What Are chatbots?


A Chatbot, What Is It?

Formed from the words “chat” (online discussion) and “bot” (robot), a chatbot can dialogue with a consumer through an automated conversation service. The objective of this software robot is clear: to improve the user’s experience by helping him solve a problem, order a product or direct him to the appropriate service. It also allows companies to focus on missions with high added value by carrying out specific repetitive tasks (canceling an order, notifying the customer in the event of the unavailability of an item, ensuring automated follow-up after its purchase, etc.). The concept has been prevalent since 2016, thanks to Facebook Messenger.

How Do Chatbots Work?

Chatbots are based on artificial intelligence (AI) and automated rules to provide tailored responses. They use natural language processing (NLP) and machine learning (ML). There are two types of chatbots.

Programmed Chatbots

These virtual assistants are single-purpose programs that focus on performing one function. They generate automated responses to user requests using rules, TLN processing, and very little ML. Since they respond according to a pre-programmed script, they are best applied to support and service functions.

Learner Chatbots or “Learning Bots.”

Learner chatbots are predictive and much more advanced, and they are therefore more suitable for customer service functions. This type of chatbot is also context-aware and leverages natural language understanding (NLU), NLP and ML to learn daily. Based on AI, it adapts to user profiles and behaviors by learning from previous situations.

Why Bet On The Chatbot?

For an SME and a VSE, the advantages of a chatbot are numerous. First of all, the solution makes it possible to automate certain aspects of customer service by efficiently resolving several types of requests. This sense reduces the need for human interactions, allowing teams to focus on tasks with more excellent added value. In addition, a chatbot is available 24/7, with responsiveness that consumers particularly appreciate. It boosts sales, influences purchasing decisions and improves the customer experience by simplifying processes or suggesting other products that may interest consumers, to name a few examples.

Finally, a chatbot allows a company to collect a lot of information about customers and prospects to get to know its customers better and communicate more relevantly afterwards. However, the system has some limitations. He does not recognize human emotions and, therefore, cannot show any form of empathy. This tends to greatly upset or dissatisfied customers, and they do not feel listened to or understood, which can impact customer loyalty. A robot, even an intelligent one, does not (yet) replace a human!

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