Melissa is a mother of 2, lives in Utah, and writes for a multitude of sites. She is currently the EIC of HarcourtHealth.com and writes about health, wellness, and business topics.

With Fast-moving technology and artificial intelligence, it helps to clarify key concepts on the chatbot phenomenon. The CTO of SnatchBot, Avi Benezra, shared some insights:

There are software robots and there are also chatbots but what exactly is the difference between them? Chatbots are different from RPA solutions because essentially they are intermediaries between various systems with which humans can have conversations. Your average chatbot is able to communicate with applications and they can also communicate with people and this can result in benefits for both businesses and customers. In most cases, chatbots is simply a software program that has been specifically designed to have a conversation with humans and then to collect a range of data from those conversations. A lot will depend on the design of those chatbots and also how intelligently they have been made to be. An intelligent chatbot can use gathered information to perform many tasks for people such as to suggest promotions or special offers, book your next flight and when it does not have a solution for your problem it can pass you along to a human agent. Many different chatbots have already been designed to better assist customers. There are those that will sort through customer needs and will allocate the best solutions and answers based on those needs. Some types of chatbots will be designed for one-on-one guidance and there is also those chatbots that will assist consumers with data entry and the completion of transactions. Other chatbot types have been designed to provide consumers with the best offers and promotions.

Chatbots for business applications

Those chatbots which have been designed for business use can be used in a variety of ways. They will be suitable for routine operations as well as for very complicated operations. Chatbots can help with workflows, they can manage systems and applications and they can provide feedback on a wide range of data especially those which apply to business-critical systems. When it comes to those routine operations think of simple actions such as password resets, distribution of alerts on network outages, updating of purchase orders, reports to IT managers and the input of sales pipeline data as well as many other similar tasks. Chatbots by nature are composed of a range of fundamental elements which allows them to provide sophisticated conversational interfaces both for employees and customers. To accomplish this chatbot makes use of several tools which include intelligence, various channels, specific bot tasks, and speech and NLP or natural language processing. This can involve technologies such as TTS and also STT. Included in the design of advanced chatbots are things such as advanced analytics, bot builder GUI, enterprise capabilities which include things such as administration, compliance functionalities, and advanced encryption.

Common chatbot tasks

There are important considerations such as those that involve task execution framework. This simply means that the type of tasks as well as how effectively they can be performed by the chatbots will determine the ultimate usefulness of those chatbots and also the long-term value which can be derived from their implementation. It must be remembered that most bot building platforms will provide a complete set of capabilities and features which will allow for the construction of highly effective chatbots. Those chatbots will be able to perform just about any task both complex and simple and they will do so to the satisfaction of all enterprise administrators. These systems will provide users with access to platforms which would allow them to design chatbots which can perform a whole range of tasks such as compiling reports, the answering of questions, sending of simple notifications, the performance of complicated tasks which may involve the triggering of a complex system to system workflows.

Considering bot building platforms

It must be remembered that all platforms which are used for the building of bots must be both flexible and secure as well as enterprise ready. They must also be API-centric platforms. These platforms must also be those which is properly equipped to accommodate both custom and standard integrations. Products should be suitable to be integrated into almost all existing systems. This is important to ensure that they are able to fit all requirements as well as unique workflows. One very unique attribute of chatbots is their ability to be channel doubtful or agnostic and this simply means that users can engage a chatbot in many of the communications channels which are used every day such as Messenger, email, websites, SMS, Skype, Slack, WhatsApp Business, Telegram, and many other platforms. There are many quality chatbot solutions which are providing SDKs and pre-built bot connectors which has the ability to manage channel specific APIs. These systems can also automatically adapt incoming messages to a range of channel-specific formats. This is beneficial because it allows for a single configuration which can then be implemented across a variety of channels simultaneously.