Automating tasks such as customer service is a necessity for many companies in all types of industries. And that is one of the great advantages offered by the use of Artificial Intelligence. The design of tools that help manage customer contact speeds up a good number of procedures and resolves doubts. A chatbot is an application created to serve users and organisations.
What is a chatbot?
A chatbot is a computer programme based on artificial intelligence and designed to interact with users through natural language conversations. Using advanced language models, it can understand and respond coherently to user queries by simulating a conversation with a person.
The main goal of a chatbot is to provide assistance and answers as accurately as possible to frequently asked questions or specific tasks, such as making reservations, providing information about products or services, and solving common problems. Some specialise in a particular area, such as customer service, while others are general and address a wide range of topics.
In recent years, they have gained popularity due to their ability to improve the user experience and automate repetitive tasks. As technology advances, chatbots have become more sophisticated and accurate in their responses, driving their adoption in various sectors, such as e-commerce, healthcare, education and many other areas where fast and efficient interaction with users is essential.
How does a chatbot work?
These assistants are based on AI and techniques such as natural language processing, NLP, and machine learning. Both technologies allow the bot to understand and process human text and respond in a consistent manner. To achieve this, training with large amounts of linguistic data is necessary to help the machine learn language patterns and contexts.
In this area, natural language processing is an essential part of a chatbot’s operation. It consists of breaking down the user’s text into smaller, more understandable elements, such as keywords and phrases. The system then analyses the grammatical structure and meaning of the input to determine the intent and generate an appropriate response. In addition, relevant elements, such as product or place names, are identified to improve the accuracy of responses. Ultimately, they also learn to interpret language.
Once the chatbot has understood the user’s intent and generated a response, it uses machine learning algorithms to improve its future performance. There is feedback and learning from the interactions made. As more people are accessed, adjustments continue and better responses are delivered.
What are its main functions?
Knowing what a chatbot is and understanding it helps to understand the value it has in the various functions it performs and why it is a valuable tool in many different areas. One of them is the use for customer service and technical support. These bots are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, respond on the spot to user queries, resolve common problems and provide real-time assistance. Thus, they relieve the burden on human staff, especially at times of high demand, by performing these simple, low-value tasks.
Another important function is lead generation. They can interact with website visitors or social media users and collect relevant information about their interests and needs. After processing and analysis, marketing departments can personalise offers and promotions, which increases the effectiveness of campaigns. In fact, they are so important that 26 % of industry specialists use this tool, according to the statistics website Statista.
Chatbots are also useful in the sales and e-commerce process. They guide customers through the purchase, provide information about products or services and answer questions about availability, prices and features. This real-time interaction drives sales through a seamless and personalised shopping experience.
Thanks to the combination of chatbots and their features, they are of great help in education and learning as virtual tutors. They are very useful to complete the information offered in a class or to fill in gaps in knowledge. Therefore, learners enjoy more interaction and autonomy during their training.
Finally, they have been implemented in the field of health, where they provide basic information on diseases, symptoms and treatments. They also send reminders to patients for taking medication, medical appointments and keep track of treatments. They are a useful tool that provides support and help in communicating with the doctor, but in no way replace professional medical care.
A chatbot is a valuable tool that facilitates the work of millions of professionals and solves users’ doubts. By implementing them, companies and public bodies simplify their dealings with users.