The history of chatbots dates to Joseph Weizenbaum’s ELIZA program, which was released in 1966. Weizenbaum, a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), named the program after Eliza, a character in Pygmalion, a play about a Cockney girl who learns to speak and think like an upper-class lady. Weizenbaum’s computer program convinced many users that they were talking to a human being and not a machine at all.
In the half century since ELIZA was released, chatbots have come a long way. The introduction of machine learning capabilities in bots has vastly improved the human-like experience in their conversations. Most bots, though, still behave like machines over short interactions.
Interacting with the earliest versions of chatbots was frustrating and time-consuming process. These bots would often respond to very specific request and could not answer anything beyond a fixed script. It was essentially the text equivalent of calling a customer service call center. As a result, communicating with a bot was an irritating (if not painful) option most consumers than speaking with a human customer service agent. Artificial intelligence has changed this.
AI-powered Natural Language Processing, or NLP, enables chatbots to mimic human conversation. They can identify the underlying sentiment and intention behind the communication, then deliver a response that is similar to what a human would have done. In addition, chatbots with NLP can now learn from past conversations and improve their ability to provide appropriate responses and solutions.
How are these different from regular chatbots?
AI bots Use Contextual Information
Chatbots that aren’t powered by artificial intelligence essentially deliver a one-size-fits-all experience to all of the users. They begin with a generic greeting, offer a standard list of menu options, and can only to deliver a fixed list of issues and questions.
AI bots can however use information around the content users access and read on your company’s site. If a user visits several pages focused on a specific service you offer, for example, the AI Bot understands that this user is primarily interested in that service. Then, it can begin the conversation around that service.
2. They do lot of pre-work for human interaction
A chatbot doesn’t have to hold an entire conversation with a customer from start to finish. They can initiate conversation, then ask for the details a support agent would need to assist the user. These details might include the user’s account number, order number, payment details, and contact information. This way, when a support agent steps in, they’ll already have the background information they need to assist the customer — and they won’t need to spend any additional time asking those basic questions.
Al, more advanced bots can even tell when it’s time to escalate a conversation. As technology advisor Bernard Marr explains, “AI-powered chatbots, can raise an alert when they detect, for example, a customer becoming irate – thanks to sentiment analytics – prompting a human operator to take over the chat or call.”
3. They can Route Inquiries intelligently
For large support teams, routing each ticket to the right person can be challenging time-consuming. AI-powered chatbots can help. AI chatbot can determine the need behind a user’s request. It can “understand” what that user is looking for, and what information they’ll need before their issue can be resolved. Then, it can intelligently determine which agent to assign your ticket.
If a user’s query is relatively simple the chatbot might opt to assign it to a newer member of your support team. If the inquiry is more complex and will require a subject matter expert, on the other hand, the bot would likely assign it to an agent with experience in that particular area. Plus, if the bot has access to each agent’s list of tickets, it can also take workload into account, and route inquiries to manage capacity efficiently.
This way, each customer will be directed to the person most qualified to resolve their issue — and to deliver that resolution in the least amount of time.
4. They can understand change in conversation
Conversational chatbot solutions powered by AI also support multi-turn dialogue. This is the ability to switch between various user questions within a single conversation. This is what sets apart a human-like AI versus building chatbots. An AI-powered virtual agent responds without getting confused if a person pivots the conversation. For instance, a person can ask about the price of checking a bag in the midst of checking flight status. In conclusion, AI can also understand more short-form and slang than chatbots.
5. Voice recognition
Voice recognition enables faster, hands-free interactions for users, making AI bots even more convenient. Examples of voice recognition can be found in a number of personal assistants, including Google Assistant, Siri and Alexa. Companies, including WestJet, are also launching skills on voice platforms to provide yet even more choice with how customers receive support.
Qualifying leads: A significant portion of leads to car dealers come from online channels. Therefore conversion optimization is crucial for automotive companies. As a result, automotive companies are using chatbots like Kia’s Kian which can answer customers’ complex questions and dramatically increase conversions.
