A Comprehensive Guide To Understanding Chatbot

A Comprehensive Guide To Understanding Chatbots

Chapter 1: What Is A Chatbot

A chatbot is a computer program which can converse via textual or auditory methods. Often regarded as the “darling of the media”, chatbots (or bots) are currently one of the most popular AI technologies. There are also rule-based bots which don’t have AI incorporated in them. However, their relevance is fast decreasing in today’s disruptive world.

Chatbots are the “apps” of voice and messaging platforms that define how users and customers converse with your digital business services and data

Usually built with a Chatbot Platform or Frameworks, bots are deployed on messaging apps or virtual assistants to converse with end-users.

The advancements in Artificial Intelligence and its related components like Machine Learning and Natural Language Processing (NLP) led to the creation of highly intelligent bots with smarter responses in a natural language tone.

Chapter 2: The Past And The Present Of Chatbots

The History Of Bots: Where And How It All Began

In order to understand chatbots, we first need to delve into Artificial Intelligence and how it gave rise to the intelligent Chatbots of today. It all began with Alan Turing asking a simple question in an article titled ‘Computer Machinery and Intelligence’ in 1950. In this article, Turing theorized on whether or not computer systems could think. He also outlined the Turing Test, a method to measure whether one was speaking to a human or to a computer programme. We can note this as being one of the first theories on the capability of AI technology.

Years later in 1965, Joseph Weizenbaum created ELIZA at MIT’s AI laboratory. ELIZA was capable of simulating human conversation by matching user prompts with scripted responses. This innovation paved the way for PARRY, an AI chatbot developed in 1972 by Kenneth Colby. PARRY could simulate the thinking patterns of a person. When psychiatrists were made to interact with PARRY, only 48 percent were able to identify the difference between PARRY and a real person. Ever since then we have seen many variations of AI-powered chatbots which have only gotten more and more sophisticated over time.

The Present Scenario

With the advancements in AI, bots have become more intelligent are able to conduct meaningful and personalized conversations. Now, bots could adapt and learn based on the interactions they had with people. They could now process tons of data, rapidly retrieve information, process information, and give the right output/answer in no time. There are two primary entities of AI that power a chatbot – Machine Learning and Natural Language Processing.

Machine learning is an application of AI, and a scientific study of algorithms and statistical models that provides computer systems the ability to learn and perform a specific task without explicitly trained to do so. With machine learning, systems rely on patterns and inference to learn automatically. With the help of machine learning, chatbots can use historic interactions and the built-in instructions during training, to continuously learn and better themselves.

Natural Language Processing (NLP) is a component of AI, and is the ability of a computer program to understand human or natural language, as it is spoken/written. NLP helps a bot understand the semantics of the language being used and logically respond using natural language, consistent with the user’s query.

Organizations today are using chatbots for a variety of use cases and the usage varies from industry to industry and function to function. And the benefits chatbots offer are plenty including enhancing customer experience, improving employee productivity, automating mundane tasks, reducing costs and simplifying business workflows.

Enterprises are now leveraging chatbot builder platforms to effectively build, deploy, manage and train AI chatbots.

Learn More: Chatbots: The Past, Present, And Future

Chapter 3: What Are Chatbots Capable Of Doing?

Unlike a typical application’s or website’s traditional Graphic User Interface (GUI), the Conversational User Interface (CUI) of a chatbot simplifies business workflows, tasks and much more. Before understanding how chatbots drive value, it’s imperative to understand what chatbots can do.

1. Fetching Information

Chatbots provide users with an easy way to access data or generate reports and facilitate better decision making for both your customers and employees.

  • Decision makers can easily obtain granular business insights and key metrics right within the actively used messaging app. This eliminates the need for them to log into applications or scan through multiple dashboards or filter data to access the information they require. Instead, relevant information is made available to them right at their fingertips, saving time and greatly increasing efficiency.
  • Enabling users with chatbots allows them to easily request for information they require through voice commands and basic keystrokes.
  • Chatbots can easily answer questions via text or any multimedia format, including but not limited to images, graphs, pie charts and so on.

