Author : Anand Singh Bhandari
Director - Business Analytics

Anand heads the Business Intelligence practice for Espire, playing the lead role in establishing best practices and our roadmap for a robust BI practice. He ensures development and implementation of frameworks for rapid project deployment and capability enhancements in the group.

The 3 types of trending chatbots and which one is right for you?

New tools to simplify the process of interacting and delivering hassle-free services to customers have emerged in recent times by simplifying the interaction between humans and computers. Chatbots have become the talking point in the business world now. New innovations around chatbots have given way for newer and faster ways of engaging with customers.

We are witnessing an era where customers with short attention spans demand intuitive and effortless customer experience with heightened expectation of swift grievance redressal. In this scenario, chatbots have arrived as the right solution for brands to satisfy the demands of customers for exclusive and personalized attention with round the clock availability.

What exactly is chatbot?

A chatbot is a conversational platform between humans and robots with built in artificial intelligence (AI) program that can simulate a conversation with the user in a language crafted through Natural Language Processing (NLP) through various messaging apps, stand-alone chat widget, websites, mobile applications or through IVRS over the phone.

Why are chatbots important?

Chatbot is often described as one of the most advanced and promising expressions of human-machine interaction. However, technologically - chatbot represents only the natural evolution of the question-answer system that benefits from natural language processing (NLP). Formulating answers to natural language questions is one of the most common examples of Natural Language Processing applied to end-use applications of different companies.

Chatbot simplifies interactions between people and services, enhancing the customer experience. At the same time, it provides businesses with new opportunities to improve customer engagement and operational efficiency by reducing the usual cost of customer service. In order to succeed, the chatbot solution must be able to perform both these tasks effectively. Human support plays a key role here: regardless of the type of approach and platform, human intervention is crucial in the formation, training and improvement of the chatbot system.

Don't be mistaken to assume that all chatbots are same and you can implement any of them for your requirements. Today, chatbots comes in with different sets of capabilities in all shapes and sizes. Although basic chat clients may suffice most of your needs, they well might miss the mark for your specific and advanced needs.

Let's discuss the three types of trending chatbots in 2019 and find out which one is right for you.

1. Button-based Chatbots

Button-based chatbots are the most basic type of chatbot available today. Mostly, these chat clients are considered hierarchical figures of the decision tree offered to the customers in the form of buttons. Like the automatic phone menus with which we all interact almost daily, this chat requires the user to select several options to delve deeper into the final answer.

Although this chat is enough to answer a bunch of annoying FAQs covering up to 80% of customer queries, it finds itself limiting in most of the advanced situations, where there are too many inputs or too much gameplay to predict how users can confidently get specific answers. Also, note that button / menu-based chatbots are very slow in terms of the user reaching their desired value.

2. Chatbots based on keyword recognition

Unlike list-based chatbots, keyword-based chatbots can understand what users are typing and respond accordingly in the best possible way. Chatbots use these search keywords by leveraging Artificial Intelligence to deliver the most appropriate response to the customer. These types of chat programs too find themselves limiting when they are asked to handle several similar questions. Chatbots will start repeating when there are redundant words between several related questions.

It has become very popular to see chat groups that are a combination of keyword recognition and menu / button menu. These chat boxes provide users with the option to try asking their question directly or using chatbot menu buttons if keyword recognition is producing irrelevant results or the user needs some way out to find the answers.

3. Contextual Chatbots

Contextual chat sites are the most advanced of the three robots discussed in this post. These chatbots use machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) to remember conversations with specific users to learn and grow over time. Unlike keyword-based chatbots, contextual chatbots are smart enough for self-improve based on what users are asking and how they ask.

For example, a contextual chatbot that allows users to order a food item stores data from each conversation and see what the user likes to order. The result is that eventually when a user talks to this chatbot, they will remember the most common command, delivery address, and their payment information and will only ask if they want to repeat this request. Instead of having to answer many questions, the user should only answer "yes" and "the food is on its way!"

Although the example of this food order is essential, it's easy to see how strong the context of the conversation is when using AI and ML. The final goal of any chatbot should be to provide an improved user experience over the status quo alternative. This improvement in user experience often results from providing special value such as serving hot and delicious food in less time than before. Leveraging the context of a conversation is one of the best ways to shorten such a process through chatbot. So, which chatbot is the best one for your business?

When you locate the right chatbot for you, you can put yourself in the shoes of your users and think about the value they are trying to receive. Will the conversation context significantly affect this value?

Another thing to consider is the target user base and their UX preferences. Some users may prefer that chatbot guide them using the visual menu buttons instead of an open experience where they are asked to pose chatbot questions directly. Most importantly, make users test your chatbot extensively before fully committing and pushing it live. The need is to discover the right chatbot that fits into the value proposition you are trying to convey to users. In some cases, this may require enterprise-wide AI capabilities; however, in other cases, simple menu buttons may be the best solution.

Final Thoughts

Despite some shortcomings, such as their lack of emotions and compassion, chat programs have arrived as the most disruptive tool in marketing. They can transform your business by saving time and money and improving customer experience and satisfaction.

Are you looking to deploy smart chatbot solutions, drive great CX and stay ahead in the race to digital transformation?

Join us in the journey to digitally transform customer experiences for multiple brands. At Espire, we are enabling digital transformation & personalization by crafting awe-inspiring CX, with above-par solutions.

If you would like to discover more about our work and learn how we can reap business benefits for your business - connect with us on social media or get in touch with us at


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