Should I consider a Chatbot for my business?

Before we answer that question we should first ask a few more like “Where to Chatbots come from?” And “What does a Chatbot do?”

As for where Bots come from. A.I. powered chat bots began in the 1995 with A.L.I.C.E., which is an acronym for Artificial Linguistic Internet Computer Entity. A.L.I.C.E was created in AMIL (Artificial Intelligence Markup Language) which is an open, minimalist, stimulus response language for creating bot personalities developed by Dr. Richard Wallace. A.L.I.C.E. won several Turing awards and has paved the way for the evolution of A.I. chat bots. A.L.I.C.E’s creator has moved on to other projects, most notably Pandorabots, a company that specializes in world-class Chatbots. Pandorabots’ flagship project, Mitsuku, has passed the Turing test four times and is hailed as the world’s most human-like chat bot.

In recent years, Chatbots have been gaining in popularity as customer facing service tools, twitter bots, conversational companions, and clever ways to diagnose medical conditions. They are rapidly growing ever more prevalent and sophisticated, and before long they may be completely indistinguishable from a human conversational partner. As for what Chatbots do, they model conversational behaviour, learn from user inputted responses, and improve the relevance and quality of their own responses over time.

The next question is “Can a Chatbot benefit my business?”

The short answer is “yes”, however, the complexity and cost of the bot depends on your current business needs. Chatbots can be used for marketing, customer support, customer service, communication, entertainment, for many other purposes. Chatbots can be used to automatically book restaurant reservations, or to schedule a counselling appointment for instance. Anywhere your customers would typically interact with a human representative, they could potentially interact with a Chatbot.

Chatbots can be programmed to appear formal, friendly, or to speak entirely in emojis if the need arises. Chatbots are typically programmed using natural human language. They take in data, parse it, and select from a list of appropriate responses. They are a relatively simple concept, but require expert implementation to ensure they operate correctly.

In terms of customer service. There are many ways Bots can be implemented to serve as customer service tools. Here are just a few examples:

chatbots customer support
Chatbots can fulfill basic customer support roles

1. They can serve as front line operatives, answering basic questions and redirecting customers to appropriate channels when necessary.

Many large companies employ Chatbots as front line operators to assist with basic customer inquiries. These can range from product information requests to item return information. If the bot is not programmed with the appropriate response or cannot complete an action, it will move the conversation up to a human representative.

2. The bot can speed up the customer service process.

Chatbots can ask users background questions to establish a consumer profile, saving precious employee minutes. By establishing why a user is contacting customer service and what product they are enquiring about, the appropriate human representative can get started on any actions that need to be taken as soon as possible

3. Chatbots can automate forms.

By using a Chatbot, companies can automate certain processes such as filling out forms. A bot can ask a user for information such as email address, names, postal codes, etc. By doing so, companies can appear more user friendly and less generic. In a world where we have to sign up for everything we use, a Bot that automatically fills out form data is a welcome experience to be sure.

chatbots for marketing
Chatbots can make an experience feel more "human"

Chatbots make excellent marketing tools.

Whether conducting surveys or simply interacting with customers, bots are a fun way of engaging with some of our favourite brands. Bots can be integrated into virtually any messaging platform such as Twitter or Facebook. One famous example is the Judy Hopps Facebook Messenger Bot from Disney’s Zootopia. This bot engaged with users in a unique way. The bot was styled after the lovable character from the film, and interacted with users to “solve mysteries”. The bot uses a natural language processing package and can recall user information and previous conversations. This leads to a unique and personalized experience for each user.

Bots like the Judy Hopps bot promote continued engagement with a particular brand in unique ways aside from typical merchandising and similar methods or consumer engagement.

Chatbots can also be used to conduct surveys. By using a bot to conduct a survey, large companies can gauge consumer impressions of their brand in a non-invasive and natural way. Because the bots respond like humans, users can connect with the material on an emotional level. Survey bots work as email marketing is intended to work. Because notifications appear within popular social media platforms and sometimes offer unique benefits, such as discount codes through the human-like bot, users feel that their input matters and engage more willingly.

So can a Chatbot benefit your business? If you are asking this question the answer is yes. Chatbots are quickly becoming the face of customer service, cutting employee time and saving companies hundreds of millions of dollars in the process.

By implementing a Chatbot into your existing platform, you could save on time and representation costs. The future is automated. Let us know how we can help you implement a Chatbot on your platform!