Examples:

  1. Employee to a business intelligence chatbot: “What is the marketing ROI for 2016 and 2017?”
  2. Customer to a banking chatbot: “Send my account mini statement”

2. Send Personalized Alerts

Just like a mobile app, chatbots have the capability to deliver personalized notifications and alerts to customers and employees directly from your enterprise systems. This serves to ensure that your business users are kept updated about various changes and news in the organization. and also engage to get more details by asking questions in natural language.

Here are a few examples of how notifications and alerts can help across a variety of organizations and departments:

  1. An intranet chatbot can send notifications to relevant employees when there is a new document added to the intranet knowledge base.
  2. A sales chatbot can keep users notified about changes in important metrics, including but not limited to MSL, leads, OTIF, payment terms and so on. These alerts can also be customized based on the location of the sales personnel and the specific customer they are about to meet, so they have access to the most relevant information required to make a sale. Chatbots can notify users about a dip in revenue from specific regions or brands etc. As a result, the sales personnel will be able to immediately dive into why it’s happening and take appropriate measures to fix.
  3. A banking chatbot can send alerts to customers reminding them to make payments or to advise them that they have exceeded the credit limit, so they do not attract unforeseen fees.
  4. An e-commerce chatbot can send alerts on incomplete orders. If a customer has items that have been left in the cart, he is reminded to complete the transaction to secure the items he wanted to purchase.
  5. Chatbots can alert users about upcoming ERP downtimes.

3. Perform Tasks

There are a variety of repetitive tasks that have to be performed across organizations for a variety of reasons. These routine tasks can be time-consuming and hamper productivity. A chatbot can easily be introduced to address these tasks and complete them without glitches.

These tasks can involve collecting, modifying, posting information in systems or making form-based data entries that employees and customers need to perform repetitively.

Chatbots also eliminate the need to switch across multiple applications, go through various mundane procedures or depend on personnel to get tasks done. Users can get all their simple, yet repetitive tasks are done, simply by “conversing” with the chatbot via their actively used organization wide messaging app.

Examples:

  1. Employee to a helpdesk chatbot: “There is an issue with my laptop. Generate an IT helpdesk ticket”
  2. Customer to a banking chatbot: “I want to make my credit-card payment”

4. Answering Questions

Most websites are equipped with chatbots that proactively ask visitors questions that enable them to provide a personalized experience and help the user reach exactly the information or page they are looking for.

This same functionality also applies within businesses – from the most simple FAQs to more complex questions, chatbots can be designed to address a wide range of queries from employees across the organization.

Machine Learning (ML) and Natural Language Processing (NLP) enable bots to understand the query and the intent and therefore, provide highly accurate answers.

Well-designed chatbots can also quickly adapt to the office jargon, offering users the most relevant and informed answers to their queries.

Examples:

  1. Employee to IT helpdesk bot: “How do I reset my password?”
  2. Customer: “Can you tell me more about that product?”

Chapter 4: Popular Chatbot Features You Should Be Aware Of

A) Knowledge Base

The knowledge base of the bot is central to its functioning. It supports the following functions:

  • Creating Guided Conversations: Bot interactions ought to be streamlined so that the outcomes are pre-defined.
  • Handling Q&A Scenarios: Equips bots to answer all possible queries.
  • Entity Fulfilment & Actions: This enables a bot to give relevant responses to capture all required entities to perform an action.

b) Broadcasting

When we say there can’t be a bot platform without broadcasting, we mean it. Through broadcasting, the admin of a chatbot can easily send a notification to all the users regarding any important event. This feature of a chatbot platform has gained significance during noteworthy events such as the People’s Choice Awards, World Surf League etc., in which users were kept informed and updated about future events.

c) Effective conversation system

Based on the particular need and situation, the bot should have the ability to initiate a tailored conversation with the user.

