What People Don't Know About Chatbots, From the Creators Themselves

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Torani chatbot built by Pramati Technologies
Torani chatbot built by Pramati Technologies
Vijay Pullur, cofounder and president, Pramati Technologies 
Bots are not magic, but many people assume they are because of their perfunctory usage up until this point. Facilitating a customer service request on a one-to-one basis is one thing, but when in setting our sights on the creation of a truly personalized bot, our eyes have been opened to many barriers in current bot technology. One barrier we are focused on right out of the gate is input mode flexibility. 

For a bot to exist as a fully functional entity in a world where some prefer voice and others swear by the keyboard, it will need to be multi-modal. Most people assume that a single bot can seamlessly communicate through both voice and text without issue, but this isn't the case… yet. As we move closer to bridging the gap between artificial intelligence and truly intimate human contact, many more barriers will need to be lifted through innovation, trial and error. 

Donna Peeples, Chief Customer Officer, Pypestream 
One of the biggest misconceptions companies have about chatbots is they can answer anything and everything. The belief that automating conversations in an open-ended way will in itself add value for customers. The reality is the most effective bots are purpose-built to solve very specific problems for customers –making common customer service requests and commerce easier, while ensuring customer privacy.

Before designing a bot, businesses need to think deeply about their goals. How will a bot relate to customers? What specific problems will it solve? How will it improve existing processes for customer service, communication and commerce?

Maximiliano Del Hoyo, head of marketing, Aivo
Some companies have erroneously compared the experience of using a chatbot to that of Interactive Voice Response or command bot. But unlike chatbots, these solutions are not able to maintain a deep conversation with users and do not learn from them. Chatbots can do so much more.  The mission of a chatbot or a virtual assistant is to understand the user's intent and interact with them in a conversation. Chatbots attempt to resolve user questions instantly, through information and integrations.

Another common misconception is related to the amount of client content it takes to build a ‘chatty' chatbot—one that customers will enjoy interacting with. Creating content is key.  A client who continuously generates content that covers all the needs and aspects of their business will succeed. Personalizing chatbots and providing a variety of answers will give users the sensation that they are communicating with a human.

AgentBot uses natural dialog understanding, artificial intelligence and machine learning. The virtual assistant learns from customer interactions and integrates with the company's information to provide solutions across all channels.

Asaf Amir, CEO, Chatsuite
Some companies hold the misconception that chatbots are always one-size-fits-all solutions that they can buy off the shelf and use immediately. While that is true some of the time, it is not a guarantee. To ensure the best results, companies should spend time carefully strategizing. They need to take into account integrating chatbots with their current systems, choosing the best audience to start with, select which chatapps to use, promote their chat activity, and manage campaigns across multiple channels. Companies can benefit from a deliberate process. 

Oren Jacob, CEO, Pullstring
Misconception : Bots are the new mobile apps. Truth : Mobile apps and websites will have a place in our future, for decades to come. Graphical interfaces are very well suited for many tasks like conveying large amounts of information. Conversational interfaces are great for a dominantly mobile world where brands now need to engage consumers in an ongoing conversation, providing compelling and interactive content consumers access on their own volition on their mobile devices.

Luca Friedrich, head of user happiness, Chatfuel
I think that the biggest misconception about chat bots is, that most bot admins believe that once they build it, people will flock to it in huge numbers. But in reality, you have to put in as much work (if not more) driving people to the bot, as creating one — if they want it to be a real success.

Scott Horn, CMO at [24]7
One major misconception around bots is that ‘autonomous' AI exists today. The truth is that while we're making great strides in advancing AI programming for sciences, medicine, and education, it's unlikely humans will be replaced by robots anytime soon in most fields. Machines are still dependent on humans, especially when it comes to performing higher-value, complex tasks. 

So while chatbots are great for answering customer questions and handling simple transactions, tasks such as upselling and ensuring customer retention do require human input. Finding that proper balance between humans and machines will be critical for companies looking to provide an effortless customer experience.


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