Very much like dogs, chatbots have different personalities, different anatomies, and different roles in society with the sole purpose of serving people. Chatbots may be multifunctional but they do have the common and most crucial capability of generating automated communication that provide data that help consumers make decisions in life. Meet the 7 different breeds of bots that serve as customers’ best friends:
Retail bots revolutionize the shopping experience for customers through “conversational commerce,” a term coined by Chris Messina, developer for Uber, where interactive communication between consumer and retailer simulates the shopping experience that buyers get in a retail store. Retail bots ask for what customers want, offer different options to try to understand their needs and choices, and assist them until their purchase is done. Retail bots also recommend relevant and personalized offers based on a customer’s preferences in real-time while delivering alerts and updates based on available inventory and status of an order. Burberry, Sephora, and H&M are just some of the power brands that already went ahead and launched their own chatbots. FreshDirect operates with a chatbot that helps customers build grocery-shopping lists and place orders. Meanwhile, Microsoft has Cortana, a chatbot that makes chatbot-building tools available to developers.
Food Service Bots
Taco Bell, Wingstop, Pizza Hut, and Burger King are one of the few big names in the food industry to use automated chat ordering. With the help of food service chatbots, instead of customers downloading apps, they can just chat restaurants and fast food chains directly on Facebook Messenger or Twitter to place their orders. QSR Magazine notes that the technology of chatbots enable better control on transactions through the translation of the menu and pricing into conversational language and through the forwarding of final orders into restaurants’ point of sale system. Food service chatbots develop the mechanism for simplified ordering that allows customers to skip extra steps in the ordering process as they would with a food server, as opposed to online and mobile app ordering.
Healthcare bots are chatbots that coordinate with electronic health and medical records to receive patient data and vice versa. These chatbots have the ability to detect critical situations based on conversation and escalate the data to medical or healthcare professionals, all in real time. A latest improvement in chatbots in the healthcare industry added the ability of one chatbot to provide information that covers all aspects of a patient’s care. The Open Health Network is the first to employ this update in their chatbots.
Also called Fintech Chatbots or Personal Finance Bots, they send notifications to users and act as financial advisors by tracking when and how they can save money and pay their bills. They also help users review their purchase history, spending habits, and account balance. They provide real-time sale notifications and recommendations and even remind customers about credit card benefits. Master Card is one of the top 5 banks to take on a business breakthrough by introducing a chatbot on Facebook Messenger to further advance their digital services.
Travel bots find flights and book tickets for you, push alerts, and even provide insider tips and recommend coffee shops, restaurants, and entertainment. Travel chatbots pull data from dozens of online travel sites to find the best deals without the hassle of customers having to scroll through ad-laden, number-heavy websites. Whether you’re booking with a destination in mind or simply looking for spontaneous or price-driven recommendations, travel chatbots can help you out. TripAdvisor, Kayak, Hipmunk, and Snaptravel Chatbots are the best travel chatbots you can find on Facebook Messenger.
News and Weather Bots
News and weather chatbots are just that; they give you news updates and weather forecasts. However, you can put a twist on these types of chatbots by giving them a personality and tone. Poncho used to be an email newsletter that sends funny GIFs along with a weather forecast. Now, Poncho is known on Facebook Messenger for being a helpful and sassy Weather Bot. Meanwhile, the Washington Post have WaPo Bot on Facebook Messenger to be a “reporter” and feature top news stories, election alerts, and Olympic coverage; a new and better alternative to accessing their publication online.
Organizer bots manage your calendar to learn your availability and preferences and schedule appointments for you. Bruce Calmet of Medium Magazine lists x.ai as one of three smart scheduling bots. One interesting feature of x.ai is you can ask it to find a vacant date in your schedule to squeeze in a last-minute appointment and have it arrange the meeting for you.
With the rate at which these developments for artificial intelligence are going, there is a lot to expect from chatbots. Gartner predicts that by the year 2020, 85% of customer interactions will be managed without human aid, and the global chatbot market will grow aggressively between 2016 to 2023. So, without a doubt, there are many more generations of chatbots waiting to be bred and domesticated for the service of mankind. Get your own chatbot breed with Alfafusion, the leading chatbot provider in the Philippines since 1998.
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