An efficient bot would have features such as

  • Trigger service – Service that an integrating application can use to send a trigger
  • Message queuing – Trigger messages are queued for large scale message volume
  • User & channel data store – Triggers can be sent to users on one or more channels that they are connected to with the bot.
  • Human hand off: The bot should transfer the conversation to a human when the conversation becomes too complex for the bot to handle or upon users’ request.

d) Vocabulary

If the bot gives a standard response with limited phrases, the user may be discouraged from continuing the conversation. An efficient chatbot should have a high range of variable vocabulary and understand familiar user phrases. Chatbots should also be ingested with business/domain specific vocabulary  for seamless adoption

e) Sentiment Analysis

Sentiment analysis empowers chatbots with the ability to understand the emotions and mood of the user by analyzing their text or voice input. This helps chatbots to drive the conversation wisely and deliver appropriate responses.

f) Administration

Bots need to be monitored and regulated.  They need to be equipped with:

  • Training Module: For learning and understanding new concepts.
  • Maintenance Mode: The results of new learning and actions can be tested here.
  • Logs: This module helps record bot errors.

Learn More: Take Your Chatbots To The Next Level With New Capabilities

Chapter 5: Use Cases And Benefits

Functions

1. Human Resources

Chatbots can be used at different stages of an employee’s life cycle – right from recruitment and onboarding to engaging the employee and fostering retention, in order to optimize the whole process.

- Recruitment

Given the large volume of applications that Human Resources teams tend to receive, keeping all candidates updated in a timely manner is a burdensome task. In all practicality, most HR personnel barely have the time and bandwidth to update rejected applicants especially when they are occupied with sourcing the right ones. Due to this, a majority of the candidates never hear back from their prospective recruiters, lowering the quality of the applicant’s experience.

This creates an opportunity for chatbots to manage and accomplish such repetitive, and time-heavy tasks.

Use Cases

Recruitment chatbots can perform the following functions in the recruitment process:

  • Parsing the resumes uploaded onto the recruitment portals
  • Filtering applicants for the screening process by making significant inquiries
  • Delivering updates about the status of an application
  • Responding to FAQs, thereby saving the recruiter’s time and efforts for other tasks
  • Additionally, a chatbot can also conduct and record feedback surveys from the candidate about their recruitment process and gain insights on any areas of improvement.

While these are some of the more specific tasks a chatbot can perform with regards to the recruitment processes, use of recruitment chatbots can also lead to several benefits for the company. The most crucial one being significantly lower costs and time involved in hiring, since a large part of the process will be automated and will lead to higher productivity and efficiency.

Benefits

Deploying AI-powered chatbots can help in reducing the workload of recruiters. Given the complex current hiring scenarios where simultaneous engagement with several candidates is required, automated chatbots ensure seamless candidate experience. With the help of chatbots, you can:

  • Reduce cost-per-hire
  • Increase recruitment team productivity
  • Eliminate paperwork
  • Enhance candidate experience
  • Reduce recruitment time by qualifying and disqualifying candidates swiftly at scale
  • Automate the manual and administrative recruitment work
  • Keep candidates engaged throughout the process
  • Reduce missed opportunities
  • Improve employer brand

In a recent survey by Allegis it was noted that:

  • 58% of candidates were comfortable interacting with AI and recruitment chatbots in the early stages of the application process.
  • About 66% of candidates were comfortable with AI and chatbots taking care of interview scheduling and peripheral activity.

- Onboarding

Since on-boarding involves performing several smaller activities in a shorter span, automating the same using chatbots can help streamline the whole process. Some of the crucial chatbot use cases during onboarding can be –

  • Helping HR personnel during initial tasks such as collecting and recording KYC, tax forms, signed legal documents etc. Chatbots can effectively streamline and speed this process by tracking the same for employees and reminding them to submit the required documents on time.
  • Hand holding new hires through company policies. A large part of initial orientation involves sharing standard operating procedures and company policies, chatbots can severely reduce the HR workload by handling the process and queries online
  • Apart from orientation, AI powered chatbots can also help relay all relevant information to do with the organization and internal teams. This can reduce dependency on the HR team for sharing troves of information with regards to their teams, roles, key contacts, general organizational landscape, etc.

