AN INTRODUCTION TO ENTERPRISE CHATBOTS — WHAT THEY ARE, HOW THEY WORK, EXAMPLES, BENEFITS AND HOW… (2022)

In this post we will walk you through a more technical perspective on chat bots, illustrate the business case using an office meeting room booking system as an example, provide insight to the types of enterprise chatbots and how they can be used effectively, discuss the benefit to the business and point you in the right direction to begin writing your own enterprise chatbots.

Following up on our earlier post about enterprise chatbots, we’re continuing our enterprise chatbot series to explore the different types of enterprise chatbots and highlight their value in a variety of use cases.

Before delving any further it’s important to define, concisely, what a chatbot is — there are varied definitions out there and depending on who you are or what you do this tends to differ. To the users a chatbot is essentially a conversational tool, you ask it a question, it gives you an answer- all within a chat window. This might capture what a chatbot does in essence, but is skewed to a user perspective. One of our lead developers at MindLink Software has offered a simplified breakdown so we can look at chatbots from a more technical angle.

A chatbot is an application that interfaces with users through the medium of natural language text, i.e. human conversation, in order to relay information from or perform actions on other applications (hardware or software). Chatbots may pump content into a conversation — for example informing you of news or weather; or they may be interactive to allow you to query or perform an action on a system.

The chatbot itself is another interface for software, the core business logic behind the chatbot is not concerned about how the query or action is made or how the response is shown to the user; it is up to the chatbot to coerce the natural language into a structure that the business logic can leverage. For example, an application may need a series of information about your query that can easily be retrieved from a graphical form with several fields, but a chatbot would instead ask you the questions and take your replies as the values for those fields. The same information the chatbot extracts from your natural language responses are coerced into structured data that the application business logic can process. Likewise, the structured data coming out of the business logic can be formulated into a natural language response.

(Video) What is a Chatbot?

As a result, a chatbot has the complexities of understanding natural language to get out the data, producing natural language responses that read as well as if a human had written them and then actually interacting with the systems that perform the business logic.

AN INTRODUCTION TO ENTERPRISE CHATBOTS — WHAT THEY ARE, HOW THEY WORK, EXAMPLES, BENEFITS AND HOW… (1)

If we take a meeting room booking system as an example, the company likely already has systems that can query meeting rooms, get availability and conflicts and then reserve the meeting room. A chatbot has to be programmed to understand what steps are needed to book a meeting room — searching for meeting rooms in a certain date range, choose a time duration, select the number of attendees (to see if the room can fit everyone), check for conflicts, and potentially suggest alternative meeting rooms or times. After understanding the steps, it needs to understand the natural language. Then it needs to know how to take that natural language and call the right methods on the underlying meeting room booking system, it needs to take the responses and formulate them into a natural language response and remember everything that has happened so far so that it knows when it can make the booking. That is even before we have thought about cancellations and other scenarios.

It may seem as though a meeting room booking system isn’t that simple, but in reality, it is. A meeting room booking system represents a well-defined business workflow that has only a few steps — search with a query, choose some options, perform an action with those options and receive confirmation of the action. What this example is showing is not the whole story, so much goes on behind the scenes to drive that workflow. The beauty of a chatbot is that it makes it *seem* simple in the same way that a well-crafted graphical interface does, it removes the laborious manual processes and automates it by understanding the context.

The example above demonstrates the inner-workings of an office meeting room booking system. Moving forward and speaking to the theme of this post we will take a look at some prevalent use cases for business-facing, or rather enterprise chatbots.

(Video) Enterprise Chatbot Platforms and their Importance

The enterprise world is gearing up to chatbots as Business Insider reported some time ago, quoting directly from their article: 80% of business want chatbots by 2020. So which chatbots do they want? Well, the list below is just a start of some the chatbots already in play with a range of large organisations today.

