Watermelon guide

The chatbot guide for beginners

Everything you need to know about the first steps in the world of chatbots.

Table of contents

What is a chatbot?

Phones ringing, new emails coming in non-stop and colleagues working round the clock to keep up. A familiar image to many. Customer Service as we know it today can be a cluttered mess. Customers who want immediate answers are reaching out through a variety of different channels. And all while service agents constantly feel like they’re one step behind.

Luckily, there is a solution. A proven solution to this constant stream of incoming conversations is to automatically answer them, as soon as they come in. And what better way to automate than using your very own conversational digital assistant: a chatbot.

chatbot with animated humans

But what exactly is a chatbot?

The simple answer lies in the name; a robot your customers can chat with. However, a good chatbot is much more than just that. 24/7 availability, immediate response times and low effort self-service are just some of the characteristics of a good chatbot.

To make the most out of your chatbot, it is important to make sure that your customers can not only chat with it, but that your chatbot also understands the questions your customers ask. This is a very important distinction between a basic chatbot and a successful digital assistant. Transforming your chatbot into a conversational superstar can be achieved through the use of Conversational AI.

Artificially Intelligent Chatbots

Artificial Intelligence can seem like a complex and intimidating concept straight out of science fiction, reserved only for the largest and most innovative companies. But reality offers a much more positive outlook. Nowadays, AI is more accessible than ever and just about anyone can think of new ways to use this exciting technology.

Conversational AI for chatbots is used to ensure your chatbot can not only provide answers, but can have an actual conversation with your customers, providing them with a natural and intuitive experience. This is achieved with the use of Natural Language Processing.

Natural Language Processing is a method of AI which involves recognising words, interpreting sentences and understanding the intention behind asked questions. In a chatbot, this means that instead of selecting from a set of predetermined options, customers can simply type in any question they have and the chatbot will respond accordingly. Thanks to artificial intelligence, variations in customer input are irrelevant as your chatbot can learn to recognise different phrasings of a question, spelling mistakes or synonyms. An AI-chatbot understands the intention behind the question and provides customers with the correct response.

Hybrid chatbots

The true power of a successful digital assistant lies in the combination between Conversational AI and the easy and intuitive multiple choice options. By having the most frequently asked questions readily available in your chatbot as simple buttons to click, the majority of customers can be assisted in a matter of seconds. Customers with more complex or unique questions can simply type in what they’re looking for and the powerful AI will take over to provide the answers.

But what if your chatbot doesn’t know the answer to a question yet? That’s when your chatbot becomes a true part of your service team. These questions will automatically be forwarded to an available colleague while the unknown question is saved, so it can be later added to the chatbot. The service agent receives a warm handover with a complete overview of the customer, so they can jump in right where the chatbot left off. This is how your customers are provided with an excellent service experience, and your team has more time to focus on complex questions instead of just responding to FAQ.

Step 2. Channels

Now that you know what a chatbot is, let’s take a look at the different channels you can use to automate your conversations.

Next step

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