What is a Chatbot? Does Your Business Really Need a Chatbot?

POSTED BY Ron Miller   |   IN Chatbots

Understanding the benefits of a chatbot and what it is can help you determine if you should be using one.

If you are in business online it doesn’t seem as though you can turn your computer on without being hit with a new buzzword or something new that is going to take your business to the next level. A lot of times this new offering is a rehash of an old idea. Not so when it comes to a chatbot.

A chatbot is a chat robot that utilizes software that has been developed to carry out a specific task which is to simulate conversation. It is designed through machine learning. There are many different types of bots but perhaps the chatbot is going to become the most important tool that a business can rely on to scale up many different areas of their business. A highly constructed chatbot has the ability to mimic a conversation that would be difficult for anyone using it to discern that they are actually carrying on a conversation with an application that is based on artificial intelligence. Depending on the programming of the chatbot it can respond to both spoken speech and text speech and can be a cognitive agent.

Can your Business Benefit From An Intelligent Virtual Agent Aka Chatbot?

If your business can benefit from any type of human interaction then the answer to this question would be yes. One of the most important aspects about the usage of an intelligent virtual assistant is not dependent on the size of the business. No longer does the small to medium sized businesses have to be denied the opportunity to use resources that are reserved only for large conglomerates.

How could your Business Integrate a Chatbot?

If you are using live chat or feel that you should be then you are a prime candidate as a business owner that could put a chatbot to good use. A chatbot has the ability to do everything that live chat services do, but without the potential flaws that can come with live chat. A chatbot does not have the human characteristics that can sometimes be negative in nature which can have an adverse effect to customer service.

An interactive virtual agent that is co-partnered with a live chat service can create a dynamic duo that would be hard to beat when it comes to excelling in customer service.

Integrating the Chatbot

Integrating the Chatbot Into Different Company Levels

The chatbot can be used on many different levels.

Customer queries
Just as an example it can be used to respond to customer queries. The chatbot will not have to depend on human memory or retention to be able to respond to customer queries. There are no risks of error or misinformation being provided to the end users.

In the sales arena
Not only can the interactive agent be used to answer questions and provide sales information about products and services, it can be used to upsell when responding to sales information. Using the automated chat sales associate in this fashion frees up critical time for sales teams so they can close their sales and generate new leads.

Data collection
An interactive talking program can gather large amounts of data from customer interaction where it can then disseminate this data into the proper categories, and expel that which has no value. By being able to depend on the chatbot for data organization it allows the decision makers within a company to gain better insights based on the data that has been collected, and it can be compiled into informative and accurate analytical reports.

The right chatbot
While this is the basics of what chatbots can do, how well they perform is all going to come down to the quality of artificial intelligence that they are designed with. The companies that are producing the technology have got to be one that is a leader in this industry. Otherwise a poor quality interactive conversational assistant will not perform to what they are capable of, and this will create a poor user experience. This in time will hurt the credibility of such an astounding resource that can serve any business well.

Companies that are intent on using technology as their stepping stone to success should be looking into utilizing chatbots now so they can get ahead of their competitors.

Author: Ron Miller

Ron Miller has made a name for himself in the tech media world as a writer and editor, relentlessly covering Chatbotalk, in addition to a broad range of startups in the fields of robotics, computer vision, AI, chatbots and more. He has lived in San Francisco for more than a decade, but will forever consider himself a proud New Yorker.