By: Taru M.
30 Oct, 2021
Chatbots are recently designed tools aimed to simplify the interaction between humans and computers. Also referred to as chatterbots, a chatbot is typically programming that triggers a chat or chatter between human and machine.
1. What are chatbots?
2. How does chatbots technology work?
3. Types of chatbot technologies
4. List of popular chatbots
5. Benefits of chatbots technology
6. Bottlenecks in using chatbots
7. Future of chatbots technology
Chatbots technology is increasingly being used as virtual assistants in business-to-consumer (B2C) and Business-to-business (B2B) markets. These are excellent mechanisms for the companies to reduce their support requests and replace their human staff with live agents during off business hours.
The adoption of chatbots got accelerated in 2016 when Facebook introduced messenger. Google also jumped into the bandwagon with google assistant. Since then, ai chatbot development has geared up in pace.
Chatbots can either be classified into stateless or stateful chatbots. Stateless chatbots begin a new conversation each time a user interacts with them, right from the beginning. In comparison, a stateful chatbot can identify past discussions and continue the conversation from there.
Leveraging chatbots technology has become relatively easy for companies. It requires low or no coding to add a chatbot service to a company’s website/app. There are a lot of chatbot service providers today that offer third-party integrations.
Artificial intelligence and natural language processing are the two main domains that drive chatbots technology. The objective of a chatbot technology stack is to understand what a human needs and then guide them through a series of answers for the desired outcome. Chatbots act as virtual assistants for a smooth customer experience.
A well-designed chatbot works in the following way:
Chatbots technology requires the correct type of NLP engine. For example, if the chatbot project involves interaction through voice, a speech recognition engine is needed. Chatbots are built for structured and unstructured conversations. The structured ones work with a simplified programming code but only for certain specific questions. In comparison, unstructured ones require a complex code and can better tackle different types of questions.
Mostly, when a conversation gets too complicated to be handled by a chatbot it is transferred to the human staff. Chatbots primarily work through training. The more amount of data the chatbot will get, the better it will become to give responses. The prime technologies that different chatbot projects use to build a list of chatbots include artificial intelligence, machine learning, deep learning, and natural language processing.
Chatbots technology is experiencing rapid development. Reason being, the advancement in leading technologies that are driving the chatbots projects. Soon we will see a plethora of tools and technologies creating even more bot capabilities and bringing a revolution in user experience.
Below are the top technologies that are empowering chatbots.
a. Linguistic-based chatbots
These are the most basic types of chatbots. These are driven by natural processing language and are mainly used in structured chatbot projects. These are also referred to as “rule-based” chatbots. These work on predefined questions and answers. Primarily they use the if-then login to derive a particular conclusion and provide relevant solutions. To achieve this objective, language conditions are prepared. These conditions are created on various parameters like choice words, simple ways to phrase a question differently, synonyms, etc. The development of this type of chatbot can be slow due to the labor-intensive approach. There is a list of chatbots that use this type of chatbot technology, including Facebook messenger, live chat, a chatbot on an eCommerce website, etc.
b. AI-driven chatbots
Ai chatbot for websites is the new trend. These chatbots are driven by Artificial intelligence and machine learning; These chatbots tend to be more interactive, conversational, and predictive. These chatbots are trained with a lot of data to handle a question differently from the user.
AI-Based chatbots connect to the context in a better way. They use the natural language and combine it with predictive analysis for a better response. AI chatbot development driven by machine learning can be highly conversational since these chatbots learn from past experiences and patterns.
Such chatbots require a lot of training data and human specialists, making them a not-so-interested choice for enterprises. But many ai online chatbot services are gaining huge responses since the competition is less and custom engagement is superb.
c. Hybrid Model – Linguistic + AI-driven chatbots
Combining the above two types of chatbot technologies can bring the best of both worlds and prove to build the most robust kinds of chatbots. The statistical algorithms used in machine learning can be tuned with linguistic conditioning for better outcomes. Additionally, the requirement of a lot of data for training also gets eliminated for chatbot projects. The hybrid model uses a chatbot technology stack that is easy for humans to interpret and control when required.
