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What is a chatbot and why might my business need it?

Chatbot, chatterbot or talkbot is a name for a virtual user that stimulates human conversations. A chatbot can interact with humans or other chatbots, most commonly using a text interface.

The difference to a bot, an automated program that runs over the internet, is that that chatbots use artificial intelligence (AI). AI is a simulation of human intelligence.  This means, on the one hand, that the chatbot is able to learn and apply the information acquired (user information like age, location, gender etc.), on the other hand, that it can correct itself which results in performance improvement (e. g. adapts language).

Chatbots can be used in different areas. Sometimes you won’t even notice that you’re talking with a chatbot. To give some examples where chatbots are used:

  • Food delivery
  • Customer support
  • Weather reporting
  • Sending money
  • Shopping

Mobile texting is one of the fastest growing trends this decade. Domo presented an infographic which states that in 2017, 15,220,700 texts are sent every minute of every day worldwide. According to a global study conducted by Twilio, approximately 66% of people would prefer to talk to brands on messaging platforms over any other medium. We’ve examined a few questions you might have…

What are the benefits of using a chatbot?

Chatbots can support your business and facilitate exponential growth. Depending on the industry a chatbot can have different purposes and benefits, here are just a few:

  • Chatbots don’t need sleep or breaks. They are available 24/7 for your customer service enquiries
  • Chatbots can improve customer service. To give an example, they can recommend clothing products individually by evaluating user data (H&M)
  • Chatbots can increase customer satisfaction. A customer report, commissioned by LivePerson, states that 71% of customers expect to receive assistance within 5 minutes of reaching out to the company.

What are the limits of a chatbot?

Chatbots are limited in certain subjects. The chatbot will most certainly always give an answer even though the programme doesn’t have the right information. Therefore, it can present incorrect information to a customer.

Furthermore, chatbot cannot replace human support entirely. In certain situations, the chatbot might need to transfer your customer to an agent because data is not accessible for the chatbot (e. g. credit appliance).

How do I create my own chatbot?

There are 3 different routes to explore if you want to create your own chatbot:

  1. Off the shelf chatbot: The easiest option to choose, and the most basic solution. Buy a ready to go solution and simply customsie it or plug in your data.You can add keywords and certain FAQ type scenarios
  2. Software development kit: A programming package that enables you to develop a chatbot for a specific platform (i.e. Facebook’s SDK).
  3. Build your own chatbot: The hardest option but potentially the most effective one over the long-term. You can build a chatbot that perfectly fits you and your customers’ needs

If you’d like to see how a chatbot works, visit our Facebook page and send us a message with keywords like “Tell me a joke” or “What does Bigwave” do.

Don’t have the capacity to take care of your Social Media presence? At Bigwave media we have a team of Social Media experts that can help you to engage with your customers, inform about and promote your business, including advising on a Chatbot strategy.

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