You’ve seen those chat pop-ups that come at the corners of when you visit some website? If you think there is person sitting on the other side who is sending you those messages, then it is not so.
What is Chatbot ?
Chatbots are Artificial Intelligence engines that are programmed to converse through voice or textual methods.
They are initially designed to correspond like a human after it has passed through the Tuning tests.
The algorithm of the functioning of chatbots is to recognize the keywords or phrases put in and then respond according to the pre-programmed data.
History of Chatbot
Joseph Weizenbaum, also known as the father of AI (Artificial Intelligence), was a German American computer scientist and professor at MIT. His program ELIZA created in the year 1996, was programmed to fool people into thinking that they were talking to a real person. But Weizenbaum himself did not believe and trust the genuinity of Eliza’s intelligence.
Alan Turing published an article named “Computing Machinery & Intelligence” in 1950. It proposed the term now called as the Turing test which tests the ability of the program to conversate more like a human.
Advantages of Chatbots
Availability of Support for 24X7
The most obvious benefit of a chatbot is that they are available to the site visitor 24/7. This makes the correspondence between the visitor and the company very convenient.
An example might make this clear:
Say Josh who is from London seeking admission details for an Indian college, is visiting the ePravesh® website from India.
It is overt that India and London have a huge time difference. So if Josh has any query which he needs answers to instantly, clearly no person from India will be there to attend him right that time since, it won’t be the working hours in India.
So here’s where our chatbots come in handy. When Josh will type in his query, he will get an instant response by the chatbot with the help of the pre-installed data in the system.
Even after this correspondence, if Josh is not satisfied, then the chatbot asks him to leave his contact details through which the representative from ePravesh® will then try to contact him according to scheduled time and try to attend to Josh’s questions.
Live-chat conversations with the site visitors has certain limitations as it is handled by the company representatives themselves.
But it is not the case when it comes to chatbots. Chatbots have no limit. They can reply and deal with any number of inquiries that come on the site.
The bots’ data being pre-feed in them, they can deliver any information asked, any number of times to numerable people, even at the same time if needed.
An additional benefit of the use of chatbots is that, via them, the organization can get to know the client (e.g. students or parents) much better. The requirements and queries of the visitor can be dealt with, with ease.
Every person may have different kind of requirements with company.
Before talking with the client, when the representative of the company takes a look at the conversations of the chatbots, it becomes easy to understand what the person actually needs; and likewise providing him with the further information.
Chatbots save tons of money for the companies. Earlier, companies needed to hire extra and special manpower to handle new queries from site visitors.
With the adaption of chatbots, the additional expense of the labour needed for the same is reduced tremendously.
Also the software of chatbots available is extremely affordable and has a very low maintenance. The setup needed for it is too modest.
Indeed the chatbot software is convenient to the virtual world when it comes to timely comebacks. The time needed and in earlier invested in the communication between the two parties was way too much than necessary.
With the tech of chatbots, the time that it used to take to reply back to the inquires, has lessened a lot. With instant responses, the site visitor can now get the information he needs whenever he looks through the website; at any hour of the day.
Checking-up the visitor
This might sound creepy to you, but these are essential steps taken by the software provider to check the genuinity of the visitor. There are many things one can tell when one visits the site.
The representatives can see the day, time, date and the number of times the person has visited the website. Every click the visitor on the page is noted too.
The location from where the person accessed the site can be tracked. The ‘ip address’ of the surfer can be seen as well.
The software also has the ability to keep tabs on the other websites visited or accounts of other sites the client has.
You might think this is violation of one’s privacy but from the website’s point of view, it is essential for them to have a record of these things, so as to get familiar with their customer.
Types of Chatbots
For chatbots there are 2 types
A. Offline bot
B. Online bot
A. OFFLINE BOT
The software of offline bot is limited to the amount of information encrypted in it. There is certain amount of information saved in the software regarding the information and details of the product. When a visitor asks the bot about his queries, the bot then provides the information it has, on the requested subject post analysis of the keywords.
