Three Things You Need to Know Before Deploying Your First Chatbot

Chatbots are the big trend in customer service today and many experts predict that they’ll completely alter the way that people and brands interact going forward. Chatbots can not only ease the burden on customer service agents but they can in eliminate the need for costly mobile apps that many smaller businesses can’t afford. But before you invest time and money in developing and deploying a chatbot for your small business, here are three things you need to know first.

Who is your audience?

Your chatbot can’t interact effectively with your customer base if it doesn’t understand who they are and what makes them tick. And the only way your chatbot can be programmed to know your audience is if you already know them and make the effort to program your bot with that same knowledge. Some obvious places to start is with obvious demographics. Are they primarily male or female or an even mix? Are they younger or older or does their age vary widely? Do they come from wealthier or poorer backgrounds? Do they lean conservative or liberal? Chances are your customers will usually divide along these lines. Another thing to consider about your customer base is where they usually turn for customer service help. To they go to your website, call a customer service line or do they turn to social media for help?

What is your goal and how can you achieve it?

You need to have well-defined goals for your chatbot or it will be a complete failure. A surprising number of companies are just programming chatbots just to do it because everyone else is. To improve the customer service experience is a given but how specifically do you want to improve it? Are you trying to reduce wait times? If so, how can your chatbot help you accomplish that? Also recognize that your chatbot won’t be an overnight success. Chatbots learn by making mistakes. You will almost certainly need to go in and make adjustments to make it more effective and achieving the goals you’ve set for your bot.

How will you get customers to use it?

No matter how much time and effort you put into creating a useful chatbot, it will all be a waste if your customers don’t know about it or don’t wish to use it. Revisit the question of audience and where they turn to for customer assistance. If you have a customer service line they usually call, maybe you can provide instructions for reaching out to your chatbot in the automated phone answering system you use so customers waiting for a live agent might hang up and go to your chatbot. If they go to your website, you might have your chatbot initiate a conversation when it seems your customers are stuck on a webpage. You can use existing marketing channels whether that’s email, SMS, or something else to tell your frequent customers about your newest customer service agent. Give it a catchy name that people will remember and be excited about.

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Source: smallbiztrends.com/2017/08/chatbots-for-customer-service.html

#ai-chatbots, #chatbot-ai, #chatbot-programming, #chatbots, #customer-service-chatbots

When Will Chatbots be Able to Pass the Turing Test?

Alan Turing was a renowned computer scientist and mathematician and a pioneer of artificial intelligence and machine learning research. It was Turing who proposed a test for distinguishing between “true” artificial intelligence and the machines that can kind of replicate it.

The Turing Test

The Turing Test is rather simple: a human converses with a machine (either verbally written) without seeing it. If the human cannot tell whether the machine is human or not, it is said to has passed the Turing Test. Artificial intelligence and machine learning research has come a long way since Alan Turing’s death in 1954 but we still haven’t been able to create a machine capable of tricking a human into thinking it’s human. For a good example of how far we’ve come and how far we have to go, look no further than the growing popularity of chatbots.

What are chatbots

Chatbots are computer programs that can be deployed on SMS or other messaging platforms to communicate textually with humans. They’re a perfect real-world example of the Turing Test in action. The problem is that it doesn’t take humans very long to realize that the entity they’re chatting with online isn’t human.

What chatbots can and can’t do

Most chatbots are designed to do one or two simple tasks that humans ask of them or they might be programmed to select the appropriate response to a predetermined set of frequently asked questions. More advanced programs like Amazon’s Alexa or Apple’s Siri have been programmed to respond to a wider number of questions but they still fall short of passing the Turing Test because they aren’t actually able to think as humans do. They have access to vast amounts of information that they can draw from to answer questions or perform certain tasks. What they can’t do is infer meaning from language. They can select an appropriate response to a question when certain keywords are used or when it’s worded in a way they’re programmed to recognize. But they can’t parse language as humans and take into account the context of when it was said and by whom and with what tone to know what the person is meaning.

What are they good for

More intelligent chatbots that can fool humans and pass the infamously difficult Turing Test may yet be developed but in the meantime, the chatbots that are being developed serve a purpose. They automate customer service and free up human resources by fielding the easy questions and handling the more mundane parts of the job that require less critical thinking. And many consumers prefer dealing with chatbots than having to get on the phone and be put on hold.

Mobile Technology News brought to you by biztexter.com

Source: sciencemag.org/news/2017/06/when-will-alexa-google-assistant-and-other-chatbots-finally-talk-us-real-people

#ai-chatbots, #chatbot-ai, #chatbot-customer-service, #chatbots, #mobile-marketing

How to Create a Great Chatbot

Chatbots are powerful marketing tools that utilize artificial intelligence to more effectively reach your target audience whether it’s by pushing promotions or answering customers’ questions. Contrary to popular, relief, creating a chatbot doesn’t have to be expensive and time consuming. Here are a few tips for creating a great chatbot.

Use a chatbot making platform

These platforms greatly simplify the process of creating a chatbot and they do all the heavy lifting. You don’t have to know the intricacies of programming a chatbot because the builder does that for you. Another advantage to chatbot making platforms is that they integrate seamlessly with messaging platforms like Facebook messenger and with most major payment systems.

Master one task

When it comes to chatbots, quality is far more important than quantity. It’s better to have a chatbot that can do one task very well than a chatbot that can do several things poorly. So especially if you’re new to using chatbots in your marketing strategy, focus on creating a chatbot that can perform one or two tasks very well.

Come up with a good name

Chatbots are quickly growing in popularity. As more and more businesses get into the chatbot making game, it’s important that yours isn’t lost in the shuffle. Come up with a creative name that’s easy to remember. It will make your chatbot much easier to find since your customers will remember the name and be able to find it with a quick search.

Don’t wait for customers to approach your chatbot

Since chatbots are a relatively new marketing strategy, many of your customers will be completely unfamiliar with them and how they work. Don’t wait for them to make the first move because they never will. You need to create an effective greeting message and let your chatbot introduce itself so they can have a positive interaction right off the bat.

Facilitate conversation

There’s value in getting straight to the point but chatbots are most effective when they are conversing with customers and getting valuable information out of the tiny details that customers share with them. So in your quest for clarity and conciseness, make sure your chatbot is still very conversational.

Regularly evaluate and optimize your chatbot

New chatbot features are constantly being developed. Never be satisfied with the current state of your chatbot, always be evaluating it and recognizing how it can be better. Keep in mind your marketing goals and consider ways to make your chatbot more effective at helping you achieve those goals.

Pay close attention to your competition

Study chatbots for companies that offer a similar product or service. Pay attention to things you like and especially pay attention to mistakes it makes so you can be sure to avoid them and make your own company stand out.

Mobile Technology News brought to you by biztexter.com

Source: entrepreneur.com/article/293320

#ai-chatbot, #business-texting, #chatbot, #chatbot-ai, #sms-chatbots