Chatbots can add a new layer of interactivity to e-commerce, allowing customers to interact beyond menus and buttons. Major use cases are:
- Set price alerts: Bots that give price alerts notify when there is a change by observing the change of prices on different websites. Settings can be made according to the person and give alarm in desired situations.
- Order physical goods like clothes with conversational commerce unlock more options
- Buy gifts: Similar patterns in the users’ behavior can be analyzed and the product they are looking for can be recommended by chatbots. this facilitates the search for gifts.
- Track orders: Order tracking, which is one of the most common features of e-commerce platforms, can be done quickly via chatbots. Tars provides a chatbot solution for payment and order tracking by integrating on e-commerce websites.
Travel & Hospitality
All the way from booking travel to solving travel-related problems, chatbots have the potential to help.
Vacation planning: While most parts of travel bookings are already self-service, it is time-consuming to plan a vacation. Travelers need to discover the sights and experiences they would be interested in, plan an itinerary, pick hotels to stay in based on numerous criteria from kid-friendliness to location. While these tasks are frustrating for travelers, clever chatbots can make them much more pleasant experiences.
- 2Reservations & handling menu related questions: Chatobook aims to become OpenTable of chatbots. Beyond reservations, it can share menus and promotions, collecting feedback.
- Queries & complaints: In the long run, it is not good for business to make complaints more difficult to make. It frustrates customers and deteriorates a company’s reputation. Chatbots can service most queries and complaints fast, improving the satisfaction of your most dissatisfied customers.
Some examples include Capital One’s Eno & Bank of America’s Erica, Well Fargo’s Facebook Messenger bot.
- Information service: Most banks chatbots are capable of informing users about their balances, recent transactions, credit card payment dates, limits and so on.
- Credit applications: Just as robo-advisor chatbots are taking over investment advisors, chatbots are also capable of collecting necessary data for credit decisions
- Money transfer: Chatbots can easily handle money transfers via SMS, Facebook messenger or other popular chat platforms. Western Union has a money transfer bot that enables money transfer requests through Facebook Messenger.
- Bill payments: BillHero is an example of a bank-agnostic mobile application and it brings bill-paying capabilities via chatbots on Facebook Messenger.
- Handling healthcare & insurance coverage related inquiries: Applications such as HealthJoy, HealthTap and Your.MD help customers navigate the complex healthcare landscape in the US.
- Diagnosis: MedWhat and Ada Health are AI-powered chatbots that can serve as a medical assistant by gathering information via conversation with the patients. It seems chatbots are on the way of becoming the first contact point on diagnostic healthcare. After the SARS CoV-2 outbreak, people have become more aware of the dangers of infection. Diagnostic bots, like telemedicine, facilitate remote diagnostics, reducing potential infections.
- Therapy: Since therapy is almost completely text-based, it is a great area for chatbots to work in. Woebot is one of the leading chatbots, providing cognitive-behavioral therapy in the treatment of depression.
23- Agent inquiry handling: Allstate developed Allstate Business Insurance expert (ABIe) to handle questions from 12K agents. Agents inquire ABIe about policy details sales quotes.
24- Customer inqury handling: Allstate’s Allstate Business Insurance expert (ABIe) was expanded to serve end users as well.
Lead qualification: Qualifying leads take significant time in real estate. Chatbots such as Apartment Ocean greet potential clients and understand their level of interest, helping human agents prioritize who they will serve. Roof.AI is a chatbot platform that helps to create communication between real estate businesses and their customers via social media.
These are just a few samples. Some more success stories can be viewed here – Top 30 successful chatbots of 2021 & Reasons for their success (aimultiple.com)
As brands find new ways to incorporate artificial intelligence into their daily operations, it’s certain to establish an increasingly large presence in the business world. But for now, chatbots are an excellent way to become an early adopter of this technology and start delivering better customer experiences than ever before.
Interested in learning more about artificial intelligence and chatbot technology? We’d love to discuss how we can help provide you a powerful AI customer service platform which in turn provides a conversational experience your customers expect. Let’s chat! Or if you prefer to write then reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org