What Is a Chatbot and Why Are They Important?
A chatbot is a software application that can perform automated tasks the most common one among them being simulating conversations with human beings. Chatbots from firms like Convertobot have significantly helped simplify the interaction between people and machines.
Chatbots are commonly used as virtual assistants and that is how they have come to be known. However, they are a lot more than that especially chatbots that are powered by Artificial Intelligence. They can also be used for making appointments and for marketing among others.
As seen from a technological perspective is the natural evolution of Question Answering Systems with the difference being that chatbots use Natural Language Processing for more organic interactions.
Now that you understand what chatbots are, we should proceed to see how they function.
How Chatbots Function
Although chatbots are different, there are typically two different tasks at the core of a chatbot which can be described as analyzing user requests and presenting a reply to the user.
The first task of a chatbot is to analyze the request of a user. By doing so, the chatbot can identify the user’s intent.
The chatbot will also extract relevant entities from the user’s request at this point which means it will identify known elements in the requests such as keywords or product names. The ability to do this is the more crucial tasks of the two core tasks of a chatbot.
Simply stated, if a chatbot cannot understand a request, it cannot provide an answer. After the chatbot has identified the user’s intent by extracting appropriate elements from the request, it will provide the most relevant reply as per the request.
The reply can be a number of things including a general, preprogrammed response or an answer obtained from a knowledge base containing several responses. It can also be data from an enterprise system.
The chatbot can also interact with a backend application to provide the user with a response. The reply can also be a clarifying question that assists the chatbot better understand the user’s request.
For advanced chatbots, the answer will always be contextualized based on the information presented by the user.
Why Are Chatbots Important?
Chatbots are important to both businesses and customers in different ways. As far as businesses are concerned, chatbots enhance customer experience since responses will be customized to the individual user.
Another reason why chatbots are important is because improve efficiency since they can interact with multiple customers simultaneously as opposed to customer service agents who cannot. The salaries you would pay customer service agents is also saved as a result of using chatbots. They have no bias and can retrieve information instantly which would be impossible for live agents.
Chatbots help customers streamline the purchase process and quickly receive information about goods and customers. More important uses of chatbots are appearing every day as chatbots become more and more complex.
Despite chatbots seemingly functioning independent of human activity, human support is crucial in configuring and training the chatbot to optimize the chatbot system.
The importance of a chatbot is specific to the business and will be decided when building the chatbot. The different tools and approaches used when designing and building your chatbot will determine which chatbot you will choose.