As a chatbot building company, we are always talking about chatbots and its various applications. We help our readers in building a bot, enhancing it for better results, engaging users, and implementing a bot for different industries. The list goes on as we have so much to share from our rich experience in bot building. But every once in a while we meet people who need to know the basics such as the chatbot definition.
And we are not surprised at all! Although there is a lot that a chatbot has to offer right from automation to streamlined operations, one has to understand the fundamental aspects first. So let’s put aside the technicalities for a while and try to answer the following simple question.
What is a chatbot? (Let’s look at the chatbot definition)
This is one of the simplest ways of defining a chatbot. However, it doesn’t help the not so technical readers and hence we have written this article.
So, let’s dive in!
The chatbot industry is very new and a lot of people are getting introduced to bots. While a lot of big brands like Spotify and Lyft have implemented chatbots, many others are yet to use it. Don’t worry, because you are not the only one who doesn’t know much about chatbots. People refer to it by all sorts of names like Chatbot, chat bot, Chatter bot, and chatter box. But we at Hybrid.Chat, go by the name Chatbot.
Now let’s simplify what exactly is a chatbot? Deriving from the chatbot definition, a chatbot is a software that focuses on communication. Being a user, you can talk to the chatbot and it will reply to you in a very natural, human-like language. Understanding a bot can be divided into two parts.
A chatbot has two main aspects
1. An interface for texting
Chatbots are often used via text. Meaning, you would be using a keyboard to type your messages. It can be on Facebook Messenger where you can send your query and the bot will reply to your concerns or questions. Otherwise, the chatbot can be used on a website, SMS, and even WhatsApp.
Besides texting, a chatbot is also voice-based. For instance, Siri, which is a chatbot used on the iPhone. You can ask any question to Siri or give it commands and it responds by voice. Also, Alexa is a voice-activated chatbot. However, businesses typically use text-based chatbots to assist and support customers.
2. Artificial intelligence
Artificial intelligence sounds scary because we think that machines will soon replace humans. Moreover, it also seems like something only smart people can comprehend. But as far as the chatbot definition is concerned, AI means that the software has a human-level intelligence and delivers good customer experience.
There is nothing to be scared of!
How are chatbots different from virtual assistants?
People often get confused between chatbots and virtual assistants. But the two of them are not similar. Let us understand the difference.
Virtual assistants or VAs refer to humans. VAs can be hired on an hourly rate to do the tasks for you. It is a virtual workforce that works from home or the place of their choice. Long story short, they are humans and not chatbots. So it is wrong to assume that VA and chatbot are the same.
Chatbots got their reputation of virtual assistants because they act like assistants for business. For instance, in recruitment, a chatbot is used for pre-screening the applications and scheduling the interview. There are various other applications of a chatbot in different industries that you can read about.
Examples of How Brands are Using Chatbots
Is chatbot technology just a trend or is it here to stay? We have looked at the chatbot definition but what next? How does it apply to a real-life scenario? Let us take a look at the various ways in which businesses are using a chatbot.
- The CNN chatbot helps customers in reading news. You can tell the CNN bot about the news genre like Sports or elections that you are interested in and it will share relevant stories with you.
- The Hyatt hotel enables you to check your reservation status, facilities available, and cost of the booking. Wonderful, isn’t it?
Likewise, some bots help you check the weather, travel, stock markets, and almost everything you can imagine. The beauty of chatbots is its versatile applications.
You have learned that a chatbot is a software that you can talk to. When you text the bot, it replies to you in natural language. The chatbot can mimic human behavior in the sense it can understand and reply smartly. A chatbot is different from a virtual assistant but a chatbot can act as an assistant. It usually streamlines the processes and automates the conversations.
You can build a chatbot for almost every business and customize its features as well as style and tone of language. Try it for FREE and leverage various benefits of a chatbot.