  • Social Bot: Aggregate selected social media content in chatrooms (RSS feeds/Twitter etc.). Keeping an eye on your competitors’ social media activities or trending topics for your industry.
  • Email Bot: Pump emails directly into chatrooms and send emails from within chatrooms. Keep your sales team up to date with the latest correspondence between numerous accounts.
  • Q&A Bot: Coordinate town-hall meetings with a question/answer workflow.
  • Whitenoise Bot: Send scripted/automated messages to chatrooms. Great to issue routine reminders, i.e. to drink enough water during the day or when the monthly financial closing period starts, address/phone number changes.
  • JIRA Bot: Post newly raised tickets from JIRA to a chatroom with direct links to each ticket. For convenience or to some extent, eliminating manual searches.
  • Poll Bot: Addin that can be used for voting in chatrooms. Visual tool to gauge availability for meetings or other events — or perhaps where to go for lunch with the team.
  • Price Bot: Enter a stock symbol and receive a price quote. Get the information you need without needing to tab out of your conversation.
  • Message Flow Bot: Bridge multiple chat rooms by synchronizing messages.
  • Announcement Bot: Broadcast messages into multiple chat rooms on demand
  • Quiz Bot: A chatbot that asks questions and scores answers for each user. Great for onboarding, training or just to test your trivia knowledge during some downtime.
  • Tag Cloud Bot: An add-in that hosts a generated word that visually represents the frequency of each topic discussed in a chatroom.

Combining several bots in a single chatroom or channel can provide further business value. An example we employ is to have the Social Bot set to pull in news from various RSS sources in combination with the Tag Cloud bot hosted as an add-in to gauge/visualise the most important or most discussed news of the day!

AN INTRODUCTION TO ENTERPRISE CHATBOTS — WHAT THEY ARE, HOW THEY WORK, EXAMPLES, BENEFITS AND HOW… (2)

Clicking on a topic, for example: Wall Street, will show more context.

AN INTRODUCTION TO ENTERPRISE CHATBOTS — WHAT THEY ARE, HOW THEY WORK, EXAMPLES, BENEFITS AND HOW… (3)

(Video) Building Enterprise Chatbots on Workplace by Facebook

This could be valuable for a financial trading firm to have a visual overview of the world’s current issues which may have a direct impact on trading. Rather than having to scour the web for updates, let the updates come to you in a dedicated chatroom.

Interested in the examples listed and illustrated above? Find out more here.

Chatbots will come to replace repetitive traditional workflows and bring them into the era of digital transformation. There are some rather obvious advantages to doing this, advantages revolving particularly around additional saving in terms of cost and time, chatbots also tackle some of the latent costs associated to traditional workflows.

Linking back to the earlier example of an office meeting room booking system, before the existence of chatbots a lot of the workflows and data transactions would have to be conducted by a member of office staff. Enter chatbots, processing the data as quickly as modern day hardware will allow, which speeds up those traditional workflows to the nth degree. This frees employees from the more laborious tasks.

AN INTRODUCTION TO ENTERPRISE CHATBOTS — WHAT THEY ARE, HOW THEY WORK, EXAMPLES, BENEFITS AND HOW… (4)

(Video) What is a chatbot? Types of chatbots & how they work

Chatbots don’t: earn salaries, accrue a pension, need a desk, take holidays, and can’t get sick

The introduction of chatbots allows employees to focus on other tasks or remove now obsolete roles within teams reducing the overhead cost for firms in certain areas. Even when chatbots are offset against their own cost (hardware/maintenance/etc.), this still results in long-term cost savings, on top of a higher quality of service to the business users and ultimately, the customer.

You could code the chatbot directly against the desired platform, and there are plenty of resources out there on the web to do so. However, as we identified in our earlier post, there is a need for central governance around larger inventories of enterprise chatbots which starts from the foundation — how the chatbot is written.

AN INTRODUCTION TO ENTERPRISE CHATBOTS — WHAT THEY ARE, HOW THEY WORK, EXAMPLES, BENEFITS AND HOW… (5)

To get you started writing your own chatbots against Skype for Business (or Lync) we recommend using the MindLink API — read more and sign up for a free trial.

