Do we need AI powered chatbot to satisfy our users?
Probably most of you have heard of chatbots and the intelligent assistants. The trends in artificial intelligence and smart applications are further intensified by the desire for having such a bot. But, do we really need AI support for running a chatbot? Does the mere fact that something exists must imply the must-have-it?
We are definitely at the beginning of the road to the new reality, where not the technology but more finding the practical use of the AI mechanisms is a challenge. Based on my own observations I find that most people who hear about a solution that uses AI mechanisms, approaches them rather skeptically. This is mainly due to the fact that they are currently unable to build a clear and real business case in their field of activity.
Why do I write about it and what it has to do with chatbots?
Definition of chatbot on Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chatbot) says:
„A chatbot (also known as a talkbot, chatterbot, Bot, chatterbox, Artificial Conversational Entity) is a computer program which conducts a conversation via auditory or textual methods. Such programs are often designed to convincingly simulate how a human would behave as a conversational partner, thereby passing the Turing test. Chatterbots are typically used in dialog systems for various practical purposes including customer service or information acquisition. Some chatterbots use sophisticated natural language processing systems, but many simpler systems scan for keywords within the input, then pull a reply with the most matching keywords, or the most similar wording pattern, from a database.”
If you own a small company and are interested in chatbots, then after exploring the subject in the form of publicly available presentations, articles and other things found on the Internet, or simply after reading the above definition from Wikipedia, your enthusiasm will most likely fall, and it will surely happen when you calculate the cost of such investment.
But it doesn’t have to be! You can have a chatbot which will be very useful without being backed up by the sophisticated technology or the artificial intelligence. I believe that nowadays the implementation of the application in chat with the need to implement the artificial intelligence, is wrongly linked to each other. This approach slows down the adoption of IMs in companies and blocks the potential which is associated with this communication channel. And this is the last what the end users and organizations expect!
So what can you do?
The answer is trivial. You should start with simple things, such as asking the users through a questionnaire in a form of a simple chatbot, what they would like to do in a Messenger by themselves. With this you will show that you respect your users and that you pay attention to their comfort and needs. At the same time you will get information on how many users are able to communicate via Messenger. By doing so, you will “kill two birds with one stone.”
If this task proves that investing in chatbot does not make sense – it is also valuable information for you!
Then, having the engaged users and a simple chat application that suits your customers’ needs, you can begin thinking about the next steps, such as new features, interaction analysis, conversation optimization, etc. Giving continuous value to your customers is crucial here.
I’d like to encourage you to use Messenger, as compared to other instant messengers, who definitely distinguishes itself in terms of technological capabilities and openness to the external systems.
Moreover, a few weeks ago, Sensor Tower released its study of the most downloaded apps in Q1 2017 (https://sensortower.com/blog/q1-2017-data-digest). The first four positions belong to Facebook! Among them is Messenger, which currently has over 1.2 billion users globally. The potential causes dizziness. It would be a sin not to use this fact!