Know the Basics of Chatbots

22 Nov, 2020 | Blogs

To bridge the gap between humans and computers, chatbots and virtual assistants have made a huge impact on the technology market. In banking, healthcare, insurance, and virtually all other industries, chatbots have become the most desired co-workers of the customer support team to resolve people’s problems and simplify human interactions.

So, what is a chatbot?

A chatbot is a technology that can start a conversation with a user through messaging and mobile apps, telephones, and websites. It is artificial intelligence (AI) software that uses Natural Language Processing (NLP) to converse with users in a question-answer format. Creating answers to questions in natural language is one of the most common examples of NLP applied in end-use applications.

Different Types of Chatbots

All chatbots are not created equal. Chatbots are designed in all shapes and sizes, with different levels of capabilities. Basic chatbots may suffice for most cases, but there are cases where more advanced chatbots are required. Here are the five most common types of chatbots: 

Support Chatbots

Support chatbots are created to solve specific problems and need context-awareness and multi-turn capabilities. They are designed to help users walk through business processes and answer several types of frequently asked questions (FAQs). Most of these chatbots are created using deep learning and natural language processing (NLP) technologies and are used across industries and functions, including retail, human resources, digital marketing, and healthcare. 

Skills Chatbots

Skills chatbots don’t require much contextual awareness and follow commands to execute an action. It needs robust NLP features and can follow human commands. Amazon’s Alexa is a type of skill chatbot, although it can be classified into various other types. 

Assistant Bots

Assistant bots are similar to support bots as they are good at answering FAQs. They can also integrate with third-party apps such as Slack, Facebook, and other websites to help improve business processes. Assistant bots help make reservations, process payments, send payments and notifications, as well as order food. 

Know the difference between Virtual Assistants and Chatbots

Transactional Bots

These bots can also be vaguely classified as assistant bots since they perform actions on behalf of humans. They help increase productivity since the bot interacts with different external systems to complete the desired action. 

Information Gathering Bots

Information gathering bots, as the name suggests, collect or distribute data. An examples of information gathering bot is the news bot that sends notification or recommendations to users by using AI and text classification technologies. These bots can be used for research to get as much information as possible from websites and ebooks, making excellent use cases in the corporate training and education industries. 

How a Chatbot Works

At the heart of any chatbot lies two main tasks: 

1) User request analysis: Analysing the request of a user is the first task of the chatbot. The chatbot establishes the user’s intent to extract relevant information from various sources. 

2) Returning the response: Once the user intent is established, the chatbot provides the most relevant response as a:

  1. a template/predefined text
  2. a text extracted from a knowledge base 
  3. contextualized information based on data provided by the user
  4. information stored in enterprise systems
  5. another question to understand the request better
  6. a result of an action performed by the chatbot in a backend application

Why You Need Chatbots 

A chatbot is a versatile technology that can be used in any department. Whether it is marketing or customer services, chatbots have become essential for organizations since they streamline interaction between users and the company 24/7. They improve the overall customer experience and free up the time of the human workforce, thereby improving their productivity. Chatbots also boost operational efficiency by handling some basic tasks in minutes with the least human intervention. They are also an effective way to increase online leads and drive sales.

Which Chatbot is Right For You?

To develop the right chatbot for your business, determine the value it will provide to your business and customers. Depending upon your goal, you can create assistant chatbots, which will guide the users with the visual menu, or use a simple chatbot where people can ask their questions and get prompt responses. Depending upon your requirement, a chatbot vendor will use a combination of various AI forms like NLP, machine learning, and semantic understanding to create one for your business. 

To know more about the best AI chatbot for your business, contact us today!