What is a Chabot?

A chatbot is a piece of software powered by pre-programmed responses or artificial intelligence (AI) to answer questions without the need of a human operator.


How do Chatbots Work?

Businesses have found uses of chatbots in customer service, marketing and sales. There are 2 main types of chatbots, rule-based and AI.Man typing to a chatbot that is saying "what can I help you with?"

Rule-Based Chatbots

Rule-based chatbots are able to hold basic conversations using “if/then” logic and call-to-action buttons.

For example: The chatbot may ask “Would you like to learn more about this opportunity?” Then, using the if/then logic The chatbot may proceed using one of the paths below:

– IF “Yes please!”, THEN email is sent to respondent.

– IF “No, thank you.”, THEN no email is sent and the chatbot continues with a new query like“Is there anything else I can help you with?” and the chat continues with more if/then logic.

All of the pathways and if/then logic must be pre-programmed into the bot for it to work. These rule-based chatbots are commonly found on social media.

AI Chatbots

AI chatbots are more complex and dynamic and don’t rely on call-to-action or If/Then logic conversations. There are 2 types of AI bots – natural language and machine learning.

Natural language chatbots use natural language processing (NLP) to understand the visitors’ context and intent. NLP assists machines with the way humans speak with idioms and slang. Instead of using buttons and menus, the visitor has a conversation with the bot similar to text messaging.

Machine learning chatbots are similar to NLP bots, however, they are optimized for learning about the visitor, retaining information on them, and predicting a conversation’s next steps. These bots utilize artificial neural networks, which act as an artificial brain to feed large sets of data. These datasets are typically previous conversations and questions that can help the bot learn.

Are there other types of Bots and what are they used for?

There are good bots and bad bots, good bots can improve productivity and new business opportunities and bad bots can be used for spamming and hacking.

Good bots can be:

  • Chatbots

    – bots that are designed to carry on conversations

  • Crawlers

    – bots that continuously run in the background gathering data from other API’s or websites

  • Transactional Bots

    – bots that interact with external systems to accomplish a specific transaction like move data between platforms

  • Informational bots

    – bots that push information like news updates

  • Entertainment bots

    – bots you play games against

Bad bots can be:

  • Hackers

    – bots designed to distribute malware, deceive or attack websites

  • Scrapers

    – bots designed to steal content like images, text and email addresses

  • Spammers

    – bots designed to post bad promotional content to drive traffic to the spammer’s website

  • Impersonators

    – designed to mimic natural user characteristics, making them are to identify

What can Chatbots do to improve communication?

Chatbots can provide for quick, effective communication, are available 24×7 for assistance, and are great at acquiring accurate customer information. Conversations are short and concise which makes them more efficient than direct human communication.

Bots are in many places like Messenger, Slack, and other websites which provide for a larger audience. Chatbots can handle more communications simultaneously which provides for better response times to visitors. Chatbots are a onetime investment so costs are reduced in the long-term.

How do you make a Chatbot?

There are two types of software for building chatbots, Bot Platforms and Chatbots Software.

Bot platform software is a full-scale system to deploy chatbots, and they’re typically built on top of analytics platforms so it’s easier to see the performance of the chatbot. This type allows you to see the entrance and exit rates for the chatbot, how long conversations are running, error messages, and more.

Chatbot software consists of more entry-level systems to deploy live agents and help desk chatbots used to automate customer service, marketing and sales.

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