What are AI Chatbots?
Artificial intelligence chatbots are text- or voice-based interfaces that provide support and connect human users with the services or information they need by simulating a traditional person-to-person conversation.
Text-based chatbots are often deployed online on websites and social media platforms to provide customer support and outreach. Voice-based chatbots, on the other hand, are most typically used for call deflection and sorting or over-the-phone customer service.
Most smartphones come equipped with a built-in chatbot, and smart speakers with chatbot functionality have been trendy gift-giving items for several years.
How Do Chatbots Work?
The most typical chatbot interaction occurs on a business site. These customer service bots usually pop up after a human user navigates around a site for a few minutes or exhibits behaviors that show that they have become “lost” or are having trouble connecting with the information they need.
Once the chatbot window presents itself, the user can enter their question in plain, syntactical English. The bot’s language recognition functions break down the question and, at the speed of light, compares the query to its data bank of previously asked questions to look for ways customers have achieved satisfying results in similar situations.
When that search is complete, the chatbot shares the best and most relevant information with the user.
How are AI Chatbots Used for Business?
Chatbots are valuable for both businesses and consumers, as they reduce barriers to data access created by everything from physical disability to tech savviness, streamline navigation to connect users with results as quickly as possible, and provide a cost-effective alternative to staffing massive numbers of support professionals or contracting with expensive call centers.
In fact, in many scenarios, artificial intelligence chatbot services can actually provide a faster, more straightforward experience than dealing with a human professional. If that sounds too good to be true, here are some examples of ways AI-based chatbots are deployed every day:
Website Navigation/Lead Nurturing Chatbots
Most people have encountered the infuriating problem of not being able to find the information they were looking for on a website, no matter how hard they’ve tried. Text-based chatbots are a great way to meet that customer in their exact moment of need to end the frustration and build a satisfying experience.
For example, using cookies, a website can identify when a customer or prospect is clicking around multiple pages. After a set number of page visits, the site can deploy a chatbot window to greet the visitor and offer service. When the customer describes their needs using words and sentences, just as they would in a text message conversation, the chatbot breaks down their query using language recognition, and connects the user with the link or information they need instantly.
From a business’ perspective, this prevents leads from falling through the cracks and builds a satisfying customer experience, where nobody feels like their time is being wasted and ease-of-use is valued.
Phone-Based Customer Service Portals
For decades, phone-based customer service has been an area in which user experience can vary significantly from call to call and many consumers are left feeling frustrated or dissatisfied. AI-based chatbots are the perfect tool to offer a responsive, user-friendly phone-powered system that provides a consistent, powerful experience.
Using a modern phone-based chatbot, a human caller can get general or account-specific questions answered, make payments, or access a self-service knowledge base without any of the hold time or hassle of waiting to speak with a human professional. Of course, the bot is also a natural at recognizing unique or complex questions immediately and can push those questions toward human specialists.
In this way, phone-based chatbots with artificial intelligence provide the best possible customer service experience that’s ever been possible over the phone. Problems are solved as quickly as possible, customers are empowered to access account information and take action in a responsive, streamlined manner, and businesses can deflect straightforward customer interactions away from their human support professionals, preserving their time for the most important organizational concerns.
Virtual Personal Assistant Bots
In today’s world, businesses must focus on streamlining for profitability from the day they launch. That means many organizations rely on a tight core team of superstar human assets who stretch to cover a lot of ground. Unfortunately, though, it’s harder than ever to staff for executive support in a way that makes sense on paper.
AI-based chatbots are an ROI-driving solution for organizations looking to provide virutual “personal assistant”-style support to their human resources without hiring any additional assets. Instead, workers can communicate with their personal chatbot assistant using straightforward text chat window throughout the day.
Chatbot assistants can provide the kind of scheduling support, daily reminders, and document/data look-up capabilities as a traditional secretary with more responsive turnaround times and 100% accuracy.
With virtual personal assistants in place, businesses can use chatbots to maximize the productivity of their crucial human assets and push them to achieve more without having to think about low-level data look-up or schedule management.
Why are Businesses Using Chatbots Online?
Businesses love to deploy chatbots because they’re an easy, direct way to reach out to customers and offer them a really great experience. On the flip side, chatbots have the potential to significantly reduce staffing needs and ensure that human support professionals are only called in when their expertise is absolutely needed.
That means chatbots don’t just provide faster, more comprehensive service; they also provide significantly reduced work hours per ticket compared to human professionals, protecting ROI without sacrificing quality of service for the customer.
Chatbots are also incredible data-gathering tools that help organizations understand their customers’ most frequent questions, their website visitors’ most common problems, and the general public’s perception of their brand or market standing. In an increasingly data-driven marketplace, this insight helps organizations plan initiatives and design better services that align with customer needs.
Learn More About Chatbots from Sofbang
Sofbang is a leading innovator of chatbot solutions, designing AI-based chatbots for deployment across social media, business web sites, customer portals, company ERPs, and beyond.
Our bots leverage machine learning and Sofbang’s two decades of experience as a business accelerating IT solution provider to create powerful, responsive, modern-feeling user experiences for assets and customers alike.