Let’s examine the standard schema of customer support provided via different services: emails or messengers. We are ready to bet that you have a few employees who are responsible for answering incoming inquiries. You might have even organized a particular department for that. 80% of the time all customer support representatives respond to similar questions day after day.
In the best case scenario, your employees have scripts to process typical inquiries faster. Obviously, however, that it’s a routine work and simple enough to entrust it to a machine. In this article, we will show how to build bots for Messenger or other apps and how they can save your money.
What Are Chatbots?
A chatbot is a software that is able to process human inquiries and conduct auditory or textual conversations. Simply to say, it is a mix of a messaging application and artificial intelligence technology. It is a virtual assistant that is aimed to act like a real human in a conversation. The main goal of chatbots is not replacing people, but making machine-generated information more personalized to provide customers with a better user experience.
How chatbots work
After a person creates an inquiry, software processes text input using a classifier. It associates user text with a conversational intent and generates a response. A classifier categorizes an inquiry and finds the most convenient data associated with a particular category.
Сlassification approach types:
- Pattern matchers;
- Neural networks.
Whatever classification approach is used, the target action is always a response. When artificial intelligence chatbot cannot choose the most convenient answer, it generates a random response or several blocks of information and that makes conversation between a real person and a machine look natural.
Pattern matcher approach means usage of text matches to categorize an inquiry. Artificial intelligence markup language (AIML) is a standard structure for this approach. In AIML, each response is a simple set of tags which describe how to react to a specific inquiry. The main tags are Template and Pattern. The first one describes the answer to be generated and the second one characterizes inquiries to let the program “understand” human language.
The pattern is “My name is”. It means every time when a user inputs the phrase “My name is John”, everything, that comes after “is”, is ignored for selecting a corresponding template. The program finds in its database a convenient template and generates the response “Nice to meet you, John”.
What are disadvantages of this approach? The thing is that whenever user inputs text after the word “is”, it is considered to be a user’s name. How does it work? If a user inputs “My name is John, my mom chose a name for me”, a chatbot will generate a response “Nice to meet you, John, my mom chose name for me”. To conclude, in order to generate a right response, a chatbot database has to contain many different markers of the same pattern. This is why better ideas were embedded in algorithms.
To simplify the process of the right response selection and reducing the number of all pattern variations, an algorithm approach should be applied. This approach means assigning a score to each class where words occur with a different frequency. How does it work? A program finds a match starting from the most important word.
A user inputs a phrase “I like honey because it is very sweet”. It is obvious that matching a word “honey” is much more meaningful than matching a word “it”. Having found the right template, a program can generate something like “Honey is an essential product produced by bees”.
The main disadvantage of this approach is that an algorithm structure does not allow to eliminate some templates from the match list. It causes a chance of incorrect choice, because the system categorizes an input taking into account what it is like, but not what an input is not. It means a generated response may correspond to the sense of the user input, but not correspond to one’s intent or what he or she actually wanted to get.
This approach is more advanced than the previous one. Neural networks make classification by calculating an output from an input using synapses which are weighted connections, in fact. This approach ensures a lower error rate because synapses are calculated from repeated iterations of training data. Neural networks contain a smaller amount of code but require higher calculating power.
Let’s imagine a simple case where the training sentences contain 40 classes and 200 unique words. A system will calculate a matrix 200×40 100,000 times to reach as low error rate as possible. That is why calculating power plays the main role in fast processing such amount of data. In fact, neural networks are only matrix multiplication what it is about. Though, generating clean data is a real challenge for training data.
When we deal with chatbots, it seems that they understand our language or can forecast what we want from them. In fact, chatbot development has nothing in common with teaching a program a human language. It is only about advanced search of word matches.
What Are the Key Advantages of Chatbots?
According to the report, made by BI Intelligence, a number of users of messaging apps became higher than a number of those who use social networking apps in 2015. Furthermore, this difference continuously grows. Let’s learn how this fact can help you in your business activity and why you should build a chatbot for Telegram or Facebook.
At first, let’s start with the two main alternatives we all have got used to. One of them is much cheaper and simpler and the other one is more expensive and complex.
The alternative #1
Here are some tips. Try to think how you can provide your potential clients with the information about your services or products you sell. Exactly, it is your website. You really know your business if you do not just describe what you do and offer, but also why you are better than your competitors. Real professionals create website content in the way to answer as much audience questions as possible. Sometimes, the best practices are included on the corresponding pages, i.e. the FAQ page (frequently asked questions).
- Low price;
- Simple design;
- Low labor expenses.
- Low user engagement;
- The need to spend much time to find the needed information.
Users have to surf all your content through to get a piece of information they need. It is a total time wasting and, definitely, an obsolete option.
The alternative #2
To economize the time of your customer, you can create a customer support department where employees respond to client inquiries. In urgent situations, this solution is much more preferable for your target audience than long searching on your web resource. However, while saving customers’ time, you waste your money.
- Fast inquiry processing;
- A simple alternative to perform any operation requested by a customer.
- Expensive support;
- Increasing number of inquiries leads to higher expenses.
The need of the golden middle is evident. How to provide a limitless number of clients with requested information with the maximum level of their engagement and for less amount of money? – Make a chatbot.
How chatbots can help grow your business and why they are better than other options
Chatbots ensure one-to-one communication and marketing allowing you to maintain as many customers as possible. They interact with your target audience as real managers would do. Users conduct a conversation like with a real person, while in fact, they communicate with a bot.
Chatbots drive sales
They can send product links that can convert sales with a higher chance using user’s preferences, interests or previous purchases. Bots are like perfect sales managers who have fully learned a sale generating script.
Higher user engagement
These days, most markets contain many serious competitors and offering a good product or service is often not enough for startup owner’s success. Sometimes providing customers with a good support is the only key to become a market leader. In, most cases, customers need support and help, not just the information itself. Chatbots let the user feel like they talk to a real person who is always ready to help.
Chatbot development cost
Such tools are quite cheap and this is another good part of it. Moreover, Facebook Messenger and Kik platforms provide all the infrastructure and APIs for chatbot developers. It is an easy way to provide target audience with a support of high quality with low expenses.
Chatbots never sleep and do not ask for extra weekends. They are always ready to respond to client inquiries and provide customers with as much information as they require. Chatbots cannot be rude or nervous. They always respect those who approaches them.
Bots are dynamic and they deliver branded content that matches user preferences. They are interactive and personalized. Mobile devices make them available for any person with a smartphone.
Now you see that a necessity to develop a chatbot is not just a respect sign for technology trend. It is an efficient way of customer support that requires minimum of investments and drives maximum of profit. This technology combines a personalized approach to information and lower expenses of traditional content presentation.
At LunApps we can provide you with a full assistance in custom Android or iOS app development and help you create a chatbot for Facebook messenger or other services. Feel free to contact us for more information at any time.