Artificial intelligence is the next big revolution awaiting the world of internet technology. It has already begun to make its presence felt in e-commerce in the form of chatbots. For the uninitiated, a chatbot is an artificial intelligence computer program that simulates human conversations via text or voice messages. Remember seeing that chat window pop up on websites? That is the simplest example of a chatbot.
Chatbot designs are based on machine learning and are equipped not to follow commands but understand language and respond accordingly. These features of chatbot enable them to hold conversations and answer queries.
With titans like Mark Zuckerberg and Satya Nadella emphasizing the wonders of this AI, and tech giants like Google, Facebook and Windows already rolling out their bot technology, it can safely be assumed that chatbots are set to become increasingly common.
TYPES OF CHATBOTS
There are various kinds of chatbot designs available in the market to suit your business type and requirement. Chatbots are either based on AI or Command tech. The former is more intelligent and can answer indirect and unclear questions while the latter works on pre-coded messages and is limited in its ability to handle queries. Based on their capabilities and level of tech complexity, chatbots can categorize as:
1. Button/menu based chatbots: They are the most basic variety of chatbots that can help customers with the necessary FAQ type of questions.
2. Keyword recognition chatbots: As the name suggests, these chatbots can identify predetermined keywords and respond accordingly. This helps in providing customized responses to the customer.
3. Contextual chatbots: These are the most advanced form of chatbots. They can remember and store previous conversations and utilize this information to grow over time.
CHATBOT USE CASES
You can build a chatbot for a variety of purposes:
1. Order processing. In particular, the food industry has leveraged the use of a chatbot to make the online ordering experience easier for the customer. Biggies like Dominos, Burger King, Taco Bell, etc., have already automated ordering. Slack is an excellent example of such a bot. Such chatbots can take your order, make suggestions based on previous orders, and even make reservations. Customers find bots easier to use since they can quickly steer through the ordering process without spending time explaining instructions over the phone.
2. Pleasant customer experience. E-commerce platforms are using bots to engage the customer and assist them in navigating the site to look for the desired product. The bots are capable of giving recommendations to the customer and also help them in finding the right product as per their criteria. This results in saving the customer’s time and makes for a great shopping experience. Brands like H&M, Sephora, etc., are already using bots to personalize shopping for their customers.
3. Customer support. As the number of customers increases, it becomes challenging to handle queries and complaints. A chatbot eases the burden of the customer support team and resolves customer problems faster. Bots can quickly address simpler issues like product delivery, returns, exchange, etc. This eliminates the need for a customer to spend time waiting over a call. As a business, it helps you cut costs by reducing the employees required in the call center team.
4. Payments. Since 2016, Facebook Messenger has been upgraded to not just accepting orders but also making payments. Integrating a payment portal with Siri, Messenger, or others, allows the customer to make direct payments and streamline the purchase process. Bots can also be used to set up recurring payments or remind customers of the bill’s pending amount or due date.
5. Health Care. The ability to store customer information read more.