Humans as a race don’t accept changes instantaneously, it takes time for people to understand and adapt to changes in any environment.
With almost breathtaking swiftness and tectonic shifts in the technological space, we humans are left with little choice but to become accustomed to those changes. However, things are bright rather than being gloomy, in spite of the incessant changes.
In recent times, one such striking change has been observed in human behaviour on the web is in the area of messenger apps. Since the second quarter of 2015, people have been using messenger apps more than social networks. So, the next time someone shows cynicism towards messenger apps or chatbots, you know which figure to point out.
Defining Chatbots – What Are They?
Of late, there has been significant buzz with the word you just read. Strictly speaking, chatbots are computer programs that use the internet to stimulate conversation with human users.
In other words, a chatbot can be defined as a messenger service which is often ruled by artificial intelligence and could be integrated with a number of services, and can also exist within any major chat product like Facebook Messenger, Slack, text messages, etc.
Chatbots can be added to a number of businesses that have online presence. For example, if a retail chain wants their customers to interact online with their business, they simply have to build a retail chatbot, to emulate the kind of customer experience one gets after entering their retail store. So now, customers can start a conversation with the chatbot of the retail store to ask for particular products/services instead of aimlessly browsing through their website
Moreover, a chatbot is not restricted to e-commerce. There are also specialized chatbots for customer service. There can be a chatbot to cater to all the conveniences in life such as News, Weather, Stocks & Finance, and others. And you might not believe this, but a chatbot named Xiaioce has been built by Microsoft in China, that has over 20 millon customers!
Since people are moving towards messenger apps from social media, it makes complete sense for businesses to jump the bandwagon, and build chatbots.
How Chatbots Function: How do they function?
Till date, chatbots can be classified into 2 broad categories:-
- Rule Based: The bot designed on the basis of rules can only respond to specific commands. If someone asks anything outside those rules, the chatbot might not respond because it might not understand what you mean.
- Machine Learning Based: This type of bot depends artificial intelligence. Therefore, it understands language not specific commands, which means that you don’t have to be very particular when you are interacting with it. Additionally, with the increasing number of conversations, the chatbot becomes smarter as it learns from them.
Why You Should Consider Chatbots for your Contact Center
The biggest advantage that you can achieve is the reduction of logistical and labor costs. The world is staring at another recession, and the business environment is still not conducive in most developed countries including the US. In such an uncertain period, the only thing that is going up steadily is the establishment cost of running a business.
In addition, dwindling margins of profit and slow pickup in business activities have started to bother business leaders. A recent survey in the US has shown that almost half the respondents preferred to use text messages for troubleshooting rather than talking to human agents. Experts are of the opinion that such empirical studies could motivate call centers to look at chatbots and they will soon be in high demand. Innovation is key in the future – and only those companies who adapt to the changing environment will emerge victorious!