The original idea of Chatbots have emerged long ago, during the 1960s, but only recently the term became popular with the innovative development output and increasing interest from enterprises and individuals.
Well, the modern Chatbots are no longer the creepy bots you find in popular Hollywood sci-fi movies or old-world strategy games where a computerised voice guides the hero in carrying out on-screen actions. We have come a long way since that time.
Chatbots now offer a reality of machines having a deeper understanding of the human actions and interactions and capability to interact with human beings.
The biggest outcome of the adoption of Chatbots has been found through automation. Now, thanks to Chatbots machines can take the lead in guiding customers about their on-screen actions.
An intelligent Chatbot constantly learning from human behaviour can actually make recommendations and suggestions to users that fit their needs or preferences. An intelligent Chatbot by remaining as a continuous helping hand to the customers and users can actually make interactions smoother, easier and more engaging.
Given the huge role, Chatbots play for modern enterprises and considering the increasing adoption of Chatbots across enterprises, we need to undertake a comprehensive analysis of the role of Chatbots, how they actually help to boost the user experience and how you can build Chatbots that are fully equipped to take on the future development challenges.
How Chatbots Should Respond Based on Age, Sex, and Religion?
Chatbots are built to reply queries of the users based on their individual contexts. The reply to a query or a self-catered suggestion by the Chatbot will obviously vary based upon the age, gender, religious leanings, socio-economic position and several other demographic and cultural factors that the Chatbot can assess from the user data.
It is primarily the user context that an enterprise Chatbot should respond to help them get things done in the simplest manner possible. In case recommending products or influencing customers to buy or subscribe to something, a Chatbot can make suggestions based on user preferences and leanings.
For modern Chatbots to answer users based on specific contexts and the gender, age, cultural attributes or religion, we have technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and natural language processing (NLP).
AI helps a Chatbot to understand the user context more accurately by following the human reasoning while NLP helps the Chatbot to understand the cultural contexts and leanings of the user.
When Chatbots behave in a proactive, responsive and contextual manner in answering queries, it helps enterprises reap the benefits of the automated machine led conversation.
Through Chatbots enterprises enjoy the benefits of staying alert, responsive and relevant to particular customer contexts throughout the day and night.
Chatbot is Also About Allowing Employees Doing Things in Their Preferred Way
The power of Chatbots is not just about getting things done without the active role of the human. But it is also about simplifying things by allowing people to do things the way they prefer or love to do.
In the context of the enterprise, Chatbots help employees by both automating the work process and augmenting them. The Chatbots are expected to fulfill both the demands of automation and augmentation.
Enterprise applications continue to evolve and mature over the years. Chatbots are gradually leading us to the time when enterprises can simply do away with specific UI and special apps and devices.
Just think of the way you can speak to Siri or Amazon Alexa to tell you the meaning of some word or about an event and get answers instantly. Without requiring to open any separate application, just by asking the Chatbot or digital assistant you can get certain things done. This has been the biggest impact of Chatbots.
This is why Chatbots are increasingly conceptualised as the SaaS products with minimum friction for registering the user data in the cloud and making it useful for the specific user contexts. In today’s enterprise, this cloud-hosted data has come as the most important asset.
Moreover, Chatbots are increasingly helping it to keep simple and straightforward by allowing small data-driven transactions and allowing relevant communication instantly on the go.
This allows Chatbots to order office essentials, make commands to the field employees and collaborate with different departments and employees in different job roles.
The best thing about the Chatbots is that increased adoption of Chatbots and usage are actually helping them to get better and more equipped. Just like the social media platforms, increased usage is actually helping Chatbots to become more equipped with data-driven insights.
Simple and Relevant User Experience is the Key to Success
For enterprise Chatbots, there can be both immediate result-oriented and long processes for addressing key business issues and goals. In a highly networked enterprise setting getting things done involving multiple processes, interfaces and devices across several locations require multifaceted communication and collaboration.
When it comes to facilitating task completion involving multiple devices spread across multiple locations through Chatbot communication and collaboration, no longer answering instant queries like a FAQ page helps.
A modern enterprise worker may start the day by looking at the smartwatch notification or by checking the emails on his smartphone and can use different devices throughout the day in various locations.
Irrespective of this device mobility across locations, Chatbots consistently hold together communication with the respective employee through a conversational interface.
In a world where Chatbots are increasingly playing a key role in solving problems for the enterprise work processes, they are also being viewed as a key help to deal with the increasing app fatigue.
