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On Demand Businesses 101

Introduction to Chatbots and their history.

ChatBots might sound like an alien word but you have no idea what all have been achieved when we say chatbots. They are not only gaining popularity in the business world but people are also implementing bots in their business.

“Phew! That was a long support chat”

You must have often heard your colleagues from the customer support department saying that line.

A chatbot is a tool, which will reduce the pressure on your support team and will allow them to focus on other tasks as well. Chatbots market is growing at a very rapid speed.

“Gartner forecasted, by 2020 around 50% of support chat will be handled by bots without human intervention”, as it saves the time and effort of your team by automating the chat support. Chatbots not only helps business in chat support but also helps in reducing the cost and collecting customer information.

Before we move further, first let’s understand what are Chatbots and why do business need them?

“Chatbot is an automated computer program which communicates with a human through an electronic device.”

Chatbots are automated replies or chat assistance which communicates with humans via text message and helps businesses to get closer to their customers. They are also known as bots, chat robot, chatterbox and so on.

Usage of chatbots in business:

ResearchGate conducted a study on “why people use chatbots?” in which they tried to find out the key factors that motivate people to use chatbots. Which suggested that people use bots out of curiosity, entertainment, social and relational factors.

When it comes to business, I have listed 4 factors why every business should use chatbots to the fullest:

Availability: Chatbots are always available for your customers irrespective of date and time. They will engage the customers and will collect all the necessary information for you before you come to the office.

Productivity: It helps your business to work with ease, speed and convenience. Customers don’t have to wait for the calls and agents don’t have to check the whole database to assist the customer.

Sales Funnel: Bots makes the sales funnel much more filtered by removing junk leads at the initial stage. That also leads to a reduction in the sales cycle and will give you quick results.

Relationship marketing: Chatbots are more personal than social media platform like Facebook, Twitter etc. As customers can directly reach out to business and can have their queries resolved in minutes.

Let’s get into the History of chatbots:

It all begins with Alan Turing who was an English computer scientist in 1950 when his article “Computing Machinery and Intelligence” was published.

In which he wrote, “I Propose you to consider a question Can machine think”?  Where he also talked about the Turing Test, which means a human has to find out whether he is talking to a machine or another human.

The very first chatbot was created in 1966 which was named as ELIZA. It was created by a scientist named Joseph Weizenbaum. ELIZA created a communication interface between a human and a machine. It was able to fool some people as they thought that they are talking to a real human but this chatbot failed the Turing Test.

After that in 1972, Kenneth Coby introduced another chatbot named “Parry” who could stimulate a person with paranoid schizophrenia and it was better than ELIZA. It was said that Parry is “ELIZA with an attitude”. During the Turing test, only 48% of psychiatrists were able to differentiate between the bot and real human.

In the year 1992, a new bot was created by the name of Dr Sbaisto. This program was designed to show the digitized voices the card was able to produce, but the voice produced was very different from the real-life voice.

Dr Sbaisto Bot

Moving further in 1995 ALICE (Artificial Linguistic Internet Computer Entity) was created, which was the most famous chatbot of the 20th century. It was a natural language processing bot that means “she was capable of engaging people in a conversation by applying some heuristical pattern matching rule”.

As I stated in the very first paragraph when we talk about chatbots it seems to be an alien word. But from above-stated facts, it’s very clear that chatbots are not a recent creation, but it’s a complete evolution process which just started decades back with one question (Can a machine think?).

The revolution that came into the bot world was done by one company in 2010, any idea which company it was?

Think..

Apple” it was.

It completely took “customers heads over heels”.

Apple launched personal assistance “Siri” who was capable of taking voice commands from humans and give them quick and witty answers. You can put reminders, schedule events, search on the internet and so much more with just one voice command. The only thing you needed was an iOS device.

When it comes to the business world and specially chat support chatbots has again have done everything so flawless and quick.

Those times are gone when you spend hours and hours assisting a customer or prospecting leads. Chatbots are doing all the screening for you and giving the best results out of it.

All you need is a good chat support software and you are ready to kick off your business to new heights. There are hundreds of software out in the market and picking the best-suited chat support software is a tricky thing. I would like to introduce you to Hippo a complete chat support software, which will suffice all your requirements.

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