(Video) Podcast on Understanding the ROI of Enterprise Chatbots

Other options for getting up and running with Skype for Business chatbots include ready-made chatbots and custom chatbot development services which we offer as well. If you’d rather not write your own and go with our out-of-the-box or bespoke offering, find out more by downloading the MindLink Chatbots datasheet.

FAQs

What is chatbot and how it works? ›

A chatbot is a software or computer program that simulates human conversation or "chatter" through text or voice interactions. Users in both business-to-consumer (B2C) and business-to-business (B2B) environments increasingly use chatbot virtual assistants to handle simple tasks.

What are enterprise chatbots? ›

Put simply, an enterprise chatbot is a conversational interface with a business application. Employees can pose a complete question to their chatbot and it will recognize and fulfill the user's intent.

How chatbot works step by step? ›

Put simply, chatbots follow three simple steps: understand, act and respond. In the first step, the chatbot processes what the user sends. Then, it acts according to a series of algorithms that interpret what the user said. And finally, it picks from a series of appropriate responses.

What technology is used in chatbot? ›

Chatbots use natural language processing and machine learning technology to turn complex business interactions into simple conversations.

Why are Chatbots essential for business? ›

Chatbots are way more than simple conversational agents. They can be connected to various APIs which will for example enable them to deal with a wider range of customers' requests. They can also automate repetitive and tedious tasks like emailing prospects and customers, answering FAQs and many more.

Why should businesses use Chatbots? ›

Chatbots can help businesses take customer engagement to the next level. By using conversational AI chatbots, engagement can be driven based on the user data and made more interactive. What's more, bots can deliver consistent answers and this helps you avoid dishing out irrelevant information to customers.

How conversational AI and Chatbots benefit SMBS and enterprises? ›

Increase Customer Engagement

Well designed enterprise chatbots can take customer engagement to the next level. With the help of conversational AI bots, engagement is driven based on user data and made more interactive. They also deliver consistent answers, which boosts customer satisfaction level.

How effective are chatbots? ›

Chatbots can cut operational costs by up to 30%. 85% of customer interaction will be handled without human agents by 2021. 50% of businesses plan to spend more on chatbots than on mobile apps. 64% of internet users say 24-hour service is the best feature of chatbots.

How chatbot are changing the user experiences and what are its benefits? ›

Chatbots can play a fundamental role in personalizing UX. They listen to your customers' individual needs and problems and try to provide relevant tips and personalized answers fast. For example, Sephora's chatbot asks customers to take a brief quiz before continuing their interaction.

What's an example of a bot? ›

More recent examples of chatbots include virtual assistants, such as Amazon's Alexa, Apple's Siri and Google Assistant. Social bots. These bots, often considered opinion bots, influence discussions with users on social media platforms.

Which is the best chatbot? ›

7 Best Chatbots (September 2022)
  • The Best Chatbots of 2022.
  • HubSpot Chatbot Builder.
  • Intercom.
  • Drift.
  • Salesforce Einstein.
  • WP-Chatbot.
  • LivePerson.
  • Genesys DX.
15 Aug 2022

How chatbots are created? ›

To create your own chatbot:

Design your bot conversation flow by using the right nodes. Test your chatbot and collect messages to get more insights. Use data and feedback from customers to train your bot. Check which conversation routes are the most popular and improve them for a better user experience.

What data does chatbot use? ›

To work out those answers, it will use data from previous conversations, emails, telephone chat transcripts and documents etc. This is the training data. Chatbots are only as good as the training data they are given. You can't just launch a chatbot with no data and expect customers to start using it.

How chatbots are changing the world? ›

Chatbots are being used more and more because they are highly accessible and can be made to show up right there on the screen as soon as a website is accessed. They allow consumers to get answers to questions almost immediately and certainly faster than waiting for a customer-service representative.

Where can chatbots be used? ›

Besides emails, companies can use chatbots on messaging platforms like WhatsApp, Telegram, and Facebook Messenger to send drip campaigns to users. This gives their marketing departments two main benefits: They can access their customers on a preferred communication platform, i.e., text messenger.

