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#INLeaders – Chatbots: are they here to stay?

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#INLeaders – Chatbots: are they here to stay?

Continuing with the analysis of the most outstanding talks of all our Inbound Leaders events, this time I bring you the one with the presentation “ Chatbots: are they here to stay? ”, Developed by Mireia Reixach ( director of talent ) and Dana Camps ( director of accounts ), two InboundCycle colleagues who are experts in inbound methodologies.

list_altIndex of contents
What is a chatbot?
Types of chatbots
What functions can a chatbot fulfill in your business?
How to use a chatbot in digital VP Quality Email Lists?
Although this talk that we will analyze below was given at the 2018 Inbound Leaders event , the theme that was explained there has become and will continue to become increasingly important, since it deals with the rise of chatbots in the business world , a trend that is transforming the way brands interact with audiences.

We see this transformation, for example, in the fact that companies have been able to solve many problems associated with the user experience thanks to the use of chatbots, since this technology has the ability, among others, to respond automatically and immediately. about 80% of the frequently asked questions from consumers ( IBM ). To understand the positive impact represented by this immediacy and automation that chatbots provide, you should know that 43% of users want an answer in less than 5 seconds when they make a query in the chat of a brand’s website, and 36% feel that they do not receive adequate answers when asking simple questions ( Drift ).

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In addition, these needs for immediacy and effectiveness in responses have increased today due to the global situation of COVID-19. Quarantine states and social distancing measures have caused digital interactions and transactions between users and businesses to increase to a level unprecedented in human history. In this context, audiences do not want to see in the online world the same slowness that they usually find when going in person to a physical store , a supermarket, a customer service office or other places, so this is where they come into play chatbots.

However, before delving into the subject, it is necessary to take a tour of the most basic and fundamental aspects of this technology.

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What is a chatbot?
Basically, a chatbot (conversational bot) is a computer system capable of answering a query or having a “conversation” with a human by digital means and in real time , with different levels of fluency and precision. The most common communication format for chatbots is text, although some are also capable of communicating with people through images, audios, videos, downloadable files, among others.

Today, it is almost certain that you have seen at least one chatbot on the internet, since a large number of companies are integrating them on their web pages and social networks. In the case of a web page, you can identify if it has a chatbot integrated by going to the typical chat window that usually appears in the lower right corner of the screen.


HubBot, the chatbot of the HubSpot page.

In the context of business, chatbots are used to automate both communications with users and the obtaining of data from potential customers, which makes this technology much more effective than contact forms and, even, that the mobile apps.

In fact, by 2021, it is estimated that more than 50% of companies will prefer to invest more money in the development of chatbots instead of doing it in traditional mobile applications ( Gartner ), thus marking the beginning of a “post- app “.

Types of chatbots
Broadly speaking, chatbots can be classified in multiple ways. For example, according to the technologies they use, the platforms where they are implemented, their communication formats, the functions they fulfill, the types of users who use them, etc. However, the most important classification that you must take into account when implementing this technology in your business is that related to the ability of the chatbot to answer user queries .

Within this classification we can identify three types of chatbots:

Rule-based chatbot : A rule-based chatbot, also called a “dumb chatbot,” is a system that offers the user only fully pre-configured question / answer options. This program is not in itself a conversational bot, since instead of simulating a conversation with the user, what it does is offer a battery of options of questions or topics that the user must select so that the system shows them the information associated with each selected item.
Therefore, this is a chatbot in which all possible communications and their respective ramifications are already fully pre-designed through sequences and rules, which prevents the user from entering and consulting their own doubts, although, on the other hand, it facilitates This is the process of quickly consulting information related to, for example, the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) segments.
Word-spotting chatbot : a word detector chatbot is a more versatile system than the previous one, since it allows the user to enter their own queries. In doing so, the chatbot is responsible for detecting keywords within the query written by the user, in order to respond with the appropriate information.
For example, suppose you are inside the page of our Inbound Leaders event, and there you go to our chatbot and ask something like “when will the event be?” or “on what date will the event be?” In these cases, the system will detect the words “when” or “date”, and thanks to this it will be able to know your search intention, which will help it to give you a preconfigured answer with information about the days and times of the event.
Artificial Intelligence Chatbot: The artificial intelligence (AI) algorithm-based chatbot is the most advanced system of all. It uses an AI technique called “Natural Language Processing” (NLP), which allows it to understand human language. By doing so, you are not limited to identifying keywords within a sentence, but you can understand the entire context of the sentence itself. It also uses Machine Learning (ML), another AI technique that allows the system to learn autonomously with each interaction it has with users.
In this way, AI chatbots are able to understand most of the questions written by users, and to generate their own answers in an intelligent way similar to how a person would. In addition, over time, these chatbots become more effective when interpreting questions and generating answers , since machine learning makes the system able to analyze each conversation and learn from it, allowing it to evolve constantly. . Thus, the greater the number of conversations, the more the chatbot learns.

You must bear in mind that the more powerful the chatbot, the more complex and expensive its implementation. It is true that a chatbot with AI has a capacity for learning and processing information in volumes and times that a human could never reach, but it is also true that not all businesses need this level of power , at least not for now.