If the entered query is within the knowledge of the bot, then it provides the needed links and particulars; if not, then the details of the visitor are asked for saying that the concerned entity will contact them within fixed schedule.
B. ONLINE BOT
Online bots also known as clever- bots, have almost the same software as the offline bots just more smarter. Online bots are more smarter as they learn more from the tasks assigned to them.
They respond to the queries asked to them by searching them on the internet. These turn out to be a huge help when it comes to the customer service of the company.
Any customer who approaches the site, doesn’t want to wait to be attended to. Online bots make sure that wait doesn’t happen. When the query is asked, it is replied to instantly seeking information online.
Application of Chatbot
The application or the use of both online and offline bots is different. As in both are used for different purposes.
Online bots are used used in products like ALEXA or SIRI, which are mobile based or different instrument based programs. They are smart enough to recognise the voice of the speaker, detect the keywords and respond accordingly.
The functions that they perform are like making calls, typing texts, ordering stuff, surfing net, and many more.
Offline bots are the ones used in messengers or commercial websites. They reply to the keywords typed in. Unlike online bots, their responses are limited to the information encrypted in them. If they are not able to resolve the query of the visitor, there is always the option of taking the visitor’s contact details and then later interacting with the concerned representative.
Chatbot in education
Chatbot has many use cases in education. Chatbot is useful for Education institutions for query management, admission process grievance resolution, fee payment management. Entire student query management can be simplified using chatbots.
Your number of email queries or phone calls to support numbers can be reduced down drastically with the help of chatbots.
Benefits of Chatbot for Education Institutions
Taking about the benefits the chatbots have for commercial institutions, is that because of them, companies can maintain their goodwill in the market.
The most basic thing that any customer would expect is an instant service which is exactly what the companies fail to deliver, affecting their progress.
1. Handling Queries of Students/ Parents
If education institutes start using the technology of Chatbots it will be very convenient for them to correspond with their prospective students or parents. This will enable them to study the exact needs of the site visitor and likewise provide with the same.
2. Prompt and Quick service
With the adaption of Chatbots, institutions can give prompt and fast support services. The thing that most annoys the customer is late responses. If that is eradicated, then one will definitely have a happy, satisfied customer.
3. Simplified Enquiry Management
When it comes to online processing and inquiries, it is a stereotypical thinking amongst people that it is tedious and complicated. Using the new tech softwares, will enable the visitors to understand how easy and convenient it is.
Students can have query related to admission form filling, online payment process, admission dates, admission criteria etc. All such frequently asked questions can be responded by chat bot. It can easily eliminate human intervention during admission process.
4. Help during Online Admission Form Filling
Online chatbots can help institutes to resolve queries of the students arising during online admission form filling. Students can initiate live chat for their enquiry, live chat bot can send auto response based on query of the student.
5. Automated Lead Generation Process
Artificial Intelligent Chatbot has capability to capture information of prospective student and send admission / institute information over email/ contact details provided during online chat.
Education institutes can simplify lead management process using automated chat bots. Chatbots can initiate personalized message to the website visitor based on profile of the visitor, location and other things.
Chat bot can easily collect information like name, email, phone number and query of the student . Such information can be passed to your CRM system. Chatbot can also provide resolution to this query by providing reference to frequently asked questions or articles to the user.
6. Increased Satisfaction Level
Chatbot implementation can improve satisfaction level of the students. Most of the enquiries would be managed automatically using chatbots it self.
It can help improving brand image of the education institute.
The main aim behind the entire concept of chatbots, was to reduce human effort.
With the use of chatbots, it did not just reduce human labour, but also saved a lot of time and money.
The invention of chatbots is a blessing to the commercial world, for this has improved their services to a great extent.
The back end support that used to take hours and hours of waiting and patience has now become a matter of just a few minutes even seconds!