Recently, chat bots have gain serious popularity, turning from entertainment for geeks in almost a must have-feature in all sorts of messengers, social networks and sites. And in many cases, chat bots are not used to entertain the idle public, but to solve very serious business problems. They just make it more friendly and confidential, in a completely natural form for a person dialogue. Even more: in the form of individual correspondence. And what today can be more natural, in the era of the Internet,than instant messengers and smartphone in every pocket?
Chat-bot is an application capable of supporting a written dialogue with the user, selecting answers from the database and reacting to a certain set of commands. Today, the market mainly includes chat bots from the “client-client” segment. That is, they are instruments of communication (and entertainment) between ordinary users. A platform, adapted to solve business problems, much less.
What are the tasks that chat bots can solve in the business segment?
Perform routine operations. There are always some fairly simple and monotonous tasks for which you do not want to waste employees time , but which are quite capable of chat bots. At the same time, the chat-bot will not have to force himself to work, persuade to take on a boring business: he will do everything quickly and unmistakably. Of course, as far as his algorithms allow.
Search and aggregation of data. Chat bots can also be used to collect materials for subsequent analytics. Naturally, this is done through communication with people. Also, chat bots can act as a kind of channel for disseminating information within the company or within the service, informing all participants of the news and providing background information.
The first line of work with clients, assistants, consultants. Chat bots help to keep the visitor, entertaining him or offering primary information, until the person consultant gets free and connect to the conversation. Also, chat-bot is useful for contacts with visitors during non-working hours. It helps to create a pleasant impression about the company, asking for contact information so that you can contact the client during business hours.
Chat bots can answer typical questions, help you navigate the site or in the application, suggesting where you can find these or other tools, conducting a kind of “tour” of the product. Electronic assistants in accordance with the requests are able to offer visitors certain products, eliminating the need to go through the catalog. It is also a good tool for provoking spontaneous purchases.
Just for Fun. Finally, no one cancels the entertaining function, there should always be a place for a smile.
Now is 2017, and chat bots are at the peak of trend. On the one hand, trend always provokes inflated expectations. On the other hand, because of the skeptical attitude to this trend, there is a risk to miss a moment that your competitors will not miss.
We have collected several reasons why the bots are not just trend.
1. Bots are much easier to install than mobile applications
To “install” the bot, you just need to find it in your favorite instant messenger and start the correspondence. By installing the application, you open the AppStore, look for the application, press the install button, wait a minute for the download, and even after that, you will most likely need to register. For correspondence with the bot, it is not needed. Result: a few minutes to start working with the application against several seconds to start working with the bot.
2. Bots spread more easily
If your friends use some kind of cool bot, they can easily share with you their contact right inside the messenger. You can share links to the bot , bots can even recommend each other. In the case of working in Slack, any member of the working group can add the bot so that it is available to the entire team.
3. Qualitative mobile applications are expensive to develop and support
The creation of the application implies the availability of qualified developers (or even teams) for Android and iOS, ideally in a pair with a strong interface specialist. Then you need tests, debugging, applications in application stores. Sometimes several times. In the case of bots, you use the fact that instant messengers are already written by someone and people already use them. And to write your bot and immediately add it to the messenger you can by yourself.
4. There are a huge number of situations in which the mobile application is unreasonable
Almost instant start of work with the bot opens many new usage scenarios. The user, most likely, will not install the application to work with his hairdresser or dentist. Therefore it is useless to create special applications for such cases. The same user is much more willing to add a hairdresser and dentist to his contact list.
5. Messengers are now used universally and dominate among applications
Facebook Messenger, iMessage, WhatsApp, Viber, Telegram – continue the list? The messengers covered the audience almost completely. In addition, the user’s hold during the year, according to statistics, the messengers are more than 5 times higher than other mobile applications.
6. Users are tired of mobile applications
What is the latest application on your smartphone? How many of them were installed in a month? It will not be a big mistake to assume that there were very few installations and they were rarely produced.
7. Transferring calculations to the cloud reduces the load on the user
Of course, you can google everything yourself, view the issue, click multiple links, do not get confused in open tabs, find the necessary information and formulate a solution. But is not it easier if the bot does it for you? Especially it is useful on the go or in a situation of lack of time.
