Chatbots? Chatbots. And AI Chatbots!
That’s how the evolution of chatbots has been since it was first introduced in the year 1966!
Today, chatbots have become a common solution for customer support, product and service related queries. And we are long past questions like,
Are chatbots effective?
Are customers going to be positive about using chatbots to get support?
Are AI chatbots here to stay?
People are totally positive about using chatbots for customer support. In fact, a study by Drift revealed that 87.2% of consumers in 2021 have had neutral or positive experiences with chatbots.
As for the last question, AI chatbots are the happening trend now! And an increased number of businesses are looking forward to introducing Conversational AI chatbots to their customer support suite, thanks to the huge number of benefits that come along!
So, yes! AI chatbots are here to stay – for a very long time!
This read, like the title says, gives you an introduction to AI chatbots – what it is, the benefits of using one, how to make an AI chatbot and more!
That being said, let’s get on with the first topic!
What Is a Chatbot?
No! There’s no mistake with the title!
If you want to know about AI chatbots, you need to have a good understanding of chatbots first!
“A chatbot is a computer-based program that simulates human conversations. Commonly known as digital assistants, chatbots allow humans to interact with them and make the experience a realistic one.”
Chatbots receive human inputs, interpret & analyze them, process their requests and give them appropriate answers.
Chatbots can be deployed across a variety of applications, websites and social platforms like Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter and more. Also, today’s chatbots can communicate through both text and voice as well, making it an ideal option for most businesses today.
Let’s look at the most common types of chatbots available today.
Types of Chatbots
1. Rule-Based Chatbot or Decision-Tree Based Chatbot
This is the most basic version of chatbots. You program your chatbot to answer based on a set of rules, more like a flowchart diagram.
For example, If the customer chooses option “A”, the rule-based chatbot gives a response. And if the customer chooses option “B”, the chatbot gives the preloaded response for the same.
Here’s an image to help you understand better,
From what you see, it can be understood that the rule-based chatbot gives replies based on the query the visitor selects!
2. Natural Language Processing (NLP) Chatbots
Natural Language Processing (NLP) chatbots or Conversational AI chatbots are the more advanced version of a chatbot (and the one we’ll be looking at in-depth).
The artificial intelligence program allows the chatbot to understand the human language better and give appropriate responses by analyzing the content and sentiment of the message.
The AI capability of the chatbot gives it the popularly known name AI chatbots! That’s chatbots and the types of chatbots. Let’s now look at AI chatbots in-depth!
What Is an AI Chatbot?
AI chatbots (aka conversational AI chatbots) are similar to chatbots, but only a more advanced version powered by artificial intelligence.
On a high level, when you try to figure out the difference between a chatbot and AI chatbot, this is what it’s going to look like!
Chatbots and AI chatbots, both are built to solve queries by processing inputs and give out appropriate responses. But the key difference is how they work in doing it!
Like we already saw, chatbots are more like an instant FAQ tool where they are programmed to answer based on a set of preloaded templates. They work based on rules or a specific flow, giving them the name rule-based chatbots. So, if a user asks a chatbot a question that is not programmed already, the bot will not be able to answer!
But a conversational AI chatbot on the other hand, understands the context, the intent and the emotion of the users and gives replies by processing the input with the help of machine learning, natural language processing and predictive analysis!
If you think that’s cool, you should hear this out!
Conversational AI chatbots, after some time, learn from the constant queries they get and start answering more complex questions without any assistance.
Like humans, AI chatbots learn and progress over time to become more efficient in solving queries.
Now that you know what an AI chatbot is, let’s look at some of the benefits you get when you use AI chatbots!
Benefits of Using AI Chatbots
Both chatbots and AI chatbots share the same benefits. But there are some benefits that are exclusive to AI chatbots alone! We’ll look at both of them here!
1. AI Chatbots Are Fast & Instantaneous
Head to any site that uses a chatbot and note down the response time. You probably might need a stopwatch to clock the seconds because that’s how quick the responses are!