- Learning and Development

Employee training and development is a key process in the HR lifecycle. It involves providing the employees with specific knowledge and skills to boost their productivity and efficiency.

Chatbots can be used to conduct tests and quizzes to track progress of employees.

Employees often run through the long-cycle of time consuming training sessions and coaching mechanisms. A chatbot that is made available 24×7 allows employees to get trained in an agile mode and round the clock, adding flexibility to their work life. Employees can consume these conversational training modules, in the form of mini-questionnaires and tests.

Training bots also take care of administrative aspects like sending reminders and fixing coach appointments.

By use of chatbots, employees can also track their learning and development goals and remain on par with the company’s goals and objectives.

- Retention and Engagement

Effective employee engagement is perhaps the most dynamic application for a HR bot. By providing a seamless employee digital experience, companies can increase employee retention.

Chatbots offer a solution by providing self-service options to employees. Chatbots enable employees to ask natural language questions such as, “How many holiday days have I got left?”, “What are the company policies on applying for time off?” and other FAQs to the chatbot. This helps them get all the information they need right at their fingertips, without having to wait for the HR team to get back on their queries.

Chatbots act as the first line of HR support for your employees and thereby increase your team productivity. This also reduces your cost-per-contact significantly since the bot takes care of all the repetitive, basic and simple issues.

- Off-boarding / Exit Management

When an employee quits a firm or submits his resignation, there are several HR related formalities that follow.

  • They are first required to confirm the last date of their employment based on their notice period, account for the leaves used that year, get settlements on their pending invoices, get approvals on their pending receipts, etc.
  • Finally on the last working day, the formalities to do with the handover are supposed to be completed, like surrendering of company devices & ID cards, settlement of pending accounts, submission of relevant forms & applications and any information that needs to be relayed to important associates, clients or colleagues.
  • There is also the exit interview that takes place, to get feedback from the employees about their experience at the firm. Given the several significant and meticulous tasks involved, the whole process could take days or weeks to finish.

Since these tasks are part of a time and effort consuming yet pre-fixed, routine process, these can easily be taken up by an AI-powered HR bot. An HR bot can streamline the process by creating forms, all collated in one place, additionally, the process flow can be created such that the subsequent step becomes active only when the step before it is completed. This can help put an end to incomplete documentation and human error.

Apart from the formalities, a bot can offer easy query resolution to do with any key aspect such as leave balance, taxes, benefits, duration of notice period, etc. As for the last step – the exit interview, having an HR bot conduct the same can ensure an honest and unbiased outcome.

Not only will the employees be more candid and honest with a virtual chatbot, but the interview responses can be collated and help analyse retention and other HR challenges in the organisation. Therefore, an HR bot can easily undertake the step-by-step process with minimal supervision and help render off-boarding as an effective and smooth-running process.

Learn More: How Chatbots Are Revolutionizing The HR Department

2. IT Helpdesk

Apart from just HR functions, chatbots are capable of resolving first-level IT issues as well. Just like the HR department, the IT helpdesk is often inundated with routine questions. AI chatbots act as the first line of help desk agents by answering all the basic FAQs. As soon as a request is raised, IT chatbots help the user do basic troubleshooting and in most cases fix the issue and thereby reduce the employee downtime.

If the issue isn’t resolved or the user isn’t satisfied with the outcome, bots provide the option to connect with a support agent – thereby leaving the more complex queries to human agents. Employees can stay updated on the progress of their tickets by asking the chatbots natural language questions.

This leads to faster resolution times, improved incident management, improved security, better handling of outages and ensuring that employees are kept informed with steady and timely alerts.

If the issue remains unresolved or the user is not completely satisfied with the outcome, bots offer the option to connect with a support agent – thereby leaving the more complex queries to human associates.

