What is a chatbot? Have you heard the term Chatbot ? It may be, but even if you have not heard it, most likely you have come across one on the Internet, since they are a quite useful tool to help Business Online automate a large part of its Marketing and customer service actions.
In itself, it is not a very complex tool and, in addition to those already mentioned, it can have a large number of uses, depending on what the objectives you want to achieve in your company are. In addition, what makes them an excellent tool is not only its versatility, but the benefits it brings you when it comes to improving the experience you give users of your website.
In this article I want to tell you everything you need to know about them, from what exactly is a chatbot (in case you are one of those who do not yet know it), what they are for and even how you can create them through some of the best Apps that exist today.
What is a Chatbot?
Chatbot , translated into Spanish, means something like ” chat robot ” which, although this translation does not make much sense literally, is exactly what we are referring to: a type of “robot” that is capable of chatting and interacting with certain users, that is, you can both receive and send messages to them.
To be a little more technical with its definition, it is an Artificial Intelligence program that we, as Webmasters, configure to respond to our audience when they enter our website or any specific chat room.
Regarding the latter, you can find the main social networks in the market, from WhatsApp conversations and groups, Facebook Messenger and even streaming platforms such as Twitch, and this of course includes Blogs, Websites and online stores, as I have mentioned before. .
Surely you have already come across one of them: an example may be when you enter a page of a company and a chat window appears with an automatic message.
These are usually a chatbot where you can consult your doubts quickly and directly, while a customer service employee contacts you.
As a curious fact, the responsiveness of one can vary greatly depending on the need of the company that implements it , from responding to simple messages or queries to making reservations without the need to involve any company employee.
This last example is common in huge hotel chains, which usually have large numbers of customers and need to streamline their service processes.
What exactly is a Chatbot for?
I already mentioned that the capacity of this type of software may vary depending on the company that implements it and its needs.
But, what benefits can be given to these programs with artificial intelligence? Here are some examples:
1. Customer service
The first function, and the main reason why it is a good idea to create one for your business and include it in your Digital Marketing plan is this.
If there is a problem that humans deal with day by day, it is the lack of time to do all our daily activities and tasks, and in a company or business the same thing happens.
Unfortunately, we don’t always have enough time to serve all of our clients when they write to us, and it is precisely at this point where the chatbot shows its main usefulness.
The type of response that a chatbot can give varies a lot depending on the type and purpose for which it was created.
However, in general, they are able to at least respond with a programmed message or act by default in certain situations, be it a click, a received message or simply enter our website.
Whichever type you use, your clients will have a way to contact your business through them or, at least, they will know that you will attend them shortly.
2. Community management
Another excellent utility that these programs have is that of managing a community or group chat. Again, we don’t always have enough time to devote our full attention to a single activity, except when it is time consuming.
For this activity we need to be 100% attentive to the conversation in case someone commits a violation.
This particular case is quite common on platforms like Twitch, YouTube or the like.
In this type of streaming platform, a chat is usually available for live broadcasts, and managing this chat during a broadcast can be quite a complicated task, especially when the audience is constantly growing.
It is at these times that a tool of this caliber comes in handy, as it helps you manage the community and sanction those people who break the rules automatically.
3. It is a channel to send information or announcements of new content
Depending on the medium in which the chatbot is used, it can become a channel to send news, announcements of new content or even implement Outbound Marketing strategies.
It is usually mainly effective when used on social networks such as Facebook groups , which are much more common and crowded than a personal profile or page.
In a way, it could be said that they are an excellent method to send newsletters from other external channels to email.
4. Make a sale
Chatbot technology and Artificial Intelligence in general has advanced so much that it is now possible to make sales without even “ interacting ” with the customer.
For this, it is necessary to create a more elaborate chatbot and with much more programming in between.
However, today it is possible to make sales through these conversational robots .
Does it look like science fiction?
It may be, but the truth is that some of the largest hotel chains are taking advantage of it. Earlier I mentioned that chatbots are being used to answer customer queries and even to make reservations.
This allows you to get an idea of how advanced this technology is and that the uses in the customer service area are quite a few.
5. As a guide in your store
There are some chatbots that can be used as a filter when searching for a specific product in a store , somewhat like a catalog guide.
These types of programs usually ask a series of questions and then offer groups of products based on the answers given by customers.
They are a way to improve the user experience while improving the navigability of the website.
Some are even capable of creating product or service packages based on customer needs.
6. As a host at meetings or events
A rather interesting utility that these types of programs have is that of serving as a host in events and congresses , or even in small meetings.
Not only are they capable of scheduling digital meetings, but they can even serve as mediators , some can even stay in constant contact with guests, offering information or solving queries regarding the event, some others keep entertaining guests during breaks.
