What is a chatbot?

By Timothée MeuretJanuary 10, 2018
Chatbot Clustaar character blog graphic

Unless you’ve been living in a cave or a Tibetan monastery those past few months, you have heard of chatbots. But if you have heard the word, we could understand if you didn’t really care. It is kind of hard to wrap your head around this idea: AI is on the verge of being operational and talking robots are among us.

So here is a little crash course for those of you still wondering, what the hell is a Chatbot, and what is all this fuss about?

A new kind of salesman

Chatbots are here, and they are here to stay. Why? Because they’ll save tons of money to every kind of business, from the smallest to the biggest.

How? By automatizing client interactions in every field.

Imagine this simple scenario:

You are on a website. You’re looking for shoes, brown shoes. You’re typing in the website’s internal search engine: “brown shoes”.

Oh surprise, the search engine answers:

  • “Here is our selection of red shoes… would you like to see those in another color? Are you interested in a discount on this product? We also have red belts to go with those shoes.”

You engage in conversation:

  • No, but I would like to see leather gloves, in brown.
  • Here is our selection of brown leather gloves…
  • I like this one

[you click on an item]

  • Ok, so let’s resume your order, one pair of red shoes and one pair of brown leather gloves.
  • Yes
  • Ok, thank you for your purchase

And here you are.

This entire scenario is possible with conversational search. A chatbot can move sales and offer you new products, make a purchase at your command and even look for something on another website if you need it to.

Well, only if it’s programmed for this kind of thing…

Some chatbot theory

A chatbot is basically a software able to converse with a human. Its answers, picked out of a chatbot database, must correspond to the questions asked by the user.

So, first and foremost, to create an elaborate Chatbot, one that won’t answer “I’m sorry, I can’t understand your question” every 30 seconds, you need a strong database. This database must be connected to a hell of an algorithm that will process the question and connect it to the right answer.

Luckily, Clustaar has developed those tools for you. Our Query Management Platform is a smart database that will store every Search data you’ll ever need in your business. Our algorithm, Clustaar Deep Query ©, processes the text of a question to discover what we call the Intent, the meaning of the request: what is the user looking for? This is crucial to understand Natural Language and power a Chatbot able to converse naturally and flawlessly with a human.

Those technologies use deep learning algorithms that are comparable to our brain’s neuronal network. This is why we can finally talk about Artificial Intelligence. Those networks can pile up several layers of algorithms to process millions of document.

However, Skynet is not around the corner yet.

This is why our approach is based on Bot/Human collaboration. When the Chatbot is unable to answer a question, it can call a human to the rescue.

A new asset for every brand

An efficient chatbot can radically change the image of any company. According to the White House Office of Consumer Affairs, on average, loyal customers are worth up to 10 times as much as their first purchase. A company that brings an innovative search experience to the table like an artificially intelligent chatbot is certain to generate the client’s interest, and fidelity.

In a world where people need to find everything instantaneously, a chatbot can personalize their search, rending a website useless. In China, new companies and start-ups are now launching WeChat Chatbots before developing websites.

For a company to build a chatbot, the main thing it needs is an exhaustive knowledge of its field. That is what we do, at Clustaar. Our experience in SEO and Search data analysis allows us to create a panorama of a market, or a given field, like fashion or beauty, and teach it to the chatbot. So don’t hesitate to reach out and find out what we can develop together!

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Author Timothée Meuret