To get the answers we called on artificial intelligence expert Leo Gui, Co-Founder of inGenious AI – a startup which believes in creating engaging, informative and useful conversational interfaces, to give us the lowdown.
Did you know that it takes roughly 23 minutes to recover from a distraction at work, and get back on your productivity phase?
Millions of dollars are wasted everyday by companies in the form of work distractions. Click To Tweet They may take up any form, but one of the usual work distractions are phone calls.
You’ve probably answered a phone call while on your work euphoria, only to discover that it was an unnecessary one. Then when you got back to work, you feel disoriented and confused on where to start again.
I’m sure it took you a while to go back to the “zone”.
In addition to this, many companies invest on hiring employees who does extremely minimalistic jobs.
An example would be front desk officers. Answering inquiries by customers are the only ones that these employees do from time in to time out.
Letting someone do such meager task is unhealthy on both sides-the company in investing money on unnecessary labor cost that it can use elsewhere, and at the same time, the employee in suffering from doing repetitive and tedious tasks.
Given the case, why not just hire a robot, you say? True enough, this is what modern companies are already doing.
Answering queries by customers, engaging clients through meaningful conversations, and promoting your products and services in a personal manner, are now being done by the phenomenon that is Chatbots.
A chatbot is basically a chatting robot – an automated program that engages customers through conversations. Chatbot combines the power of AI and a messaging platform to engage customers and users.
There are 2 types of chatbots:
The script-based chatbots engage customers in a conversation using pre-set phrases created by the programmer. It tries to understand a query given by a customer, and replies back with the most relevant script.
On the other hand, AI chatbots are programmed to understand the customer and be able to reply back with unique scripts generated artificially by the program. It is based on the human capability to absorb information, incorporated into a virtual persona that is AI.
It learns through machine learning-the process by which a program learns over time by gathering and analyzing data, and providing a response that is based on the interpreted data.
Chatbot is a computer and human interaction in a form of a conversation.
Most companies use script-based Chatbots because they are able to control how the chatbot will reply back to customers. After all, most companies don’t want to possibly send a misguided reply to your customer generated through AI.
The customer behavior in online interactions is changing. Before, companies are able to catch the attention of users by sharing engaging content in people’s newsfeed.
However, that is not the way to go anymore. People are spending less time browsing through their feeds, and more time is spent on personal messaging.
Because of this, companies must adjust and be able to entertain customers/clients through messaging platforms.
Through chatbot, we are able to engage these clients via personal messaging. It enables businesses to start a conversation / sales talk with them when they reply to your marketing messages and chats.
Chatbots can be used to help businesses engage well with their clients. However, as much as it is powerful, it is also limited. If chatbots can’t answer a client’s query, it must be forwarded to a human.
We have a lot to learn from its history, and how it was first used and developed during its humble beginnings in China.
“Chatbots can be used to help businesses engage well with their clients. However, as much as it is powerful, it is also limited.” ~ Leo Gui
You might be surprised that chatbots started as early as 2013 in China. Wechat, the #1 social chatting application in China, launched a chatbot-like service in the year 2013 due to customer inquiry issues faced by businesses.
Chinese products have become notorious in the eyes of consumers due to the numerous product safety scandals that rose in that period. Due to this, customers started to become more skeptical and choosy on the items they want to buy.
They started bombarding social media pages of these businesses with a lot of questions regarding their items of interest. This brought up the need to create an artificial program that could address the inquiries of customers.
With this need, Wechat developed a chatbot platform to help businesses in this case.
Due to the increasing demand for information by customers, and as the competition among businesses get tighter, it is important that businesses consider non-conventional ways to engage customers on demand.
In addition to knowing the daily habits of successful people to fast track their business, chatbots can provide your business a winning opportunity for several reasons:
Chatbots are very helpful in generating leads for businesses. Now, businesses are able to engage customers who used to just leave a like on a given page. With chatbot, businesses are now able to interact with clients as soon as they show an interest with your page.
Chatbots drive real time, two-way engagement, using a typical blog content to carefully select phrases that can be used to engage in meaningful conversations with customers.
At the same time, you are able to make your chatbot smarter through machine learning, by constantly learning from the responses made by your audience.
Customers are easily engaged through the easy yet comprehensive experience provided by chatbots. It allows customers to ask questions and be provided with answers that is custom-fit to their specific requirements.
Over time, chatbots learn how to personalize its interaction with a given client through machine learning. This gives the impression to the customers that they are remembered by the business, thus creating that loyalty connection with the customer.
As an example, Taco Bell’s TacoBot, remembers the previous customer’s transactions and recommends menu items based on their records of your orders.
Have you ever tried calling a service provider and waited 30 minutes before an operator was able to take your call?
With chatbot, this scenario will totally be eliminated– it is able to answer chat queries in an instant.
As soon as a customer asks a question, the chatbot can respond on the spot. In addition to this, chatbots are operational 24/7, so you don’t have to worry wasting time missing out on attending to a troubled customer in the middle of the night.
Hiring a customer service assistant is already a part of the past, because chatbots are able to perform the same job, in a cheaper and more efficient manner.
Not to mention, they are better when it comes to attending to customer needs than a human, who may not be available 24/7 and sometimes may be tempted to slack in their job.
Time is a very important resource. We must learn how to effectively delegate activities to save time and effort. Clearly, using chatbots is one way of doing this.
“As soon as a customer asks a question, the chatbot can respond on the spot.” ~ Leo Gui
Now that we’ve understood the benefits of using chatbots, we must learn how to use chatbot to enable this in our business. I’ve listed down different tools to help you start with your chatbot journey. Don’t worry, you don’t need coding knowledge to be able to use and incorporate this in your business.
Chatfuel is a multiple choice script-based chatbot that offers facebook chatbot services that is easily integrated to your business page.
You don’t even need to know programming to use it. Several prominent businesses such as Adidas, British Airways, and Buzzfeed uses Chatfuel to engage clients through the facebook messenger application.
To use Chatfuel, you just simply log onto your account via the Chatfuel website, choose a template, and simply edit and add scripts according to your preferences.
On the other hand, API AI is an AI-based chatbot that lets you engage with clients through a machine-learning enabled program.
Compared to Chatfuel, this is a smoother and smarter chatbot, but it may need some programming knowledge from the business owner.
To start with API AI, you first create an agent and input its basic details such as the name, language, and timezone.
After this, you are now able to customize how it will respond to queries using the test console.
You may also add additional features such as small talks to make your chatbot more interesting.
“What really matters is content–best is still to get a specialist who knows how to customize your chatbot and test it with friends and family before launching it.” – Leo Gui
Chatbots are an indispensable tool for businesses in the modern period. It lets you connect with your clients in an instant, by being able to attend to inquiries provided by customers at any particular time.
At the same time, it lets your business save a relevant amount of money, which allows you to put to use this saving in other important aspects of your business.
Amidst this, knowing how to utilize chatbots is a must if we are aiming to establish a realistic, human-like, connection with our customers.
What really matters is content — best is still to get a specialist who knows how to customize your chatbot and test it with friends and family before launching it.