It does not even have to be a digital meeting or event, and it is because, thanks to mobile technology, it is possible to have one of these programs in WhatsApp or Facebook conversations , so even if it were face-to-face events, it is still possible count on the continuous assistance of these robots.
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How Does A Chatbot Work And What Types Are There?
Now that you know what a chatbot is and how it can be useful to you both for your online store and in other areas of your professional life, it is time to explain about how it works.
I have already told you that they are programs, and as such, they are a set of lines of code that give you a certain programming, that is, orders of what you have to do.
However, it remains true that only with pre-programmed behavior it is impossible to carry out all that they are capable of.
Therefore, to go further, we must resort to «Machine Learning» and Artificial Intelligence.
Now, at this point we must make a clarification, and that is that, broadly speaking, we can divide them into two types : those that give predetermined and conditioned responses or messages, and those that really are capable of having a conversation with users.
Of course, the main difference between the two is the way in which they operate and how they can fulfill their functions , which is to interact with users.
1) Default answer chatbots
They are basically those that are programmed to respond to certain ” stimuli “ .
The complexity of the response and the stimuli to which they are able to respond varies considerably depending on the objective with which they have been created and the time and effort invested in doing so.
Some of them are only capable of sending prerecorded messages when clicking on or entering certain areas of the Web, others are capable of responding to specific keywords or questions, while more advanced ones are capable of responding to phrases a bit. more complex.
In any of the cases, the chatbot does not go beyond giving predetermined answers to the users when the established conditions are met or when the correct questions are asked, this being its main limitation.
Of course, this limit is offset by its ease of implementation and because it is tremendously affordable and can still go a long way in your business.
2) Chatbots with Artificial Intelligence
Those with AI technology implemented are the true wonder, as they are even capable of having conversations with users , answering questions, queries and messages in general as if they were someone else.
The best thing is that, thanks to Machine Learning, one of these robots with artificial intelligence is capable of learning and improving, having increasingly fluid conversations and responding more quickly and easily to users who make a query on your website.
This particular type requires more work to create it, however, they are much more rewarding and the usefulness it has goes far beyond basic customer service when they enter your page.
This is the type of chatbots that is capable of making sales without the intervention of an employee.
Explained this second type, these are the two main types that exist today, each with its advantages and disadvantages.
Don’t worry if you don’t have one with AI in your business, the important thing is to have one that adapts to your needs and that works as you need.
And speaking of which, have you thought about creating a chatbot for your business?
Well it’s not a bad time to try.
If you feel like it, you can try some of these tools that I suggest below:
The 5 Best Apps and Platforms With Which To Create Your Own Chatbot
To end this article, I want to show you some of the digital tools to create them, among all those currently on the market.
Many of these are very versatile and easy to use, so you will not have many problems when creating your own conversational robot, you do not even have to worry about managing programming languages perfectly.
Let’s start with one that is quite simple and quick to use, it is Chatfuel , and beware that not being easy to use is one of the worst, not at all.
It is one of the leading companies in the creation of chatbot and focuses mainly on software for Facebook Messenger .
It is a fairly complete tool and will allow you to create your own automation in just over 10 minutes.
Many large companies in the world use this tool, so you can get an idea of its effectiveness.
2. Microsoft Bot Framework
Microsoft is one of the leaders in artificial intelligence research, making it impossible to ignore this company when it comes to chatbots, and the clearest example is the Microsoft Bot Framework .
It is an intuitive service brought by this company, which allows you to create your own bot with impeccable quality .
The best thing is that you do not require a high degree of instruction in code or programming languages, it is easy to use and just by following the instructions given by the program, you will have a very professional and high quality chatbot.
3. Telegram Bot Api
If your objective is to create a chatbot for Telegram, you do not have to go to third-party Apps, since Telegram itself offers support for the creation of these bots.
It is very easy and you can create them for different tasks, so I invite you to take a look at the Telegram Bot Api section of their website.
MobileMonkey is one of the main platforms for creating chatbots that are currently on the Internet.
It has an incredible variety of advantages and benefits, in addition to allowing you to unify different communication channels in one place , to chat with your customers at any time and on any platform.
Its creation system is quite intuitive and complete , so you can create your own in no time, with no idea of programming.
To finish, I want to recommend Wit.ai , it is a platform focused on automation, and not just conversations or customer service, but much more.
This tool offers you all kinds of interesting functionalities, it even helps you automate your home and that your devices understand you when you talk to them, so you can turn off the lights just by asking.
It is quite complete and interesting , and without a doubt one of the most professional; And don’t worry, even Wit.ai works so that those without prior knowledge can take advantage of it too.
As you have been able to verify, knowing what a chatbot is and, also, knowing how to create one for your own project is a weapon that you could use in your favor and in order to overthrow your competition, if they still do not use it both to serve their customers and to perform various tasks.
You have already seen the large number of utilities it presents, so I would think about it when scaling your project and making it much more automatic.