What is a chatbot and why does everyone say you need one?

May 8, 2019

In this post we discuss why they matter and how chatbots can help you.



A bot, by any other name, would still be a computer program. A special type of computer program to be sure, that can talk to humans and make life easier and more profitable for companies but still, at its core, just a program.

Admittedly they can also be a very confusing topic. Everyone talks about them, and although they seem to be used for all sorts of things, few people take the time to explain what makes them so valuable. As we mentioned, they have the unique ability to talk to humans and become a sort of interface between the computer world and the human one. They come in all sorts of shapes and sizes being able to interact on anything, from a company’s website to WhatsApp.

Chatbot complexity can vary

Dependent on their complexity they can guide us through a hidden flow-chart with a series of multiple-choice questions, or be almost indistinguishable from humans by using advanced, artificial intelligence to understand and mimic human language. Being computer programs they can also handle multiple conversations at a time, store and seek data, and scale-up without even blinking.

In a world where the volume of conversations on messaging apps is increasing exponentially, this ability to scale up is a true superpower and is the reason why they are so highly valued by businesses. They do their best work in four areas: customer service, sales, customer re-engagement, and data collection.

The role of chatbots in business

For customer service their value is easy to understand; they can be used to take over repetitive interactions, provide 24/7 support and help human customer service agents to find information, reducing the human time needed and saving money. A similar story is also true for sales, where they can help pre-qualify leads, provide out of office coverage, or even complete the whole transaction directly in chat.

But their value can go beyond these somewhat obvious applications. Having a machine that can essentially handle an infinite number of conversations, with low costs, opens up many new business opportunities. It becomes possible, for example, to reach out to past customers and perhaps sell a new version of the product or gather data on how it has worked and how satisfied they are with it.

Alternatively, they can also work in the background, using their capacity to understand conversations and detect keywords to extract data from any text-based conversation that the sales or customer service teams have with the customers. This data can then be stored in a database and mined to improve products, sales processes, etc.

The possibilities are endless and sometimes the best ones can be hard to spot.

To help you get started we have decided to give you access to our team of experts that will be more than happy to analyze your company’s situation and suggest the best solutions. Reach out to them!