The business world is constantly adapting by incorporating technological advancements in a way that furthers productivity. One such form of technology that is rapidly gaining attention is the chatbot.
What is a chatbot?
A chatbot(also called chatterbot) is a software that performs an automated function in the form of simulating conversations, via voice or text interactions. As the name suggests, their primary function is to chat with the customers.
They often appear on sites and applications with a chatting platform. They begin conversations with customers or give responses, usually in the form of helpful tips, advice, recommendations and instructions.
How does it work?
Chatbots work by giving preprogrammed conversational prompts and responses to customers. While this might sound limiting, many sophisticated chatbots are able to handle a wide variety of conversational cues.
Of course with chatbots the goal is to seem human in dialog, but it is fine if they fall short of this. Apart from the fact that AI technology hasn’t quite reached that level of sophistication, it is also not the key selling point of a chatbot. In a world as automated as the one we currently live, the human touch is simply not as important as functionality and effectiveness.
There are three generally accepted types of chatbots; stateful, semi-stateful and stateless bots.
- Stateful bots are able to retain information given during conversation and will make responses based on this conversation. That means they learn and evolve based on each conversation.
- Stateless bots are unable to retain any information and will respond to each message independent of any previous message. In this case, their responses are not linked to any previous message.
- Semi-stateful bots are able to retain some information in responding to messages but only for that particular conversation. With each conversation, the user must start over.
It’s Effect on Your Business
As messaging programs, chatbots are able to run indefinitely needing no breaks, no time to think, and no need to consult any other source of information. This means they are able to perform conversations instantaneously and they are always available. Many customers would appreciate this interaction as it means they can obtain relevant information anytime while skipping the wait.
Chatbots are especially beneficial to small businesses because of their capabilities. One simple software will attend to the needs of multiple customers simultaneously with no loss of effectiveness relative to the number of customers. This is incredibly useful, especially for businesses with small staff who can’t field every question.
This software is capable of performing more than just messaging functions. Depending on the software programmers they can receive payments, make adjustments, contact administrators, make orders, and collect statistics. Like any other form of software, they can be programmed to perform a host of functions beyond their primary use.
Considering these and more, it seems a good idea that every business online strongly consider adding a chatbot to their platform if they want to see it grow.