Employees can then stay updated on the progress of their tickets by inquiring with chatbots using natural language questions. This leads to faster resolution times, streamlined incident management, better security, improved handling of issues and ensuring that employees are kept informed with steady and timely outage alerts.

Use Cases
  • Check the status of tickets
  • Answer common troubleshooting questions like VPN or password not working
  • Ask instructions for common IT issues
  • Reset passwords for devices and network
  • Talk to a live agent (human-handoff)
  • Raise tickets
  • Fill form fields via conversation
  • Access the knowledge base
  • Check on the pending case reports
  • Look-up case-related information
  • Receive information on – Incident notifications, New change request notifications, Task notifications, Access request notifications, Asset request notifications and Outage alerts
Benefits
  • Reduced employee downtime
  • Provide self-service to employees
  • 24/7 availability
  • Eliminate calls
  • Reduce cost per ticket
  • Answer FAQ
  • Increase IT staff productivity
  • Address level 1 issues
  • Spread awareness about IT policies & initiatives
  • Modernize incident management
  • Categorize and route incidents better
  • Quicker resolutions
  • Increase employee experience and productivity
Learn More:

3. Sales

Chatbots can integrate with data warehouses and CRM, BI and LOB Systems to perform tasks such as creating new leads, updating lead status, getting visual reports in multimedia formats, updating CRM records etc.

Use Cases
  • Check the lead status
  • Ask pinpointed prospect-related queries
  • Check on the sales KPIs
  • Get pin-pointed answers of any information available in the CRM or BI systems.
  • Fill lead details
  • Send email of the desired dashboard
  • Set and get alerts about dip or rise in any sales KPI.
  • Receive notifications about change in lead’s status
  • Access reports available in the CRM, BI or LOB or DWH systems.
  • Get links to the desired dashboards
Benefits
  • Increase CRM adoption
  • Simplify and automate data entry into CRM systems
  • Update CRM records quickly
  • Access customer/prospect intelligence swiftly during calls/meetings
  • Reduce manual data-entry and administrative tasks for sales reps
  • Increase sales reps productivity
  • Enable data-driven decision-making
  • Increase lead conversion ratio
  • Stay updated with real-time KPIs and lead intelligence

4. Marketing

Chatbots can gather data about potential customers that equips marketers with essential information to design their products and advertising strategies. They can be integrated with various social media channels and used to reach out to customers of various demographics.

Use Cases
  • Lead generation
  • Lead qualification
  • Book sales meetings
  • Schedule demos/consultations
  • Suggest relevant content based on user’s website activity
  • Capture email addresses and other visitor details in a simplified manner
Benefits
  • Personalize website experience
  • Skyrocket visitor to lead conversions
  • Qualify leads effortlessly and generate only high qualified leads for sales teams
  • Engage visitors
  • Gather visitor/lead intelligence
  • More demos/consultations with potential customers
  • Eliminate the filling of long forms in landing pages
  • Grow your email list
  • Close more deals and accelerate revenue

Learn More: 4 Ways Marketing Teams Can Use Chatbots

5. Intranet/Employee Assistant

Employees can use the company’s intranet chatbot to perform simple actions such as checking on internal company updates, accessing documents, applying for leaves etc.

Use Cases
  • Proactively take the announcements and news in the intranet to the employee
  • Get intranet information via natural language questions
  • Get links to desired intranet documents
  • Content authors can update content with a chat interface
  • Get personalized alerts and timely updates
  • Perform tasks like leave requests, travel settlement requests, IT requests etc.
Benefits
  • Drive intranet adoption, collaboration & ROI
  • Personalize the intranet experience. Employees don’t have to swift through unrelated intranet content.
  • Access intranet resources faster
  • Reduce intranet redesign investments
  • Improve employee experience and productivity
  • Faster intranet content updation

Learn More: Chatbots For SharePoint  Intranet

6. Business Intelligence

Chatbots can be integrated with Power BI, SAP Business Objects, Oracle or any other BI tool, as well as CRM and LOB systems or data warehouses, in order to simplify data consumption.