As time goes by, chatbots based on artificial intelligence will become more and more economical and, therefore, companies will have greater possibilities to implement them without problems. In fact, it is estimated that by 2025 95% of all communications with customers will be managed through artificial intelligence systems, so powerful that users will not be able to identify if they are talking with a person or with a bot ( Servion ) .

However, while those times arrive, it may be most convenient for your business to deploy a basic chatbot, whose implementation is quick and easy to carry out, and that has just the necessary capabilities to inform your users about certain very specific topics.

If you want to know how to do it, I invite you to visit our article Chatbot in Spanish: how to create one for free with HubSpot .

What functions can a chatbot fulfill in your business?
Currently, chatbots can be used almost in any business area, even in departments that do not have any type of contact with external users, such as clients or potential clients. In these cases, bots are used to perform support functions for internal company personnel (operators, technicians, administrators, supervisors, managers, etc.).

However, below we are going to focus on some functions that do directly involve clients and potential clients, since the areas of marketing and commercial communication are where chatbots are being used the most worldwide .

That said, the main functions that a chatbot can fulfill in your business are the following:

Customer service, Forex Email List and sales: A chatbot can greatly automate customer service and promotion of products and services. To do this, the system interacts with users to capture their complaints or comments, answer their questions, guide them on how to carry out a certain procedure, explain the characteristics of the products, show them a catalog of what is sold, offer them information on prices, addresses , hours or other company information, etc.
If you want to know about this topic, visit our article Chatbots and marketing: the perfect strategy [+ Video] .

Electronic transactions: this functionality is especially useful for ecommerce businesses or those that offer some type of transaction via online. In these cases, the chatbot can automate transactions such as accepting online payments, processing hotel or restaurant reservations, scheduling appointments or inquiries, etc.
Engagement: a chatbot is essential to improve engagement on the website. This system can help the user to better navigate the website and also invite them to read articles, download ebooks, listen to podcasts, among others. That is, to interact with any content that you have published on the page. In this way, the chatbot makes the user stay on the site for as long as possible.
These three functionalities have one point in common: the chatbot will always seek to extract user data to help you get to know your audience better . So, thanks to this technology, you can know the concerns, consumption habits, needs and behaviors of your customers and potential customers.

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How to use a chatbot in digital marketing?
In digital marketing, a chatbot is capable of enhancing each of the stages of the conversion funnel , thus helping you to improve the results of your entire sales cycle. Let’s look at this topic in detail through each stage:

Attraction: aiming to generate as much traffic as possible to your website, you can implement a chatbot on your social platforms such as Facebook or WhatsApp. In this way, when a user interacts with your brand through one of these platforms, the chatbot can invite them to visit your website through a link. That link can be from the home page, a specific article on your blog, the help segment, the product page, the shopping cart, etc. To do this, the bot must first detect what the user’s need is and, from there, offer them the most appropriate information or content.
Conversion: once the user is already on your website, the chatbot is able to fulfill the function of obtaining their contact information from him. To do this, the bot can offer you certain valuable content in a personalized way, such as ebooks. Thus, if the visitor wants to download an ebook that they find interesting, they must leave their name and email (or any other type of information you want). In this way, the chatbot manages to convert a visitor into a lead. This process is called lead generation .
If you want to know more about this topic, visit our article How to attract customers by installing a chatbot on your website .

Closure: if the user shows a purchase interest through interaction with the chatbot and in turn visits a sale page (such as prices, reservations, etc.) within the website, the bot can send push notifications to incentivize your purchase decision. The chatbot can also automate and streamline the entire transactional process of the sale, as we discussed in the previous section: “ What functions can a chatbot fulfill in your business? ”.
Loyalty: it is not enough for the user to make a purchase. It is necessary to retain them so that their purchases become recurring and so that they become a brand ambassador. With this objective in mind, you can implement a chatbot in your messaging applications such as WhatsApp, so that you can automate communications with your customers within the same ecosystem that is becoming more and more common among audiences: that of mobile applications .
Thus, through apps, the chatbot is capable of constantly sending interesting content to your customers according to their interests and needs, such as articles on your blog in which you explain any update on the products they have bought from you.

If you want to know more about this topic, visit our article Chatbot for WhatsApp: how to create it to improve your Customer Service .

Without a doubt, chatbots are tools that can take your business to the next level. Keep in mind that a bot is capable of handling hundreds of queries at the same time and being available 24/7 , something that would be impossible for you to offer through your company’s staff, that’s why 90% of businesses experience a complaint resolution faster after implementing chatbots ( MIT Technology Review ).

In the Chatbots presentation : are they here to stay? , Mireia and Dana also delve into the following points:

What is the history and how has the evolution of chatbots been?
What controversies have been generated around chatbots?
What tools exist to develop chatbots?
How much can a chatbot cost to implement?
What is the trend and future of the chatbot industry?
If you want to know the detailed explanation of all these questions, access our content of the Inbound Leaders 2018 event . This is our way of sending you online the knowledge and expertise of the speakers of the different editions of the Inbound Leaders event, whose talks always address current issues and remain valid over time. However, we can assure you that attending the event is always much better than watching it online.

If you have any questions about the use of chatbots or about the event , I encourage you to leave it in the comments section to solve it.

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