The Tale of Two Chatbots

Visual IVR chatbot vs Conversation Bot

Above: an example of the Conversational Chatbot model used for banking

The world of customer engagement, we see two types of chatbots: the Visual IVR chatbot and the Conversational chatbot.

The Visual IVR Chatbot
We are already familiar with traditional IVRs: these are the voice-based menu options we often encounter when contacting call centers (i.e. Press “six” for your account balance). Visual IVRs are a text-based spin-off of these type of systems. Visual IVR chatbots present customers with menu options, which they can navigate through to find the information they need (see our video, How do Chatbots Work?). Because the company defines all possible questions and answers in advance, the experience is very directed; which makes these bots ideal for handling FAQs or simple transactions.

Many companies prefer Visual IVR chatbots because they ensure a high level of control over the customer experience. Presenting customers with a determined set of menu options delimits their expectations of the system, and encourages them to contact a human agent for help with complex inquiries.

Visual IVR chatbot vs Conversation Bot
Bots following the Visual IVR model (left) and the conversational model (right)

The Conversational Chatbot
Harnessing the power of AI engines, conversational chatbots try to approximate the natural quality of chatting with a human. The “brains” of the AI component analyze free-form customer inquiries and respond accordingly, following a conversational style. Although the company has less control over this species of bot, conversational chatbots can deal with a wide range of sophisticated inquiries and transactions. Very soon, these bots will be able to handle all sorts of everyday interactions with customers, enabling contact center personnel to focus on resolving difficult issues that require a human touch.

Our video, Conversational Banking via Chatbot, shows how a customer can perform several banking interactions independently of a human agent, including suspending a lost debit card and scheduling a pick up at a nearby branch. The process is secure, seamless, personalized, and quick. This is the frictionless customer experience that consumers will soon come to expect from companies in the digital era – are you ready?

Is your company prepared to meet the demands of the digital era? To discuss your digital strategy, chatbots, and more, contact InTheChat.

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About the Author: Kat Austin