What is a Chatbot and How Does it Work
So what is a chatbot?
In layman’s terms a chatbot or “chat bot” is a mix of technologies a “bot” or “robot” for automation and “chat” function which many are more familiar with as a method to interact online via a chat popup or messaging interaction for support.
A chatbot can interact through instant messaging and is able to artificially replicate the patterns of human interactions.
Fundamentally, a chatbot allows a form of interaction between a human and a machine.
The interaction happens via written messages or voice.
The chatbot is programmed to work independently from a human.
So basically the chatbot is simply a computer program that simulates human conversations.
They key feature is that it can answer questions formulated to it in natural language and answer like a real person would.
If you are a business owner chatbots are a key technology development as they will allow you to keep in touch with customers or nurture them when they are out and about on the go, but still available on their mobiles.
These chat bot automation techniques are also designed to save you money and your staff time by automating the laborious or repetitive tasks.
What is Chatbot Technology
Facebook and a number of other major technology companies, like Microsoft developed a new technology using automation techniques to combine these technologies to give us Chatbots.
- 1 What is a Chatbot and How Does it Work
- 2 Facebook Chatbot Messenger Ease of Use
- 3 ChatBots Examples For Business
Chatbots Brief History
In 2016 Facebook began to allow businesses to use automation techniques to deliver responses to customers and to be able to create a better customer experiences by the use of a technology known as chatbots.
This was a very large development by Facebook and also other tech. companies such as Microsoft began also looking into automation using AI or Artificial Intelligence for their own bot platforms.
The route that Facebook chose was to use its already available Messenger platform which meant that the way that users could interact with the new bot technology were already available in the hands of millions of consumers. The program within Facebook with chatbot partnerships with developers was termed “bots on Messenger”
Facebook Chatbot Messenger Ease of Use
The Facebook Messenger bot’s aim was to use AI and natural language processing to design a chatbot function, which would be able to interact with its users; via the Messenger bots; in the same way that they would be able to talk to a friend.
Chatbot Messenger Key Mobile Functionality
The winning strategy of Chatbot Messenger on Facebook is the mobile functionality that it provides. Modern consumers want to use the devices that they are most comfortable with to engage online. In the past 20 or 30 years the main focus online has been website developments and making websites mobile friendly.
The issue with this strategy is that it is forcing customers to delay making purchasing decisions until they get home to access a PC. This is not a good strategy for conversions as many users forget to continue the purchase or may even end up purchasing the product from somewhere else.
How To Use A Chatbot on Facebook for Business
Allowing consumers to access rich multi media content at the time of their choosing and to purchase items when they choose is exactly what they want. This is exactly what Facebook has achieved with its best Chatbot Messenger integration.
Facebook Messenger Chatbots can deliver text, rich photo content and even video. Now a consumer can stay in Facebook on social media and interact with your brand in the manner that they choose. This is very good for them and also very good for your brand. That is if you are using Chatbots on Facebook Messenger to interact with them.
The Facebook Messenger Chatbots with their AI and programmed content can now respond to customer enquiries with messages that include images, links and even call to action buttons.
ChatBots Examples For Business
If you are running an e-commerce store you can show content in product carousels similar to Amazon which customers can swipe through and select for purchase. They can be filtered by sizes, for clothing or fabrics and colors for furniture.
If you are running a restaurant the chatbot could let customers make reservation, choose from your menu or review your wine list.
Using Messenger Chatbot Online for Customer Support or Customer Enquiries
Facebook bots are a great way to give customers instant answers to common questions. They can link to FAQ’s or Terms & Conditions, Returns Policies, Order Tracking or other support areas of your business. Locations and opening hours are two of the most common queries that a chatbot can easily manage.
There is no need to worry that the Facebook bot is too impersonal as you can easily include a option to message a support staff person or speak to a member of staff should the customer not be able to have their query answered.
What is Chatbot Platform
The chatbot platform has been designed for users to more easily develop chatbot functions using custom flows, templates and automation techniques to rapidly build out detailed chatbots to provide a range of business functions that the bot can easily manage.
This allows businesses of all types to engage with chatbot developers to build their own custom designed bots or select from Chatbot tutorial templates for predefined functions of the chatbot which can be repurposed to keep the bot development costs down.
Reducing the number of staff required to deal wth common customer queries is a big cost savings for a business and allows them to prioritise these staff to other more cash generating business tasks.
The best way to think of a use for your own bots is to help educate your users and to increase your brand’s awareness. These chatbots benefit your business most by always being available for your customers convenience at any time of the day. This is the best role for these little helpers. They don’t need a holiday and they don’t have to go home. Just put them to work.
Chatbot Alternatives to Facebook
We mentioned that there are some other more basic chatbot providers in the market and if you only wanted these for your website they could be an option for you. Facebook bots can also be included on your website as basic chatbots so they can also tick that box for you. But they are much more than this so dont limit their use to just this.
If you want to leverage one of the biggest market shares in social media. Or be able to leverage Facebook’s already massive social media integration and mobile reach, Facebook bots also tick that box.
Or if you want to choose paid advertising to a chatbot audience Facebook will also tick that box.
Currently Facebook is way out in front in bot development. Google and Amazon are not yet offering a bot service. Microsoft does have a high end bot but this does not currently have social media integration and is designed primarily for websites and other server based automation tasks.
If you would like to consider a Facebook bot for your own business we hope that this post has left you better informed on exactly what is a chatbot on Facebook. Please contact us if this is something that you would like us to assist you with as we have a whole range of chatbots with many example functions, all eager to start working for your business.