The Ultimate Guide on Chatbots: Benefits, Features, and Tech Stack

Chatbots

Learn about chatbots along with its benefits, features, and tech stack in this primer.

Many companies are now taking advantage of technology for their processes. The automation of tasks helps with efficiency resulting in higher productivity. Also, it frees up employees from repetitive tasks that machines handle with ease. 

Take the example of customer care. It is difficult for many companies to have 24/7 customer support using human labor. The cost of paying workers would be too high.  

Further, such businesses have to work within the confines of regular operating hours. Yet, the modern customer wants quick information at whatever time they need it.  

Chatbots provide an excellent solution in certain situations. For example, they can handle customer queries using pre-set answers. Thus, a customer gets quick responses cutting down on waiting time.  

AI chatbots provide even greater functionality. They use machine learning, natural language processing, and artificial intelligence. All these help in learning human behavior. They can then tweak responses according to the questions they receive. As a result, customers feel like they’re interacting with an actual human being. 

There is a lot more to know about chatbots, benefits, features, and tech stack. Let’s dive into the discussion.  

Understanding Chatbots 

Chatbots are computer programs or instant messaging tools that simulate and process conversation. You have the option of spoken or written interaction for communication.

Chatbots need pre-written scripts to give proper responses to simple queries. You also have the option of the more advanced technologies like in the case of AI chatbots. 

There are two main types of chatbots.

a. Task-oriented or declarative chatbots are very basic in their functionalities. They perform one function, making them single-purpose programs. While they may use natural language processing, there is little machine learning input. 

You automate the responses with specific, structured scripts or service functions. A good example would be Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).

b. Data-driven/ predictive or conversational chatbots work like virtual or digital assistants. They use advanced technologies like natural language processing (NLP) and natural language understanding (NLU), and machine learning (ML). 

AI chatbots will, for instance, look at past shopping behavior and user profiles. They learn preferences and can give recommendations. They may also anticipate behavior and provide solutions even before the customer asks.

Benefits of Chatbots 

We have already hinted at some of the benefits of chatbots above. But there is more.  

  1. Improved Customer Experience

With chatbots, customers get prompt responses to questions. The machines do not have the confines of time to work. The automation is available 24/7. 

Further, customers do not have to deal with agents who may be having a bad day. The result is a better experience, resulting in higher loyalty. 

  1. Service Personalization 

AI chatbots get insights from your past shopping behavior. They then make suggestions on what to get. As a customer, imagine getting a recommendation about a new product. 

Chatbots for Shopify engage with the customers in real-time. These eliminate the need to wait for a customer support agent to answer your query.

You are happy because it suits your needs very well. Wouldn’t you feel like the company cares about you? After all, they have taken the time to know you well.  

  1. Automation of Processes

The truth is answering customer queries can get repetitive. The monotony of the job can lead to low morale, resulting in improper handling of customers. Chatbots can take care of such tasks without any issues.

 But, we’re not saying that you can do away with human reps. No matter how intelligent the chatbot is, it remains a machine. There are tasks that it may not be able to handle. Such issues still need a human agent to resolve them. 

  1. Cost Saving To a Company

Having full-time staff is very expensive. There are so many things to factor in. Infrastructure, insurance, salaries, sick days, and overtime are all costs you must manage. 

Yet, one may argue that the cost of installing such technology is expensive. If you look at it on a short-term basis, it makes absolute sense. 

But, think about the long-term. Calculate how much you spend on full-time staff in a year. Now compare it to the cost of a chatbot, and you will appreciate the savings. 

  1. Sales and Marketing Benefits 

Chatbots also provide a lot of other functionalities for sales and marketing. They include:-

  • Triggering of abandoned cart sequences 
  • Customers can place and have their orders fulfilled via chatbots 
  • They can provide insights on things like website visits. It allows for personalization of messaging depending on the pages they use most
  • Sending invoices and collecting payments are also possible with chatbots.

Understanding Techstack Requirements for Chatbots

There are three main components when thinking of designing chatbots. First, it should be easy to use.  

Second, it should have all the features you need. Finally, it should be cost-effective. You need all this information when choosing the best technologies for the project. Here is how you go about it. 

  • Start by identifying the proper use case and scope. It is essential to understand what your requirements and expectations are. Use platforms like Flow XO, Botsify, and Chatfuel for simple solutions. But, you do not get the benefit of customer features. For more flexibility, you will need the right frameworks. Such need coding and technical knowledge that you will find with experts. Examples of such platforms are BotKit, Microsoft Bot Framework, and IBM Watson. 
  • Next, develop the scripts that will determine the conversations. Pay attention to the structure to ensure fast replies. Avoid grammatical or syntactical errors. Remember, you want to appear professional at all times.
  • Third, choose the appropriate tech stacks. Next, decide on the programming language. You have options like python, JavaScript, NodeJs, and TypeScript. You can use platforms that need no coding knowledge, like Google Dialog Flow. Other options include telegram, Facebook, Skype, and messenger. In the end, you should have an agent interface and middleware stack. The latter hosts things like your NLP platform.
  • Get into the development stage using agile methodology. Such include sprints, tests, bot personalities, knowledge base, and so much more. You must run tests during the developmental cycle. You need to identify and resolve bugs or areas of vulnerability early
  • Keep up with analytics for insights on performance.

Final Thoughts

Chatbots have a lot to offer forward-looking businesses. We have outlined the salient points you need to know about them. These are the benefits, features, and tech stack. 

With chatbots, you give customers a better experience with prompt feedback. You also save money by not needing to hire full-time staff. 

Finally, you improve efficiency with workflows that would take a long time.

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Dan Martin

Dan Martin

Dan has been building teams and coaching others to foster innovation and solve real-time problems. Dan also enjoys photography and traveling.