Use Cases
  • Ask queries about business KPIs and get pin-pointed answers from any information available in the BI system
    Ex: What is the top performing product in 2018?
  • Access reports available in the BI or LOB or DWH systems.
  • Get links to the desired dashboards
  • Update records and details
  • Bot can send email of the desired dashboard
  • Get visual reports in multimedia formats
Benefits
  • Simplify the consumption and interaction with data
  • Drive business intelligence adoption and data-driven decision-making
  • Get data on fingertips
  • Ask questions in a natural language tone
  • Set and Get alerts on any dip in KPIs like low stock, revenue, etc.
  • Eliminate multiple logins to BI systems and filtering dashboards
  • Sales and supply chain assistants
  • Help in Increasing topline and reduce inventory

Learn More: Business Intelligence Bots

Industries

1. Banking & Financial Services

Some of the chatbot use cases for banking begin with personalized banking with an aim to improve customer satisfaction and engagement. Banks have enabled their customers to interact with chatbots to clarify banking queries. They can access and ask for account balance, bank statements, transfer funds, create a deposit, saving and investment advice, and so on.

Use Cases in Customer Service

  • Checking the account balance, transaction history, credit limit etc.
  • Help in upsell
  • Finding the nearest ATM or branch
  • Inquiring about different offerings and products
  • Generating a mini statement for the desired time period and the interest rate report
  • Updating contact information
  • Connecting to a live agent (human hand-off)
  • Transferring money from one account to another
  • Suggest money saving ideas
  • Generating bill payment alerts and Individualized financial advices
  • Resetting the card PIN

Business Benefits

  • Personalize banking services
  • Personalize marketing strategies and drive sales
  • 24/7 availability and customer service
  • Get customer feedback and measure customer satisfaction
  • Self-service transactions
  • Handle FAQ, basic and simple queries
  • Improve ESAT and customer loyalty

2. Consumer Goods & Retail

CPG and retail companies are increasingly using chatbots to transform customer experience. Chatbots fix the long product discover journey for a consumer by allowing consumers to access product information and make a purchase on-the-go using mobile devices. They can assist sales personnel by seamlessly integrating with CRM, BI and LOB systems at the background and provide accurate sales data and real-time alerts.

Use Cases in Customer Service

  • Product exploration and discovery
  • Product recommendations
  • Product surveys
  • Check the shipment status
  • Add items to cart
  • Place orders
  • Book appointments
  • Connect to customer support agents
  • Provide product related information, and alerts on a new product launch, and suggestions on discounts or coupons or any other sales offers

Business Benefits

  • Product exploration and discovery
  • Product recommendations
  • Product surveys
  • Check the shipment status
  • Add items to cart
  • Place orders
  • Book appointments
  • Connect to customer support agents
  • Provide product related information, and alerts on a new product launch, and suggestions on discounts or coupons or any other sales offers

3. Insurance

Chatbots in the insurance industry are being used to enhance the customer experience. Top insurance companies including Liberty Mutual Insurance, Lincoln Financial Group and Allstate Business Insurance are using chatbots to handle routine customer questions, address minor insurance related challenges, provide quotes, automate the claim process, and reduce call center costs.

Use Cases in Customer Service

  • Help in filing a claim
  • Answer Scheme and plan related questions
  • Provide recommendations to prevent loss
  • Provide guidance for choosing the right plan
  • Send Insurance documents of the customer
  • Send personalized quotes to users

Business Benefits

  • GDPR compliant conversations
  • Simplify complex jargon for customers
  • Help customers understand the policies or any domain-specific terminology better
  • Streamline claim filing process
  • Simplify regular tasks like payments and updating user info
  • Better marketing through personalized plan recommendations and alerts on new plans
  • Increase customer agent productivity by answering FAQ

Learn More: Chatbots For Insurance Industry

4. Legal

 Legal jargon is a complex language of its own and piles up every day, across multiple document structures. Analyzing these documents and accessing the relevant ones is a time-consuming process for humans. Chatbots reduce the time to analyze with use of artificial intelligence and exponential power to process natural language. With machine learning, chatbots have been trained to be legal advisors for mundane and redundant customer queries.