The number one use case for a customer to use a response bot is because of quicker response times. In fact, a study by Drift says that 45.9% of customers expect chatbots to deliver an immediate response when they interact with them, proving it to be a great customer support tool!
Earlier, an individual should browse through the website, fill up contact forms to get in touch with an agent. But with AI chatbots on the rise, the approach has totally changed.
2. AI Chatbots Helps With Ticket Routing
Remember where we talked about AI chatbots understanding the context and the intent of the user?
Today’s AI chatbots are smart enough to understand when an issue is critical and they escalate it to the corresponding agent to offer real time support.
You can customize your bot to seamlessly transfer issues based on the nature of the problem. Over a period of time, the AI-powered chatbots learn and start to recognize similar kinds of problems around the niche and escalate them to the agent!
This is a benefit that only AI chatbots have – intelligently analyzing the nature of the issue and routing it to the respective agent.
3. AI Powered Chatbots Provide 24/7 Support
This is a common benefit both a chatbot and an AI powered chatbot share. When you plan on hiring customer support agents, you need to make them work on shifts. And at times, they get tired, sloppy and tend to make mistakes.
But that’s not the case when you start using bots for customer service. They work 24/7 and there’s no chance of mistakes happening!
By doing this, you not only reduce first response times. You also get to deliver great customer service and increase customer satisfaction scores!
4. AI Chatbots Can Deliver Personalized Messages
Simplify360’s SimplyBot is a chatbot platform that’s AI powered and can do this like a PRO!
Based on Natural Language Processing and phrase identification, AI chatbots can personalize responses to users and route them to the right resources.
Providing the right resources means allowing customers to self-help themselves, which is another great customer service trait your brand can have! Customers of today prefer to help themselves rather than wait for a support agent to help them. And AI chatbots do exactly the same for you!
5. Multi-Lingual Support
Chatbots are easy to train and can understand and learn any language you want them to. This proves to be a great deal when it comes to customer service. You can run your business and provide seamless customer service at any location in the world.
Those are some of the benefits you get when you start using AI powered chatbots. There are other benefits as well like cost-cutting, omnichannel support and more.
That said, let’s move to the next section of the read!
How Do AI Chatbots Work?
We already know how a rule-based chatbot works – you program it to answer certain types of queries along with preloaded answers. But with AI chatbots, the picture is different!
Here’s how AI chatbots work!
You should already have an understanding by now! But here’s a more clear explanation.
Consider John, a user visiting a website looking for some information. The AI chatbot pops up on the right side corner of the screen and welcomes John.
Now, John types his query on the space provided. The AI chatbot on receiving the query starts analyzing what it is. Based on the previous set of data and questions it has already received, the AI chatbot makes a call on what to respond to John’s query.
The answer is usually what the AI chatbot thinks is right based on its previous learning. With the combination of natural language processing & artificial intelligence, AI chatbots can seamlessly answer customer queries over a period of time.
Like we said earlier, AI chatbots learn continuously to get better at what they do! So, that’s how AI chatbots work!
How to Make an AI Chatbot?
Okay! We aren’t going to talk in-depth about natural language processing or the programming kinds of stuff here. It’s just a quick overview of how to create an AI chatbot.
AI chatbots work in two phases,
1. Understanding what the context of the input is
2. Processing the input and composing the reply
But to make this happen, you need to go through steps like,
Understanding the need and setting a goal for your chatbot
Deciding on what channels you should deploy the chatbot on
Training your AI chatbot to give the right responses to queries
Giving your AI chatbot a personality
Test how your chatbot works. Launch it to offer real time support and continuously iterate it to make it better.
While all this might look easy to you, building an AI chatbot takes time and effort, especially the training part.
You should be feeding data to your AI chatbot initially. It’s not like the rule-based chatbot where you decide on a certain set of queries and you program it to only answer those. Natural Language Processing and predictive analysis is what sets AI chatbots apart from the normal chatbot.
You should be feeding all kinds of possible scenarios that are related to your business initially. And like we said, over a period of time, the AI chatbot becomes smart and starts to respond to questions you didn’t teach it!
That’s how it works! Anyways, that’s a quick overview of how to make an AI chatbot!