Why chatbots are the future? ›

The future of chatbots is that they are predicted to be utilized for 47 per cent of businesses for customer support and virtual assistants, will be used by 40%, which suggests that by 2022 chatbots will help companies gain market share and become an investment in improving customer service over the next few years.

How can we use chatbots in business? ›

How to use chatbots for business
  1. Use a “call center” chatbot to resolve FAQs. ...
  2. Collect customer data and user feedback. ...
  3. Give personalized product recommendations. ...
  4. Qualify leads with lead generation chatbots. ...
  5. Weaponize social media for conversational sales. ...
  6. Reduce the number of abandoned shopping carts.
22 Jul 2022

Do chatbots improve customer experience? ›

While chatbots can't replace humans, they can complement the support-chat experience, giving employees or customers a friendly greeting and direct ways to get what they need — fast. More specifically, AI chatbots can help companies deliver good customer service in the following ways: Reducing customer waiting time.

What are the limitations of chatbots? ›

Each of them is strictly connected with a specific limitation of this technology or its bad implementation.
  • Unclear scope of the chatbot and/or too broad purposes of its utilization. ...
  • Setting unrealistic expectations is often the reason why chatbots fail. ...
  • Lack of customer perspective in building the chatbot.
12 Oct 2021

What kind of businesses need chatbots? ›

Conversational commerce chatbots can help e-commerce industries make more money, save time, shorten sales cycles, boost conversion, and aid in cross-platform performance. Chatbots are also language agnostic and can cater to a truly international audience.

How chatbots shaping the future of you and your business? ›

Chatbots will manage 85% of customer interactions by 2021; they can cut operational costs up to 30%. By 2021, 50% of businesses plan to spend more on chatbots than on mobile apps. By 2020, bank systems will automate up to 90% of customer interactions using chatbots.

What is the advantage of artificial intelligence in chatbots? ›

Advantages of using AI Chatbots

Chatbots are available 24×7 and can respond to your customers instantly. This means that whenever they message you for any reason, they'll be able to get a response immediately.

How chatbots can help coaches? ›

With Messenger chatbots, coaches can make deep and meaningful connections through automated interactive conversations. Being able to provide a unique and consistent first point of contact with your prospects any time of day, week, month or year is what chatbots offer your business and allow you to build trust at scale.

What are the types of bots? ›

There are two types of bots: good bots and bad bots. Both attempt to access web resources (pages, web applications, APIs, etc.) or perform other typical web activities of a human user, but they do so for different purposes.

Can a chatbot send pictures? ›

A visual chatbot is an automated conversation partner that understands images and videos. With many chatbots, it is possible to send images and videos, but almost all of them cannot understand the image or video itself.

How do bots work on social media? ›

Automated Social Media Bots

allow the user to establish a set of parameters using programming language within an application or program (e.g., retweet a specific hashtag every time it is posted, but not when the bot itself retweets it), which the Social Media Bot then executes without human interaction.

How many types of chatbots are there? ›

Fundamentally, there are different types of chatbots. As a general rule, you can distinguish between two types of chatbots: rule-based chatbots and AI bots.

Is chatbot a software? ›

A chatbot is a type of software that can help customers by automating conversations and interact with them through messaging platforms.

How can chatbots improve customer service? ›

Chatbots are self-help tools for improving communications. Brands can use it to improve their customer's experience, to generate more sales and build a deeper rapport with customers. They allow your customers to easily interact with your brand through stimulated conversations.

Which companies have the best chatbot? ›

Best AI Chatbot for Voice: Alexa for Business

Amazon, which has captured 70% of this market, has the best AI chatbot software for voice assistants. With Alexa for Business, IT teams can create custom skills that can answer customer questions.

Is WhatsApp a chatbot? ›

WhatsApp chatbot is an automated software powered by rules or artificial intelligence (AI) and runs on the WhatsApp platform. People communicate with WhatsApp chatbot via the chat interface, like talking to a real person. It's a set of automated replies that simulates a human conversation on WhatsApp.