Use Cases In Customer Service

  • Helping attorneys with finding information quickly
  • Understand legal services and offerings of law firm
  • Queries for better understanding unknown legal jargon
  • Basic legal queries while staying anonymous
  • Book appointments with attorneys at the desired time

Business Benefits

  • Offer a certain amount of free legal advice
  • Drive leads and appointments
  • GDPR complaint conversations
  • Self-service and 24/7 availability
  • Learn complex legal jargon swiftly and effortlessly

Learn More: Legal Industry Bots

5. Education

Chatbots are changing the face of education right from personalizing education, helping people learn new languages, spaced interval learning, student feedback, professor assessment, essay scoring, acquaint students with school culture and for administrative formalities.

Use Cases in Customer Service

  • Handling queries related to the university and courses during registration, assessment related questions, tuition fees, time tables, scholarships, grades etc.
  • Get university policy documents, enrollment certificates, academic information, disability and other personal information
  • Provide course and administration related information
  • Access course documents
  • Handle university registration
  • Send feedback about professors, courses etc.
  • Update contact information
  • Register for courses
  • Fill applications
  • Apply for permissions

Business Benefits

  • Provide a personalized 24/7 self-service student experience
  • The bot act as a single point of contact for all needs of the student – right from registration to farewell
  • Reduce administrative costs
  • Improve the productivity of teachers and administration staff

Learn More: Chatbots for Educational Institutions

Chapter 6: Key Chatbot Implementation Considerations

When implementing chatbots in your organization, here are a few factors to consider to plan your implementation better and achieve maximum business value from your chatbots:

  • Define your goals – Clearly define the purpose of your chatbot and what actions you would want it to handle. Usually, chatbots are used to provide customer service, improve the brand’s online presence, or used to collect BI or process user queries on the intranet.
  • Start small: Start small but quickly. Establish many small milestones. This will help you stay ahead of competition and by having many small milestones you will understand the pulse of the users. Thenceforth, you can start making changes and updates to the chatbot. An enterprise chatbot platform will be helpful for this process.
  • Understand your audience – You must profile the users for whom the chatbot is intended in order to understand their needs, behavior, and expectations. Classifying your audience gives you insight that is essential to keep your chatbot strategy focused. Setup live ops to continuously incorporate behaviour pattern and to make adjustments
  • Outline the user actions – In order to establish a streamlined design, you must outline the key intents, or user actions, that the chatbots will complete as they move through the conversation funnel.
  • Pay attention to Security and PrivacyEnsure that chatbots are compliant with GDPR or any other industry-specific or location-specific regulations and policies. Provide information to users based on their authorization levels and adopt authentication measures such as user identity authentication, intent level authorization, channel authorization, end to end encryption, and intent level privacy, to enhance the security and privacy of your chatbot.
  • Chatbot implementation can become expensive, without proper expertise – Building chatbots without prior experience can make the implementation a mismanaged, disorganized, and costly venture. Choosing from a reputed “off-the-shelf” solution, is a better option.
  • Set the right expectations – Users must be made aware of the capabilities of a chatbot before they are deployed.
  • Infuse NLP and Machine Learning – Infusing NLP and Machine Learning into bots makes them relatable to the user, thus enhancing adoption, and providing an enhanced and personalized user experience.
  • Future-proof your chatbot – Ensure your chatbot can leverage any AI service available today and will scale for future services. This can be achieved by choosing bot platforms with cognitive abstraction that ensures you’re not locked down to any specific AI chatbot vendor or product.
  • Ensure that there is a human hand-off, when required – There should be a human that can take over the conversation in cases where the chatbot cannot drive a query to its conclusion. The hand-off should be as seamless as possible without reducing user experience.
  • Help employees overcome their resistance to chatbots – Employees may fear that AI and chatbots pose a threat to their jobs. Hence, you should make them aware that a bot has the capability to relieve them of their repetitive work and make them more productive.
  • Align the chatbot with your brand identity – A tailor-made bot that matches your brand identity and tone is imperative in enhancing the user experience.

