When we think of chatbots – a term for technology-based virtual assistants – most of us would probably picture a robot in front of a computer as portrayed in numerous sci-fi movies.
Chatbots are computer programs that are capable of interactions via text and audio. These programs are formulated to mimic human conversations in the form of a response to a particular query. These responses can be framed via a set of ‘rules’ that have been fed into the system or can be powered by artificial intelligence.
A ‘rule-based’ or scripted chatbot is able to respond to queries based on a specific script that they have been programmed to communicate. On the other hand, an artificial intelligence-powered chatbot (Siri and Alexa are popular examples) has been programmed to process and learn more information with every conversation.
Chatbots are particularly significant to businesses mostly based on the latest trends in customer interactions. Most people find it much more convenient to communicate in a chat box (à la social media messenger apps) as compared to the traditional methods of emails or calls.
In a way, these chatbots make it easier to establish and maintain consistency in a company’s customer support initiatives. Since they can function 24/7 and are programmed to provide solutions with more speed and accuracy, it saves companies time and money spent on human resources. Marketing and IT can also benefit immensely from incorporating chatbots for better optimization when it comes to the promotion of special offers and the latest news.
Chatbots can be used for personalization and can also be programmed to process text and speech in various languages and accents based on geographical locations. They can even act as a virtual assistant and carry out tasks by syncing with users’ mobiles and computers.
All in all, the success of chatbots comes from their ability to relay the authenticity and gratification that result from human interaction without the need to splurge extensively in marketing, sales, and human resources.