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We have all heard of at least one of the following tools: Google Now, Siri, Cortana and Alexa. These are all Artificial Intelligence (AI) that provide assistance and help with automate search, phone and home device control and of course help us get data faster and much easier.
Based on the great success they have achieved, a lot of companies started their own AI assistance which is now referred to as ChatBots
What is a ChatBot?
The bot is a software that can have a conversation with a human. For example, a user could ask the bot a question or give it an instruction and the bot could respond or perform an action as appropriate.
Nowadays ChatBots have also gained a great success especially in the commercial fields. Think about them as a 24/7 salesman in your pocket! Or even a 24/7 customer support agent.
The Idea seems great, doesn’t it?
Moreover, some big social companies took the ChatBots to the next level, by supporting in-app bots; companies like Facebook, Viber, Telegram, Slack and so many others.
So we end up with two kinds of ChatBots:
The first one is built in-house. It’s like a chat-style present on the company website/app, but you are basically texting an AI.
In the second type, the bots are deployed on social media. For instance, a restaurant creates a ChatBot and deploys it into Facebook Messenger so any user on Facebook could start checking the menu, order his food, send complaints, check events and get directions without the need of installing of a third-party app or visiting a new website.
ChatBots seem to be simple and straightforward but in fact, they require a lot of development, machine learning, data collection and AI processing behind the scene in order to deliver the best service, accurate responses and most importantly natural human sentences.
How does the Chatbot work?
Of course it is not magic. ChatBots don’t work directly with what a user is saying. The text should be processed first into a structured data that the Chatbot AI system can then treat.
There are a few ways to achieve this:
- The oldest and simplest way is through pattern matches, or by matching together as many words as possible. In this scenario, the company needs to have an enormous log of the previous conversation in order to train the Bot.
- The second way is to combine it with Machine learning (ML) which is the science of designing and applying algorithms that are able to learn things from past cases. If some behaviour exists in the past, then you may predict if it can happen again. So here the Bot is capable of understanding different sentences that have the same meaning. For example, “I’m starving”, “What do you offer for lunch?”, “What options do I have for lunch?” All these entries will mean the same to the Bot.
The next step is to treat the data. There are mainly 2 ways to do that:
- The first one is NLU (Natural Language Understanding) which divides the entry into 3 parts: Entities, Intents and Context.
- The entity is the concept in the Chatbot. For example, restaurant, payment, weather and so on.
- Intents (Trigger) is the action the Chatbot is requested to do.
- Context NLU algorithm does not have the history of the user conversation, so it has to add a flag to filter out the result. Example:
- Question 1: “I would like to have pizza for lunch?”
- Response 1: “What type of Pizza would you like?”
- Question 2: “Vegetarian please”.
- Response 2: “Here are some restaurants that offer Vegetarian Pizzas”.
- The second one is NLP (Natural Language Processing) which is an algorithm that takes some combination of steps to convert the user’s text into structured data that can be used.
In this case, connecting to the api.ai, the NPL algorithm transfers the text into a structured data based on an extensive machine learning process. Then the Chatbot prepares its response based on the structured data received which is so far the most accurate algorithm.
Why should you invest in a ChatBot for your company now?
Chatbots are proving to be very effective tools for businesses using them to supplement human customer service and increase sales.
Large companies are way ahead in the customer service department. Why? Because they all have chatbots implemented into their social media pages.
If you want your customers to be satisfied with your services at all times, you can integrate a ChatBot to handle all your customer service requests. These bots can tackle most service calls from start to finish, providing all needed information and even tracking deliveries and performing automated changes to orders if needed.
If you are looking to increase your sales, you should know that Chatbots are becoming a niche channel to convert, activate and engage clients.
In summary, there are 4 main reasons to use ChatBots:
- They are available 24/7. They will continue to operate every day throughout the year without requiring to take a break. This improves your customer satisfaction and helps you rank highly in your sector.
- They can serve hundreds of clients simultaneously. No matter what time of the day it is or how many people are contacting you, every single one of them will be answered instantly.
- They can help you save money on Customer support. Chatbots are a one-time investment which helps businesses reduce down on staff required. You could integrate a customer support ChatBot in your business to cater to simple queries of customers and pass on only the complex queries to customer support agents.
- Last but not least, they can help you increase your sales.
Chatbots can be used to increase lead generation, perform marketing strategies and conversational surveys, schedule reservations and provide users with quotes. All by the simplest and most effective way of feeding clients with content mixed with ads or call to action to close the deal.
You can contact me for more information concerning Chatbots and we will help you gain more customers and keep them satisfied with your products and services.