In this article, we analyze everything there is to know about the chatbot, including its meaning, history, functionality, methods of use and advantages offered to companies and consumers.
chatbot meaning in history
To better understand the meaning of chatbot, we need to step back over 70 years in time. In the 1950s, the brilliant Alan Turing published the Turing test in the article “Computing machinery and intelligence”.
Without getting too specific, this test simulated the ability to carry on a human conversation through software. In practice, Turing aimed to determine the intelligence of a robot through its ability to simulate a human conversation, without his interlocutor noticing.
If talking to a machine seems normal to you today, try to contextualize the situation 70 years ago. The Turing test was considered a revolution, so much so that his theory has now become a concrete reality and is called a chatbot.
Chatbots can easily carry on a conversation and sometimes it is difficult to distinguish it from humans themselves.
chatbot: The origins of the word
chatbot actually comes from the term “chatterbot” and is the mix of two words: “chat” (to converse) and “bot” (robot). So, it can be understood as essentially “talking robot”.
The term was coined by computer scientist Michael Mauldin, inventor of the first search engines in the history of the internet: chatbot Verbot and Lycos.
Chatbots, in small steps, have become a permanent part of our lives. We interact with them far more often than we think. When we search a site, use instant messengers or rely on virtual assistants on smartphones, we are interacting with chatbots.
What is a chatbot?
What is the exact definition of a chatbot? Basically, it is software designed to carry out conversations with a human being. The dialogue, depending on the models, can be proposed in text or voice mode.
With the applications of artificial intelligence and other extremely advanced technologies such as machine learning, the chatbot has evolved more and more over time. Using machine learning, the chatbot learns automatically day after day, collecting data and information that it can use later on.
Depending on the various experiences, the machine learns the best answers following certain questions, so that it can personalize the conversation according to the requests made by the interlocutor.
Today, there are many models that can be used in the most diverse of sectors. The simpler ones respond automatically according to a series of keywords. Then, there are the more advanced and specialized chatbots, which adapt and personalize responses according to the dialogue.
In practice, they are able to intercept user preferences based on the understanding of natural language, adjusting searches and answers. Siri, Alexa, and Cortana are perfect examples of adaptive chatbots on smartphones and apps.
The advantages for companies
Now that you understand the meaning of chatbot, let’s focus on the practical, logistical and economic advantages that they are able to offer to every company, especially as regards customer service.
As pointed out several times, every activity revolves around the customer, who must be satisfied in every respect. Customer satisfaction generates a cycle, ensuring loyalty and positive word of mouth.
Modern consumers today are increasingly eager to find self-service digital solutions, that is, solutions which allow them to solve a problem in total autonomy. Rather than emailing or contacting the company by phone, customers can turn to chatbots to find a relevant and satisfying answer to their questions.
Chatbots are also proactive, in that they can be activated even before the customer requests support, so as to anticipate doubts or questions. In this way, the company can manage multiple users at the same time, guaranteeing everyone the same level of satisfaction.
This increases the engagement and involvement of customers, who are supported during the purchase phase and, indeed, in any other circumstance.
At the same time, you can launch promotional and marketing activities modeled on your target audience.
Your entire business benefits from this, starting with customer service, which can then focus on the more complex issues that require specialized and technical skills. It also improves the productivity of the company and significantly reduces management costs.
How do you create a chatbot?
In another one of our articles, we explain how to create a chatbot. However, you simply need to know the five basic steps:
- welcome message;
- definition of the FAQs;
- linking of the FAQs;
- interface implementation;
- choice of terms.
Humable is able to create a chatbot and adapt it according to the needs of your company. The partners who have turned to us found a cost reduction of 40% and time saving of 70%.
We are ready to support your every need by guiding you towards a decisive turning point for your company.