8. Bots are extremely portable
Chats are a “natural habitat” for bots, so they can also just as easily exist and work in a live conversation, like personal assistants (Siri, Google Now), in an auto-navigator, in smart clocks, in emails, in push notifications.
9. People from birth are predisposed to talk
Because of this language develops, it becomes powerful, acquires nuances and flexibility. People used the language throughout the recorded history to do amazing (or not) things. Bots use this human trait.
10. In addition, do not underestimate the power of emotions
Why chat bots are the future of large data
Many first heard about chat bots a year ago, when Facebook launched a platform that allows developers to create their own. Then Facebook and other big companies called chat bots “a rising star,” a revolutionary dialogue utility, through which the interaction between companies and their customers will soon change beyond recognition. What happened to the chat bots? Do they play any role today?
From this article you will learn about how chat bots have changed the business and why they are the future of large data.
Chat bots will displace mobile applications?
Why chat bots are the future of large data
After the appearance of chat bots on Facebook, many people repeated: “They will displace mobile applications” (such a statement was made by Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft, in March 2016). Indeed, statistics show a decline in the mobile applications market and the growth in the use of mobile messengers, and bots for messaging already have tens of thousands. However, the promised revolution has not yet occurred. Think about yourself, how often do you use chat bots instead of applications?
The problem is that the chat bots have yet to find their place in the world. Many of them simply provide the same functionality as existing mobile applications, only with a different interface, which still needs to be understood. This is a bad approach to development, and for some tasks the graphical user interface is actually more suitable. The statement that chat bots will replace mobile applications has become a loud headline, but it makes little sense: to popularize chat bots, developers should add functions to them that applications do not have, or at least concentrate on functions that are consistent with the interactive nature.
What is waiting for chat bots? Just as mobile applications have not replaced sites, chat bots should not be created just to replace applications. The task of the dialog utility is to imitate a person, so chat rooms should interact with customers instead of company representatives. Many banks already use chat bots in a similar way: answering questions, the bot makes the impression that the bank really knows its client, restoring the individual approach lost in recent years. The same goes for other industries: now chat bots are really useful in the sphere of customer service, personal recommendations services (for example, in the fashion industry, travel, etc.) and customer relations.
Natural language processing
Through a successful chat-bot company takes a huge amount of data. However, the data coming from the user is often confusing and unstructured. How to analyze them in order to correctly answer queries? The latest achievements in the field of natural language processing make such an analysis possible. A couple of years ago the level of accuracy of such technologies was disappointingly low, but since then science has gone ahead. Each developer can use for his chat-bots red-maid natural language processing platforms, created by IBM, Microsoft and Google.
One example of how far progress has been made is the use of chat bots for legal advice. Until recently, complex descriptions of the circumstances in which the client turned out could not be analyzed accurately enough to process the request. But Stanford University student Joshua Browder created a “robot lawyer” that helps people challenge fines for parking incorrectly, apply for temporary housing and even apply for asylum.
Entrepreneurs should take into account that the achievements in the field of natural language processing can be applied not only to improve the functionality of the chat-bot, but also for in-depth analysis of the collected data. Unstructured text is a potential gold mine of information that should be developed.
Chat bots can benefit in many ways, both in business analytics and in business intelligence. So, one of the developing industries is a predictive analyst, striving to predict what your client wants, even before he talks about it. Tracing trends in dialogues and focusing on the type of client, the chat-bot is able to generate reasonable, targeted offers that increase the chances of buying. Fashion brands, such as H & M and American Eagle, are already doing this with the help of the Kik service.
These targeted recommendations are part of the modern fashion for personalization as a way to improve the client experience. Gartner’s research on personalization has revealed a growing need for it from customers who are often willing to pay more for an individualized service. Collecting information about the user on the basis of his interaction with the chat-bot will help companies meet this need – and contact the client only when he turns on the messenger.
In the field of business intelligence, chat bots are a quick and effective tool that helps managers to monitor various aspects of the company’s work directly and make informed decisions. Chat bots contain the most up-to-date information (by KPI and other metrics), available on demand at any time, and this is their key advantage.
