Over the past few years, the use of chatbots has grown exponentially. As customers and clients increasingly move their brand interactions online, the volume and complexity of their needs has changed.
Keeping pace with these demands requires 24/7 monitoring and availability. Hiring around the clock customer service staff is not the most practical or cost effective solution which has left startups and enterprise businesses looking for different answers.
Chatbots provide those answers.
Making use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Robotic Process Automation (RPA), chatbots allow businesses to offer an immediate, natural, and intuitive response to common customer problems and questions.
Employing this technology is more important now than ever. Gartner predicts that by 2020 as much as 85% of all customer interactions will be handled and managed without humans. Capitalizing on this technology not only increases customer satisfaction by giving them immediate solutions for their concerns, it improves the business bottom line by reducing employee inefficiencies and providing an around the clock “workforce.”
For businesses in the financial and insurance industries, the marriage of RPA and chatbot technologies are an absolutely perfect match. RPA bots can be designed to perform specific tasks that will quickly process the information provided, offer a potential solution and in some cases, help start the process of that resolution as has already been seen in the insurance industry. By providing a claim or policy number, customers are able to ask specific questions about their personal business. If there is a problem with a claim, for example, a bot can identify what the problem is and may be able to gather the necessary information from the customer, apply it to the claim and get the process rolling.
There is no doubt that these technologies and their abilities will continue to grow and develop over time, becoming more intelligent and better able to handle customer needs.
To stay competitive, whether you are an enterprise business or just getting started, building and developing your own chatbot is the only way forward.
Here is a look at 6 of the best chatbot tools and platforms available:
According to a study by Mindbowser, 61% of business have chosen IBM Watson as their chatbot building platform. Built on a neural network, Watson has a large conversation capacity with the ability to understand intent and dialogue. It supports both Japanese and English and comes equipped with several developer tools like Node SDK, Java SDK, and iOS SDK.
Watson allows for the development of fully conversational bots that can go beyond answering simple questions and guide customers through performing actual processes. Any conversations stored by Watson become a repository for customer data that be accessed to better understand the preferences of the customer base, helping the bot to learn and increasing the effectiveness of its interactions with customers.
With a free standard package, Microsoft offers cost effective solutions to developers looking to build simple to mid-level bots that can be integrated with enterprise software, virtual assistant applications, and especially with Cortana. This option allows for the building of bots locally as well as on Azure. These bots can easily be integrated with a range of messaging platforms like Facebook, Twilio, Slack, Skye, email, and web widgets.
Microsoft Cognitive Services allow your bot to be able to see, hear, and interpret interactions with humans. More than just recognizing speech and inflection, Microsoft bots are able to recognize photographs of people, make suggestions, moderate content and translate languages.
Amazon Lex uses the same deep learning technologies that are found in Amazon Alexa. Using automatic speech recognition and natural language understanding, Lex is able to convert speech to text and recognize the intent of the text. This creates an unbelievably life-like conversational experience.
Amazon Lex is perfect for enterprise productivity bots, informational bots, device control bots, and transactional bots. With an easy to use console, building, testing, and deploying your chatbots is relatively simple.
Because Amazon Lex is a fully managed service, as customer demand and use increases, there is no need to expand hardware or infrastructure to keep pace. And with built in integration with the AWS platform, you can always be assured of security and support.
Dialogflow from Google, uses some of the most evolved natural language processing (NLP) technology to deliver some of the best voice and text options. And with the ability to offer services across 14 platforms with just one click, it is also one of the easiest chatbots to implement.
The Dialogflow “agents” are integrated into client apps to help manage and direct the flow of conversation in a way that feels natural to customers. It is possible to build on top of these agents to create a more customized interface, allowing the technology to grow and change with the demands and growth of any business.
Dialogflow is only advisable for businesses that have the expertise already in place as its use requires a certain amount of proficiency in coding.
Oracle Intelligent Bots allow for the creation of a more natural conversational interface that can be integrated across a number of websites, mobile apps, messaging apps and digital voice assistants. Oracle combines intent detection with sophisticated machine learning to maintain the context of the conversation. These particular bots extend your back-end functionality and deliver a custom experience. Their easy scalability allows them to meet a growing demand and deliver your enterprise solutions. These bots not only resolve external B2C problems but can be used for internal B2E issues.
Oracle also offers built-in analytics to help you gain greater perspective on customer and bot performance.
Wit.ai from Facebook offers developers the opportunity to build apps that can be spoken or texted to and create bots that can interact with humans via messaging platforms. Wit uses natural language processing to interpret what users are saying and extract the information necessary to create an action. Wit is best suited to simple B2C bots but is used across a wide range of business for virtual assistants and in bots that require integration with IBM services.
The needs of individual businesses will help to determine which option is the right option for building a chatbot but these 6 tools provide a useful place to start.
Market Research, RapidValue