Hybrid models of chatbots are primarily suited for conditions that require the ability to predict and, at the same time, a controlling environment with certain conditions. These hybrid chatbots are also called conversational chatbots. The best part of conversational chatbots is that they don’t require much training. Developers can make specific algorithms to self-train conversational chatbots. Conversational chatbots can be used in treatment plans to add more medicines to the initial prescribed list depending on patient conditions. They are also used in creating post-surgery checklists.
d. Voice activation
Voice chatbots are assistants that hear, understand, and respond to your voice inputs. Today customer engagement has become essential. Textual conversation can get boring and lead to custom fallout. Voice conversations are rather more engaging and provide a more emotional personal touch to customers.
The chatbots that use voice activation chatbots technology work on prerecorded audio instead of texts. They can be created by using text to speech (TTS) engines and Voice recognition APIs.A list of chatbots works on this technology, including Amazon’s Alexa and apple’s Siri.
Voice chatbots offer a more conversational, integrated, and pleasant experience. Adopting voice chatbots in customer service and marketing strategies can attract more audiences and boost conversion rates. With the added abilities of data mining and quantitative analysis of data, voice bots help in data analytics and fraud detection. Voice bots not only affect personal lives but are hugely supportive in automating businesses as well. Voice bots can assist in simple tasks like google searches, setting alarms, making phone calls, getting weather information, etc.
Below is the list of chatbots that are most popular and rapidly used in the current market.
Chatbots reduce the need for human employees. Hence reducing the cost. They are one-time investments that do not need maintenance costs or other expenditures. Also, they reduce the chances of human error and can eliminate delays by sending responses in seconds.
b. Time saver
With a chatbot technology stack, tasks can be automated, thus providing the employees with time for the rest of the essential functions. Moreover, quick responses offer a better user experience and can lead to conclusions and outcomes quickly.
c. Improvising services based on feedback
Chatbots technology is highly beneficial in collecting data. This data can tell a lot about the user’s experience visiting a site, needs, obstacles, and expectations. Companies can use this data to improve their services and market their products and service better.
d. Boost scalability
With AI chatbot development gaining attraction, 24X7 customer support can be assured. Additionally, the support can be provided in multiple languages regardless of the customer’s exact geographical location.
e. Chatbots technology in eCommerce
Chatbots are proving beneficial for profits in many types of commercial businesses. A real estate agent can use them to find leads and save time. A beauty salon can use chatbots to fix appointments. Restaurants can use chatbots to reserve dining tables. But the domain which has seen a remarkable increase in profits through chatbots technology is eCommerce.
f. Chatbots technology in healthcare
Chatbot technology in healthcare helps in taking the very first symptoms of the patients as input and guiding them accordingly. These also help in teleconsultations and telemedicine for the booking of appointments between doctors and patients. The chatbots engage with the patients struggling with sleep disorders, anxiety, depression, etc., and show them the right way to overcome.
Since chatbots technology is new, there are few risks in this domain. AI chatbot online services might see a setback since companies might not know ways to overcome obstacles. AI chatbot development creates virtual assistants who can learn from their own experiences, but building such chatbots can cause a lot of money.
Additionally, the chatbot technology stack is challenging to comprehend, and with the current low community support, it becomes even more complicated. A security breach is another challenge. Companies that use ai chatbot websites must take only relevant data and securely transmit this data to gain users’ trust.
Variety in the ways that users ask their questions is another challenge. Users may misspell, use slang or acronyms, NLP might not meet these challenges fully. The chatbot projects will need a lot of data to understand, learn and manage these different ways to respond accordingly. Also, comprehending the randomness and spontaneity during conversations is another challenge that chatbots should overcome.
Chatbots will surely gain heights shortly. The advancement in AI, NLP, and ML will augment the capabilities of these bots. This will pave new ways in the areas of data collection, and more customer insights can be captured. This can also lead to predictive buyer behaviours and a reduction in customer support requests to a great extent. Chatbots technology is compelling. They can provide excellent customer engagement and fast replies at scale. Soon we will witness their extreme applications for individuals, businesses, and organizations.
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