How do chatbots work – Introduction
In today’s modern-day world, with the increasing requirements for automation, a chatbot is the latest entrant, which has diverse applications and uses in customer interaction.
In this article we will learn what is a chatbot, why do we need chatbots, and how chatbot works.
Before we answer how chatbot works, lets first understand what is chatbot?
What is chatbot?
A chatbot is an artificial intelligence computer program that communicates with human users through text chat or voice command, usually integrated into websites and web applications.
The word ‘chatbot’ is made up of two words ‘chat’ and ‘bot’. Chat means communication, bot means robot. So chatbot simply means a robot that communicates.
There are a lot of simple and common day-to-day communication tasks in businesses that they face regularly. These are so basic that they can be easily handled by a chatbot, therefore saving man-hours time spent on customer support for the business. Also it allows a business to provide customer support 24*7, i.e. even in non-working hours. They act as digital assistants who instantly reply and process requests from users at any given point of time.
In the modern times, it has become very easy to install chatbot into websites and web applications with just a drag-and-drop without the need of any coding knowledge.
Chatbot is the most advanced interactive AI technology which reduces human dependency to a large scale.
Why do we need chatbots?
The importance of chatbots is increasing day-by-day. This is due to the following factors:
Chatbots provide the assistance of access to information quickly, efficiently and in an organized manner. The speed provided by chatbots is tremendous. It boosts productivity to a great extent as it saves a lot of time of the business in customer dealing.
Chatbots perform multiple tasks at the same time. They can process, any number of requests, answer questions, take feedbacks, advise users, analyse data of thousands of users simultaneously.
- No time boundation
Since it is an automated program, it does not have any boundation of working time. It operates 24*7 and does not stop working anytime. The customer support executives get much more time to concentrate on other important tasks, thus saving a lot of their time. Furthermore, the ability of chatbots to provide fast answers prevents customers from waiting for responses.
- Cost effective
Chatbots save a lot of man-hours of customer support employees, thus saving a lot of salaries which the businesses would otherwise have to pay. Since they are a one-time investment, it costs much less than the traditional way of customer support.
- Improved customer experience
These days, users are very impatient and they want every answer and solution immediately. Chatbots are a great solution to this. The customers feel much more satisfied when they get instant answers to their queries.
- Personalised communication
Chatbot remembers each user’s particular queries, requirements, interests, behavior and feedbacks. It monitors and analyses each user’s data and takes personalized actions, provides solutions and answers differently to each user as a human would do.
- Improves customer engagement
The customers who engage in business’s social media or websites are more likely to become and retain as customers with chatbots in place. This is because chatbots will keep them engaging anytime that they want.
- Increase in response rate
A very high percentage of queries remain unanswered. A chatbot’s response rate is 100%, i.e. it answers all the queries, problems and instructions. This ultimately boosts number of customers for the business.
- Automate leads qualification & sales
A chatbot recognizes whether a lead is qualified or unqualified. It informs us if the lead qualifies on all the parameters for a sale. This saves our time which could have been wasted on unqualified leads.
How chatbot works?
- Pattern Matching
In this method, chatbots classify the text and produce a suitable response for the customers in the form of a computer language called “Artificial Intelligence Markup Language” (AIML). It stores the common questions and sentences and matches them whenever they are repeated. Then the machine gives an output for the same in the form of an answer, action or instruction.
Chatbot knows the answer only if a query or sentence has a particular pattern. Similarly, chatbots respond to anything relating to the associated patterns.
Bots match patterns to group the text from the data it collects, and responds accordingly to the clients. It makes a standard structured model of these patterns called Artificial Intelligence Markup Language (AIML).
To take it to the advanced level, there are two more methods:
For better responses to users an algorithm of past data is analysed and compared sentence by sentence and word by word with the help of unique patterns. Then the bot picks up that response which co-relates the most with the user query according to its analysis.
- Artificial Neural Networks
All parts of the input sentence are divided into neurons and transmitted to neural networks. Then the neurons travel through different layers in the network and are processed according to their weightage. Finally it generates an output.
There are further different types of pattern matchers, algorithms and neural networks. They may differ in the level of complexity but the core work of classification remains the same.
- Natural Language Understanding (NLU)
Through NLU a chatbot can understand human language with the help of text or voice recognition. It converts text into structured data for a machine to understand.
It has three specific concepts:
- Entities: Entity represents any concept in a Chatbot. For eg. A payment system
- Intent: Intent means the action taken by a chatbot in response to a query by a user.
- Context: The knowledge to chatbot of a user’s intent’s context could greatly help in identifying the appropriate response.
- Natural Language Processing (NLP)
It’s a very commonly asked question ‘How NLP works in chatbot?’. Natural Language Processing (NLP) chatbot takes some combination of steps to convert the customer’s text or speech into structured data that is used to select the related answer. Using the right natural language processing NLP engine is one of the most important aspects of implementing a chatbot. Any business that wants its chatbot to understand human voice requires a speech recognition engine.
It is high time we realize the need, importance, and the enormous benefits of chatbots in the wake of the ever-increasing quest for automation in businesses.
So chatbots have become inevitable for large businesses to operate smoothly.
Chatbots are the future of communication automation.