Businesses have always sought to respond to customer requests efficiently and quickly to ensure consumer loyalty to the brand. Today it is a must for a successful company. As before, a man looked for the help of machines in this difficult work. But this time there was a revolution in customer service. And the innovation responsible for this is artificial intelligence. An AI-based virtual assistant is considered the future of customer service and chat bots development companies help to put into practice.

What is a chatbot?

We call computer programs that mimic real conversations with a person, chatbots. The chat interface allows you to exchange text messages, display interactive buttons, media, links. We can use chatbots in all popular messaging applications. They can understand both written and oral text, interpret its meanings and react with human behavior.

Bot categories

The cost and capabilities of the chatbot depend on the technology it uses. There are two categories: (1) Chatbots based on predefined commands; (2) Based on artificial intelligence.

Bots of the first type rely on a database of answers and heuristics. The answer is they choose the one that matches the request context. Command chatbots cannot create new texts. They can answer a limited set of questions. Chatbot development platforms are enough in this case and the bot will be able to assist with typical issues. Command chatbots use pattern matching or dynamic search to understand and answer questions.

Chat robots based on artificial intelligence or machine learning can answer ambiguous questions. This means that when communicating, you do not need to be very precise and specific. Such algorithms can create answers from scratch using Natural Language Processing (NLP). They eventually get smarter, learning from past questions and answers.

Both categories have their advantages and disadvantages. Command chatbots can provide more reliable and grammatically correct answers but cannot answer questions beyond their knowledge base. On the other hand, although chatbots with machine learning need a lot of training data, they can answer non-standard questions and form longer sentences.

If you will decide to build an exceptional customer journey with AI virtual assistant, you should use not only bot building platforms. You need someone whose expertise is bot business. Why companies use outsourcing for development chatbot? Read please here.

Seven reasons why your business needs a chatbot

The easiest answer to this question is that a chatbot works 24/7 for 365 days a year and is much cheaper than other service channels. But the reasons are much broader.

1. Scaling operations

Chatbots do not suffer from limited human resources. A regular agent can handle a maximum of two to three conversations at the same time; artificial intelligence has no upper limit. Using these solutions, your business can get the momentum needed to enter new markets.

2. 100% service level

If your business does not cope with the processing of requests, chatbots will help relieve your support team. Being the first contact, chatbots can handle basic questions and redirect them to real agents when necessary.

3. Generations “Y” and “Z” will soon become your main customer

Millennials (Generation Y) and Generation Z were born during the rise and boom of digital technology. They can no longer imagine their life without the mobile Internet, gadgets and prefer to chat in chat, not by phone. They are not impulsive buyers and like to ask and compare products before they buy. These generations already make up the lion's share of buyers in the digital world. 52% of millennials would prefer an automated service channel, and 63% start interacting with the company online. For 64% of millennials, robotic interactions in solving problems are considered to be “comfortable” for themselves. And automating the main channel of their communication is a reasonable investment.

4. Interactive marketing platform

Unlike applications and websites, chatbots provide interactive user interaction. In this case, you can build proactive marketing campaigns covering a large number of people at the same time.

5. Must survive

Gartner predicts that by 2020, 85% of customer interactions will occur without human involvement. Globally, the number of contacts with customer service through a live agent has decreased by 10% over the past two years. The developers created more than thirty thousand bots in six months for Facebook Messenger after the presentation of the Messenger Platform. More than four billion people already use messaging applications, and six out of ten most used applications in the world are instant messengers. A study by Ubisend showed a change in user behavior:

- 51% of respondents expect a business to be available 24/7;

- 45.8% more comfortable to communicate with business via instant messengers than via email;

- 49.4% prefer messages than a phone.

6. User fatigue from applications

Consumers are tired of installing, updating and learning how to work with mobile applications. Companies are tired of spending significant funds on developing, maintaining and marketing mobile applications only to discover that a small number of users use them. Chatbots simplify mobile apps. Instead of navigating through the interface and looking for the right information or functionality, users can enter what interests them. It is also easy to replace several applications with one chatbot. Together, these benefits allow inexperienced users to interact with many complex applications in an intuitive way in a single interface. Gartner predicts that by 2021 more than 50% of enterprises will spend more on creating bots per year than on developing traditional mobile applications.

7. Self-improving knowledge base

According to Microsoft research, more than half of users could not solve their problems on their own due to the lack of sufficient information online. And 75% of users, instead of immediately calling the call center, begin to search for the necessary answers in search engines. Chatbot performs the function of a search engine for a particular direction with rich functionality. In addition, it is a huge advantage searching for an existing or new user in your database because you can skillfully manage this process with the help of marketing.