Chatbots are one of the significant trends powering e-commerce and other modern-day industries that experts predict will transform customer service.
Even though it is well established that AI-powered chatbots are revolutionizing customer service, businesses are still trying to understand how to make the best use of AI chatbots to upgrade their customer service. In this article, we will introduce you to eight types of AI-based customer service chatbots that can enhance your customer experience:
Scripted chatbots are the most primitive form of customer service chatbots. As the name goes, scripted chatbots interact with the end customer through a pre-defined script. These chatbots only respond to specific instructions, and the response also follows a scripted pattern. They are straightforward to build and deploy.
Scripted chatbots can help your customers, especially with FAQ kind of questions, and can be used to cut down call-center traffic.
Rule-based chatbots are an improvement over the native scripted customer service chatbots. They are also referred to as decision-tree bots, and for a good reason. As the name suggests, rule-based chatbots apply a set of defined rules. The chatbots classify the queries to a particular type and then respond based on the identified type's predesigned rule.
A lot like a flowchart, rule-based chatbots map out the conversations to anticipate what the end-user might ask and what the correct response should be to those queries. Rule-based chatbots cannot answer questions that it is unable to classify.
With progress in the field of Natural Language Processing (NLP), customer service chatbots have only gotten smarter. NLP algorithms allow tokenization of a text to identify sentences, words, and parts-of-speech. This is done based on training the algorithm against large text corpora. For example, consider the sentence: "I want to book a hotel." NLP training allows the bot to understand that in the question, the word "book" implies "reserve" and not a "publication." More and more chatbots are powered today by natural language processing.
While NLP-powered chatbots are popularly marketed as AI (artificial intelligence) chatbots, they have certain limitations. Especially when it comes to interpreting long texts, simple NLP chatbots fail to preserve the context.
The traditional AI-based customer service chatbots preserve context throughout a discussion, mimicking a human conversation. Algorithms like Recurrent Neural Network (RNN) and Long Short Term Memory (LSTM) have enabled AI chatbot advancements. AI chatbots, however, can be difficult to build and deploy. The accuracy level is often a challenge, and prolonged training is needed to make them industry ready. Apple’s Siri, Google’s Assistant, and Amazon’s Alexa are some significant examples of AI chatbots. Choosing the right partner to provide your AI-powered virtual assistants can solve the problems around accuracy and training time, making it possible to quickly deploy AI chatbots that are very reliable.
Service chatbots gather relevant information from users to complete their requests for a particular action. You are most likely to experience a service chatbot in the airline industry, assisting you with flight bookings, cost of seat reservations, checking flight status, and other related issues. Service chatbots are similar to the more primitive chatbots in terms of understanding, but are trained to take action like any other customer service chatbots.
Customers want an immediate solution to their problems, and it is always preferable to engage with them where they are. Social messaging chatbots are integrated within social media platforms and provide customers a more personal touch simply by being present wherever they are. Social messaging platforms such as WhatsApp Messenger and Facebook have become the hot spot for businesses to connect with their customers and even provide them with assistance for their queries in the same places.
Speech recognition chatbots accept voice inputs by the end-user. These voice-enabled chatbots are also capable of responding through voice. Speech recognition chatbots use speech-to-text technology to understand a user query, and after processing the same use, text-to-speech technology responds vocally.
Businesses can build speech recognition customer service chatbots by using speech to text and speech APIs. Speech recognition customer service chatbots provide a more personalized and seamless experience for the users. Additionally, one can integrate these chatbots with data delivery channels and other related services.
Advanced tools allow the creation of a common set of AI capabilities, letting you build your virtual assistance once and deploy it to both your digital and voice systems.
FAQ chatbots are a derivation of scripted chatbots. Despite their simplicity, they act as a powerful and accessible way for businesses to provide customer support. Customers find FAQ chatbots to be the best way to enable self-service (maneuvering through pages of FAQ results).
FAQ chatbots are programmed to provide instant answers to the user's questions seamlessly. FAQ chatbots can also provide links to relevant FAQ content if the user wishes to explore further.
Despite a few limitations, chatbots are still becoming the trendiest customer support tools. With progress in AI technologies, customer service chatbots can bring about a paradigm shift in customer experience, and businesses can no longer ignore it.
Before implementing, businesses need to evaluate the pros and cons and identify the type of chatbot that will help customers seamlessly come on board. It can depend on several factors that can range from business size, business goals, culture, and the chatbots purpose.
Tools like 7.ai Engagement Cloud can help you switch to customer service chatbots with ease.