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The virtual assistants, chatbots or conversational platforms are valuable tools for businesses looking to improve their customer experience and reduce operating costs. But for those organizations that have not yet added conversational technology into their strategy, the decision can be a bit difficult.
But... what types of conversational technologies exist and how can you choose the one that best suits the needs of your company?
Companies have already understood that innovation is no longer an option, but the only possible way to stay competitive. In recent years, technology has become widespread: it has ceased to be a luxury for a few and has become the center of all decisions.
In this journey of transformation, the incorporation of conversational AI solutions allows companies to automate customer service and gain huge competitive advantages. But it is not about incorporating just a chatbot. Today, customers expect much more than just structured answers to frequently asked questions.
In addition, enterprise companies have a series of needs that this technology must meet: scalability, security, privacy, the ability to integrate into the technology stack, and much more.
Here's a review of the different types of conversational technologies and how to choose the right one for your business.
What are the benefits provided by conversational AI?
Chatbots are usually the most popular way of referring to conversational AI. These are programs that allow organizations to automate and delegate a good part of their customer service services to virtual assistants (available 24/7).
But in turn, they also empower users by allowing them to solve their doubts in a more autonomous, efficient and fast way, in addition to carrying out procedures and operations that previously depended on human intervention.
However, the results of chatbots vary according to each implementation and technology. While some are powered by conversational AI, others simply run on structured flows, delivering a rigid, non-conversational, and less-than-efficient experience.
As we've discussed in the past, providing better care has direct business implications. In other words: “happy customer, customer who stays”. And we already know how expensive it is to acquire new customers.
But beyond the advances that have occurred in recent years, for some companies, addressing the innovation process of their contact center is still challenging. In addition, there is a wide variety of providers and solutions on the market, according to the different types of chatbots.
Therefore, let's see how to differentiate the different technologies on the market and how to choose the right one for your business.
What types of chatbots are there?
There is a wide variety of virtual assistants, chatbots or conversational AI platforms on the market. According to their capabilities, characteristics, and uses, chatbots can be classified in various ways.
Rule-based chatbots, also known as decision tree or flow chatbots, use a predefined set of rules and responses to interact with users.
These assistants are programmed to recognize specific keywords or phrases in a user's message, and respond with either a predefined response or a set of pre-set responses.
These chatbots are relatively simple and easy to implement, but their responses and field of action is quite elementary and limited.
For example, if a user asks a question that is not in the predefined rule set, the chatbot will not be able to provide a useful answer.
Chatbots with natural language processing
These assistants incorporate artificial intelligence and use Natural Language Processing (NLP) and Machine Learning algorithms to understand and respond to user messages.
These chatbots are programmed to understand natural language and engage in conversations from large data sets. In addition, they can adapt to new situations and better understand the context to give more precise answers.
However, these types of chatbots require significant development and training to function properly. They tend to be complex technologies to implement and update, so they require code and IT equipment.
At the same time, they do not usually have specific functionalities to complement customer service, sales or marketing strategies, since they are not usually end-to-end solutions to achieve business objectives.
Chatbots with conversational AI
Chatbots with conversational artificial intelligence are designed to combine the best features of the two previous models, while adding many more capabilities and functionality that are better suited to both end customers and Enterprise companies.
This technology is based on conversational engines trained from relevant content for a certain company and, at the same time, can engage in natural and fluid conversations with users.
These types of conversational AI-powered chatbots can provide more accurate and natural responses than rule-based ones, but at the same time they can handle a wide range of interactions.
But that is not all. Generally, this type of technology is developed to be applied in specific industries, providing a wide range of functionalities that improve the customer experience.
For example, they can trigger proactive notifications, integrate with other technologies, complement themselves with a voice chatbot, transfer to a human agent in a transparent and immediate way, use all kinds of accessories to enrich conversations, measure customer satisfaction, among many other things.
How to choose the best chatbot for your company?
Now that we have seen what type of virtual assistants exist on the market, it is time to choose the one that best suits the needs and objectives of the organization.
Below we will offer a guide with some tips for choosing the best virtual assistant.
Determine purpose and scope
Companies must clearly define the purpose and scope of their chatbot. This will help them choose one that is specifically designed to meet their needs.
For example, if the purpose of the chatbot is to answer simple questions about product features, a basic flow chatbot may suffice. However, if the chatbot needs to handle more complex tasks, such as processing orders or providing technical support, a more advanced chatbot with the ability to integrate with other platforms and understand natural language may be needed.
