A brief introduction of ChatBots and why it is important
A chatbot (also known as a smartbot, conversational bot, chatterbot, interactive agent, conversational interface, Conversational AI, or artificial conversational entity) is a computer program or an artificial intelligence which conducts a conversation via auditory or textual methods. Such programs are often designed to convincingly simulate how a human would behave as a conversational partner, thereby passing the Turing test. Chatbots are typically used in dialog systems for various practical purposes including customer service or information acquisition. Some chatbots use sophisticated natural language processing systems, but many simpler ones scan for keywords within the input, then pull a reply with the most matching keywords, or the most similar wording pattern, from a database.
These benefits have led to increased adoption of Chatbots by both businesses and consumers. This is great news for businesses and entrepreneurs as they can develop Chatbots to augment or improve the efficiency of any aspect of their business operations, improve customer engagement and enhance User Experience. The following examples highlight interesting applications of Chatbots in businesses across various industries
Media Publishers have realized that chatbots are a powerful way to engage with their audiences and monitor engagement to gain valuable insights on reader interests. Chat with the CNN and Wall Street Journal Chatbots on Facebook Messenger and receive the latest news directly in Messenger, without having to visit their websites.
Various fast food giants like KFC and Pizza Hut have invested in Chatbots that enable customers to place their orders through conversations. Taco Bell went a step further to improve the conversational experience by giving their Chatbot named TacoBot some personality. It cracks jokes, uses emojis, answers trivia questions, and will even add a cup of water to an order if the customer mentions being hungover.
Icelandair’s chatbot gives their customers the ability to search for and book flights in a text-based conversational manner. Instead of drop-down menus, customers enter the information themselves. These features give customers more control over how the flight is booked and it also keeps the entire conversation in one thread so that the purchase information can be reviewed and called up with ease.
The way market researchers get in touch with respondents is changing as many respondents may prefer to be contacted on WhatsApp or the Facebook messenger. Instead of having a dedicated survey app, many research firms are developing Chatbots to have personalized, engaging conversational surveys with respondents to improve the experience and increase completion rates.
Uber in partnership with Facebook has enabled users to sign up for Uber and request a ride, without having to leave Messenger or download the Uber app. Ride status updates and ride receipts are delivered to a private conversation between the customers and Uber on Messenger, making it easy to track Uber rides and payment history.