The constant evolution of technology has led to shopping and buying behaviour forever changing too. Chatbots have burst onto the scene and are popular with the modern day prospect. But what are they? And why have they become so popular?

Here's everything you need to know, from the rising popularity of chatbots to why they're important for customer experience.

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What are Chatbots?

A chatbot is a computerised process that mimics a real-life conversation to help shoppers or visitors navigate around your website more easily. Nowadays, people will try and do anything to avoid having to converse with someone or look for the easiest way possible, so chatbots are a handy tool to have.

As it’s a programmed system and not an actual person behind the bot, the answers can be restricted and pretty generic. They rely on a basis of frequently asked questions (FAQs) to form the selection of answers. Basically, they’re interactive FAQs that rely on the recognition of certain keywords to pull up relevant answers.

There are generally two types of chatbot - simple and smart. Simple chatbots are more restricted with their answers and only understand specific queries that have been pre-programmed into them. Whereas, smart chatbots automatically learn from previous conversations and can store huge amounts of data to get you to the eventual right answer. 

How Do They Work?

Chatbots are an advanced example of artificial intelligence. The bots take a combination of various steps that can convert speech or text and bring up the relevant results for your search.

Some of them work in different ways, but the main processes that go on behind them are:

  • Named entity recognition. Bots will search for categories of words, like a product name, an address or a keyword.

  • Normalisation. This bot processes common spelling or typos that might impact the meaning of what you’re trying to search. The bot will then pull a “did you mean…” search results page to rectify your error.

  • Dependency parsing. Seeks out subjects and objects within the given text to find dependent phrases.

  • Analysis. Looks to see whether the user looks lost or is having a bad experience, then will pop up and offer support.

Why Are They so Popular?

Chatbots are increasingly popular within businesses and it’s largely down to the convenience of customer support. Not only do they save time and effort, but an automatic artificial intelligence helps your team focus their efforts to another part of the business for productivity.

Studies say that by 2020, around 85 percent of interactions online will be handled by bots rather than humans. Chatbots are primarily used for conversing with users, but it’s not their only use. They’re also the perfect tool to gain further insight into your users, help organise meetings and more.

Chatbots can be of great use to enterprise companies by:

  • Improving customer service levels. One of the main reasons your business will get the nod over your competitors is largely down to customer experience. You could be promoting the best product or service in the world, but if your customer service levels are shoddy then it can severely hamper your chances of conversion. Chatbots can supply real-time assistance and help accelerate the nurturing process.

  • Cut down on costs. Implementing a chatbot is way cheaper than hiring new employees. Plus, there’s no limit to how many conversations chatbots can have at one time, saving on recruiting a full team. Also, chatbots reduce any human error and are pretty accurate.

  • Gaining customer insights. Monitor customer data and make more intelligent business moves in order to increase the chances of converting your leads. The more you know about the customer, the easier you can target them with relevant content that will hopefully accelerate the process.

  • Automate repetitive tasks. For a person to sit on live chat all day, every day, it would become pretty tedious really quick. This means that motivation would be down and that would probably have a direct impact on accuracy and mistakes would slowly creep in. Chatbots automate this role so employees can spend their time focusing on other important tasks that need doing. Plus, they remove any chance of a slip in concentration and ensure 100 percent accuracy.

Find Out How to Grow Your Business Effectively

Chatbots are a great addition to any business’ marketing efforts. Not only are they super effective but they’re also a lot kinder on the wallet too, which is never a bad thing, right? Well, chatbots are just one way of ensuring that your company is as efficient as possible. There are many others that you can hone in on.

We’ve put together an all-in-one guide that shows you everything you need to know about running large scale campaigns effectively. Get your free copy below.

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