Chatbot networks and human-augmented systems

Oct 28, 2020

We look at the impact of each chatbot format.



Chatbots can interact with the outside world in a variety of ways.

Today we’ll look at the impact on businesses of the three main types of bot interaction: standalone chatbots, chatbots that can cooperate with humans, and bots that can work in tandem with other chatbots.

Human-augmented chatbots

The simplest chatbots are usually standalone systems that can answer a set of questions, using built-in decision trees and extracting information from databases or other management systems. They work well for many applications, but they are limited by their own programming. When they exceed it, they are forced to ask the user to reach out to the company via other channels such as email.

To avoid this problem some companies prefer to use human-augmented systems that are able to seamlessly transition the conversation to a human agent without any additional user input. If programmed the user may not even realize that they are now talking to a human agent. Chatbots built in this way are more resilient and can be used to relieve pressure from human-based systems, allowing customer support agents to focus only on areas where they add the most value.

A variation on this model is the “Helper Bot Method” that we discussed in a previous article. Here the customer service agent receives suggestions from the chatbot on how to respond and can approve or edit the messages before sending them to the client. This allows human agents to have full control of the conversation but also relieves them from the work needed to find the information they need on the company databases or reservation systems.


Chatbot networks

Another option to broaden the range of a chatbot is to use a series of specialized chatbots that can hand over conversations to each other as needed. This system is especially effective for large organizations where a chatbot can be used to do the initial sorting and then hand it over to a specialized chatbot from the relevant department or division.

Using this approach can be beneficial for large or complex organizations as it allows them to reduce the programming complexity of the chatbot system and makes changes and maintenance easier. Similar systems can also be used to make communication between departments easier by allowing staff to ask questions to another department’s chatbot or extract information from unfamiliar databases.

This latter approach was covered in one of our previous articles on the manufacturing industry, and it is one of the countless chatbot design options that are available to modern businesses. Choosing the right one may be a daunting task but if you would like to learn how chatbots can make your company more efficient we recommend you get in touch with our team of experts using the contact link below.