should always remember that even though bots have illusion of simplicity on their front end, coders have to overcome numerous hurdles to develop better experience. The coding process involves analyzing, flow optimizing, and keeping up with the always changing platforms that have no set standards.
What Can a Bot Do?
With chatbots, possibilities are endless. Developers can build any imaginable thing. For the first time ever, people are highly using messenger apps more than they use social networks. And everyone agrees that when building an online business you should build it where your potential customers are. Chatbots are a huge business opportunity for individuals wiling to build only what their customers want. So, what will a chatbot achieve?
- It will establish or support your brand positioning: it will achieve this through the tone of voice and the content itself. A chatbot should be part of your brand’s statement. It can help rejuvenate your brand or strengthen some attributes modern, friendly and closer to people.
- It can communicate messages and stories to your target customers. The messages should be related to your brand campaign.
- And it will reach the hard to reach audience including the youth.
- Consumers on the other hand can use bots to pick out and even order groceries or other items directly from stores.
Your chatbots should not push overt advertising or promotions. Their appeal should originate from generating real conversations.
The Potential of Chatbots
Chatbots represent a greater opportunity for business people to reach their customers exactly where they are – in messaging apps. With chatbots, businesses are able to deliver their services in highly customized manner where combination of operations, messages and human support is possible in a single experience.
However, chatbots are unlikely to replace websites or apps. There are many reasons behind that. First, most chatbots are bad. They are irrelevant and unpleasant to users. That is normal and unavoidable. Bot making is still in the infancy stage, there are no set rules and all developers are new at that.
And even though there are many resources and platforms on technical aspects of making bots, there is less practical advice on how and what bots should behave and speak. The available advice covers the general chatbots. Yet customer-relationship bots are different from utility bots like news or Poncho bots. With content chatbots, brands will easily deliver their stories to customers.
A New Channel for Business
Today, chatbots can engage prospective customers and prevent swamping of sales agents and human customer service agents with repetitive inquiries that are likely to waste resources and time. Businesses also use chatbots in interesting ways that establish the capabilities spectrum and chatbots capabilities. They are a middle layer between service providers and customers.