When it comes to creating AI chatbots, you don’t have to worry much about it. Today’s AI chatbots are so advanced that you don’t even need to have programming or development knowledge!
So far, we’ve covered AI chatbots, the benefits of using them, how it works and a quick summary on how to create AI chatbots.
Now, we’ll look into how you should choose an AI chatbot for your business and which type of chatbot you should be going with!
What to Look for Before Choosing a Conversational AI Chatbot?
Let’s say you’re quite impressed with AI chatbots and you’ve decided to deploy one on your organization’s website. But then, which conversational AI chatbot are you going to go with?
It’s important that you choose the best AI chatbot for your brand (we’ll look at a couple of the best AI chatbots for your business below)!
This section solves that question. We’ve come up with a couple of factors you should take a look at before you choose an AI chatbot to deploy on your website.
1. What Can Your AI Chatbot Do?
It’s not just about the “Welcome” and “Thank You” notes! Your chatbot should be able to do much more than that – a multi-purpose AI chatbot!
Make sure your chatbot allows website users to schedule meetings, sign-up for newsletters, chat with customer service representatives, browse through related articles and more. Only a chatbot that serves multiple purposes is going to be an ideal solution today!
Statistics from Comm100 say that chatbots have been handling 68.9% of chats from start to finish. This is a 260% increase in end-to-end resolutions when compared to 2017 where only 20% of the chats were handled by chatbots in the same method.
The point is, when your AI chatbot is able to carry out multiple functions, customer support agents do not have to interfere at all! And you’ll be able to deliver an overall great customer experience.
2. Omnichannel Support
Knowing on which platforms you can integrate your AI chatbot is an important factor. Normally, you should be able to deploy your AI chatbot on your website, popular social media platforms like Facebook Messenger, Slack, Skype, Telegram and more.
Just think about it! Wouldn’t it be great if your chatbot handled most of the Facebook Messenger and website queries?
When you are able to deploy your chatbot on multiple platforms, customer experience gets elevated and your brand gets in the good books of your customers.
3. Natural Language Processing
You definitely know what Natural Language Processing is by now!
Most AI chatbots today come with Natural Language Processing support which helps them understand the context, solve queries better and learn while doing all this.
4. Scalability & Ease of Use
When the tough gets going, the going gets tough!
As the volume and complexity of the issue increases, your chatbot should be able to handle queries accordingly. Also, make sure the initial setup process is easy. Whether it’s customization or training your chatbot, you should be able to do it without any assistance (or with very little assistance from your AI chatbot platform provider).
5. Expertise & Experience
Your AI chatbot platform providers should have adequate knowledge and experience in this field. Only then, you can expect good support and assistance when you deploy a chatbot on your website.
We at Simplify360, have helped a huge number of businesses deploy AI chatbots for their website and social media platforms.
In fact, check this case study where we helped Tata Sky deploy an AI-based WhatsApp chatbot for their business!
That said, we’ll look at a couple of the best AI chatbots you should consider using for your business!
Best AI Chatbots
Simpify360’s SimplyBot is hands down one of the best AI chatbots around! The AI-powered chatbot allows you to seamlessly automate responses and deliver quick resolutions and customer service.
SimplyBot uses Natural Language Processing and phrase identification to help solve your customer queries better. The Simplify team makes sure they create and customize the chatbot to suit your business needs, allowing you to concentrate on more important things.
It comes with power-packed features like auto ticket escalation, personalized message delivery, omnichannel support (Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Instagram, Other Instant messengers, In-app, Web Chat etc), multi-lingual support (50+ languages) and more.
Botsify is another best AI chatbot around! It is a chatbot platform like SimpyBot that allows you to automate responses for your business. You get omnichannel support on platforms like your website, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp and more.
Next on our best AI chatbot list is Ada. The Conversational AI chatbot is sophisticated and offers premium features like 100+ language support, options to engage customers with text, emojis, GIFs and more. Their no-code platform makes it easy for you to customize the chatbot according to your needs.
However, Ada is suitable only for large-scale businesses and might not be a good fit for startups or mid-sized businesses.
