How to recognize a chatbot?

Chatbot has become an essential tool for businesses wanting to improve and automate their customer service processes. Read time: 6 minutes

While the implementation of online chatbot in companies saw an increase of 92%, being the broadest growth channel of communication, there are still many businesses considering whether it is suitable for them or not.

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Therefore, we have developed a guide that includes a basic introduction to chatbot: from the definition of chatbot, to its advantages, what types of bots exist and the different ways to deploy it.

What is a chatbot and what is it for?

The simplest definition of chatbot could be this: a chatbot is software that deals with conversations with users via text messages.

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For its operation, this tool is generally integrated into messaging systems (Facebook, WhatsApp, Telegram…), a company’s website or in an application.

From the user’s point of view, the option of a bot chat is used to receive information or support to carry out an action. In this way, it is about improving the user experience and making it immediate, simple and frictionless.

On the other hand, from the company’s point of view, a chatbot allows you to automate a large part of customer service tasks and guide users through the customer journey to the desired action (for example, their conversion into customers).

Examples of chatbots

  • Some airlines have used a chatbot to automate actions. For example, flight comparator Skyscanner has developed shopping assistants on Telegram, where they offer flights to users conversationally and guide them to shopping on the web. For its part, KLM has automated the after-sales service, sending commits and changes to the user through a bot.
  • Food delivery restaurants such as Domino’s have developed chatbots to handle user frequently asked questions (such as those referring to the offers of the day) as well as allowing full ordering conversationally.
  • Clothing stores like Zalando have a Facebook bot that acts as a personal shopper, recommending products to users in a personalized way.

How do chatbots work?

There are several technologies that make it possible for a chatbot to work:

  • Chatbot management platforms, from which a bot is created, managed and trained easily.
  • Tools in which chatbots are integrated: from a website to social networks such as Facebook Messenger, Telegram or WhatsApp.
  • Artificial Intelligence Algorithms . The most advanced chatbots incorporate AI, so they learn from their interactions and can thus improve the attention they provide to the user.
  • Capabilities such as Natural Language Processing (NLP) or Natura l Language Generation (LNG ). Also developed in the most advanced chatbots, they allow them to understand the user and interact with it organically, simulating a human conversation.

Why have a chatbot?

  • Improve customer service . 80% of users who have interacted with a chatbot claim to have had a customer experience positive.
  • Availability 24 hours a day, 7 days a week . Today, 50% of customers expect this type of availability. For most businesses, this is only possible by implementing a chatbot that takes care of interacting with users when the human team is unavailable.
  • It facilitates the purchasing processes . The right bot is able to guide the user to the purchase process in a conversational and frictionless manner. What’s more, 47% of consumers are already buying goods and services through chatbots. For their part, businesses that have implemented a chatbot claim to have increased their sales by 67%.
  • Information collection . Some types of chatbots may collect and store information about customers and leads. In this way, they increase the database of the company, data that can then be used in optimization or Business Intelligence processes.
  • Personalized communication . Some chatbots are able to recommend products or services to the user according to their preferences, based on past interactions.
  • Cut in personnel costs . Depending on the type of chatbot chosen (more or less advanced), you will be able to cover the customer service team to a greater or lesser extent. This can range from resolving common questions (simpler chatbots) to the ability to troubleshoot more complex problems or delegate the task to a human agent, filtering out the type of help required by the user.

What should a chatbot have?

When choosing a chatbot, it is important that the company analyzes what needs it presents and how you want the chatbot cover them. Among the features that companies are most demanding of a bot are:

  • Be able to delegate problem solving to a human when necessary, whether the customer demands it or if friction is detected in the conversation.
  • Be able to send contextual responses , thanks to its capabilities in Natural Language Processing.
  • Provide excellent user experiences , with interactive conversations in which the user feels listened to and move towards conversion. The platform must be read by the user as simple to use and intuitive.
  • Have adequate training in the FAQs, through conversational scripts, so that they know how to resolve these issues in a way fast and simple.
  • Offer personalized support, according to the preferences that the user has already specified.

How to create a chatbot

Creating a chatbot has been simplified in recent years. While complex code knowledge was needed in the past, platforms exist today that allow companies to develop their own chatbot in minutes and without the need for code knowledge.

In this regard, tools such as Centribot stand out, the chatbot creation, management and training module that allows companies to easily create their own chatbot. This wizard can be integrated into different platforms , from Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Telegram to CMR platforms such as Zendesk.

Beyond the creation of the chatbot itself, there are other processes that companies must have in account to start your own bot:

  • Design a conversational experience that guides the user from the first interaction to the company’s goal (for example, to achieving a purchase).
  • Development of a chatbot training , practicing the most common questions and answers that the chatbot will have to face (this is essential for the most advanced chatbots).

Omnichannel: what is it and how can it help you improve customer service

What is the best chatbot for each channel?

Today, it is important that companies be able to develop an omnichannel strategy : it’s not about being present on every channel, but about offering a unique and extraordinary user experience in each of the them.

Some of the channels where you can deploy a chatbot include:

WhatsApp

With around 2 billion users, WhatsApp is today one of the most important communication channels worldwide. For this reason, chatbots for WhatsApp have become one of the most powerful ways to get this app out, getting companies to boost the user experience and, as a result, their sales.

Facebook Messenger

Following figures from January 2021, Facebook has more than 2.74 billion users, becoming the social network with the widest reach . Chatbots on Facebook Messenger mean the ability to automate conversations on this social platform. What’s more, Facebook has incorporated its own tools to develop basic chatbots on the platform, although they are very limited to the capabilities of other platforms.

Telegram

Conceived as the Messaging alternative to WhatsApp, Telegram is today among the most used apps, notable for the ability to send messaging to unlimited groups of participants. Therefore, having a communication strategy in Telegram that includes a chatbot can also be interesting.

Types of chatbots

Dumb chatbots

The simplest type of chat bot works by following default commands and formulas. He is not able to understand the language of the user beyond the questions that the company inserts into it. However, it can be useful to resolve the most common questions, provided that a good conversational design is done.

Smart chatbots

It incorporates Artificial Intelligence and is able to understand the user’s language beyond default parameters, as well as offering personalized help. Therefore, they present more natural experiences, imitating to some extent a human conversation.

Hybrid Chatbot

86% of consumers believe that chatbots should always give the option to refer a conversation to a human agent. For this, hybrid chatbots exist, capable of detecting when it is necessary to direct the user to the customer service team, avoiding unnecessary friction.

Chatbot Word-Spotting

The intermediate solution between dumb chatbots and those that incorporate Artificial Intelligence, is able to recognize keywords within a conversation and deliver answers according to what you understand. In a way, it allows spontaneity in conversations with the user, which can change the subject if desired.

To operate, companies will need to generate a keyword map that helps the chatbot guide their conversations.

Are you thinking about implementing a chatbot in your customer service strategy? In Centribal we can help you. Sign up for the Free Plan of our Centribal bot creation and management platform and get the most out of your Centribot module. See for yourself how a chatbot can help you improve your customer service.

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