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Chatbot technology used to consist of canned responses to predefined questions or FAQs, but with the expansion of natural language processing (NLP) they have now become much more. Today, the term “chatbot” refers to any automated response bot for any channel including voice. Leveraging NLP and machine learning you now have access to tools that can do both textual and speech based automated responses. These responses can be triggered anything from traditional rule-based systems to cutting-edge artificial intelligence (AI).
Chatbots can be used to reduce costs by handling basic user questions and performing simple activities such as password reset initiations. Used in conjunction with other tools, they can help drive better responses from your agents.
Many companies boast about their AI-driven chatbot systems, but in come cases this is an exaggeration or even misrepresentation of their actual capabilities. If they are leveraging rule-based mechanisms for response without a machine learning element, they are not truly utilizing AI.
You must take a serious look at what you want to automate today – and what your plans are for the future. If you are certain that a simple chat interface is the only automation solution you will need, you can usually make due with a lower-cost provider that specializes in that single interaction. However, if you have plans to expand your bot capabilities beyond that, you’ll want to explore solutions designed to provide automated responses in an omni-channel environment.
Some things to consider as you evaluate your chatbot options:
Chatbot technology is extremely varied – from simple chat interface responses to fully AI-empowered omni-channel solutions. Selecting the right vendor starts with understanding your business goals and identifying how chatbot technology can move you toward them.
Licensing models are varied as well. Due to the wide range of actions performed and complexity of use, you will find that pricing has not yet been standardized in this vertical.
The landscape is rapidly evolving, with new technologies being integrated into the current system providers as white label solutions while new players are fighting for the market share. Don’t be intimidated, because we can help you cut through the noise and get straight into the discussions with the shortlisted vendors.