What are the different types of chatbots?

What types of chatbots actually exist? There are rule-based bots (click bots or FAQ bots), bots with artificial intelligence (AI bots) and application-oriented bots that combine both rule-based and intelligent dialog systems. In this article, we’ll introduce you to the different types of chatbots and show you the most important areas of application of chatbots and best cases.

What you’ll learn in this article:

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    1. What types of chatbots are there
    2. Use cases or use cases for chatbots
    3. Chatbots are used in these areas
    4. Common mistakes in the conception of chatbots
    5. What should be considered when planning chatbots
    6. How chatbots get more users

1. What types of chatbots are there?

Chatbots are automated dialogues. We already have you our editorial chatbots — everything you need to know! explains that chatbots can efficiently support customer service. They have similar potential for the entire area of digital communication. Basically, there are different types of chatbots. As a rule, the following are distinguished for types of chatbots:

1.1 Rule-based chatbots (click bots)

The frequently occurring rule-based chatbots (also known as click bots) are based on predefined dialog paths, which means that users receive ready-made question and answer options. For example, if a user tries to ask questions outside of these routines, they cannot be answered by the chatbot.

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It is important in this context that you should diversify the rule-based chatbot. Different media formats such as images, gifs, audios, videos, etc. can help with this, a personal approach (requires the previous query the name or first name) and various answer options. Click bots are quickly designed, realized and cost-effective compared to AI bots.

1.2 Artificial Intelligence Chatbots (AI Bots)

The (still) rather rare chatbots with artificial intelligence are able to conduct intelligent conversations with customers. This is based on their AI, so-called deep learning and natural language processing (NLP). Overall, this means that an AI bot is able to include the context in which a chat takes place. After all, he is able to constantly learn from user feedback. The realization of AI bots is time-consuming when it comes to resources and financial resources, which is why very large companies can often afford such chabots.

1.3 Application-oriented chatbots

The application-oriented chatbots are mixed forms that are rule-based and intelligent dialogue systems with each other connect.

2. Use cases or use cases for chatbots

The classification into types of chatbots is often done according to the logic shown, primarily in click bots and AI bots or FAQ bots. However, you have to take into account that this is a purely technical consideration. It doesn’t really do justice to the use of chatbots.

A messenger is a communication channel. For this reason, classic communication patterns such as 1:n, 1:1 and n:m communication can be used to classify. However, the classification of the types of chatbots according to their use case is popular for the user.

2.1 Consulting & Service Bot

A relatively simple assistant can now be ideally used in first-level support, for example, to directly answer recurring questions from customers. For more complex questions, the first-level support chatbot can help chatbot as part of customer pre-qualification and in Experience what kind of problem there is to solve and then be able to assign it directly to the right person.

The processing time of requests at Women’s Best has fallen by 50% since the introduction of messengers and the customer care team receives 70% fewer emails.

David Kurzmann, CEO & co-founder of Women’s Best

The example Women’s Best shows that with its messenger customer service via Apple Business Chat, the international e-commerce company was able to reduce the average processing time of customer inquiries by more than 50 percent and offers service twice as fast as before.

You can find out more in our exclusive case study How Women’s Best offers its customers twice as fast service with WhatsApp & Co.

2.2 Gamification chatbots

These types of chatbots work similar to computer games from the 1990s. With the help of questions and answers, the chatbot hangs along the user to a goal. This can then be a personalized video (The Savings Bank’s messenger) or a job recommendation (whatsMe Bot), for example.

The Savings Bank’s messenger

WhatsMe Bot from the Federal Employment Agency Gamification chatbots like here “The Savings Bank’s Messenger” and the “whatsMebot” usually guide the user through a menu and have a concrete result at the end.

2.3 Inspiration bots

These virtual assistants help users with specific questions about a topic. The chatbots from Lecker or Maggi offer numerous suggestions on the topic of ‘cooking and baking’. I can ask both of them for recipes and (usually) get appropriate answers. While Delicious also provides me with recipe inspirations to recoop every day, Maggi offers me the option to order directly with every recipe Rewe.de.

2.4 Information

The most widely used and successful virtual assistants at the moment are the so-called info chatbots. They regularly inform me about certain topics based on defined parameters such as time, location or content preference. The chatbot from WetterOnline sends me every morning the weather of Berlin and Xing, for example, every Friday job offers to match my Xing profile. But I can also ask individual questions to all these bots to which I get an immediate answer.

3. Applications of chatbots

Chatbots can be used in all areas of communication. Anywhere companies have customer contact, be it advice in the shop, service hotline or via mail and social media — anywhere a virtual assistant can be simple, but also take on complex tasks. If you want to create a simple but effective customer service bot for your company, we recommend MessengerPeople’s chatbot builder. It’s free for our customers and you don’t need any programming skills.

