Chatbots have become exceptionally popular in recent years largely due to the sudden advancement in Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Natural Language Processing (NLP). They help companies live up to customer expectations, create an innovative brand and enable cost-efficient digital transformation. Chatbots are supporting companies to engage and interact with potential and existing customers 24/7. Eventually, the global chatbot market will become even more advanced and reach $9.4 billion by 2024.
This article will help you understand about different types of chatbots used in various business sectors.
1. Menu/ Button-Based Chatbots: A menu or button-based chatbot is the simplest form of a chatbot. In this chatbot, users follow a conversational path by clicking on the limited number of options/buttons provided by the chatbot. Users are not allowed to type their queries or questions, rather they just have to select from the predefined buttons. Menu bots or flow bots are more cost-friendly compared to their AI counterparts.
They are best for answering standard questions and controlling the flow of the conversation. However, if users want to ask more advanced questions, then these chatbot fails to meet user expectations.
These bots also provide a better customer experience as they guide visitors to the right information and facilitate website navigation. These bots are quick and easy to implement. One does not need coding skills, just some training and voila, your button-based bot is ready.
2. Keyword Recognition-Based Chatbots: These chatbots are more advanced than menu-based chatbots. Keyword recognition-based chatbot uses Natural Language Processing (NLP) to serve its users. Here users can interact by giving free text input. The chatbot then analyses the user’s text based on keywords as they are keyword-dependent and gives the best possible response. This allows users to have more freedom in input and perform more natural conversations.
Keyword recognition-based chatbot falls through when a user uses keywords that the chatbot cannot recognize. This happens when a bot is asked to answer a lot of similar questions leading to dissatisfaction. Therefore, some prefer to use the hybrid model of keyword and menu-based chatbots to provide users with the choice to try to ask their questions directly or use the menu button to find the answer they are looking for.
3. Contextual Chatbots: Contextual chatbots use Machine Learning (ML) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) to remember conversations with specific users to learn and grow with time. These chatbots progress with each conversation and learn to make the user experience better. For example, If you order coffee, this chatbot will remember what kind you ordered or mentioned in the previous conversations like common orders, delivery address, payment information. They will then simply ask you if you would like to repeat your order.
Contextual chatbots are more independent and smart chatbots that require strategic planning and guidance for an improved user experience. Using these bots saves a lot of time as instead of 3-4 questions, one can get all the necessary information within 1 question shared by the contextual chatbot.
4. Voice Chatbots: Voice chatbots are chatbots that can communicate using vocal input and output. A user can speak out loud as they talk to a person to the bot and the chatbot will respond with a voice of its own. These chatbots use speech recognition technology which includes Natural Language Processing (NLP) to understand the intention behind the input.
Voice bots bring convenience with them as it makes it easy for the customer to rather speak their request than type it out. Businesses can create their own voice-activated chatbot by using text-to-speech (TTS) and voice recognition APIs. These chatbots create a personalized experience like Alexa and Siri gives their users.
Voice chatbots bring accessibility as customers can always connect with them at any place or any time. One can make a booking or place a repeat order, voice bots can perform it easily without ever needing to input text manually.
5. Social Messaging Chatbots: The chatbots which are integrated with a social messaging platform like Messenger, Telegram, Slack, Whatsapp etc are social messaging chatbots. These kinds of chatbots make it simple for customers to directly connect with the bot using social media handles just like the way they talk to their friends. Social messaging chatbots can sell and process orders, track order information and answer frequently asked questions (FAQs). It cuts down a lot of costs for online businesses and also offers instant interaction to the users.
You can also try building your own DIY chatbot by using kAIron. KAIron is a web-based microservices-driven suite that helps train contextual AI assistants at scale. One can adopt, train, test and maintain their chatbots through kAIron very easily.
The relationship between a customer and a brand interaction has completely transformed with the introduction of chatbots. Businesses in almost every industry are deploying chatbots to serve customers all around the globe. To know which chatbot is right for you, you need to determine the goal of your chatbot, who is going to control the conversation while asking questions, which channels do you want to use and your budget. This will give you an idea to focus on the right kind and build your strategy around it.