Understanding chatbots is easier said than done. When you think chatbots, you probably think of Microsoft’s failed experiment, or maybe if you’re still longing for your AIM days, SmarterChild. Thankfully, as the years pass chatbots continue to get better and better—meaning the issues we’ve faced in the past and are facing now with artificial intelligence (AI) are constantly being improved upon. Chatbots aren’t perfect—yet—but they are becoming more and more important to growing businesses. Here are five things your boss wants you to know about chatbots:
There are Two Main Types of Chatbots
The easiest way to define the two types of chatbots are as either virtual assistants or multi-purpose tools—often found in apps such as Facebook messenger. The first type, virtual assistants, are becoming fairly commonplace in today’s world: If you have a smartphone, you probably interact with a chatbot regularly. Microsoft’s Cortana and Apple’s Siri are two popular examples of personal assistant chatbots. These bots help users with a variety of information and activities, and help them connect with specific brands.
The second type, however, are far more versatile in a business sense. Bots that work through messengers like Slack or Facebook messenger—or even through an instant messenger on a company’s website—can help consumers make choices, ask simple questions, and connect them with a real employee if need be.
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Chatbots Have Been Around for Years
While it’s easy to assume chatbots are new, the reality is that they’ve been around as long as automated systems have been. When you call the bank and get the automated system, that’s a chatbot! The name may be new, but the system is the same—though improved—as technologies used in the past. The biggest improvement on phone systems is that with messaging app chatbots, users are able to see an immediate and visual response.
Why Should My Business Use a Chatbot?
According to Business Insider, messaging applications had more users than social media networks in the first quarter of 2015. These apps have over 3 billion monthly active users, typically. With the sheer number of people using these messaging apps, having a chat bot users can access easily within, for example, Facebook Messenger, really sets your company apart. With these messaging apps growing in capability and popularity, linking your brand to them via a chatbot is a smart move.
Chatbots are Always Learning to be Better
If your chatbot is an AI, it will continue to try to learn more about the user. It is more patient, has more attention to detail, and provides a better assessment of the user’s needs and desires than a human can during the first few moments of a conversation. A bot without AI is limited to a certain algorithm. However, a bot with AI can work in unlimited ways due to its “the question at the input – the answer at the output – principle.
Chatbots are for More Than Just Customer Service
Most people probably think of chatbots as customer service aids—and they are great at that! However, they are also very diverse and can help with B2B, B2C, and internal operations. In our previous blog, we’ve listed a whopping 21 ways chatbots can help your business outside of customer service. A few highlights of the list are:
- Human Resources
- Help Desk/Ticket Creation
- Personal Assistant
- Legal Document Review
If you want to learn more about what chatbots can do for your business, you may enjoy these blogs:
- Introducing snowBOT, the smart chatbot for ServiceNow®
- The 7 Best Chatbot Apps
- Making ServiceNow Hip, chatBOT Style
- Are Chatbots Making Mobile Apps Obsolete?
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