Many companies use chatbots in the three major topics, namely marketing, consultancy/service and staff/HR.

3.1 Marketing

Nestlé: WhatsApp Chatbot Healthier Kids advises parents on feeding their children

The aim of the Healthier Kids chatbot is to provide nutrition tips for children from parents for parents. The WhatsApp bot queries the name of the mother or father, then the child’s age and the child’s degree (school or kindergarten). Based on this information, suitable advice for parents is compiled.

The exciting thing about this WhatsApp bot: it always annumizes users within 24 hours, so that the loyalty to users is maintained. This allows the chatbot to continue to push relevant content to its users.

💡 Tip: If you would like to learn more about 24 hour service windows and notifications, we recommend our posts “WhatsApp Business API — This is what WhatsApp offers for companies” and “WhatsApp Business API: What are notifications?”

3.2 Service/advice

BMW: The FollowNow chatbot offers customers real-time service to the repair status of their car

The goal of the chatbot is for customers to be able to find out about the repair status of their car at any time, regardless of email or phone. WhatsApp Bot relieves customer service in first level support, which gives it more time for more complex customer inquiries.

In addition to the pre-qualification of the followNow chatbot, the range of services offered by the FollowNow chatbot Customer inquiries also scheduling. Many customers now use this option and dispense with calls, which greatly relieves customer service.

💡 Tip: In our case study “BMW: 60% fewer calls through WhatsApp service”, you can find out how BMW easily automates its workshop customer service.

3.3 Personnel/HR

Migros: WhatsApp Bot Mino helps young people find apprenticeships

His goal is to help young people find an apprenticeship by showing them suitable vacancies, pointing them to job fairs near them and giving tips on how to search for jobs.

Mino supports job seekers around the search for apprenticeships in an entertaining and contemporary way with job offers and event tips. First, he queries the name, leisure time, and emoji type. Then the job seeker has the option of setting an appointment or event tip. The little Dinosaur Mino helps apprenticeship seekers in a fun way.

💡 Tip: If you want to know which chatbots are in, we recommend our review Overview: the best chatbots.

4. Common mistakes in bot conception

  1. Your chatbot doesn’t understand the questions or has very limited access to the answers (data).
  2. Chatbot is more of a computer game — but doesn’t answer questions about the brand’s products or services?
  3. The dialog only follows rigid patterns, but cannot start with different questions or comments and then hangs in the endless loop.
  4. Your chatbot has no personality — it responds dullingly and stubborningly like a machine.
  5. Your campaign does something, but forgets to generate real added value for the user or customer in relation to the company. So the bot doesn’t respond to important Questions about the company or product.

💡 Tip: If you want to know what typical chatbot design mistakes are and how to avoid them, we recommend the post Typical chatbot errors and how to avoid them

5. That’s what you should keep in mind when planning bot

Developers and communications managers should take sufficient time, especially during the consultation phase to clarify the following points:

  1. What goal should a (marketing) chatbot have?
  2. What tonality should he have?
  3. What should he talk about?
  4. Do I want to offer a guided or free dialogue?
  5. How do I design a value-added dialogue?
  6. How do I respond to questions my chatbot can’t answer?

💡 Tip: You can find a detailed description of the right chatbot concept in our post Creating a chatbot: 6 Expert tips for a successful start!

6. How to get more users into your messenger bot

Many projects with virtual assistants are reinstated after some time because they were not successful. Most of the time, this is because the virtual assistants are badly advertised and simply cannot be found.

  • We’ve already summarized how to activate Facebook Messenger for your channel in two easy steps: setting up Facebook Messenger — it’s that easy!
  • Sign in your bot to Facebook Messenger “Discover” and “Featured.” We have explained in detail how to do this in the following post: How to properly activate your Facebook Messenger on Facebook
  • Register your Facebook Messenger Info Bot on bot directories like botlist, topbots or at manychat
  • Unlock ads (Facebook Ads best) to add more users directly to chat get it. How to do that, we played through here once

💡 Tip: If you want to know what options you have to get more users for your messenger service, we recommend our post How to get more users in your WhatsApp Messenger service!

Conclusion

There are many types of chatbots or virtual assistants. It makes sense to differentiate by use case from the user’s point of view rather than purely technical characteristics. Artificial intelligence is still more of a field of research today than tough usecase. It is particularly important to think about what the bot needs to be able to do in advance of the conception and, above all, what the user expects from the company (for which the chatbot “speaks”).

💡 Tip: Last but not least we recommend this exciting post Best Practice: 5 chatbot projects and what you can learn from them.

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