Every business now wants to integrate chatbots to provide a superior customer experience. For a chatbot to provide proper growth in sales, companies must deploy the correct type of chatbot. Knowing what you expect out of the chatbot is a crucial point for deciding on the right chatbot. Like our personalities and talents, there are different ways in which a chatbot interacts with its customer. In this blog, we will cover the different types of chatbots based on their functionality, technical complexity, and the platforms they can deploy. This article will give you a clear understanding of the broad spectrum of chatbots available and what will be the right fit for your business.

 

Functionality 

Chatbots for an e-commerce site is entirely different from a chatbot at the travel agency app. Based on their functionality; chatbots are classified into the following types-

  • Appointment Scheduling: Appointment scheduling has been made much easier with the introduction of appointment chatbots. You can find them for scheduling and booking appointments with the enterprise customers you wish to communicate with. It reduces the hassle of cross-checking with a person’s availability since most chatbots are already synced with Google Calendar. Reminders are also created simultaneously for both business representatives and the client. 

 

So if you are a business that requires a lot of booking appointments, this chatbot is a must. Following are the use-cases of this bot-

  • Healthcare chatbot for booking appointments with the Doctor.
  • Hotel and Flight booking chatbots for checking the availability and then reserving the best for the clients based on their preferences.
  • HR appointment bot for scheduling interviews during the hiring process.
  • Cinema bot for booking movie tickets in the local area.
  • Customer Support: When we say the term “Chatbot,” the first thing pops up in your mind is a customer support bot. It is the most widely used application of chatbots. Customer Support bots are chatbots that do the job of a customer care representative. It answers the queries and also gathers valuable feedback from the customer. It is now an in-demand tool because of the quick replies and round-the-clock availability. 

 

Some of the most valuable chatbots under this type are-

  • Retail Support bots that answer customers’ queries related to the shipment, delivery, and payments.
  • Telecom Bot for recharging phones, upgrading plans, and also advising customers on the recharge plans.
  • Banking Bots for answering all bank-related queries. Generally, banks are crowded with customers; hence these bots are an excellent alternative for handling frequently asked questions.
  • Marketing and sales: Marketing and sales chatbots are responsible for increasing sales by providing leads to a business.  These bots have been tailored to personalize the experience for customers. These bots analyze data provided by the customer and ease their marketing experience by sending them timely notifications for their orders.

 

Following are the examples of this type of chatbots-

  • E-commerce bots are the best example of marketing and sales bots. Customers can browse directly through the bot and put items in their cart.
  • Like the e-commerce bot, an educational bot can help clients browse through the catalogs and select the best-suited one.
  • Lead Generation bots can enable businesses to store the customer’s information in a database, improving the company’s productivity with the data.
  • Automotive lead generation bot allows users to browse through the features, price, and book a car directly through the chatbot.
  • Entertainment: Certain chatbots are not business-oriented. These bots are used to keep users engaged. They are made for entertainment and media purposes. The following bots can be kept under the umbrella of Entertainment bots-
  • TV guides chatbot help users to keep track of the channels and the services subscribed.
  • News chatbot keeps the users updated with the recent happenings according to the category selected.
  • A Riddle bot can engage your customers and allow them to spend more time on your website.

Technical Complexity 

Based on the technical complexity and the technologies involved to build a chatbot, it can be broadly divided into three types-

  • Simple: As the name suggests, these are the bot used for simple tasks. Rule-based commands power them. The bot offers users a predefined set of choices from which the user selects the required option. In simple words, it is like a menu-driven interaction where users are directed from a wide range of topics to the specific query with a few steps. These chatbots are best suited for straightforward dialogues where much intelligence from the bot’s part is not required.

An example can be food ordering. The bot can show you the choices available, ask for the quantity and complete the ordering process by displaying the set of alternatives to the customer. The chatbot takes further actions as per the instructions provided.

  • Smart: Artificial Intelligence powers smart chatbots. They can understand the language, statements, and emotions through the sentence. Technically, they are much harder to implement but are more effective in stimulating human-like behavior.

Virtual Assistant chatbots are the best example of intelligent chatbots. Virtual assistants such as Alexa, Siri, Google assistant can successfully interpret language and understand the context to respond. Smart chatbots are also a step ahead of the simple chatbots by learning and adapting from their past experiences.

 

  • Hybrid: Hybrid chatbots are a combination of smart and simple chatbots. A hybrid chatbot is a balanced business tool that uses both the menu-driven approach of a simple chatbot and understands the language and the intent as the intelligent chatbot. The flexibility of such chatbots makes them very useful. 

 

An example of a hybrid chatbot is an e-commerce chatbot. It provides customers with a spectrum of choices to browse through the products. Simultaneously, it can answer queries based on language processing and do other actions such as creating accounts and payments.

Channel of Communication

After creating a chatbot, it becomes essential to deploy it on the right platform. The channel of communication should be readily available for your prospective customers. In this digital era, chatbots are becoming a permanent fixture for various businesses. So it becomes equally important to choose the right platform to gain maximum benefit from your chatbot. Here we have categorized chatbots based on the platforms they are deployed-

 

  • Facebook Messenger: To get the leverage out of the 2.7 billion users on Facebook[1], companies deploy their chatbots on Facebook. Facebook also has the advantage of providing a business profile. Therefore, customers can look at the company’s profile and authenticity while interacting with the bot.


  • WhatsApp: With over 2 billion users spread across 180 countries, WhatsApp is another top-rated channel for deploying chatbots[2]. The WhatsApp Business API enables businesses to send highly automated messages with end-to-end encryption. If you are looking for a platform with high open rates for messages and is popular among your customers, then WhatsApp is the right channel for you.


  • Website: Your Website marks the first impression of your business. Therefore, it becomes necessary to keep customers engaged throughout. A chatbot on the homepage can do wonders to connect with the visitors and solve their queries in place. So if your website gets a large number of visitors, a website chatbot can help you generate valuable leads from there.


  • Slack: While the channels mentioned before, serve the purpose of targeting general audiences, chatbots deployed on Slack can be helpful to improve the workflow and productivity of your company. Internal appointment bots can be deployed to enhance communication between departments and simplify the system.

Across the many variants of chatbots, it becomes essential to choose the right chatbot for desired results. Factors such as functions, technologies used, and audience targeted play an indispensable role in deciding the most appropriate chatbot for your business. There is no one-rule chatbot that can handle all the situations. Therefore, research well and choose wisely!

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