One of the biggest winners of the recent AI advancements are, without a doubt, chatbots. I mean, even ChatGPT, the tool that started a general months-long worldwide hype, could be described as a simple chatbot with a lot of knowledge.

Why are chatbots such a big winner?

It’s easy. One of the biggest advancements in the last year has come in the shape of LLMs (large language models). And, I mean, it’s in the name. I don’t really need to explain it. Computers have learned how to understand language and how to summarize and create text (which is, practically, language). So any use case that implies using language (text mostly, although voice cloning isn’t far behind) has received a couple of new AI tools that are on par with what a human can do. Pair this with integrations that connect different tools (through Zapier for example) and all of a student you have a helpful assistant that can take questions, look for information, offer short and precise answers in a matter of seconds, send the information to where it needs to get and keep you updated with what’s been happening while you were away.

But people won’t like it! There is nothing like human communication.

Wrong! Kipp Bodnar (HubSpot’s CMO) said that they managed to implement a chatbot that was able to answer 78% of users’ questions, which, in turn, led to an almost 300% (!!) increase in client satisfaction. You do the math on what this could mean for your business. 

Most of the users’ questions fall in the category of simple, procedure related or information seeking questions (“How do I do X?” “Is Y feature available with your product?”). An answer from a chatbot that is always friendly and can offer the correct information in a couple of seconds instead of waiting minutes or hours for a human to answer is, most of the time, enough for the user to be satisfied. And don’t underestimate the WOW factor when they realize the level of complexity the chatbot can handle.   

There is more than 1 type of chatbots?

Well, yes. When you think of a chatbot you probably think of a small round widget in the bottom right part of the screen that appears on some websites. And you would be right for 80% of cases. But the complexity of these AI chatbots has increased and they can take different forms now. 

Chatbot development platforms will let you integrate them with WhatsApp, Telegram or even Facebook Messenger. You can also integrate it with your email and let it answer questions sent to the email address. They can take information from the conversations they are having and fill in spreadsheets with data for lead generation. Also, you can easily find out what are the most common problems your users are facing or their general feeling towards your product. 

Support chatbots

This is the most obvious use-case for an AI chatbot. The same round widget on the bottom right corner of your page that the visitors of your website can access and get answers from. The difference? An AI chatbot is far more versatile than the “old generation” one. It can answer a bigger range of questions. Also, it can offer different types of support (like offering the user step-by-step instructions, a link to what he looking for, or even a video explaining how to do certain things) depending on what the user needs:

  • It knows your business.
  • The chatbot has infinite patience with your customers.
  • It can explain the same thing in 10 different ways.
  • Answering questions takes only a couple of seconds.
  • It’s available 24/7. 

Different chatbot development tools will help you with a wide variety of actions that the chatbot can do. For example, it can ask for emails or telephone numbers if it feels that the user is interested in buying.  Then, it can add them to a predefined Google Spreadsheet creating a list of possible clients that you can contact. 

Or, if it feels that the customer isn’t satisfied with the order or the delivery time, it can offer a 10% discount for a future order. The chatbot can do this by generating a discount code if it’s integrated with a tool that can generate these codes. 

Onboarding chatbots 

Maybe you have a big business with hundreds of employees. Congratulations, by the way! Onboarding each new employee might take a lot of time. Besides that, you probably have a lot of documents with procedures for each type of activity that an employee needs to do. It will be hard for them to remember everything from the first day. They will have questions. That means more time wasted answering these questions which sometimes look like: “You need to look in doc. 12 I think, page 15 or 25 and you will find it”.

Well, a chatbot can answer all of these questions. Additionally, it will provide precise information (doc. 12 page 35, not 15 or 25,  besides the fact that it will do it in a couple of seconds). Moreover,  it will be able to give a direct text summarisation of the procedure so the employee avoids wasting time looking for the document, downloading, finding the correct page, etc.

But onboarding isn’t only for new employees. It’s for new customers also. Your platform might be complicated, offering a lot of services to your customers. It might be difficult for them to find what they are looking for. Or maybe they aren’t sure how to do a certain thing or if it’s possible. An AI chatbot can help with that and increase customer retention by guiding them step by step in order to set up their account and customize it exactly to their needs. Your platform suddenly isn’t that complicated anymore.

