Which technologies are chatbots based on?
Chatbots and the automation of communication processes
Everything that can be digitized will be digitized. This statement comes not only from companies that offer solutions for digital transformation, but from all areas of business and private life. Communication channels have developed from the classic letter to completely digital channels, some of which are completely automated. The automated communication between companies and customers also takes place through so-called chatbots. Chatbots are small programs that can answer simple questions from customers and even learn constantly and independently.
Chatbots, communication robotics or simply communication automation describe a process that is vehemently associated with the consistent digitization of corporate processes.
The customer, increasingly individualized, wants to be perceived as a subject and accordingly treated individually. 75% of the respondents in a Bitkom survey said that contacting customer service was too time-consuming and cumbersome for them. So customer inquiries should not only be answered correctly, of course, but also via the communication channel specified by the customer and in the shortest possible time.
Voice controlled chatbots
Originally text-based, chatbots are developing from classic chat windows to voice-controlled exchanges. So far, many chatbots have resorted to so-called knowledge bases in the form of databases that are based on certain identification features. Questions were categorized and the corresponding answers prioritized. In the recent past these have evolved due to the increasing use of speech recognition. These technical possibilities were recently shown to us by speech recognition software such as Apple's “Siri”, Microsoft's “Cortana” or Google's “Ok Google”. The increased use of smartphones leads to an associated increase in the use of voice-based chatbots. Furthermore, digital assistants such as Amazon Echo are used, which can play music on voice command, explain terms or manage the appointment calendar. Weather forecasts, news, sports results: the services of the bots are gradually being expanded.
Major leaps in development are currently taking place in the field of natural speech recognition. The customer can simply tell a chatbot what he wants. Every concern can be addressed quickly and directly using language. It is quite conceivable that customers will soon be able to communicate with companies with the help of messenger bots without having to accept the restrictions of fixed office hours or call center waiting loops. A bot can query the context data, such as customer numbers, as well as answer all routine questions. Over time, bot knowledge expands more and more and it has to be passed on to an employee less and less. This means that classic problems in customer service such as overloaded service can be significantly reduced and less time is lost in identifying customer numbers and other trivialities.
Will the bots prevail?
It shows: In the course of the digitization of processes, the use of chatbots is being further expanded. New technical possibilities develop the automated communication with the customer and thus enable more efficiency for the company. Such automations result in significant cost advantages and additional service improvements.
In Asia, the use of chatbots in customer service is already well advanced. WeChat, a messenger that is very popular in China, is used by millions of shops to offer their products, and many types of information and conversations can be accessed. The first western messengers are now following suit. WhatsApp has announced that it will soon open up to companies. And Facebook presented the Facebook Messenger platform for bot development at this year's conference. So we see that completely new possibilities are opening up in the area of customer communication that companies can make useful for themselves.
Status: January 2017
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