Analysis of the tonality of the text and the relationship with customers
Chat bots are not only able to collect user data. The analysis of the tonality of the text (sentiment analysis, methods of detecting emotions in texts) is often used in social networks to study opinions about a product or service. It can be integrated into chat bots to determine the client’s mood: positive (the service meets his needs, and he is happy with it) or negative (he is dissatisfied with the service). This is especially valuable for combating the outflow of users: after discovering that the client is going to leave you, you can, for example, offer him something special and keep him.
Also, sentiment analysis helps companies understand their clients at all stages of their life cycle. Information about which elements of your service are particularly useful for different people, and which are most influenced by the decision to purchase a product or service, is priceless. Technology, aimed at understanding the full range of human emotions (which is complicated by the constant change of language), still has much to grow, so that the processing of dialogues with buyers has a huge potential.
Types of bots
Unfortunately, the bots are not so safe. They are already being adapted for criminal purposes. For example, extorting money by cheating or finding out the passwords of bank cards and accounts. They are used by hackers for network attacks and the spread of viruses, as well as for sending spam and collecting the databases of the right users. More innocent goals are playing on betting exchanges, monitoring online auctions, Counseling clients, playing games with users in games (poker, quizzes, etc.) What kinds of bots can all this do?
This is a trained interlocutor program, of which we have already talked. Their functions and tasks, under which they are written, are extensive.
Some of them:
Consultants – are used in the commercial sphere to communicate with potential and real customers, bots are already running in the banking, services, online stores,telecom and medicine.
Assistants – used in instant messengers and search engines.
Entertainment – used on entertainment portals and services. It is interesting that bots are created for children. What is also quite promising in terms of gaming learning.
Game bot – A program that performs some processes in the game. For example, in strategies pumping the character online RPG, automates the game in an online casino.
Exchange bot – This type of bot sets the algorithm and tactics of working with the exchange. Bot does everything himself and his reaction to market changes is immediate.
Reference: more than half of transactions with shares in trading on the stock exchange in the US is realized with the help of robots.Web bot
These bots are not used with good intentions. They copy content, collect data, hack accounts. And all for what? In order that you then send out letters of happiness called “spam.”
Search bots are bread and work for the SEO specialists. These bots collect almost 30% of Internet traffic around the world.
Their function: to index pages of sites, and they exist for the work of search engines.
This is an illegal, hacker field of application of bots.
Bot-no – several bots (usually a large number), connected together and forming a network of computers, under the remote control of intruders. This is due to spam mailing, transitions to questionable links, as a consequence – computers “grasp” the virus, connecting it to the network.
The number of infected machines in bot-net networks around the world is impressive – about 500 million.
As you can see, bots are able to carry both benefit and harm. And this is another problem of technology development, when technologies are used not for good, but for evil.
Near future of bots
However, the bots, experiencing a second birth and a wave of popularity, yet while making wise slow. There is still a lot of development and improvements in this area, so that bots become a real technology tool and justify the experts’ forecasts.
So, the well-known case with the bot on the Twitter network only confirmed that the system can self-learn “in the wrong direction”. For example, become aggressive or intolerant.
Certainly, in the hands of people really breakthrough technology. It is able to change both life, and production, and labor of people. It can create a new look for many spheres of business, facilitate and automate the processes of large-scale production and management.
But first of all, a clear system of regulation of this technology is needed – legislative acts, standards and certification. That is, some points, the rules for which will be created and run bots.
Otherwise, how to know if the footage from the movie “Rise of Machines” will not become a reality for people.
Instead of concluding
Obviously, communication with the audience brings tremendous benefits to business: it is an opportunity to learn more about each client, and another source of information on trends in the behavior of buyers in general. In the future, thanks to new advances in the processing of natural language and the development of related technologies, chat bots will take on even more functions that are now performed by sites and mobile applications.
At some point, chat bots will learn to imitate people so successfully and spread so widely that we will not even pay attention to the fact that we interact with the machine, not with the person. In this situation, we will trust the chat bots more and interact with them as if they were friendly employees of the companies.
More and more entrepreneurs are aware of the importance of large data for business, and in the coming years chat rooms will become their important source. Each company should look at this tool in order to remain competitive. Business intelligence, based on the processing of natural language, should become a key part of the company’s development strategy.