Learn More: 10 Key Chatbot Implementation Considerations You Should Be Aware Of

Chapter 7: The Future Of Chatbots

According to  Orbis Research, the Global Chatbot Market is to grow at a CAGR of 34.75% during the period 2019-2024.

As the chatbot technology continues to mature, the future of bots is becoming interesting. Here are a few important trends to watch for:

1. Integrating Chatbots with RPA

As chatbots are increasingly being used to perform a greater range of tasks, they will need back office bots that can quickly find information and complete transactions on behalf of users. Integrating front-office chatbots with legacy systems is achieved with the help of Robotic Process Automation (RPA).

Learn More: RPA Bots: Understanding The Chatbot And RPA Integration

2. Chatbot-to-Human Handover

There can be times when a chatbot needs to hand off the conversation to a human being to handle issues that are complex. The bot should recognize the situations when it needs to hand off and provide the user with a clear, smooth transition.

One of the simplest and an effective method of initiating a handoff from is provide a user-driven menu. The bot can be programmed to provide the user with a menu of predefined options after every message.

When the chatbot senses that the user is trying to reach for a human assistance, it can simply provide the user with an option of chatting with a human agent. The user can then select the option if the chatbot seems incapable of solving the problem.

Another scenario in which handoff becomes imperative is in the case of escalations. The chatbot should effectively inform the user that the interaction is being transferred so as to address their concerns better. It also should always provide users an option to talk to a live agent.

Learn More: Human Handoff In Service Desk Bots

3. Voice Bots

A ComScore study forecasts that by 2020, 50% of all searches will be voice-based.

Although in the current scenario text-based chatbots are ruling the roost, the application of voice technology is gaining momentum. Since most people prefer talking as opposed to typing, it is no wonder that organizations are increasingly implementing voice bots for both customers and employees. At the moment, voice bots are a good fit when it comes to handling simple, linear tasks and queries. However, at the rate at which voice technology is evolving, with applications in smart devices such as speakers, TVs, watches etc., voice bots may very well be what the future looks like for AI chatbots.

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4. DataOps With Chatbots

A large amount of data is captured from chatbots. Data analytics employs new approaches like DataOps to leverage data that is captured through chatbots. This data can be analyzed and integrated with the other sources of internal and external data for better marketing and customer service.

In Conclusion

Organizations are significantly utilizing Chatbots to automate their internal business processes, productivity, boost revenue and enhance the customer experience.

 Juniper Research forecasts that chatbot conversations will be responsible for cost savings of over $8 billion per annum by 2022.

The conversational interface of chatbots simplify everyday workflows for employees and eliminates the hassle of switching multiple apps. Chatbots act as a single point of contact to get tasks done and access information. The use cases of chatbots are diverse and emerging across functions and industries. Enterprise leaders should have a powerful bot strategy to make the most of this technology.

About BotCore

BotCore is an enterprise-grade bot builder platform using which enterprises can create, build, train, deploy and manage chatbots for their organization. BotCore is fully deployable on both on-premise and cloud environments.

BotCore is an accelerator that enables you to launch customized, AI-powered conversational bots in your organization. With the help of “Cognitive Abstraction”, it can leverage any AI service available today and will scale for future services.

BotCore today powers chatbots at several large enterprises and Fortune 100 companies.

If you are planning to adopt a chatbot in your organization, Acuvate’s bot workshops like the Build-A-Bot program helps you get a subject matter expert opinion to plan your bot journey.

The workshop helps identify specific use cases within your enterprise and evaluate different technologies. Acuvate provides a 1 day bot strategy workshop within your company premises for both business and IT leaders.


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