Developing chatbots: smart, versatile, humanlike
As virtual assistants, chatbots are grouped together with voice assistants under the category of conversational agents. Companies of all types and sizes are growing increasingly fond of them for customer communication or optimizing internal workflows. Their potential applications are extremely diverse:
- Automation of payment processes
- Individual product configuration and providing advice during product selection
- Booking events, hotel stays, or transportation
- Ordering food and having food delivered
- Customer service and consultation in the financial, insurance, healthcare, and energy supply sectors
- Support during elections or referendums
- Conducting complex surveys and opinion polls for research and development
Gone are the times when a chatbot merely regurgitated the words “Welcome, how can I help you?” and gave you the option of either viewing FAQ or being redirected to the customer service team. Like voice assistants, modern chatbots are complex, AI-driven systems that anticipate user needs and can respond appropriately in any situation.
A chatbot’s task is to engage in a natural dialogue with the user, whether to fulfill a functional role, for example by providing information or recommending products, or to simply entertain.
What’s unique about this human-machine communication is that the machine, i.e. the chatbot, is taking on increasingly human traits and characteristics – something that is important for the customer to perceive it as a legitimate conversational partner and additionally develop empathy and a rapport with it, all of which ultimately translates into a positive user experience. Chatbots should therefore have machine learning capabilities and be able to work with NLP (natural language processing) in order to
- anticipate natural voice queries from users,
- learn from the content of queries, and
- respond pleasantly, satisfactorily, and in a tone that is suitable for the individual user.
In our free guide on chatbot development, you’ll find out how to give your chatbot a personality that will enthrall your target group.
New possibilities: chatbots in messaging apps
A chatbot is often the first and only touchpoint between your target group or customer and your company. So, particularly in the context of chatbot marketing or conversational commerce, chatbots also have the task of
- creating additional touchpoints,
- getting the user to stay longer, and
- thus keeping the customer journey alive.
For that reason, it is effective and consequently becoming increasingly popular to integrate chatbots or voicebots into messenger services such as WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger. Owing to the technical developments of AI and the constantly improving scope for personalizing and more importantly individualizing chatbot communication, chatbots and voicebots are increasingly venturing from their familiar territory in customer service to demonstrate their growing versatility in marketing. For example, you could use your bot for the following purposes:
- Boosting brand awareness
- Lead generation
- Content marketing
Our guide on chatbot development explains how you can design your chatbot so that it actively helps you reach your corporate goals.
Brace yourself for the voice search revolution with a chatbot
If you want to introduce an automated dialogue system for your company, you should definitely develop a chatbot. Nearly every chatbot builder or chatbot developer platform now contains features that make it incredibly easy to implement a speech-to-text or text-to-voice interface once you have developed your chatbot.
Speech recognition also offers you the advantage that typos don’t enter the picture and misunderstandings are less frequent. From the perspective of users, NLP integration makes sense because they find communicating with a voicebot even more personal and friendly than with a conventional text-based chatbot. For the best approach to systematically creating your chatbot, just follow the seven-step plan in our free guide on chatbot development. Our guide also presents 26 chatbot builders that you should consider for programming your chatbot.