‘A chatbot is a computer program that simulates human conversation through voice commands or text chats or both.’
Chatbots are virtual assistants that establish communication with people through exchanging messages and are usually incorporated into applications and webpages. They help to make a closer connection with customers.
These virtual assistants are useful for businesses because they can answer many user requests at the same time and perform routine actions. In addition, chatbots operate at a high speed and processing the requests of consumers in such a way increases their loyalty.
Types of chatbots
The first chatbots were made in the early 90’s. They can be divided in two types – simple and advanced. The simple ones use pre-written words and sentences they can understand. Any word combinations, different from what the chatbot is programmed to comprehend, are typically replied with ‘sorry, I don’t understand’. The advanced type are AI (artificial intelligence) systems and they respond to users with suggestions on topic, instead of having pre-programmed answers. These types of chatbots learn through communicating, which can be a slow process.
Chatbots are becoming a part of startups and renowned companies, integrated into sale processes and communication with consumers. They can improve customer service by providing faster solutions than waiting on the line for a call for instance. It also saves time of looking through the Frequently asked questions sections in websites. You can write what you want to a chatbot and it will be sent to the right department and people. Also, virtual assistants remember customer preferences and this information can be used the next time. Sending messages to a chatbot is a personalized way to receive only the information that is valuable and necessary to the specific customer. In addition, no questions remain unanswered and it could decrease the amount of work for employees.
What is Viber?
Viber is a free application for sending text messages, pictures, video and audio messages, as well as make free calls. It could be used on a computer or mobile phone. The user’s phone number identifies them, so it is the only thing necessary to enter when you get started with the app. Viber exists since 2010 and is since growing and becoming more and more popular. Now it is one of the top 10 application for messaging. It has over 260 million users.
Apart from individual messaging, Viber can also be used for group and public chats. Anybody can create a group (of up to 200 people) and invite friends to join. Group members can leave a group, whenever they wish to do so; administrators of the group cannot remove them. A group is deleted, when all members leave. Public chats can include celebrities or be on important topics. A user can follow a public chat, in order to see and like posts, but they can only write in it if the administrator of the group adds them as a participant. Stickers are also used in chats. They can be downloaded from the application. Most of them are free, but some are paid. They are frequently used by younger people.
Users of Viber can play games as well. They can be downloaded on any device – tablet, phone or computer. These games can be played in the application together with friends or externally.
Chatbots on Viber
Since Viber introduced public accounts in 2016, businesses started to join in and the creation of chatbots was made possible. Public accounts (Now Communities) on Viber have the purpose to connect businesses and users, therefore they are channels for marketing activities.
Some examples of popular Viber Chatbots are Forsky, Foxy, Swelly and Huffpost Entertainment. Forsky gives tips for healthy lifestyle, diet, counting calories and provides help in losing weight. It takes into account age, weight, height and other characteristics. Foxy is a matchmaking chatbot and Swelly helps with everyday decisions. Huffpost Entertainment provides suggestions on what to see on Netflix and gives information about different genres.
Benefits of chatbots
The first benefit of chatbots that could be pointed out is that they are replacing phone calls, emails and live chats with customer care representatives. These often involve waiting for a long time before you can talk to an agent. Chatbots are virtual robots that are always available and can respond to your requests immediately. They don’t get tired or need breaks and can improve customer satisfaction and loyalty.
The next benefit is that when chatbots communicate, they can do that with a 1 000 people at the same time and respond to everyone. Therefore, they can be very useful for big companies with a lot of customers (such examples are Taco Bell and Domino’s, which are already using chatbots).
Using chatbots can replace many employees and therefore save money, since they only require investing once. Simple queries could easily be handled by chatbots, while complex requests could be given to customer support agents.
In addition, chatbots could be programmed to speak the language of a customer, which could be rather useful in the travel industry. Also, virtual assistants are always equally polite, no matter how the customer responds to them, in this way taking out the human factor could be a reason for increase in customer satisfaction.
Chatbots have other benefits as well. They help take care of automated tasks, which could frequently lead to mistakes, when humans do them. This helps save time and increases productivity.
Chatbots are virtual assistants, but they are also personal advisors. They could be used for choosing fashion items, trading tips, travel advisors and many others. They also remember your preferences, so you don’t repeat them and this information could be used by the bot again and again.