ManyChat is a dedicated Facebook Messenger chatbot! You can automate responses for Facebook and Instagram with ManyChat. You get ready-to-use chatbot templates and the drag and drop builder makes the job easy to customize your chatbot.
If your focus is only to get a chatbot for Facebook Messenger and Instagram, then ManyChat might be a good option to consider!
The above-mentioned are some of the best AI chatbots available in the space today!
Which One Should You Go With - AI Chatbots or Rule-Based Chatbots?
Well, it all depends on the scenario!
If you’re running a business that only has very few scenarios or you want the chatbot to handle only a specific area of your business use cases, you can prefer to go with rule-based chatbots.
But if you’re looking for a long-term solution and you want to deliver good customer service, AI chatbots is the solution! If you ask us, with the growing customer needs today and the competition around, AI chatbots is the best solution.
Here are three quick reasons (which you already know) why you should choose artificial intelligence chatbots,
Understanding Sentiments – Artificial intelligence chatbots will be able to understand the sentiment of your customer’s complaints, reviews, mentions and more across multiple integrated platforms.
Recognizing Behaviour Patterns – AI chatbots can detect behavioral patterns of your potential customers which sometimes you tend to miss. This can help you make better business decisions by analyzing the patterns and insights that come with it.
Continuously Evolving – Artificial intelligence chatbots will learn from customer queries and constantly evolve to serve better. At a point of time, they function seamlessly without you monitoring.
Now, these are some features you don’t get when you use rule-based chatbots! Considering all these factors, it’s best you choose to go with conversational AI chatbots and keep your business future-ready!
The Future of AI Chatbots
We’ve discussed so much about artificial intelligence chatbots till now! So, we thought why not discuss the future of them as well – to add more reassurance to our “Conversational AI chatbots are here to stay” statement we made earlier!
The keywords “AI Chatbot” has more than 60 million search results now. And the global search volume for this keyword is 10K. If you know what we’re talking about, you already know how important Conversational AI chatbots are!
Today, there are
AI chatbots for banking sectors
AI chatbots for eCommerce sectors
AI chatbots for healthcare sectors & more.
Every possible field you can think of, there are customized AI chatbots for every single one of them! Here are a few more chatbot related statistics to help you understand the place of chatbots and AI chatbots in the future!
It is expected that a massive 80% of businesses will have some kind of chatbot automation for their business by 2022. (Outgrow)
A study shows that 34% of retail customers say they are comfortable to speak to a chatbot over a live customer service agent.
The major benefit of using a chatbot is “customer support” – 95% consumers believe this.
eCommerce stores that have been adopting Facebook Messenger combined with a cart abandonment chatbot witnessed a boost in revenue from 7-25%.
55% of businesses were able to generate quality leads when they used a chatbot regularly.
57% of businesses state that a chatbot delivers huge ROI with very little investment.
With a chatbot in place, businesses can save up to 30% on customer service.
Whether it’s customer service or business growth, a chatbot can help make it better! And that’s clearly evident from the above statistics. With artificial intelligence, natural language processing, machine learning and predictive analysis combined, it’s going to be even better!
With everything said above, we can comfortably say that AI chatbots are here to stay! And in the future, it’s no wonder if every single online business uses an artificial intelligence chatbot for customer service or business growth!
So, that’s pretty much everything you need to know about AI chatbots!
Whether it’s an AI chatbot or a rule-based chatbot, it doesn’t matter because the chatbot industry is expected to grow to $1.3 billion by the year 2025!
Customers expect good customer service and quick resolutions today. And if an AI chatbot helps you deliver this (with almost a human-like interaction), why not consider using it for your business?
This isn’t a question anymore! Because if you’re reading the article till this point, it shows how much you’re into AI chatbots! Why not talk to our experts to know more? You get to know more about Simplify360’s Conversational AI chatbot platform and how it can help you deliver great customer experience to your customers over a 30 minute personalized session!
That said, we’re wrapping this up! Let us know if you have any questions in the comments section below! Our team is super happy to help you out!