In the same way, it is worth asking who the target audience of the bot will be. Will it be used internally, to provide information to suppliers or to interact with customers? This will also determine the degree of complexity and possibilities of the conversational platform.
In the first or second case, a flow bot will meet the objectives. But if the bot will be used in customer service areas to solve problems, provide valuable information, or perform transactional tasks, it is key to opt for an end-to-end conversational AI platform developed to specifically interact with customers.
Companies should evaluate chatbot technology, including its natural language processing (NLP) capabilities, integration with other systems, and the ability to learn and improve over time.
It is key that the technology can understand typos, contextualize queries to provide accurate answers, understand informal language and regionalisms, and transcribe audio.
In this sense, a chatbot with advanced NLP capabilities can better understand the intent behind user queries and provide more accurate and helpful responses. But… do you have the necessary resources and equipment available for a complex technology that requires code? How long do you need to have this technology up and running?
In this sense, it is often preferable to bet on a SaaS and no-code technology that can be managed by your customer service, marketing or sales team, such as a conversational platform with AI such as Aivo.
Instant resolution capability on any channel
The chatbot must be able to integrate seamlessly with other customer support channels, such as email or phone support, to provide a unified customer experience.
At the same time, it must be able to integrate with other technologies and platforms, in order to be able to provide transactional information and resolve queries instantly.
The idea is to be able to solve everything within the same chat window, in order to have a problem-solving chatbot and not a merely informative one. In this way, the chatbot must be able to answer questions such as "what is my balance", "when does my card expire", or "what is the status of my purchase", extracting that information through integrations with the technological stack of the company.
Enterprise organizations should also consider the chatbot's ability to scale with their business. If the chatbot is successful, it should be able to handle an increasing volume of customer inquiries without compromising performance.
This is especially necessary during times of over-demand when companies experience high peaks in inquiries and sales, thus requiring the ability to provide the same experience and quality of service to all customers.
Guarantee security and privacy in interactions
The banking companies are the organizations that look with the best eyes at the implementation of chatbots for the relationship with their users. The use of this technology allows improving customer service, marketing and sales, which affects the positioning of the company.
But to choose the best assistant, it is essential that they meet a series of security and privacy requirements to protect customer data and transactions. For example, the chatbot or conversational AI platform must provide double authentication and encryption factors, while also having certifications and ensuring compliance with security and privacy rules and regulations.
Thanks to the fact that Aivo complies with all these measures, multiple banks use its technology to offer a transactional chatbot where customers can carry out banking transactions in a conversational way. Banco Bolivariano from Ecuador, for example, automates 98% of its WhatsApp inquiries thanks to this technology, including account inquiries, balances, movements, and much more.
The same goes for Banco Comafi from Argentina, which transferred the vast majority of its home banking features to WhatsApp.
Constantly measure and improve
A chatbot that provides detailed analytics and reporting can help businesses understand customer behavior and identify areas for improvement. This is essential to know more and more about the needs and expectations of customers.
For example, Aivo's analytics platform allows you to analyze the interactions that did not have a response, those that were transferred to humans, the satisfaction of each client, and general percentages of the bot's performance.
Think about the cost of the chatbot
Companies must also consider the cost of implementing and maintaining the chatbot. This includes the cost of the chatbot technology license, as well as ongoing maintenance and support.
A code bot implies more investment and more time for the team to make updates. For its part, a no-code chatbot allows agility and speed to make changes, as well as fewer collaborators managing your strategy.
Towards increasingly conversational experiences
When planning a conversational customer-facing strategy, it's important to choose a technology that enables open and natural conversations, instantly resolves both informational and transactional queries, and provides analytics and metrics for constant improvement.
In short, it is about creating automated conversational journeys, a concept that we created at Aivo that refers to guiding the client toward the exact answer they are looking for. Each client is unique, therefore each conversation will be different. The important thing is to have a technology that can provide personalized, decisive, and fluid experiences.
From there are born concepts such as conversational banking or conversational commerce. It is about interacting and solving conversationally, always within the same chat window, thus reducing the points of contact to just one. As a result, processes are more agile and the experience is more empathetic.
When choosing a conversational technology that accompanies your customer experience and service strategy, it is essential to think about how it will help you create conversational experiences that solve, in any channel and at any time, and fulfill all the points mentioned in the section former.
Start creating conversational experiences
Deciding on the best chatbot to automate customer service is important for businesses as it can affect the customer experience and ultimately their bottom line.
Therefore, if you want to know more about how chatbots can help your company to increase the happiness of its customers. We invite you to schedule a demo with our specialists.