Chatbots are not All the Same: Let’s get to know Some Types!
The unavoidable value of chatbots in the consumer shopping experience and during the customer service is now tangible; from the point of view of the brand, instead, chatbots certainly have the merit of saving and gaining time, resources and cost reduction.
The Chatbot World
We have already discussed several times in previous posts about why it is convenient for a company to use this technology. These robots, applied to instant messaging, are able to entertain simple and intelligent conversations with users. During the online dialogue, chatbots recognize the keywords typed by the user and thus respond in a relevant manner.
An important turning point for the "chatbot world" occurred when these automatic responders have been integrated with the most widespread and used online messaging apps.
Making a direct reference to the numbers and taking into account that only in the United States there are more than 126.2 million people using FB Messanger, it is easy to understand how chatbots can have a clear field in this context and be used as tools for engagement and affiliation between consumers and brands.
3 Macro-Categories & 7 Chatbot Types
It is clear that the primary and main function of chatbots is to respond to requests and needs of users; for this reason, it is good to define that these bots do not perform the same functions. In fact, the areas where they are used and the function to which they are intended, makes it possible a categorisation that helps us to distinguish them clearly. Furthermore, in this way it is possible to define what are the requirements so that a bot is able to perform a task in a very satisfactory manner.
It is possible to distinguish 3 large categories and 7 types of chatbots, according to the tasks they are supposed to perform. These classifications depend essentially on the type of added value that they bring.
Let's start with the 3 macro-categories, identified by the sector in which they are used:
They allow you to browse the catalogues of the brand and view all the available products. Even more important in some cases is the ability to make purchases without ever leaving the chat of Messanger. The purchase experience, therefore, is resolved within the messaging platform in a conversational manner.
Customer Service Bots
1) "The Optimizer"
It is by far the widest variety of chatbots and, in general, all the other types are its direct development. This type of chatbot aims to facilitate certain processes, bypassing app performance and websites.
2) "The One-Trick Pony"
This is a type of chatbot that allows you to trasform an image into a meme, a piece of text into video mashup. This type of content is very funny and engaging; that’s why, it has a great viral potential among users.
3) "The Proactive"
These chatbots offer information quickly, literally "in the right place, at the right time". A very good example is offered by the airline KLM, the first that has used chatbot within its Messanger platform to provide users essential information on their flights, with the possibility to check-in too! This assistant is able to give you also a series of information related to the flight; the number of the gate, any delays,...
4) "The Social"
In addition to performing, like the other types, their “role” of chatbots, the distinctive feature is the creation of a real group chat. Basically, they are able to bring together a certain number of people, a sort of community, around a topic or according to a purpose: there are bots that help you make decisions, allow you to find professionals you need and even some that help you with your love life, selecting people that might interest you.
5) "The Shield"
This type of chatbot is very similar to the optimizer one, but is programmed to avoid consumers unpleasant and frustrating experiences. The basic idea is to replace a “cold chat” with an irritating customer care operator with a friendly conversation with a robot, more precise, more prepared and above all that interacts through chat!
6) "The Chatty"
The purpose of a chatbot like this is to widen and solidify the user base. Basically, they are able to entertain conversations with the aim of engaging the user and making a connection with him.
7) "The Super Bot"
This category refers to those that today are known as intelligent personal assistants. We are talking, for example about Siri and Alexa. In this case bots play an active role in supporting human activities: they recall appointments, recurrences or deadlines; they are able to manage the electronic devices of the house allowing to reduce energy consumption; they tell people which food they should eat and which food should avoid instead,... And much more.
And what about you? What kind of chatbot are you interested in?
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