Is Alexa a chatbot? ›

Alexa is formally a chatbot. Recently, Amazon started revealing another component on iOS that empowers clients to type their solicitations to Alexa and see reactions on the screen.

Where can chatbots be used? ›

Besides emails, companies can use chatbots on messaging platforms like WhatsApp, Telegram, and Facebook Messenger to send drip campaigns to users. This gives their marketing departments two main benefits: They can access their customers on a preferred communication platform, i.e., text messenger.

How chatbots are created? ›

To create your own chatbot:

Design your bot conversation flow by using the right nodes. Test your chatbot and collect messages to get more insights. Use data and feedback from customers to train your bot. Check which conversation routes are the most popular and improve them for a better user experience.

Is chatbot a technology? ›

Understanding Chatbots

One AI technique that is growing in its application and use is chatbots. Some examples of chatbot technology are virtual assistants like Amazon's Alexa and Google Assistant, and messaging apps, such as WeChat and Facebook's Messenger.

What is the best AI chatbot? ›

15 top AI chatbot platforms:
PlatformRatings ⭐️Best for
DialogFlow4.3/5 (42 ratings)Businesses operating with Google Cloud
MindSay4.6/5 (41 ratings)Large businesses
Wati4.6/5 (76 ratings)WhatsApp customer service
Mobile Monkey4.9/5 (119 ratings)Customer service on social media
11 more rows
17 Aug 2022

What was the first chatbot? ›

ELIZA was the very first chatbot as mentioned above. It was created by Joseph Weizenbaum in 1966 and it uses pattern matching and substitution methodology to simulate conversation. The program was designed in a way that it mimics human conversation.

Is Siri a chatbot? ›

There is an argument that the likes of Siri cannot be a chatbot because it exists outside of these channels. But this does not feel like enough of a differentiator. In fact, of more importance is the function of the chatbot (or virtual assistant) that you employ.

Is Google Assistant is a chatbot? ›

Nearly every tech company worth its silicon now has a virtual assistant: Apple's Siri, Amazon's Alexa, Microsoft's Cortana, and Google Assistant, among others. What do these digital helpers—known as chatbots—have in store for us?

What problems do chatbots solve? ›

The chatbots use natural language processing (NLP) and machine learning technology to react to the buyer intent of shopping behaviours. Companies use AI chatbots to not only automate customer support, but they also help optimise conversion rates, improve customer experiences, and contribute to direct revenue.

Do chatbots really work? ›

Chatbots are effective with customer support

Not only can chatbots help businesses save up to 30% on their customer support costs, but users cite that having “24-hour service” is the biggest benefit of having chatbots available for the online services that they use.

Which industry uses chatbots the most? ›

#3 Hospitality Chatbot

The real estate industry uses chatbots more frequently than any other industry—the ability for these small businesses to answer customer questions around the clock in a timely fashion is critical when it comes to making a sale, or renting a unit. It's easier than you think to implement a chatbot.

What is needed for chatbot? ›

The most important requirements of chatbot software:

In addition to understanding and interacting within conversations, an outstanding chatbot software has NLP functions (Natural Language Processing) to analyze the context of a conversation.

Why are chatbots so popular? ›

In many ways, website chatbots are some of the most popular types of chatbots around. Because so many businesses now leverage the convenience and speed of on-site live chat to help customers, adding a chatbot to enhance that personalized experience is often a no-brainer.

Videos

1. Unleashing the Power of Chatbots in the Enterprise
(Center for Digital Strategies)
2. The Rise of Chat Bots in Enterprise Mobile Application Development
(Oracle Learning)
3. Chatbots for the Workplace
(Startupfood)
4. Experience Low-Code Chatbot Building with SAP Conversational AI + DEMO | SAP TechEd in 2021
(SAP TechEd)
5. An Introduction to Chatbots for Government
(Tallan)
6. Chatbots - A Simple Overview
(V-Soft Consulting)

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