The ChatBot – From the Drawing Board into Web Design
Whereas chatbots have gained prominence in the public’s conscientiousness through the so-called smartphone ‘artificial intelligence’, and social messaging bots, chatbots have continued to be developed for commercial purposes and incorporated into web design.
Chatbots have pervaded a whole host of business functions, including e-commerce, customer support, feedback and analytics and much more. In fact, according to Gartner, by 2021 more than half of all enterprises will spend more on chatbots than they will on traditional app development.
In this blog we look at how chatbots are the newest element to be included into web design and what benefits they can bring.
A chatbot is, essentially, a computer program which is designed to carry out a text or verbal conversation with a human participant. Chatbots, it is said, will become the face of artificial intelligence – in a ‘post-app’ era. The technology underlying chatbots’ ability to decipher human input comes mostly from one of two ways: natural language processing or a simpler keyword search. At present, chatbot implementation on websites, and outside of the handful of large scale verbal ‘assistants’, is reliant on the latter – i.e. a keyword search from the user’s input. Regardless, web design is incorporating chatbots in several ways, as we will discover later.
Businesses have found chatbots a potentially lucrative replacement for customer support professionals, or at the very least, in the beginning, a tool to parse queries. Banks, mobile service providers and e-commerce platforms have taken to chatbots in their web design to query customers and offer resolving advice on its basis.
Live chat is one of the most common uses of chatbots, and one being increasingly adopted as part of a business’s web design. Once you navigate to such a website, a chat window opens and presents the user with a communication interface which mimics a text conversation with a human counterpart.
Interactive - Conversational
Chatbots need not be confined to a specific window either. Conversationally interspersed throughout the page or in a post, bots can be used to provide additional information or gather information from the user. Web design plays a huge role in this, as does the content on the page. It cannot be disjointed text, rather the experience must flow seamlessly.
The B2B environment
In the B2B environment, chatbots are seen as a human-augmenting technology. In the internal functioning of the business, web design can help chatbots take over repetitive everyday tasks like checking invoices, following up on status updates – even human resources functions. Externally, chatbots offer a much more personalized service forB2B clients. Some examples are:
- Placing orders with suppliers
- Generating invoices
- Integration with enterprise systems
- Enhanced support services
- Lead generation
- Cross-platform interaction
- Live interaction
- Analytics and feedback (including actionable insights on web design)