It’s the era of chatbots. The financial services industry is rushing to chat bots. Banks, Insurers and mutual funds use chatbots to communicate with customers and answer queries. In today’s fast and competitive World, businesses cannot survive if they leave customer queries unanswered for too long. This is where chatbots have a role to play.
What is a chatbot? A chatbot is a computer program which is designed to have a conversation with humans and learn from these interactions. You can chat online with chatbots of banks, insurers and mutual funds and have queries answered.
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A chatbot is all about conversations. It can have an intelligent conversation with a human being, but its capabilities are limited. A chatbot can answer your queries, but cannot converse with you like a human being. You must have seen Sci-Fi movies where robots communicate with humans. Chatbots cannot do this with technology currently available.
Chatbots have advantages over humans. They are available 24*7 and can outperform humans in terms of speed and accuracy. In a narrow domain, chatbots can answer more questions, than any human being.
The true power of chatbots are realized when they work hand in hand with human agents. Imagine a chatbot assisting a banker, insurer or a mutual fund. A chatbot can increase the efficiency of an agent by bringing up a relevant article or video at the right time, so that an agent can act on it. It can even suggest responses which a human agent can act on. But, is a chatbot better than a voice assistant?
Chatbots have the power of machine learning and artificial intelligent (AI). But, are they a match for voice assistants? Voice assistants are a growing technology, used in smartphones, tablets and laptops. Think Amazon’s Alexa, Microsoft’s Cortana and Google Assistant.
Confused, I’ll explain. A voice assistant is like a helper who lives in your smartphone or laptop. The voice assistant jumps into action when it hears a keyword like Alexa. A keyword like Alexa or Google is a call to action.
When the virtual ears of the voice assistant pick up a command which could be a question, they jump into action. They answer your question or obey a command.
You must have seen an Ad on TV where a question is placed to a group of people. What is the capital of Australia? A man jumps up and says Sydney and is very happy believing he’s hit the right answer. The same question is asked of ALEXA, What is the capital of Australia? Pat comes the answer, Canberra, which is the right answer. This is the power of a voice assistant.
A voice assistant is like a personal assistant. They can tell you what to do in an emergency, set an alarm to wake you in the morning, set the timer on a microwave or even start your car engine when you sit in the kitchen.
Can you use voice assistants to do your work? Yes, you definitely can. Voice assistants can do everything from answering simple questions to performing complex tasks like controlling all the electronic devices in your home. The problem with voice assistants is they understand only English and efforts are on to teach voice assistants multiple languages like Punjabi, Kashmiri and Hindi.
Voice assistants are taking off in a big way in India. People are booking Ola and Uber cabs, airline tickets, ordering food and even listening to the latest news and astrology forecasts using voice assistants.
Penetration of voice assistants could increase in India as more and more citizens take to them. Companies who don’t have chatbots use voice assistants for their businesses.
So, is this the end of chatbots? No, chatbots can coexist with voice assistants and augment their powers. Chatbots and voice assistants are used in different places. You can use a voice assistant in the privacy of home, but can you use a voice assistant in a public place?
Chatbots are not confined to text alone, but can also function through voice. Chatbots can interact verbally with customers and can easily coexist with voice assistants.
Chatbots can be used when texting is necessary and voice assistants when you want to give voice commands. Chatbots and Voice assistants can easily coexist and you can use them as per needs.
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