Hello, everyone! In the last article I talked about how soft skills are an integral part of any person’s growth and why is it an important asset to be possessed by any person (you can check out the article here). Today I’ll be focusing on, how the interaction of a user has changed over time and how with chatbots into the picture, the scenario has completely changed? User interaction can be as an individual or as an organization, but most of the time it is with an organization to gain some information, some answers to questions and to solve their queries.
Before jumping into how the scenario of interacting with users has changed, we need to understand what chatbots do, how they do and why they do? Starting with what they are, chatbots are nothing but intelligent agents (bots) which give an action to a certain query. This action is usually in the form of responding to a certain question asked by the user. The entire process of answering the question is automated. You feel that the answers are given by a human in real, but it’s the automated chatbot (the concept of Turing Machine). In simple terms Turing machine states that if there is a person (user) sitting in one room and if there is a computer system sitting in another room, the queries of the user will be answered by the computer system in such a way, that the user will believe that there is another person in that room. (The concept of Turing Machine deals with more of technicalities and thus won’t be detailing much about the same, but this is what the overview of Turing machine is).
This is what the most basic concept of a chatbot is. Talking about how they work, there are different ways it can work. One of the simplest forms of its working is, that knowledge base is already created and fed into the system. Now whenever a user asks a query to the system, based on the query the system will search the knowledge base and it will return the most appropriate answer to the user. The knowledge base is basically a set of answers to a set of questions. Consider an example of a marketing chatbot. In such a scenario, few questions by the user can be as follows:
- What is marketing?
- How is it done?
The set of answers to such questions can be as follows:
- Marketing is a concept in which you create a brand value for your product or service. It is also used for personal branding.
- Marketing can be done majorly by two mediums, online or offline.
These answers are stored in the system as a knowledge base and accordingly the user is returned with answers associated with their questions.
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We are aware of two things related to chatbots that is what and how about them. Now comes the question why they are used? Chatbots provide a much faster response than that of a user. Also, it doesn’t require any human to answer the questions by the user. Everything is answered by the system. If the knowledge base embedded in the system is really good, it can increase the efficiency and reliability of the system. This provides much better value to the user using the bot of a business organization. Once you know the reason behind the usage of chatbots, we can now go on to understand that how they (chatbots) have changed the scenario of user interaction.
Initially, users interacted with businesses and individuals in person. You had to organize meetings with other people in order to clear your queries and doubts. Slowly when technology advances were made, mobile phones and devices came into the picture. You make a call, talk to the person and clear your queries, ask a question and get the response. But this process was slightly costly, it was limited to certain regions and thus a better way was needed to interact. After this, emails came into existence. Email opened the doors for users to interact on a global level. But this usually took time. As the user had to wait to get the response. And today there are smart assistants, chatbots and much more.
Chatbots have changed the way users interact in many ways. Labour cost is saved to a tremendous extent because now you don’t need an expert who sits on the desk for 24 hours and keeps on answering user queries. Instead, the system is provided with knowledge about the related field and that system now responds to the user questions, queries, and doubts. This makes the process of question and answers very fast and quick. As the system responds, there is no requirement that a person checks on those answers, because it’s the intelligence of the chatbot that processes the user questions and gives an answer associated with it. In many advanced cases of bots, they also learn and keep a track if the user behavior and based on that as well, they process the answers and then give an output to the user.
Few examples that are available in the market currently are, Apple Siri, Google Assistant and other. These two smart assistants are majorly used by the consumers. Whatever question you ask, whatever responses you require, you can type or through voice you can ask these systems and they tend to give you the answer to your question. If you haven’t used it yet, try using it. It is fun and you can actually experience how a chatbot works and learn a lot more about the same.
Chatbots have a number of advantages over the traditional way of answering questions to the users or responding to their queries. Some of them are listed below:
- Saves time
- Quick, fast and accurate
- If knowledge base (a lot of answers for the questions) in the chatbot system is very high, the system becomes highly efficient and reliable.
- The system never gets tired of responding to user queries and/or doubts.
- Saves your labor cost. As the one responding to user queries is a computer system, no labor job is required.
- The user is notified of real-time updates from the bot. It can work 24 hours and 365 days.
- Comes with your desktop/laptop systems as well as with your mobile devices and smartphones.
- Accessible anytime, anywhere with just an internet connection
- No need of physical meeting with a person or human
- Makes user satisfied with the fact that his/her queries are responded in a quick and timely manner.
Chatbots will soon dominate the market and industry in terms of business interaction with user and consumers. To get a chatbot for your business or for your work, feel free to get in touch with Techno Code LLP. Techno Code LLP is an IT and digital service company, providing clients and customers with digital services that will help them ease their business operations and serve the consumers in a much better way. Get in touch with them here.
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Article written and submitted by: Akshay Rakesh Toshniwal