Chatbots are the substitute for business automation. They have evolved in recent times in almost every aspect of business organizations including sales, service, operations, Customer Relationship Management(CRM), marketing, Human Resource Management etc. However, there are many questions organizations are puzzled with; How to use them? What are the pros and cons of chatbots? are they really useful? what are the technological implications? This article attempts to find out the answer to these questions.
Keywords: Chatbots, Artificial Intelligence, E-Commerce, Business Automation, Machine-Learning.
E-commerce with chatbots can help businesses to grow rapidly. Apart from being awesome for solving queries of customers, they help in sales using AI (Artificial Intelligence).There are many ways by which chatbot can fit into a marketing strategy. Chatbots offer customers with personalized experience which means having interaction with someone who already knows them by their name which can change nature of the conversation. When a customer calls to care Centre for a query, chatbots could answer them accurately and take the conversation further by offering personalized shopping advice based on their purchase history and preferences.
Chatbots have larger engagement capacity which is unique because they can engage customers by learning from interaction, allowing it to send relevant information regarding various brands, products, and services. A human being can engage customers by catching their attention by talk, expressions, and observation. However, it can only engage for some time. Chatbots can gather analyze customer‟s feedback and data. They gather all required information by introducing questions in conversation naturally. Additionally, with right machine learning tools, chatbots can give insights of what customer truly wants. From this, business organizations can remodel their marketing strategy to become more focused on customers' need. Customers don‟t want to be bombarded with emails, text, notification regarding services, products etc. Chatbots are able to capture and analyze data so it will help the customer to get what they exactly want.
HOW IT WORKS
Chatbot is a software program for simulating intelligent conversation with human using rules or artificial intelligence. Users interact with the chatbot via conversational interface through written or spoken text. In everyday life while we converse, communicate with someone or peers become aware of context of the subject in discussion. Contextual con is emerging as the standard of interaction and chatbots are making their mark by conversing contextually. When the interface connecting man and machine becomes intelligent and conversation, it becomes simple for the consumer to converse with the machine with ready human terms. According to Gartner, 30% of browsing done by users will turn in screen less in 2020 (Levy, 2017). Chatbots have brought a turn in the business for their target market.
Chatbots live inside the app, website, website modules, SMS and email. Chatbots can be used in a conversational way or it can be for a message back and forth with consumers to carry out any number of tasks, from ordering to suggesting items and it can also be used for finding products.
The use of Artificial intelligence and ability to converse in natural language can make chatbots seem as if we are experiencing the future right now. However, for building chatbots, there is no need of being Silicon Valley giant with great developers. In fact, any business organization can build it from their home with less complex programming skills because various platforms are available for the sake. It is easy for even small industries to make their own chatbots. There are various chatbots building platforms available for developers as discussed below. A business organization can use any of them according to applications in their firm.
B2B messaging: Slack, Atlassian, Stride, Microsoft Teams, Facebook Workplace.
Native Chatbot: Website or App
Smart Speakers: Amazon Echo, Google Home, Apple Homepod or MS Cortana
2) NLP/AI platform:
Language Understanding Intelligent Services
These are various platforms used for creating chatbots. There are two concepts that need to be explicitly understood here; chatbots development platform and chatbots publishing platform. The prior is an environment where chatbot is experienced. It is a tool/application through which one can create chatbots. Chatbot platform helps in the adding more functionality to Chatbot by creating a flow, machine learning capabilities, API integration etc. These chatbots platforms are easy to understand to make a bot, by implementing simple drag and drop approach. With this, anyone who does not have technical knowledge can make a bot.
Chatbot, a term popularized by Mark Zuckerberg when he launched the Facebook messenger platform. Though the concept of chatbots has been around for 60 years, it was Zuckerberg who claimed that chatbots is new UI and declared the death of mobile apps. Facebook Messenger is widely used the platform. On this platforms number of chatbots has been created which are given in below table:
HOW TO BUILD A CHATBOT?
The first step is chatbot development. Building a chatbot can be challenging, but with a keen eye for details, you can build a chatbot that offers great value. The plan to build a chatbot must also ascertain the purpose of building the bot, knowing what problem the bot is going to solve. Chatbots can be built in two ways – rule-based approach resulting in hard coding or machine learning that necessitates streaming data for the system to learn on its own.There are the basic chatbots and then there are chatbots with AI brains. With customers wanting to converse with chatbots that understand natural language, enthusiasts are making every attempt to create a bot that is rich in AI – Enthusiasts can now take advantage of sources like Api.ai to build chatbots with AI brains. The choice of the platform also matters when it comes to hosting the chatbot; a range of platforms are available including Facebook Messenger, Telegram, Slack, Discord and Kik. After choosing the platform, settle on the services that can be leveraged to build the chatbot.
Services that can be leveraged to build a bot include:
● Microsoft bot frameworks, Wit.ai, Api.ai, IBM‟s Watson
Bot building enthusiasts without programming skills are not left behind as they can use services that encourage them to build a chatbot. Some of the development platforms include:
● Chatfield, Collect.chat , Texit.in, Octane AI, Motion.ai etc.
SUCCESSFUL CASES OF SOME RENOWNED ORGANIZATIONS
A Number of companies use chatbots for their companies. Here are some success stories of the giant companies.
Domino‟s is well known for pizzas. It makes ordering pizzas easy. Domino‟s chatbot is integrated with Alexa Echo so that one can now place your orders straight from Alexa Echo!(“Order Your Domino's for Pickup or Delivery Using The Amazon Echo”, 2017)
AISHA is the name of chatbot of Micromax. This voice assistant by Micromax is the Indian version of Siri. It can perform tasks like initiating a google search, giving movie reviews, make calls, read the news, view stalk market details and much more. Artificial Intelligence Speech Handset Assistant is all about AI in its backend that makes(“Chatbots: The Popular Humanoids of the Future!”, 2016).
3) Titan Company Limited:
It has partnered with a messenger named Gupshup to offer a chatbot on their e-commerce store. Currently active in Titan's e-commerce store and Facebook Messenger, the chatbot can hold intelligent automated conversations with customers and offer them a personalized shopping experience. Through the bot, customers can explore Titan's range of products, get recommendations and raise queries about order tracking, shipment(Ayyar, 2017).
In 2016, Allstate upgraded its commercial insurance line for small businesses. After the launch, agents jammed the internal call center inquiring about the policies and how to set sales quotes, but expanding the call center was out of the question for Allstate. Soon after, the company developed an AI virtual assistant called Allstate Business Insurance Expert, which now handles questions from 12,000 agents and eventually answers inquires directly from customers. By the end of the first year, ABIe had paid itself off, according to Allstate. It is Insurance chatbot
Chatbots really have useful applications, they can open up a new channel to communicate with customers, and in long-term, they can save hugely on human capital. If you‟re not paying someone to sit at a computer and respond to customer service inquiries by phone, email, or chat, it stands to reason that chatbots would be a smart investment. So any business organization can have chatbots for their business without any hesitation as discussed. It has been proved that chatbots do not have cons rather they are indispensable in the present business scenarios for their success.
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