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Different chatbots and their functions

As we know, the purpose of chatbots is to replace or supplement applications on a website by simply allowing users to interact with the service through chat.

How do they work?

These computer programs, commonly referred to as robots/bots, can process natural language and provide answers to users' questions. Some sectors, especially retailers, customer service departments and even banks have adopted this technology, allowing users to use their systems as easily as if they were interacting with an individual.

However, the chatbot on an e-commerce website is completely different from banking. In this blog post, we'll cover the different types of AI, the different types of business robots, their applications and features. This will give you a better idea of how many chatbots there are and what would be the ideal choice for your business.

1. Menu/button-based chatbots

Menu/button-based chatbots are the most common type of chatbots on the market today. Although these chatbots are sufficient to respond to FAQs, which account for 80% of support queries; they are lower in more advanced scenarios. For example, if there are too many variables or too much information to predict how users should get certain answers.

It is also worth noting that menu-/button-based chatbots are the slowest to achieve the desired result for the user.

2. Language-based (rule-based) chatbots

If you can predict what questions your customers might ask, a language-based chatbot might be the solution for you. Linguistic or rule-based chatbots create chat flows using logic. First of all, the language conditions of the chatbots must be defined.

Conditions can be created to evaluate words, their order, synonyms and more. If the incoming request meets the specified conditions for the artificial assistant, customers will quickly receive appropriate assistance.

However, you must be sure that the combination of each question is defined, otherwise the chatbot will not understand the client input. Therefore, the linguistic model, although incredibly widespread, can develop slowly. These chatbots require detail and specificity.

3. Keyword-based chatbots

Unlike menu-based chatbots, chatbots based on keyword recognition can listen to what users enter and respond appropriately. These chatbots use customizable keywords and an artificial intelligence application, Natural Language Processing (NLP), to determine how to provide the appropriate response to the user.

These types of chatbots fall short when they have to answer many similar questions. NLP chatbots are starting to fail when there is a lot of keyword aggregation between several related questions.

Chatbots that are keyword-aware and menu/button-based are quite popular. These chatbots allow users to try to ask their questions directly or use the chatbot's menu buttons if the keyword recognition feature returns an incorrect result or if the user needs more instructions to find an answer.

4. Machine learning chatbots

The contextual chatbot is much more advanced than the three bots mentioned earlier. This type of chatbot uses machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) to remember conversations with specific users in order to learn and grow over time. Unlike keyword-based bots, contextual chatbots are smart enough to improve themselves based on what users ask and how they ask.

For example, a contextual chatbot that allows users to order food saves the details of each chat and remembers what the client likes to order. As a result, when the client uses this chatbot, they remember their most common order, delivery address, payment information and simply ask if they want to repeat the order. Instead of answering several questions, the user just has to answer in the affirmative and the food is ready!

While this example of ordering food is basic, it's easy to see how powerful a conversational context can be with AI and ML. The ultimate goal of any chatbot should be to provide a better user experience compared to the current situation. Leveraging the conversational context is one of the best ways to shorten such processes through an artificial assistant.

5. Hybrid model

Businesses love the sophistication of AI chatbots, but they don't always have the talent or data they need. So, a hybrid model is often chosen. The hybrid model offers the best of both worlds - the simplicity of rule-based chatbots with the sophistication of AI bots.

6. Voicebots

More and more companies have started using voice-based chatbots or voicebots. With virtual assistants like Siri by Apple and Alexa by Amazon, voicebots have gained popularity over the past few years precisely because of their convenience. It is much easier for a customer to talk than to write. The voice-controlled chatbot brings an easier experience directly to the end customer.

So, what type of chatbot is right for you?

By putting yourself in the shoes of your clients and thinking about their values and demands, you will quickly realize how important an artificial assistant is for you. Does the context of the conversation significantly affect this value?

Another thing to consider is your target user base and their UX preferences. Some users may prefer the chatbot to guide them with visual menu buttons rather than an open user experience where they have to ask questions directly from the chatbot. In some cases, simple menu buttons may be the ideal solution.

What are the most common chatbot apps?

Appointment scheduling or booking bots

Scheduling bots for scheduling or booking appointments are usually found in the healthcare, airline and hotel industries. These bots help customers book slots to meet with the company they are interacting with.

Meeting bots are often associated with Google Calendar, so when a customer books an appointment, it is automatically saved to the calendar, an event is created and reminders are sent to both the customer and the business representative. Staff also use these chatbots to schedule interviews for recruitment purposes.

For companies with a lot of booking and scheduling, this bot serves a purpose.

Some types of chatbots in this category are:

  • HR Bot for scheduling appointments and interviews

  • Healthcare Bot for booking appointments

  • Travel Bot for booking flights

  • Hotel Booking Bot for booking rooms and services

  • Reader for the number of active users

Customer support chatbots

When someone says the word "chatbot," we all remember how we ever talked to an artificial customer service assistant. These types of bots perform all the tasks that a customer support representative would do. Features such as round-the-clock availability, quick and easy solutions, quick responses and real-time chat are the perfect way to improve customer service. This not only improves communication between companies and the customer base, but also builds loyalty with them. They also collect customer feedback and pass it on to the team.

Some chatbots of this type are:

  • A retail support bot to handle queries related to the product line. It is also used to sell products directly.

  • Telecom Bot offers customers the convenience of checking their bill, making payments, topping up plans and more. It also obtains customer inquiries related to the service.

  • A Techdesk bot helps employees connect to the internal technical support team in the event of system and service access issues. The bot is also used to send a confirmation to the customer via email.

  • The banking bot responds interactively to banking needs. It provides account-related information, current offers, helps you update your information and guides you through travel booking options.

  • Orders, Deliveries and Logistics Bot helps to solve food delivery and ordering issues.

Marketing and sales chatbots

These intelligent bots can personalize the customer experience, offer greater engagement, reach a wider audience, analyze customer feedback and data, send relevant messages and move customers seamlessly through the sales funnel.

Some bot templates in this category are:

  • E-commerce bot for browsing products directly via the chatbot.

  • The education bot allows prospective students to browse the various course offerings at the educational institution. The chat program also provides details on course fees, duration and registration.

  • The Automotive Lead Generation bot allows customers to get information about cars, features, prices etc with booking services.

  • The real estate bot collects requests from customers about what they are looking for and generates personalized offers.

  • The questionnaire bot for market research records the answers provided by the user, calculates their demand and sends the user an email reflecting the results and offers.

  • A social media marketing bot is a chatbot template for social media marketing agencies that notifies the administration of the generation of each new lead.

Entertainment bots

Entertainment bots are designed for entertainment and media purposes. These robots include:

  • A TV bot is a simple yet powerful chatbot that helps a service provider track channels according to their preferences and categories.

  • The go-kart bot is an ideal chatbot template for booking go-kart services. The bot also shows information about tracks and maps.

  • A puzzle bot to engage customers through games so they can come back to your website.

  • A news and media bot to help users access a variety of selected news items.

  • The cinema bot allows customers to book cinema tickets, read reviews and browse different genres.

  • Youtube channel’s bot for sharing new social media content.

  • The podcast bot helps the user reach their favorite topics in the audio section.

Nowadays, different types of AI chatbots can be seen everywhere in companies. But have you ever noticed that two chatbots are never alike?

Their purpose, functions, flow of dialogue and the tasks they take care of are all completely different! Why? Because different types of businesses have different requirements and needs that a chatbot must meet. Therefore, the best way to reach your customers is to build a custom chatbot on your website. See more on the Evenstad page.

Happy Botting!

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