If you have visited the internet at least once in the past year, I can guarantee that you have come in contact with a chatbot from a company such as ConvertoBot. You interacted with the chatbot and probably had a pleasant experience on the site. Chatbots have been particularly thriving for the past few years.
However, did you ever sit and think or find out exactly what a chatbot is? I highly doubt it. Well, let me enlighten you. Chatbots are tiny computer programs used to simulate human conversation and interact with real people automatically to assist them with their problems and help them complete their tasks on a website.
Chatbots are usually programmed with scripts called chatbot scripts to help with conversation flow and help the conversation be as organic as possible. The chatbot scripts are usually are determined by the business goals and the customer’s purchase journey.
However, not all chatbots are made alike. There are different types of chatbots; some basic and some advanced. However, if chatbots are categorised they typically fall into three groups:
Menu/Button Based Chatbots
Button based chatbots are the simplest type of chatbots available. They are commonly designed as decision tree hierarchies presented to customers as buttons. They are a hierarchical structure of chatbot responses.
Simply stated, menu based chatbots prompt the user to make several subsequent decisions to on their way to the final answer. Such chatbots are great to answer FAQs which usually make up 4/5 of customer support queries.
Button based chatbots will fail if there is too much information to evaluate or too many variables at play. They will be unable to lead the customer to the final answer they desire. When they do work, they are slow in getting customers to their desired destination.
Keyword Recognition Based Chatbots
Keyword recognition based chatbots use Artificial Intelligence to determine the appropriate answer for a user’s query. Using customised keywords, the chatbot processes the keywords entered to find the most relevant response. They function just like a search engine to some degree.
Though they offer relevant and specific answers without ever going off course, they will also miserable fail when they have to answer a string of similar questions. They are also not helpful if they are keyword inconsistencies.
Keyword recognition based chatbots and button based chatbots can be combined to form a hybrid chatbot and they are in fact becoming more popular. The combination leads to greater effectiveness of the chatbot.
Contextual chatbots are the most complex of all the chatbots. They use Machine Learning and AI to recall conversations with users over time which they use to learn and grow.
They are smart enough to improve themselves depending on what and how the users are asking for. They are also referred to as natural language learning processing chatbots.
Contextual chatbots are very data centric in their approach to dealing with users. Using a conversational chatbot to shorten a process e.g. a pizza order process is the major benefit of a contextual chatbot.