Digital Themes

Chatbots

Chatbots are programs that can be programmed to use artificial intelligence (AI) and natural language processing to interact with humans in real time, often over live chat. Chatbots are sometimes called virtual assistants. Virtual assistants are used to find information from online sources and on a local device to determine the answer to a question. Examples of virtual assistants include Apple Siri, Microsoft Cortana, Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, and Samsung Bixby.

Chatbots used in business operations answer common questions from a preset dataset or fetch information from an active customer account, for example. Chatbots are commonly used for sales and customer support. They can be designed to work over text messaging (SMS) or integrated into customer relationship management tools to deliver qualified sales leads. Artificial Intelligence (AI)-powered chatbots can handle complex tasks like fraud detection and legal contract review.

Chatbots are often used for conversational sales and customer support. Chatbots can be developed in-house or use third-party tools. AI-powered chatbots require training on relevant interaction data to provide more accurate responses. Pre-built chatbot development tools can include predefined chatbot skills such as IBM Watson AI Assistant. 

Chatbots make it possible for consumers to connect with brands through apps and services they use most. Chatbots can use contextual information from ongoing conversation to provide better service and decide when to pass a conversation onto a live agent without requiring the customer to provide all the same information once the transfer has been completed.

What are the business benefits of using chatbots?

  • Customer engagement - Chatbots enable businesses to offer always-on chat service to answer common questions or handle frequent customer tasks.

  • Operational efficiency - Chatbots are available to meet customer needs any time of day, even during times when live agents are off duty.

  • Reduce wait times/provide always on support - Chatbots can help reduce on-hold times for customer support because they can interact with customers right away.

  • Quickly answer common questions - Chatbots can immediately answer commonly asked sales or customer questions. 

  • Fraud prevention/detection - Chatbots are capable of detecting fraudulent behavior when combined with artificial intelligence, machine learning capabilities.

  • Flexible, cross-platform interactions - Chatbots can be integrated with multiple platforms, allowing customers and prospects to interact with them from a preferred communication channel (e.g. WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, SMS text messaging). 

  • Proactive support/analysis - Chatbots can help provide proactive support to customers and prospects. 

  • Multiple simultaneous interactions - Chatbots aren’t limited to a certain number of interactions at once like human agents.

  • Assist with sales questions, help potential customers choose between options

  • Conversational marketing - Chatbots can assist in conversational marketing by presenting a relaxed, conversational tone during interactions.
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