What is a Chatbot

what is a chatbot

The Basics

  • Software that simulates conversation
  • Designed to process voice and text-based commands and perform predefined actions
  • Most use artificial intelligence to understand and respond to human dialogue
  • Users gain access to bots over messaging platforms and devices
  • The most familiar ones may already be in your home like Alexa or in your pocket like Siri
  • Learn more about chatbots by reading our Chatbot Primer by downloading it here

Why Now

Messaging is King

  • Over 1 billion people use Messenger each month
  • Daily Average Users:  Messaging apps > Social media time spent
  • Digital evolution continues from web to social to messaging
  • Read how chatbots can be a $40 billion market

Artificial Intelligence for the MasseS

  • Disruptive change is afoot with rise of big data, the cloud and AI

  • All companies can take advantage of AI to reshape their businesses

  • No vertical will go untouched

  • Massive technology vendors have created solutions that individuals can you to build their bots

  • You can find our thoughts here, here, and here

  • Developers who mature out of these solutions can build their own using tools like this


A New Channel for Business

  • Messaging platforms give customers a direct connection to a business
  • Most businesses have a strategy for inbound customer telephone calls
  • But only a few have established a persistent messaging solution

Consumers Strongly Prefer Digital Interactions

  • Digital is the starting point for customer care interactions

  • Most consumers want a self-service option

  • Aligns with the On Demand economy (Uber, Lyft, AirBnB, etc)


So What Can A Bot Do?

How Bots Help Businesses and People Today

A Few Uses Cases:


Winning Uses Cases

The Best Bots are Domain Specific and Task-Driven

Selected Examples from the WSJ Live Conference


Bots in Customer Support

Bots can Handle an Array of Customer Care Tasks

  • For today’s consumer, bot-based support is a logical use case
  • Customers have migrated toward self-service, preferring not to deal with human agents
  • In fact, 90% of consumers say they now expect brands and organizations to have a self-service option
  • Customers either want to solve their issue quickly on their own, or receive an immediate response
  • Read more about bots in customer via our Customer Service Chatbot Primer download it here

Bot Building Blocks

The Interface for an Emerging Channel

Bot Components

Dialog Management: Dialog scripting and content manager responsible for tagging and storing digital assets.

NLP: Core solution for processing language to understand user intent and context

Analytics: Data management layer used to instrument the bot


Anatomy of a Bot

A Bot can Use a Host of Visual Features or None at All

The conversational interface for a bot can take many different forms.  For example, below is just a sampling of the design elements available for a bot operating on a smartphone.  The messaging platform where the bot resides can impact the available visual features for the bot.


The Messaging Platform Matters

Each Platform has Unique Characteristics


Under the Hood

Bots Read and React to User Inputs

A user creates a query or prompt for the bot by interacting through a common messaging interface such as Facebook Messenger, the Web or a mobile app. The user’s query is received by the bot and parsed by the NLP (natural language processing) service to understand the user’s intent. The bot generates a response based on its internal logic or from data in back-end systems. The user receives a response based on the content of the question via the messaging interface


Go with the Flow

Designing a Bot Experience

Example: You want your bot to run a brief survey for inbound quote requests. Depending on a user’s answers to questions the bot can ask additional clarifying questions to serve the most appropriate “flow of information” to the user. Here is an example of the bot’s interactive flow with the user:


Our Reusable Components

Saving Customers Time and Money

While every customer initiative is unique, we’ve developed reusable custom components to accelerate development and save you time and money

  • Easy-to-use dialog management system that enables rapid scripting and updating
  • Custom NLP libraries to add keyword and soft understanding capabilities
  • Cloud-hosted NLP service so you can own your data, affordably
  • Bot framework that tightly links to key messaging platforms
  • Bot-in-the-loop (“beetle) functionality allowing operators and bots to step and in and out of conversations seamlessly

They trust us:

Stand Your Bot Up in Less than a Week
Chike Agbaichatbot