You’re sure to have heard the word “chatbot.” You may also understand what a chatbot is – perhaps you know it has something to do with AI or machine learning. Or you may know it’s a way for businesses to engage directly with millions of customers without their physical presence.

So, what exactly is a chatbot? What do they do? How can they benefit your business? When should you use a chatbot, and when shouldn’t you?

I will answer all these questions and more in this comprehensive guide to chatbots. By the end of this guide, you would have an understanding of what chatbots are, what they do, how they can benefit your business, and why and how to measure their performance.

What Are Chatbots and What Do They Do?

A bot is software that performs automatic tasks. It’s a computer program that communicates with people through the internet.

A chatbot is a developed program that can have a “conversation” or a “discussion” with humans. For instance, any user can ask the chatbot a question, and the chatbot will respond or perform the appropriate activity.

Chatbots are programmed to answer certain questions in specific ways. However, they aren’t limited to this functionality, because chatbots can access and use all of a company’s resources to answer dynamic questions. Also, chatbots can use many systems and files simultaneously to find answers.

Chatbots interact in a format similar to chat platforms such as SMS text, website chat window and social media platforms like Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook to receive and respond to messages.

The simplest way to think of chatbots is as a virtual assistant on messaging channels like Facebook Messenger. By leveraging the power of AI, chatbots help businesses to engage with customers, build loyalty, automate routine tasks, and provide excellent customer service. For Malaysian readers, you may be familiar with ASK ELYA chatbot upon accessing the Employee Provident Fund (EPF) website. You may ask ELYA about almost everything with regard to the EPF services, including the newly launched i-Citra program to help the Malaysian citizen to endure the economic struggle during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The work of a chatbot is to interact with website visitors like a human would and answer any questions they may have.

Thus, chatbots are typically used to automate customer service interactions for brands with a high volume of online inquiries. Also, you can use them to make it easier for prospective customers to get timely answers to their queries.

To scale your business, you need to leverage chatbots to streamline customer communications, marketing, and sales.

NOTE: I shall continue sharing basic information about chatbot features in the next few series. You may view live demo on how chatbot work by clicking ‘Can I help you‘ featuring myself as a chatbot at the bottom right corner of this page. This demo was created using ConversioBot. If you need more information, please email your enquiry to services@ads.my

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