Chatbots and Conversational UI

Why chat-bots?

It has been recorded that people spend more time on messaging apps than the time they spend on social media. So, if you are looking forward to extending your services you can start by offering it on platforms where people spend most of their time-the texting platform. This is exactly what chatbots do. They interact and provide services via multimedia.

Sure, a bot seems cool. But, what is the catch? The fundamental idea is that customers will interact with just enough UI, whether conversational and/or widgets, to be delighted by a service/brand with immediate access to a rich profile, and without the complexities of installing a native app, all fueled by mature advertising products. It’s potentially a massive opportunity.

What makes chatbots stand out?

Customers demand a better interaction with the technology in this swipe-right fast-paced world. Companies don’t wait for the needs of their customers. What do these companies do? Enter- the Chatbots. Chatbots are machines that communicate with you to perform your tasks in a straightforward way. Their foremost responsibility is to streamline users’ needs and services provided. Enabling a more convenient way to avail your services, they also promise to make your browsing experience lively instead of the monotonous-usual. It mirrors the way real-life services are provided. For example, an e-commerce bot makes you feel like you have walked into a retail store.

Chatbots can be put to use for any type of industry. Be it telling you weather report or helping you pick fresh vegetables or sometimes even to kill your boredom by keeping you company. You name it, a chatbot has got it. The possibility of the bots is endless. You can literally build anything imaginable which is exactly what all of this chatbots surge is about.

Chatbots as analytical tools

Here, in this article, we talk about chatbots as an analytical tool. Chatbots are data gatherers. They are far better at it than us because

  • They never get tired. They can keep listening.
  • They can remember all the conversations that have been brushed through them.

Ok, so now, there is a lot of data. But, what about the data? When there is a will, there’s away. When there is data, there is analytics. Let me break down what analytics is. It is not just merely keeping count of the number of times visited and the number of times the app was shut down. It is also keeping a track of how much time a user spends in doing a particular thing, what kind call-actions pair they prefer, amount of time taken before all the responses, etc.. Being a bot that can take in all kinds of information a chatbot really caters in making the user’s experience better. Now that we have agreed to the fact that chatbots are solely created to make the user experience better. Let’s talk about the user interface it offers. Customers have no other way of rating a bot except through the user interface. We can conclude that this interface has to be kept at its best so as to provide the customers with the best.

UI of Chatbots

The conversation is the user-interface chatbots are usually built on. Communication and ‘chat’ has been around for quite some time now, but all the indicators so far point to communicating through conversation is the most used way we happen to conduct a lot of the business. We have now in recent times have shifted to doing that via websites and apps. Will there be a shift to chatbots? Yes- because the conversation is simply easier and engaging.

For example let’s take ‘Dom’, our dominos’ chatbot. Dom does everything that Dominos website has to offer but in case of Dom, he does your work. He is conversational and asks you for what you want. He gets what you want. You come back the next time, you start instructing him. Now he completes your instruction fo you. Talking to Dom feels like he already knows what you are looking for, just like a familiar friend!

After interacting with Dom, we all start to want our own Doms. But, the hefty issue here is neither Dom nor Rome can be built in a day. Dom in actual fact needs a lot of considerations to be looked at before he can predict you peet-zahs.

A better bot is the one that has undergone a lot and a lot of training. You should teach your bot. Teaching chatbots human language? Doesn’t that sound impossible? Sure, sounds hard but not impossible. With rapidly progressing artificial intelligence and machine learning, chatbots can be trained. It is as majestic as it sounds which is why it will take years before it reaches anywhere close to perfection. But, nevertheless, we have already got our hands and heads into working towards this.

Shortcomings of a bot

In a typical conversation person, A begins by sending a signal to person B, which is acknowledged by eye contact, a nod, etc. Both parties work together to construct meaning based on a shared framework for understanding the world. As they interact, they constantly play back what they’re hearing and compare it to their original intention to make sure the conversation is still on track.

Seem’s easy but it isn’t. We’ve had a hundred thousand years to master the subtleties of verbal conversation, versus the mere decades we’ve had to teach machines the same.

Which explains why Dom might not be all that great with discussing how you don’t like your coworkers picking on you, but with time he will make a great pizza provider. With chatbots, the more you interact the more it gets better. There’s always a scope for improvisation using a feedback system. Unlike in websites, where the user has to feed the feedback manually.

To conclude

As we have seen, the design for mimicking a human conversation comes with its own set of challenges, but the enticing benefits it offers to the commerce and consumers are potentially enormous. When done right, they provide the user with a super engaging, effortless and straightforward experience in getting what the customers came for, while the business people can scale their support without sparing the cost that comes with every human overhead needed as service providers.

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