How Chatbots Work
Chatbots are self-service systems that provide automated answers to customer messages. Simple bots respond to one or several commands. For instance, if you ask for the weather forecast chatbot pulls data from the API of the local weather service, based on your location and sends it to you. Another example is a chatbot for a logistics company that allows you to check your parcel’s delivery status by entering its number.
Simple bots can respond to a limited number of requests. But it is not enough for more complicated interaction with customers. That’s when machine learning technology comes to the fore. It allows chatbots to learn from users’ input. Having some initial data (texts or conversation logs) they can compare it with what a user types or speaks and react accordingly. As a bot interacts with customers its vocabulary and understanding improve.
Chatbots also have a translator - Natural Language Processing system. It breaks down human requests into the smallest possible units of language and uses algorithms to determine what a person asked. And then constructs the answer. Natural language processing and machine learning enabled chatbots to turn into such complicated forms as Siri. It is unlikely that they will be able to keep a conversation going as masterly as humans do. But they already do many simple tasks which were done by humans not so long ago.
5 Reasons Why Webchat May Be Beneficial For Your Business
A webchat enables users to communicate in real time through easily accessible web interfaces. It is usually easy to use. It doesn’t require a long installation or software update. To communicate via webchat, the user just needs a web browser and an internet connection.
By quickly responding to your customers, webchat can be significantly beneficial for your business. Especially, if you combine chatbot solutions with human operators. Let us talk about how you may benefit from that.
Make Your Customers Happier
Increasingly, clients are expecting instant communication. They want their questions and concerns to be addressed immediately. Many customers prefer asking questions via chat rather than calling or sending an e-mail. A recent Intercom’s survey says that 74% of customers expect to see a chatbot on a website so its presence won’t turn them off. Moreover, 25% of them said that it doesn’t really matter for them with whom to talk - an operator or a chatterbot. They care only about the result.
However, the same survey states that 87% of customers prefer humans to chatbots when they need to solve their issues quickly. So it is important to ensure that a client will be quickly connected to an operator.
Boost Your Sales
Potential customers visiting your website and cannot easily find an answer to a question can quickly click away. Only a few potential clients will write an e-mail or make a phone call. However, if you approach a visitor through webchat, you can address their concern immediately and you have a good chance to close the deal. Online chat enables a sales representative to answer a client's question immediately and in a friendly way. It also gives customer representatives an opportunity to poke a customer browsing through the website. Therefore, it enables your business to turn browsers into buyers.
Chatbots are very helpful in this field. They can quickly route a visitor through a website and help them with the purchase. The result is easy to notice. The survey mentioned above, says:
“Chatbots increased sales by an average of 67%, with 26% of all sales starting through a chatbot interaction”.
“35% of business leaders said chatbots helped them close sales deals”.
Source: Sara Yin, Where Chatbots Are Headed in 2020, Intercom (2019).
Webchat grants a customer the opportunity to have someone to guide them through the sales process, answering questions, and choosing the best options. This is a big upsell opportunity. If the client feels that a customer representative understands their needs, they trust the representative and go by his suggestions. This helps to close much more deals and to increase revenue significantly.
Cut Down Operational Costs
Webchat can save money on Customer Support Center operations by saving employee time and also lowering interaction expenses. Since there are no calling expenses, the client interaction cost is lower.
At the same time, the number of Service Center employees can be lower, as agents are able to handle several chats simultaneously.
Chatbot solutions can help you with cost reduction as well. The Intercom’s survey showed that "Business leaders saved an average of $300,000 in 2019 from their chatbots, with the greatest impact occurring across support and sales teams". Therefore, do not hesitate to combine your web chat with a chatbot module.
Most clients consider websites with a live chat option more trustworthy and friendly. According to a Kayako.com survey, 52% of customers are more likely to purchase again if a company has live chat support.
Having a webchat and managing it smartly will help you to stay on top of the game.
Understand Your Customers’ Needs and Expectations
Webchat solutions offer excellent analytical tools. The system enables examining online visitor’s behavior, for example, how many visitors stayed on specific pages of the website for a certain time, how many clients purchased a product or service, what activities are more successful among visitors and engage them.
By collecting customer behavior data, you can build a better sales strategy. If customers show interest in a certain product, the company may make more effort into the development of this product.
With analytical tools, you can also save customer information for future deals. During the second interaction, the chat operator will know the customer's name, contact information, a number of purchases, etc and this helps to personalize service and to be more customer-friendly.
What are the most Famous Chatbots
It is hard to believe that chatbots have existed since the 1960s! Explore the most interesting and famous of them.
#1 The very first one
Year of development: 1966
Author: Joseph Weizenbaum
In January, CSE Professor Emeritus at MIT became the author of the first chatbot in history. This chatterbox got the name ELIZA in honor of My Fair Lady heroine. It was a unique program because it established the first communication between human and machine.
