Chatbots are computer programs that mimic a human in either written or spoken conversation. A chatbot can perform tasks or process communication and respond accordingly.
Chatbots generally fall into two categories: task-oriented and conversational. Task-oriented chatbots process a request and perform a single, related function. When a customer asks for a business’ contact information, for example, a task-oriented chatbot can serve up the correct information.
Conversational chatbots, on the other hand — sometimes known as digital assistants — use predictive analytics to answer more complex questions, provide personalized conversation or information, and pull data together to craft informed answers to consumers’ questions.
The biggest benefit that chatbots offer businesses is efficiency: They can handle basic customer questions, effectively organize customer inquiries, and swiftly direct customers to the right human agents. This frees humans up to focus on other value-adding tasks for the business.
Because today’s customers want quick, easy access to information, chatbots are often their preferred method of initial communication with a business.