Intro to Chatbots: A Guide to the Future of Customer Engagement

You might have heard the term “Chatbot” slung around tech talks, news articles and online forums. But what is a chatbot, and what do they do?

The aim of a chatbot is to conduct conversations and enable people access to information, all via a messaging application. Chatbots can be described as human-to-robot instant messaging, where chatbots emulate humans and consumers interact with them in order to accomplish different tasks. This service can range from functional to fun, and can exist in any major chat product (like Slack, Facebook messenger, text messages, etc.). The current technology is formulated for two types of chatbot:\

Command-based chatbots: This type of chatbot effectively works as an interactive question and answer session. The chatbot is programmed to recognise particular terms and patterns from which they can respond with pre-set answers.  These chatbots can only reply to limited queries or questions.

AI chatbots: These types of chatbots leverage machine learning and natural language learning to understand the user’s language. They are intelligent to learn from the conversations that they have with users and can understand requests, context, intent and emotion.

The big players of technology, like Google, Microsoft and Facebook, are all busy developing this user experience technology. Chatbots are a suitable communication device for various industries and sectors and can be used to create different types of assistance.

Responsive web design is the approach that suggests that design and development should respond to the user’s behavior and environment based on screen size, platform and orientation. The practice consists of a mix of flexible grids and layouts, images and an intelligent use of CSS media queries. As the user switches from their laptop to mobile, the website should automatically switch to accommodate for resolution, image size and scripting abilities.

Examples of chatbots:

Chatbots can deliver a wide range of services and are personalised to your business.

Scheduling bot: get a bot to organise your next dental appointment.

News bot: Ask it to keep you up to date with the latest breaking news.

Weather bot: Get up to date weather info.

Shopping bot: Tell the bot what you would like to purchase, and they facilitate the shopping exchange.

Chatbots are ideal for the current marketing environment, as people are increasingly focused on instant gratification and are spending more time using messaging applications than browsing social media. A large portion of consumers say that they would rather use a messaging app than make a phone call to communicate with a business.

Chatbots enable businesses to engage with customers in a novel way, offer personalised interactions and targeted offers, all while improving marketing strategy through data collection. Many companies would be smart to consider including chatbots into their marketing line-up.

Are you looking for modern marketing solutions to improve your customer service? Digital Cloud can help. Contact us today for your digital marketing solutions.

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