#2 The most awarded
Year of development: 1995
Author: Richard Wallace
The abbreviation A.L.I.C.E. stands for Artificial Linguistic Internet Computer Entity. It is one of the most famous smart bots in the world. A.L.I.C.E. won approximately 19 honors and awards related to natural language processing evaluation, including the Loebner Prize contest and Chatterbox competition.
#3 The first with face & voice
Year of deployment: 2000
Author: Dr. Mauldin
There were 3 versions of this chatterbot: Julia (1994), Sylvie (1997), and finally Verbally Enhanced Software Robot (2000). Thanks to the hard work of Dr. Mauldin and Peter Plantec the smart bot got a face of a real human and started to talk not only with the help of typing. The 4th version appeared in 2004. The site Verbots.com doesn’t exist anymore, but you still can find Verbot fans. Thus, there was no product development since v. 188.8.131.52. release in 2012.
#4 The one with the character
Year of launching: 2006
Author: Steve Worswick
As well as other modern bots, Mitsuku can learn. So, the more she talks, the more she knows. This smart bot can not only talk to you, but entertain you. Playing games, showing web pages, and sharing jokes — that’s all about smart bot with 5 awards from United Kingdom. Though Mitsuku is a young girl, this chatterbox can stand her ground.
#5 The one that you can teach
Year of launching: 2010
Evie talking robot stands for Electronic Virtual Interactive Entity. It is an artificial intelligence avatar that speaks several languages. This bot can not only smile or wink but also to learn. Smart bot Evie memorizes the answers and responds when a corresponding question appears. So, Evie chatbot will catch your vibe. The Existor’s creation is in the list of freely accessible chatbots.
As of 2020, we should mention the free therapy chatbot, called Woebot. It is created by Alison Darcy, a research psychologist from Stanford, and launched as an app. Woebot uses cognitive-behavioral therapy and helps people overcome depression and anxiety, delivering scripted responses to users.
So, there are millions of chatterboxes in the WWW and you can choose the one you’d like the most: faceless or smiling, text or speech, entertainment or education.
Artificial Intelligence: Chatbots
Powered by artificial intelligence, a chatbot can quickly and professionally complete a number of tasks: from scheduling meetings to answering questions or providing the weather forecast. It can be a part of any major chat product (Facebook Messenger, Slack, Telegram, Text Messages, etc.).
The first versions of chatbots were designed over a dozen years ago. Among these early virtual agents include AOL Instant Messenger, IRC channels or SMS/MMS services.
Nowadays conversational agents are more advanced, diverse and powerful. They are mostly used in three areas:
- customer service;
- productivity engagements (including shopping);
- content consumption.
Customer Service Online Bots
Customer service chatbots answer questions and provide useful information to your potential clients. These virtual assistants analyze word combinations and suggest answers and links to web pages, containing these phrases.
Such chatbots enable businesses to be more customer-friendly and efficient by serving clients 24/7. They also help to cut support center administration expenses by replacing a number of agents and therefore the support center representatives may concentrate on more complicated issues.
Productivity Engagement and Shopping Virtual Assistants
Chatbots help people with busy schedules to shop on the internet by getting suggestions for suitable clothes, beauty products, furniture, and food. Instead of browsing a website, a user can have a conversation with a chatbot and receive a similar experience as in a real store. Such chatbots are often used in social media (Facebook, Twitter, etc).
H&M uses the help of chatbot to choose and buy different types of outfits, using information about the client's body type and style.
Domino’s pizza was one of the first companies where a client could order a pizza by tweeting a pizza emoji to the company twitter account. Tacobot by Tacobell helps clients to order tacos through Facebook.
Content Consumption (Information and Entertainment) Chatterbots
Chatbots are often used as a source of information. They can send breaking news, weather forecasts, or even translate text paragraphs.
Entertainment is the other area where virtual assistants are very popular. A customer can share his feelings with a bot, designed to be an online friend, ask for advice etc.
Samples of the Most Successful Bots
- Weather bot. Sends weather forecast upon a request.
- Grocery bot. Helps to choose and order groceries.
- News bot. Sends a message when important things happen.
- Life advice bot. Suggests solutions to a problem.
- Personal finance bot. Helps with money management.
- Scheduling bot. Schedules a meeting with a support team member.
- Friend-bot. Talks to people, answers different questions, jokes.
As you can see, chatbots can be very effective in different fields. Machine learning and natural language processing allow them to carry out different tasks from sending weather forecasts to using therapy. They can be useful in your contact center as well. Chatbots can boost your sales, cut down operational costs, and make your customers happier. Voiptime Cloud is ready to design customized text chatbots with various interactive text response scripts. Do not hesitate to contact us. We will be more than happy to help you.