Thanks to recent advances in digital technology, many industries have been impacted. The most obvious case is in the trade sector. Today, the means used for commercial exchanges (purchases and sales of goods and services) are not what they used to be. As digitalization is now at the heart of these activities, sales people are increasingly using social networks (Facebook, Messenger) and websites (mobile application) for their business needs. It is this situation that has favored the advent of chatbots.
What is a chatbot?
The word chatbot is an English word that has become part of the French language over time. It is therefore an anglicism composed of two lexical units: cat and bot . Each of these units has a specific meaning. Indeed, “chat” is derived from the verb “to chat” which refers to “discussion” while “bot” is nothing but the truncation of the noun robot. Therefore, when we combine these words, we obtain “discussion robot” or “conversation robot”. This chatbot is used by sales people to exchange with their customers in an automatic way. The bot is programmed to carry on a normal conversation with the user by sending contextually appropriate messages and responses.
Moreover, there is a simple and short definition of chatbot that is easy to remember. This one wants the conversation agent to be defined as “a computer program designed to simulate a conversation with human users, especially on the Internet”. According to this definition, bots can only be implemented through the internet tool through social networks, commercial platforms and websites.
How do bots or chatbots work?
To better understand how conversation agents work, it is important to know that there is more than one type of bot. There is usually the simple or basic chatbot and the advanced chatbot. The implementation of these chatbots differs from one type to another.
The advanced chatbot
If you are looking for a short definition, remember that the chatbot is said to be advanced because of the level of complexity of the language it obeys (machine learning, natural language processing technique). Classified as strong artificial intelligence, it can imitate human action very well. Chatbots perform tasks like:
- Send messages to users or customers (automatic response)
- Send appropriate responses to customer questions and needs
- Propose medical services to the sick client according to the available data (chatbot for doctor)
- Provide financial advice and banking service to users and customers of finance companies (chatbots for banking organizations)
- Propose sewing models according to the needs and measurements of the client of the styling companies (chatbots for stylists)
- Receive customer orders and manage package deliveries (chatbots for dropshippers)
- Perform HR administrative or secretarial tasks (chatbots for companies)
Simple or basic bots
A bot is said to be basic when it is only designed to perform basic tasks that do not require strong artificial intelligence. Bots in this category are used by companies in their marketing strategies to :
- Inform the customer (press kit)
- Provide after-sales service
- Send funny messages to users to be closer to them
- Describe the products offered by the company
- Marketing through social networks or other internet related means
Given the basic level of programming used for these conversational agents, their implementation does not require any particular criteria regarding the choice of the conversational agent.
The chatbot: what are the advantages?
The use of a bot is a decision that can positively impact your business in several ways.
The bot saves time in business
In real life, a customer service department can spend a considerable amount of time going through numerous messages (left by prospects) in order to formulate adequate responses. Opting to automate these tasks can save you time.
The bot brings you closer to your customers
To attract people or to keep them coming back for more, you need to create a relationship between you and your customers. The use of chatbots (conversational agents) is a great way to optimize your marketing strategies.
Moreover, it should also be noted that the conversational agent not only improves your relationship with your prospects, but also allows you to guarantee permanent assistance to your customers.