A revolution is taking place in human-computer interactions. Chatbots are growing up and changing the way enterprises do business. In a recent Oracle survey, they found that by 2020, chatbots will:
Account for 85% of customer interactions
Generate $600 Billion in revenue
Be a strategic communication channel in 4 out of 5 businesses
The figures are a clear indication that there’s no way around it: we have entered the golden age of chatbots. Although it might look easy to use and interact through bots, it is quite challenging to develop one. Not all chatbots are created equally, and no two companies are the same, so there is rarely a “silver bullet” answer for those looking to invest in chatbots. Let’s dig deeper into the types of bots…
1. Basic: These are the most elementary form of bots presented in the form of buttons. It consists of several pre-defined buttons that are designed to dig one layer deeper with each response, in order to achieve the desired answer. These bots are useful for answering the most commonly asked support queries, however they slip when a user tries to get any specific query clarified. For this reason, companies that invest in Basic chatbots need to program the bot to quickly connect a human to the chat window if the bot starts to detect frustration from the limited interaction points.
Example of Basic Chatbot conversation
2. Transactional: Transactional bots are designed to talk with users and help them solve basic problems. The problems these bots solve can be wide-ranging, from looking up your last purchased item to paying a bill. However, these bots are still designed around a logic that a company must build out ahead of time. It takes a tremendous effort to create the content required for these bots, and it also requires frequent updates to account for changes in user behavior and chat patterns. In addition, since these chat bots rely on a human to build out the logic, it may leave some users frustrated when they engage with the bot in a way that would not fall into the pre-defined keywords.
Example of Transactional Chatbot
3. Contextual: Unlike the other two chatbots, these state-of-the-art chatbots are designed to leverage Artificial Intelligence(AI) and Machine Learning (ML), in hopes of removing the manual process of building out dialogue logic. These chatbots need a large amount of manual input up-front, but after that, they are designed to find answers to questions and solve problems based on the positive or negative feedback from users. Another advantage of contextual chatbots is that over time, they begin to become hyper-personalized to your specific users, to the point where they can even predict what they might need help with. These chatbots are the most difficult to develop but can have the largest ROI if implemented in coordination with a detailed customer journey.
Example of a Contextual Chatbot
Which one is for you?At this point, it is not a question for most organizations about whether or not to invest in a chatbot. Before investing, organizations need to be wary of finding the right type of bot for their customers and their business. Some businesses might require a basic level chatbot because most of their customers engage with them in a fairly consistent way. Other organizations, however, could implement the same chatbot and fail miserably if their users expect technology to completely mimic the human experience. The bottom line is − Whichever choices you make, do not rush to a decision because it will have long-term impacts on your business.