Which chatbots are used by companies

Artificial Intelligence

More and more companies are using AI-based systems for voice, messaging or text communication with visitors to websites and online shops. Such chatbots are often used on platforms such as Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, WeChat, Slack or to answer SMS messages. They are programmed to answer questions and perform tasks.

The acceptance of chatbots by customers increases with the quality of the conversation. In principle, chatbot dialogs save time, and companies can also relieve their customer support. Companies with a presence on Facebook use the chatbot in Facebook Messenger particularly often, as this enables a broad, scalable approach to customers and new prospects.

What can chatbots do and who is using them today? - Our chatbot FAQ provides the answers.

  1. AI bots
    Chatbots as virtual communication robots can optimize processes, support communication with customers and partners and provide new insights into communication partners.
  2. Google Allo
    The messaging app Google Allo has an integrated chatbot, the virtual assistant Google Assistant. For example, he looks for suitable restaurants and helps with reservations.
  3. Facebook
    Chatbots are also active within Facebook Messenger. Users can subscribe to messages from chatbots there, but they can also block them.
  4. Mastercard
    Chatbots are already finding their way into the world of banking. Mastercard offers the bot KAI for banks and their customers to simplify transactions.
  5. Microsoft
    There are a number of ways to develop your own chatbots, such as the Microsoft Bot Framework.
  6. News bot Novi
    Chatbots do not always look so clearly like a robot as in the case of the Novi news bot. Often, the images in chatbots give the impression of communicating with a person.
  7. Novi answers questions
    You can ask questions about the news to the news chatbot Novi. However, the queries are still specified. Other chatbots already work with "free" questions.
  8. Chatbots learn
    You can tell a chatbot like Novi whether a topic is interesting or not. In general, chatbots should learn from this and increasingly personalize communication.

What is a chatbot?

A chatbot is an AI program for automated communication. It is a "communication robot" - not a metal machine, but software or a service from the cloud. Many readers will have already got to know chatbots, for example when they communicated with Apple's customer service or asked questions in an online shop.

These users are shown a dialog box on the relevant websites in which they can enter their questions. The answers then do not come from employees in a call center or from the help desk, but are given by the virtual communication robot, the chatbot.

Chatbots often develop user profiles, as is known from the field of web analytics, in order to personalize their answers. This is particularly easy in online shops, as a history of purchasing habits, time intervals, payment behavior, etc. is available. Good chatbots are capable of learning; they are based on a form of artificial intelligence. Thanks to machine learning (ML), the answers are getting better and better, so that at some point users find it difficult to recognize whether they are talking to a machine or a person. Chatbots thus become virtual online assistants and consultants.

Examples of chatbots are:

How do chatbots and artificial intelligence interact?

Artificial intelligence (AI) is emerging as one of the megatrends for the coming years. Gartner estimates that by 2021, investing in AI will enable new business models worth $ 2.9 trillion and 6.2 billion hours of time saved.

In modern chatbots, AI is used to continuously determine and evaluate how the voice robot should behave during a customer conversation. The necessary data is fetched via complex interfaces to the back office applications: Do we know the caller? What are his interests? What is the status of his order? The most perfect communication possible with the customer or interested party is controlled by the dialogue management.

In addition to chatbots, voicebots are increasingly being used, which allow people to talk to a software robot. With the help of technologies for speech recognition (speech-to-text), spoken words are converted into text and then interpreted in a machine-readable format by an AI system. Using a set of rules, what has been said (e.g. "I would like to order a subscription") is analyzed and an answer is written in text form. With the help of speech synthesis (text-to-speech), the written text is transformed into an audio file.

Can a chatbot answer more than customer questions?

Chatbots can be used for many communication and organizational tasks. If they are combined with an order to act, for example for booking a trip, they are also called ActionBots. Otherwise, chatbots are used in the medical field, for example at Nduranc, to combat Alzheimer's and dementia. They enable training conversations with sick people and, if the data is collected in the cloud, a medical analysis of language development.

Disney lets fans of the animated film Zootopia solve cases together with the cartoon character Judy Hopps - chatbot technology works in the background. The children's aid organization Unicef ‚Äč‚Äčenables people in developing countries to talk about grievances and wishes in the U-Report. For example, students in Liberia were asked if teachers had blackmailed them into sexual acts for good grades. The results were so shocking that Unicef, together with the Liberian Ministry of Education, launched a program of countermeasures.

In Corona times, the MedWhat bot, which patients and medical professionals can use to obtain remote diagnoses, should also be of interest. This is a constantly learning system that, thanks to sophisticated machine learning algorithms, quickly makes great progress in terms of the accuracy of the results. The bot is also constantly fed with medical research results and scientific work, so that it has a considerable wealth of medical expertise.

Chatbots are mainly used in marketing. They use the media to convey content to readers via Facebook Messenger and to win new readers. Consumer goods brands let their advertising characters, often animated, drive conversation with potential customers. And web shops try to address new customers or to make existing customers happy.

Where are chatbots used in the social and mobile web?

Chatbots exist within social networks such as Facebook and Twitter; they are then referred to as social bots. The popular messenger and chat services such as Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp are of course also among the fields of application for chatbots. Here are some examples:

  • On Twitter, chatbots take over the "Quick Replies" and "Welcome Messages" services. If you send a direct message to a company's Twitter account, a chatbot can provide an immediate, first answer and a greeting - as an expression of fast and (apparently) personal customer service.

  • Political parties use social bots in social networks for election campaigns. There are parties who use social bots for the automatic creation of Facebook posts or tweets and for responding to questions from followers. However, critics see social bots as dangerous opinion leaders or opinion robots that should be monitored and their use marked on social networks.

  • Mobile apps such as Quartz and Resi as well as services such as Novi are examples of news services that use chatbots to send users automatically and personalized messages and to be able to react interactively to user queries.

  • For Facebook users there is also the social bot JOBmehappy, which wants to draw users' attention to suitable jobs.

  • GYMI is a fitness bot. In contrast to normal fitness apps, it can hold dialogues with users. GYMI answers users' questions via Facebook Messenger.

  • HDFC Bank uses a chatbot on Facebook Messenger to offer customers advice and certain financial transactions. At the Royal Bank of Scotland, the Luvo chatbot is supposed to answer simple customer inquiries. Mastercard has introduced the Bot Kai for banks and their customers.

  • The Edwardian chatbot, which is available in several Radisson Blu Hotels of the Edwardian Group, enables guests to request hotel services such as additional towels, get information about restaurants or submit complaints via SMS.

What do chatbots do in the contact center?

More and more companies from various industries are also using chatbots in their contact centers. There they can receive and answer service inquiries in coordinated cooperation with their human colleagues or independently.

"If you want X, press Y" - the Neanderthals among the language bots may not have died out yet, but there are much more modern communication robots that have evolved over several stages of evolution to their current level of performance. In the meantime, voice bots are complex software applications that combine several components in order to enable a natural, goal-oriented conversation. The chain of technology almost always begins with the connection to a contact center, which controls the calls as well as the employees and voice bots to answer the calls. Contact centers are not only able to manage phone calls, but also other contact channels.