One of the significant advantages of bots is their ability to perform not only repetitive tasks, where they can replace or enhance human work, but also more complex ones. However, besides the obvious benefits of web bots, there are also negative examples such as the dissemination of malicious software or bots used for decryption and password cracking.
Types of bots
Indexing bots: Collect information about web pages.
Scraper bots: Extract data from web pages.
Spam bots: Gather email addresses for spamming purposes.
Social media bots: Generate messages on social media platforms.
File download bots: Download files automatically.
Automated purchasing bots: Make automatic purchases.
Virus-spreading bots: Spread viruses.
Chatbots: Communicate using text in place of a human, utilizing advanced natural language processing (NLP) algorithms.
Voice bots: Conduct voice conversations with customers.
Chatbots & voicebots
Chatbots and voicebots, in particular, are designed to engage in conversations on a large scale, such as embedding chatbots in online messengers and popular platforms like Messenger and Facebook. One advantage is their ability to operate in real-time without the need for human presence on the other side of the screen.
Statistics show that 64% of internet users consider 24/7 customer support the best feature of chatbots. Additionally, 37% of people use chatbots for customer service to obtain quick responses in urgent situations. Voicebots have the advantage of speed as voice communication is the fastest form of human interaction. Users do not need to type queries or navigate through dropdown menus.
What is NLP
Natural Language Processing (NLP) plays a crucial role in enabling bots to understand spoken questions or requests and generate appropriate responses. NLP is an interdisciplinary field that combines artificial intelligence and linguistics, automating the analysis, understanding, translation, and generation of natural language by computers.
To make language readable by humans, the system converts information stored in a computer’s database. In contrast, a system capable of understanding natural language transforms its samples into formal symbols that are more accessible for computer programs.
The biggest challenge is constructing a sentence that is both understandable and grammatically correct. Polish language-specific challenges for bots include rich inflection, diverse word formation, and flexible sentence structure.
Advantages of using bots
Era of contact centers, where people sit in booths, is coming to an end. We are increasingly relying less on assistance from real individuals, and as a result, artificial intelligence, namely bots, are increasingly handling customer service. In the age of the internet, there is no room for delays. The world never sleeps, so we expect immediate responses to our inquiries.
Research data conducted by SAP Customer Experience shows that nearly 75% of consumers would be willing to give up interacting with a brand if it responded too slowly to their queries.
Internet bots are capable of replacing repetitive tasks performed by humans, which consume a significant amount of time. Moreover, they encourage users to communicate through short messages, which streamlines communication. As a result, they relieve employees of repetitive tasks, freeing up their potential and increasing efficiency.
How do customer service bots work?
Advanced programs can process natural language into algorithms. This means that bots can understand queries and provide responses to customers. They are responsible for performing automated actions on the web.
Bots effectively replace humans. There is no need to spend time waiting for an assistant. Bots have no limitations; they are self-sufficient control centers that can handle several, or even dozens of people at the same time. Customer service bots are not dependent on weekends or vacations. This is one of their greatest advantages.
As much as 54% of consumers claim that the quality of service has significantly improved, and the percentage of people reluctant to use bots for communication has dropped to 19%.
How do bots assist?
Bots offer a range of useful functions, such as answering questions about offers, handling complaints, ordering food for delivery, or scheduling appointments. Bots are now present not only on Messenger but also associated with brands such as Allegro, InPost, IKEA, Facebook, and the Apple App Store.
Bots are used, for example, during product returns. Special programs guide consumers step by step on how to properly return an item. They provide essential information during the process and explain the procedures. Returns can be fully handled using artificial intelligence without human intervention.
A significant advantage is that bots collect and archive data provided by the interlocutor. These data are then made available for subsequent steps in the customer service process. This means that repetitive consultant actions can be replaced by bots. By using bots, a company can ensure the same level and scope of services as before. At the same time, it takes care of the development of its employees since the conversation is transferred to a real person only if the bot is unable to provide assistance.
How do they function?
Bots operate in three simple steps: understanding, acting, and responding. In the first step, a chatbot processes what the user sends. Then, it follows a series of algorithms that interpret what has been said and selects a response accordingly.
Text bots can be programmed to respond in the same way every time to messages containing specific keywords, or to provide different responses each time.
To find answers, bots utilize a knowledge base. The general base contains pre-prepared scenarios with frequently asked questions. It is responsible for small talk, greetings, and farewells. The subject-specific base, which is crucial, contains the most important questions from later users and pertains to a specific implementation. Thanks to this, for example, a complaint can be filed.
The knowledge base of chatbots should be constantly expanded and monitored. Post-implementation modifications should be introduced for bots to be effective. This allows for error correction and filling gaps in the database noted after initial conversations with users. This stage in bot development improves its effectiveness, often by several percentage points.
Customer service bots and their benefits
Contrary to initial concerns and doubts, bots are capable of not only maintaining the level of customer service but even improving the quality of service and enhancing the brand image.
Relatively few people choose to engage in a conversation with a human instead of a bot. Companies that have decided to replace call center staff with bots are perceived by customers as more innovative and modern. According to customers, communicating with a voicebot or chatbot online or over the phone is less awkward and much more convenient.
User support through a text bot provides greater comfort in terms of personal data protection. Additionally, a significant advantage is that conversations are not recorded, and users themselves feel more anonymous online. In the case of a voicebot, the situation is quite similar, with the added benefit of not having to wait in line for a human connection.
Every coin has two sides - bots cons
Unfortunately, bots have a limited number of responses, so it happens that they are unable to answer multipart questions or decision-related inquiries. Such situations remain unresolved, requiring users to take additional steps and contact a team of consultants.
Another drawback of bots can be the loss of contact with the customer. By not engaging in conversations with customers, emerging issues may be overlooked. Furthermore, there is no opportunity for direct confrontation with opinions, and the chances of missing out on information about new company capabilities increase.
The biggest disadvantage of bots on the internet is their inability to recognize user emotions. Bots are incapable of distinguishing whether a customer is sad, frustrated, or satisfied at a given moment. The algorithms employed are devoid of sensitivity and emotions.
Another example of bot drawbacks is the issue of data protection. The collected information that is often transferred from the bot to CRM systems must be appropriately secured. The type of stored data should also be appropriate, as well as the method of archiving.
There are various types of bots, and for them to be effective, they must be well-suited to the business model of the company. It is important to focus on providing an easy and intuitive user interface to avoid cognitive overload.
Efficient utilization of bots can be an ideal solution for businesses, especially in industries where repetitive and time-consuming tasks were traditionally performed by humans. Now, individuals can focus on more creative tasks. Perhaps in the future, bots will fully replace human interaction.
Bots facilitate more relaxed communication between users and consultants or bots. Customers feel comfortable asking questions, as they perceive themselves as more anonymous and secure. Redirecting the conversation to a human only when necessary is an ideal solution.
The result of bot implementation is improved communication and enhanced customer experiences with the brand. More and more companies are leveraging the benefits of incorporating bots into their offerings on the internet. Unsure if a bot is the right solution for your business? Reach out to us!