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Types of Chatbots: Which One is a Fit for Your Business?

by | September 21, 2021

Types of Chatbots: Find Out Which One is a Fit for Your Business

Is your business facing a classic growing pain like lack of personnel to deal with customer inquiries or an overwhelmed sales team?

Well, the future is already here, and conversational bots are more accessible than ever.

A crescent number of businesses are looking for chatbot solutions to improve their customer services, automate FAQs, and interact with their leads and customers. Some of the advantages of chatbot technologies include streamlining customer relations and freeing up time for support teams.

What are the different types of chatbots, and which one should you choose? If you’re wondering which bot is the right fit for your needs, you should assess the chatbot uses and the type of interaction you want your users to have with it. Even if you plan to create your own AI chatbot from scratch, you must evaluate the different types available.


What are the different types of chatbots?


There are many types of chatbots, and they can be classified by the way in which they interact with users or by the kind of technology that enables them. Considering the interaction model, the most common ones are the text and messaging bots, the rule-based bots, and the conversational bots.

If you consider the technology behind the chatbot, there are three main ones: simple, conversational, and hybrid chatbots. There are tons of business chatbot options out there for all sorts of needs. So, now that you have established that you want a chatbot, and there are a plethora of options out there, the real question remains: how to pick the best one for your business?

woman talking to a conversational chatbot through a phone


Simple Chatbots


A simple chatbot, also known as a rule-based bot, works based on straightforward tasks and has limited options. The best examples of simple chatbots are those that work with a menu and limited options for the user to choose from.

Likely, you have recently interacted with one of these in a WhatsApp automated chat from your bank or other service providers. You were guided through a couple of predefined options and then reached an expected answer. This final answer would refer you to an FAQ or even to a chat with a human assistant.

Although these chatbots are of great help in handling simple transactional requests and filtering out customer requests, they are limited to more complex interactions. These tools can have a faster implementation, but they will not be able to handle a question outside of its predefined range of options. This type of rule-based bot can be used to build a text, messaging, or menu-based chatbot.

Wondering if this chatbot would be a fit for your business? The answer is yes only if you have a small support team that spends most of its time handling FAQs that could be easily automated. Menus and button-based bots are also great for filtering out the initial user request and guiding them to the right area to address their request.

However, you should consider that this option has limited capabilities and can frustrate users who are looking to receive answers more complex than what it can provide.


Smart or AI Chatbots


Using artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, these bots emulate a human-like conversation. AI chatbots are contextual and will use the repeated conversations with users to understand the context, language, and intent. Over time, these bots will learn from the conversations and provide more accurate answers.

An AI chatbot will store data from conversations to provide better answers to user inquiries. These highly complex technologies can be implemented to create text, messaging, voice, or any other chatbot type.

A smart chatbot will use natural language processing technologies to evolve with each interaction and adapt to the nuances of your company’s users. The best examples of intelligent bots are virtual assistants such as Siri from Apple and Alexa from Amazon. Although these virtual assistants are voice-based, the technology that enables the conversation is an AI chatbot.

Although this type of chatbot solution usually requires custom development, there are numerous advantages for businesses that adopt them. You can cut a lot of operational costs and improve your customer relations immensely.

Should your business put money in a smart chatbot? Only if your product or service would benefit from a virtual assistant interacting with your audience. Suppose you need to handle many types of inputs from users and manage large amounts of information. These chatbots could come in handy, being custom-made and built out of various frameworks and platforms. If you’re planning to create one of those, custom desktop application development would be the way to start.

woman testing a chatbot cross-platform


Keyword recognition-based or Hybrid Chatbots


If the first two options did not convince you, you should know that there’s a third one that combines the best of them. The keyword recognition-based or hybrid chatbots combine characteristics of both simple and AI-based chatbots.

Although these bots have a limited number of options, they can interact with users, understand more complex requests and learn from previous interactions. Instead of interacting with users on a wide range of tasks, requests, and queries, like Alexa or Siri, a hybrid chatbot will limit its interaction to specific keywords or subjects.

Once set up, this hybrid chatbot will combine a set of recognized keywords with AI to try to provide users with answers to their questions. Although this tool won’t tell you a joke or today’s weather, it will do its best to provide troubleshooting for a piece of equipment or system. This means it will be a great investment for building a complex support system or a troubleshooting assistant.

Pondering if a hybrid chatbot would be a match for your needs? It’s an excellent choice if you rely highly on customer relations. Companies that need to personalize support and improve user experience but can’t afford 24/7 customer service can benefit significantly from these. Since they can combine the best of both AI and simple bots, you can build a custom solution to fit your business’ needs.


What Is the Best Type of Chatbot?


We hope this article helped you understand more about the different chatbots available out there. Now, you should have the basis for choosing the best solution for your business needs. But what is the right answer to this question? Well, it depends on how you communicate with your customers and how you plan to handle their requests.

However, one thing is certain: a custom chatbot solution would provide you with the best possible scenario. You could benefit from performing actions like managing customer care, troubleshooting, facilitating sales, guiding users, or acting as a virtual assistant. Not completely sold? Well, a tailor-made solution can combine the best aspects of AI, keyword recognition, and button chatbots.

If you would like to start a project, feel free to contact us today.
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