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AI Chatbots vs Stupid Chatbots

What are Artificial Intelligence Chat Bots and how are they different to “stupid” chatbots?

Who should be interested?

If you are an enterprise level business (hundreds of employees) with a desire to deliver exceptional customer service at scale then you are likely to already have a chatbot or live chat in some form on your website, instant messaging service or call centre.

But all chatbots are not built equal… read on…

What are Chatbots and what are the differences?

The power and value of a Chatbot is in its level of intelligence not in its ability to crush a Coke can (like some other robots).  Customer service bots can have text conversations online or voice conversations over the phone. 

They should replace the repetitive conversations or requests that you really don’t want to be paying a human to answer.  They can also take on complex tasks and complete them through an efficient conversational approach.

What is the difference between an “intelligent” bot conversation and a “stupid” bot conversation?

It’s the level of complexity they can handle in a conversation… it’s how intelligent they are. AI Chatbots can have surprisingly complex conversations.

The stupid chatbot on the other hand can be counterproductive for your organisation, causing frustration through repetition and a lack of understanding.

Why is this important?

The big test here is, if your bot were a human how would they go in their next performance review.  If you wouldn’t employ them, then… why are you employing them?

A poor performing website would be fixed or rebuilt, a poor performing customer service exec would be performance managed.  A poor performing bot is doing your business just as much damage, but they often fly under the radar.

AI bots on the other hand can be more efficient than a human and have the ability to deliver satisfaction to the enquirers query.  The can even surprise and delight.  They are not just always on, 24 hours a day and 99.9% up time bits of code.  They are integrated to deliver added value in an efficient and satisfying manner.

And why is all that important?  Cost saving, increased efficiency, satisfied customers, scalability to peaks and troughs of demand…

The COVID bandwagon : It’s topical so it probably is the best example but when you suddenly and unexpectedly need to communicate one to one with thousands of enquiries then an AI Chatbot is a terrific solution.

Why invest in AI Chatbots?

Good chatbots will be programmed to never try to be human, in fact it’s better if they introduce themselves as bots to set a level of expectation that they can then surpass.  AI Chatbots should have the following capabilities:

  1. Using text and voice-based channels on websites, messaging services and in call centres.
  2. The AI engine uses natural language understanding, so the enquirer does not have to talk like a robot and the gist of what they are saying is understood.  Once understood then the machine can process the information correctly and add value to complete the task.
  3. AI Bots will understand the intent of the conversation, understanding early on what the end goal is and leading the conversation that way through intelligent questioning.
  4. Conversations don’t have to be linear and the bot can follow a change in context or end goal at any stage.
  5. For text-based chat AI Chatbots work with misspellings.
  6. The Application Programming Interface (API) to your back-end system will flow both ways. So the AI Bot can add value to the conversation but also feed value adding information to the back end systems database.
  7. AI Bots can integrate with Enterprise level platforms such as Sitecore, Marketo etc . The AI bot can authenticate before supplying information from the back-end system.
  8. Text or voice conversations can be personalised once they have an identifier such as account number, phone number, email address etc.  Then the rest of the detail can be filled in without prompting with account detail and activity (like that pleasant feeling when the person on the phone brings up your account on their system and then “knows” you).
  9. An AI bot can fill the detail of a prefill form or transaction through conversation rather than dumb questions.
  10. The NLU engine can be swapped to an alternative or the latest and greatest  development as with all technology this is a fast evolving area so it is not locked in.

Why sack stupid bots?

It may be a bit unfair calling them stupid bots but compare the above AI experience with the average bot experience. Most of us as consumers would have been disappointed by a bot in the past.

Getting to the point of frustration early in the “conversation” and bailing out or escalating to a human.  Or… perhaps even screaming down the phone for an operator.

Why are many bots stupid? This is usually due to a lack of understanding from the design team and that the user experience gets forgotten during the implementation phase.  Understanding the actual problem to be solved is glossed over or skipped in favour of a few FAQs.  Other topics like integration issues etc. take priority and distract.

Add to that the misconception that just because everyone can speak/chat, it means everyone has the know how to design a good Virtual Assistant / Chatbot… and you will get a stupid bot.

Conclusion

A poor, low quality, unintelligent or simple chatbot is ready to damage your business 24 hours a day. 

In intelligent, well thought out, well designed, integrated and engineered AI Chatbot can save you money (cost per conversation), have the awkward or sensitive conversations, scales up to meet demand in seconds not weeks and can have surprisingly complex conversations.  It can take processes, claims, requests for information and deliver a personalised experience to the complete satisfaction of a query.  It will integrate with your other systems and value add information back into your database from its conversations.

Next steps

The technology exists and is available in Australia, it is simple to use through an interface. If you would like to have a free no obligation assessment of your Chat Requirements email marketing@fpimarketing.com.au or call 1300 374 658

FPI Marketing Pty Ltd is an Australian partner of Cognigy Australia.  Cognigy are developers and vendors of the world leading Cognigy AI Chatbot software solution.

Design is Everything

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