Process improvement

Yes, you can use a chatbot not only to talk to it and get fast answers to your questions, but also to improve some of your processes. Let’s say that you need to constantly update multiple spreadsheets after doing certain tasks. You probably need to go to your laptop so you can easily find the links, open the spreadsheets, remember the exact information, fill in the correct cells, etc.

But what if the chatbot would do it for you while you just type the information in a WhatsApp conversation? Oh, didn’t I tell you? Many chatbot development tools let you integrate the chatbot with WhatsApp, Telegram, or even Facebook Messenger. So you just do the task, you take out your phone, and you write the details in a straightforward format. For example: “At 10:45, me and Matt finished installing the network cables on the 4th floor of the Main Office building. There were no issues.”. Afterward, the chatbot will send the information to a spreadsheet where the hour, person responsible, task, location, and comments sections will be automatically filled in. You can even take a picture and it will be attached to your comments.

But what are the use-cases?

Are you still not convinced? I respect that. I was a little bit of a doubter myself until I started looking at different types of businesses and understood that ANY TYPE OF BUSINESS can find a way to use a chatbot. Let me give you some examples from the top of my head:

1. Airbnb hosts 

Just teach the chatbot what the most asked questions are, integrate it with WhatsApp, and leave the number on your Airbnb page for clients to see. Voilà, you just got rid of 80% of the questions you had to answer, like: 

  • “How do I get there from the airport?”
  •  “Do I need to bring my own towels?”
  •  “Could you recommend a restaurant nearby?”
  •  “Is it the white door or the yellow one?”

Any question that can’t be answered by the chatbot and the clients can call you instead. You can leave your phone on silent and not worry anymore that your “communication” rating will go down and your clients get fast answers to their questions. Win-win situation. Multiply this by the number of apartments you have and all of a sudden you have a lot of free time on your hands. 

2. Recruitment

You often have open positions available at your company and receive a lot of CVs, but you notice that most of the candidates aren’t a fit for any of your positions. What if they go through a short talk with an AI Chatbot that can help them understand if any of the positions available match their skills? No selection! The candidates can send their CV even if they don’t talk with the chatbot. It’s important that they have the support of a friendly figure who tries to explain exactly what each of the job openings is for and what skills would be needed in order to get that job. Or, the other way around, candidates can tell the chatbot their skills (or maybe they can upload their CV directly) and the chatbot can answer with job openings that might suit them .

3. Safety and Security

Let’s take the example of a construction company where you often face safety risks. One of your employees notices that on the second floor of the building he is working on there is a crack in the wall due to drilling on the other side. He doesn’t have the expertise or the time to fix it. He also doesn’t know who has. But he has WhatsApp installed on his phone and can just log in the issue using the WhatsApp bot that transfers it to a list where the person responsible can easily see it. That person can see a picture of it, when it was added, who added it, if it’s urgent or not, and make a decision regarding fixing it.

4. Restaurants and bars

Just give the chatbot access to your menu with details regarding all of your dishes and beverages.  Then, let the customers have profound conversations regarding what they want to order: “I am on a diet and I want a main course and a dessert that have less than 800 calories. I’m also lactose intolerant. I would also like a wine that pairs well with the main dish.” They can do this from home, on their way to the restaurant, or while sitting at the table.

5. Education

This one is easy. Your business offers knowledge in one way or another. When people enter your website they want to learn and find answers to their questions. Do I need to say more? A chatbot can help them navigate through all of the information that is available on your website. It can help them make study plans and show them the benefits of buying one of your plans.

But how do I build an AI chatbot?

It’s easy, really easy. But I can feel that you are getting tired after reading all of this text. So I will give you a break. You can continue reading my next article if you are a tech person and want to know the tech details of developing an AI chatbot. And if you are a non-tech person and want to know about no-code chatbot development tools, you can continue with the third article. So take a break and continue with one of the 2 articles that sounds the best for you.


Article originally published on Medium.