Contextual Vs Specialized Chatbots
One way to stay competitive in this digital era is to automate as many of your business processes as possible.
Doing this means you get to focus more of your resources on other areas of business development, thus saving on time and labour.
And the easiest way to do this is with chatbots, which are making a steady rise into many different industries.
As you may or may not know, a chatbot is a computer program that simulates human conversations. It is programmed to work independently from a human operator.
There are an array of different chatbots, which can be categorized according to their mode of interaction or usage.
For example, there are voice-based chatbots such as Amazon’s Alexa and Apple’s Siri.
There are also text-based chatbots, which are quite prevalent at this point.
Even celebrities are already using them on their Facebook Messenger inboxes to respond to all the messages they receive.
For today, i’ll be talking about text-based chatbots.
Text-based chatbots can be used in the following areas:-
- Lead generation, where they can gather information about prospective customers, giving businesses leverage when it comes to marketing.
- Answering customers’ questions/queries e.g in customer care
- Helping users complete tasks e.g Making a food order, booking a salon appointment or booking an Uber.
The list is endless!
The great news is that, with our Talklift platform you can do all of the above. Find out how!
Now let’s get back to text-based chatbot types.
There are two main text-based chatbot types, which can be distinguished based on their usage patterns:-
Specialized chatbots are programmed to respond depending on what the user says.
Conversations with these types of chatbots can only follow a predetermined path. They are programmed to only respond to specific commands with specific answers. In a word, they are “scripted”
They rarely require the user to type in a response, as they give choices to select from.
They follow a step by step process of picking from different options until the user finally narrows down to what exactly they want.
They are great for businesses because they can easily be specialized to fit any specific industry. They are also easier(and cheaper) to build and deploy compared to contextual chatbots.
They will also say exactly what you programmed them to say, and will not have a personality unless you want them to have one.
Contextual chatbots are powered by machine learning. This means that they collect data from having different conversations over time. The more they interact, the more their knowledge base grows. This allows them to respond to different kinds of questions.
As a result they get more "intelligent” if you will. I use quotes because a bot collecting a lot of information on just ONE topic does not make it intelligent per se.
Contextual chatbots can even learn to predict what the user is going to say based on previous conversations.
For example, if you give your address while making a food delivery, a contextual chatbot will not ask you for your address the next time you make an order, because it already attached that data to all the information related to your user ID.
Unlike specialized chatbots, these chatbots can be programmed to have a personality, from helpful, to funny or serious.
Also, unlike specialized chatbots, they are programmed to determine what the user is trying to say based on the context, as opposed to only responding to specific commands.
They can understand what the user is trying to say, outside scripted commands.
Their technology isn’t as complicated as it might sound though.
So which chatbot is best suited to your business?
This really depends on your business needs. If your business does not handle a wide range of information, you wouldn’t really need a contextual chatbot that collects information over time.
More to the point, if you want to give your customers the same experience every time they communicate with your business, then your best bet would be a specialized chatbot that you can customize.
Also, what platform does your target audience use most? Maybe Facebook Messenger? Then you would probably use a custom chatbot from Talklift. Find out more!
Lastly, you would have to consider the cost. As i said above, specialized chatbots are cheaper to build and deploy compared to contextual chatbots. Their technology is easier to understand, and as a business owner, you can actually operate your own chatbot without having to hire someone with coding knowledge.
Honestly, with a small to medium business, you don’t really need to deploy a lot of complicated or fancy technology.
All you really need is a chatbot that does what you need it to do for your business. Full stop.
The good news is, you don’t have to figure it all out right now. You can START YOUR FREE TRIAL today with Talklift. Then maybe you’ll like us and want to stay?
Or maybe you can contact us and we'll advise you further.
You can also leave us a comment down below if you have any suggestions or feedback. We're always happy to hear from you!