IBM says that businesses spend around $1.3 trillion to serve customers every year. Thanks to conversational AI technologies, it is possible to close 80% of support requests without human involvement.
The first thing that comes to mind when thinking about conversational AI implementations is a chatbot. Let’s clarify what a chatbot is if you don’t know yet. It is AI software that can imitate a conversation or chat with a user in his language through messengers, websites, apps, or over the phone.
According to Statista, the size of the global chatbot market will exceed $1.25 billion by 2025. Meanwhile, as early as 2022, chatbots are a useful technology for 90% of the population. With self-service and automation, businesses can cut customer service costs by 30%, potentially freeing up staff to handle other complex inquiries.
In this article, we will talk about the different types of bots, what they are used for and what type of bot can be of most value to your business. Here are the different types of chatbots:
First, let’s find out what a menu-based chatbot is. You’ve already seen such button bots on a website, like a mini website built into your website chat widget.
Menu/button-based chatbots are the most basic type of chatbot that are easy to create and use. In most cases, these chatbots have a ready-made knowledge base, with questions presented to the user in the form of buttons. A button bot communicates according to predetermined rules. The data entered by the user must conform to these predetermined rules in order to receive a response.
Since no artificial intelligence is used here, an open conversation with such a bot is impossible or very limited. However, they are good enough to answer frequently asked questions, which make up 80% of queries.
Menu based bots’ benefits:
- No additional staff needed
- Control over the flow of the conversation
- 24/7 availability
Many companies are opting for chatbots with artificial intelligence, but they don’t always have the resources to create such bots or enough data to support them. So, they chose a hybrid model. A hybrid chatbot, by its name, is a cross between a live chat and a chatbot and takes the best of both.
In live chats there is a customer service staff who responds to all inquiries during working hours and manually. Chatbots based on AI start the conversation by itself and mimic the conversation as programmed 24/7.
At the same time, the Hybrid bot initialises the chat as any type of a bot and answers customers’ questions quickly and easily as customer support staff.
Hybrid chatbots offer many benefits for businesses
- 24/7 availability
- Immediate response time
- Real-time visibility
Conversational AI chatbots use natural language processing (NLP) techniques to understand the intent behind the question and solve the customer’s problem without human assistants.
A customer can ask an AI bot a question in the same way they would ask a human agent. The bot uses a text classifier to determine the intent and understand the context of the conversation. The next step creates a sequence of additional questions and answers using a decision flow, which helps determine exactly what problem the customer wants solved and how it will be done.
Simple and button-based types of bots scripts can’t automate all these complex tasks. You need the flexibility of natural language to capture a wide variety of user intentions, collect the necessary data, and provide support.
Businesses should consider implementing an AI bot when one or more conditions are met
- The company receives more than a hundred queries per day.
- The company’s tech support or sales support staff exceeds 20 people.
- The company wishes to cover more communication channels (Facebook, Instagram DMs, web widgets, etc.) without additional costs on staff.
Any AI bot project usually requires a noticeable upfront investment for the creation of a bot (usually, more than £7,000-£20,000). In addition to this, a company should invest in the development platform subscription and ongoing support of the bot improvement.
An AI bot project should be managed and implemented by a professional team with strong conversational AI competence.
Despite the more noticeable investment, an implementation of an AI bot brings material benefits, such as:
- 24/7 availability
- More engagement with users
- Data collection
- Permanent communication on multiple channels
- Better quality of customer communications
- Support staff offloading
AI-powered omnichannel bots
An omni-channel AI bot starts a conversation on Twitter, continues it by a chatbot on the website, followed by a phone conversation with a tech support agent, and completed by email. Rather than being a standalone solution, the AI bot is becoming an integral part of a diversified communications ecosystem.
Many customers are used to communicating with companies through multiple channels, such as social media, phone, email and web chatbots. So, when one conversation switches between channels, customers expect to be recognised by a bot or a person they talk to. Otherwise, they get tired of introducing themselves and explaining the problem repeatedly.
- Expanded understanding of natural speech
- Universal deployment across channels
- Enhanced personalization
- Continuous bot improvement
- Easy user identification across channels
Businesses are now starting to use voice chatbots, or voice bots. Such bots have been on the rise in the last couple of years because of the convenience they bring.
It’s much easier for a modern customer to talk than to type, and a voice-driven chatbot provides a non-contact experience directly to the end customer.
In recent years, speech and linguistic technologies have progressed to the point when the creation of well-functioning complex voice solutions has become feasible.
Let’s see the full list of possible voice bots
- Voice assistants. The main point is that assistants can listen to commands, interpret them, and perform actions. To use this channel, the most advanced companies create so-called “skills” (voice-based bots for Alexa or Google Assistant).
- Smart IVRs. A bot that has been programmed with enough menu paths to allow customers to get simple answers such as checking account balances or paying bills without having to talk to a human.
- Robocalls. Unlike Smart IVR, performs an automated phone call transmitting a recorded message or scripts.
However, the development of voice solutions requires the special knowledge and experience of an architect, a linguist, a UX designer, a developer, and so on. Many experts believe that voice bots will become as necessary as mobile communication has become in recent years.
So, which type of chatbot is right for you?
Chatbots, like any properly designed automation project, can bring tremendous value to a business – increasing the speed and quality of service, saving costs, increasing revenue and strengthening the brand.
On the B2B side, we’re seeing an explosion of AI bots that help customers across all channels quickly and efficiently. So, if you’re ready to streamline your service with chatbots, Tovie AI has you covered.