What is a Chatbot and How are they Used?

What is a Chatbot and How are they Used

Have you heard the term “chatbot”?  You have probably interacted with one and not even known.  What is a chatbot and how are they used by various businesses?  A chatbot is in effect an automated chat system that is powered by rules or artificial intelligence.  It is used to interact with you customers through an interface, they can be functional and even fun.  Thus far they have been used in text messages, Facebook messenger along with Telegram and slack.

Today, businesses have a plethora of ways to communicate with their customers.  One of the more popular ways to communicate is through chat, it is faster and you can do it from your phone almost anywhere.  Now imagine you’re doing some online shopping and you can’t find what you are looking for.  You can simply tell the chatbot and they deliver you to the right page to place your order.  Shopping isn’t the only use for chatbots, you can use them for scheduling, financial transactions, getting the weather and so much more.  Here is an intro to chatbots and what they can do.

Why are they important

Why should you use a chatbot other than it being a pretty cool piece of technology?  Chatbots actually present a great opportunity to streamline business communications.  Most people today prefer the messenger apps that are such a big part of social networking, Facebook messenger in particular.  For companies that market on Facebook it gives you the chance to interact with customers without them having to leave Facebook, your chatbot can answer real time questions and you can reduce the amount of staff that handle customer service for you.  In regards to marketing, messages through messenger have a much higher open rate than even email.

How do the work?

Using artificial intelligence chatbots can interact and answer questions.  Usually they can answer very specific questions and they may not always be able to understand the question or the response.  Since they were first developed they have gotten way more sophisticated and you don’t have to be as specific.  Chatbots can understand language and some basic commands.

While you’re probably most familiar with them in a marketing capacity that is not the only practical use for them.  They are now being used in online learning environments as well.  In rural areas where there isn’t a complete education system or in cases of home schooling a learning bot can help students to learn and answer questions about the lessons being taught.

Chatbots may have seemed like a marketing gimmick initially, they have far more practical uses and we’re only seeing the beginning.