As we use hundreds of apps for almost every different purpose throughout the day, developing fatigue with app usage seems quite common for many users. This is where Chatbots can play an impressive role by allowing the users to dictate multiple tasks through one Chatbot interface.
Chatbots have emerged as a low-footprint and lean way to do several things with one single interface and deliver contextual output.
The promise of simplified user experience from modern Chatbots can also be realised by the different ways of communication and interaction they allow. Chatbots allow both voice and text input for communication. Since Chatbots work independently of the user interface and the devices, they can easily fit into different contexts of use.
As for employee onboarding process or for inducting new workforce in the companies also Chatbots play a tremendously effective role. Since Chatbots are there as a constant help in every juncture and across a variety of use-cases, employees can easily be inducted into the system with the least training.
Thanks to Chatbots, employees can enjoy being more easily inducted through a “work as you learn” process.
Last but not the least of all considerations for building Chatbots should be future-ready development. While Chatbots now can be built easily through an easy drag and drop actions, often these basic bots with inadequate features prove to be insufficient for enterprise use cases and needs.
Among the various ways to incorporate Chatbots into enterprise applications, the most important ones include the following.
Do It Yourself (DIY) development
Custom Chatbot development
Do-It-Yourself (DIY) Bot Development
There is a whole array of popular DIY chatbot frameworks that allow building bots rapidly as per your requirements and apply them across different chat applications. Some of the ready to use Chatbot apps to use for enterprise needs include Slack, Kim, Skype, Facebook Messenger, etc.
Apart from them, there are several DIY Chatbot frameworks to build bots with simple drag and drop function. Some of these DIY frameworks include Azure Bot Service, Botmock, Chatfuel, etc.
Custom AI-Based Chatbots
Whether the DIY frameworks will serve your business purpose is quite uncertain. Moreover, over time when your business needs scales up, the same DIY bot may not be effective for your purpose.
This is why to build bots for your specific enterprise needs and to stay relevant to your future needs, you need to custom-build Chatbots. Custom development can be more expensive but in the end, it can be a more cost-effective solution as you will be having a fully-equipped bot for your evolving needs over a period of time.
Custom bots are essential to engage new ideas that ready to use frameworks will not help with.
With custom build bots, you will have comprehensive access to the source code so that you can actually have more control over the technical aspects of the Chatbots.
Another important thing is that DIY Chatbots will always have performance issues when the server of the service provider goes down. In contrast, custom bots will be the least vulnerable to performance issues of any kind.
Making Chatbots More Human in Interactions
Finally, for great Chatbots it is crucial to mitigate the differences between human and machine communication. While building Chatbots it is extremely important to ensure the key qualitative attributes of human communication.
A successful Chatbot will mimic the human tone, expressions, and conversational attributes to help users feel the human touch.
Let us explain some key tips to ensure human quality through Chatbot communication.
A Chatbot with a Personality and Voice of its Own: Your Chatbot must have a personality and a voice of its own. In this way, you can actually humanise the experience to a great extent and can align the bot with your business brand better. You should give your bot a catchy and attractive name besides equipping it with a friendly tone and voice modulation that perfectly suits its personality.
An Engaging Opening Message: From the very first instant your Chatbot should sound engaging and interesting and this involves greeting the audience with a great opening message. The opening message should be compelling, formed to set clear expectations and inciting to accommodate queries.
Understanding Customer Journeys: Following the initial conversation with the preliminary round of queries and answers, the Chatbot should be able to understand and map the entire conversation journey. There are third-party tools like Sprout Social to help you do this.
Develop Entire Conversation Tree: For every single question based on the possible responses and conversation followed from there build the entire conversation tree. While building the conversation tree exhaustively you need to keep all possible branches in mind where the conversation can lead to.
Don’t Forget to Test the Conversations: Thanks to Chatbots customer journeys can often turn into complex conversation maps with a plethora of crisscrossing paths and branches. After figuring out the conversation tree you need to test every single possible interaction and how it affects user engagement and further interactions.
To conclude we must say that Chatbots have emerged as the most useful conversational tool for enterprise applications to engage users and boost their experience. While Chatbots will continue to enjoy popularity, it is the shrewd, user-focused and innovative adoption of Chatbots that would matter most.
Author Bio: Chirag Mudsa is the CEO of leading web and mobile app development company, CMARIX TechnoLabs Pvt. Ltd… He is a goal-driven tech evangelist for a long time of 17 years, specializing into web and mobile development domain. His innovative spirit, strong leadership skills and a profound commitment for organizational growth have given him a key leading position in the industry.