The Evolution of Chatbots, from AI to Hybrid and Back

In today’s world, where businesses compete against each other for customers, the competition could turn in favor of the losing side in a fraction of a second. Sometimes, all that differs between two companies is not the quality of their product or service, but timely and relevant service to a customer who is ready to buy that product or service. It’s at such times that traditional selling strategies go out the window and technology-assisted selling strategies come into play. We are referring to Conversational Marketing and Conversational Selling.

Before we get deeper into this subject, let’s quickly clarify a couple of terms that you will come across several times in this article.

Conversational Marketing: An online approach to marketing wherein a company engages with clients and prospective clients in real-time and makes the experience as personalized as possible.

Conversational Sales: This is an online approach to sales, that is driven purely by dialogue. It is based on the principle of only selling to customers who are ready to buy. But it also clears the doubts of potential customers who need answers to their questions regarding a particular product or service they are thinking of investing in.

This guide by Whisbi will give you a deeper understanding of Conversational Marketing and Conversational Sales.


The age of chatbots is here

Chatbots have made it possible for marketers to create a very human-like and personalized experience for every customer and prospective customer. They are a fundamental part of conversational marketing tools and are very helpful in conversational sales to finalize sales when possible.

Gartner has predicted that by the year 2020, over 50% of companies will have chatbots. Some of the best customer experiences occur through personalized messages and interactive platforms.


Types of chatbots available today

Intent-based chatbots – The goal of intent-based bots is to solve user queries on a one to one basis. With each question answered it can adapt to the user behavior. The more data the bots receive, the more intelligent they become. Great examples of intent-based bots are Siri, Google Assistant, and Amazon Alexa. The bot has the ability to extract contextual information such as location, and state information like chat history, to suggest appropriate solutions in a specific situation – all thanks to AI.

Flow-based chatbots – A flow-based bot’s main goal is to focus on solving user queries and progressively take users to a solution. The flow is very well defined by simply remembering the possible user interests.

A flow-based bot follows a series of messages, so manually entered texts have little to no importance to this type of bot. The way it works is it guides users through a predefined flow to find solution the fastest way, by giving predefined answers as options for the customer to chose from.


Exploit the full potential of a flow-based chatbot:

1. Lead capture chatbots

Lead capture chatbots are one of the most versatile conversational marketing tools available today. Chatbots learn details about customers by asking questions. The details are a source of valuable information as it helps the organization to generate better leads. Organizations can use the data collected by chatbots to create very targeted and specific marketing content based on this data.

A lead capture chatbot:

– Filters and qualifies leads on a website without the use of forms.

– Routes conversations (based on predetermined routing rules) to the right team.

– Connects leads to sales team in real-time.

– Educates web visitors.

– Maintain engagement throughout the sales funnel.

– Excalates complex customer queries to a live person if needed

– Ask very specific questions that are easy for customers to answer quickly (for example, “Are you an existing customer?” “Which model are you interested in?” “Do you want to talk to support or sales?”) 

– Measures, collects, and analysis data.


2. Hybrid chatbot

According to a study, 64% of consumers said they expected a brand to interact with them in real-time. 80% said that receiving immediate responses positively influenced their brand loyalty. Hybrids make this possible by getting humans and robots to work together. A hybrid chatbot dialogues with humans, both automated and personalized responses. It intervenes only through an instant messaging (IM) channel in addition to the brand’s agents.

assisted and unassisted sales lead capture

The benefits of a hybrid chatbot in Conversational Marketing are many:

– A hybrid chat can be set up on different channels in collaboration with an agent. Some of these are live chats or web chats, video chats, messaging, and in-app messages.

– They can complete simple and routine tasks (which amounts to anywhere between 60% to 80% of all requests) while humans take part in more complex conversations.

– It can redirect leads to the sales or support team. 

– It can finalize a purchase with a customer all by itself if the customer request is simple.

– A hybrid chatbot reduces customer service costs by freeing time for agents.

– It increases customer satisfaction by responding faster to simple requests.

– While humans take care of non-standard situations with common sense, bots hold several thousands of interactions and can dig through required data almost instantaneously.

– When getting a human to take over a non-standard conversation, the hybrid will also notify the human of the context of the conversation so that the customer does not have to repeat themselves.


So, there you have it. The two chatbots that are ready to take the world by storm and Conversational Marketing and Conversation Sale to a completely different level. 



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