October 14, 2019 What are the different types of chatbots?

By Ali Pinch

toy robots

Interacting with chatbots has now become synonymous with how people interact with many services and organisation every day. From Siri and Alexa to insurance bots like AAMI’s virtual assistant and even over-the-phone banking – the world has been dabbling with chatbots for years now. Used by industries and retailers of all shapes and sizes, chatbots can be defined as a computer program that simulates human conversation through voice commands, texts chats or both.  

However, did you know that chatbots aren’t all the same? Let’s take a deep dive into the different types of chatbots you may communicate with daily.

Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system bots

Let’s start with a blast from the past. Remember the days before mobile banking where you’d call up the bank and speak to an automated assistant that would ask you to punch in your account number? IVRs are bots that work like phone systems, they help you to find things like membership numbers and account balances.

Much like the chatbots of today, they were implemented to help handle large volumes of phone calls with the goal to reduce customer service times. However, back in the day IVRs would often leave customers frustrated as their one-dimensional nature would leave many queries unanswered.

Skip ahead to today, IVR systems have now been upgraded and improved thanks to AI technology. Take a look at the white-label banking chatbot solution Linc. Linc engages users over different messaging platforms, not just over the phone, to help customers track income spending, manage debt and save money.

Transactional bots

Next up, transactional bots. Often described as the ‘modern cousin’ of IVRs, these are the types of bots you’d usually interact with for day-to-day tasks. Transactional bots – such as Siri, Alexa and Google Duplex – can book flights, order pizza and even manage your bank accounts. You’ll often find these bots across platforms like Facebook Messenger, where they can process payments, take requests and even make suggestions and customise interactions.

Built with conversational design elements, they use machine learning to break down and ingest what you’re saying, and respond in a way that aligns with the brand’s persona. They can be cheeky, serious, animated or they can look human.

Bots like Google Duplex can even call a restaurant on your behalf and make a booking for you! Check out how it works in the video below:

Advisory services bots

Taking the chatbot game to the next level are advisory services bots. Rising in popularity across the insurance and finance sector, these bots advise customers on the best policy to suit their needs. These bots also help with insurance underwriting, meaning that they measure risk exposure and determine the premium that needs to be charged.

Let’s look at automated insurance bot, Spixii, as an example. Spixii not only engages customers in a dynamic, conversational way, but can also perform underwriting functions based on data.

For example, let’s say you’re going to Europe for two weeks and you need to find the right travel insurance policy for your trip. Spixii makes suggestions and collects dynamic data throughout the conversation to help insure you with right policy tailored to your trip.

Choosing the right chatbot for your business

Now you’ve been exposed to the different types of chatbots, you might be thinking how using one of these chatbots can benefit your business? This is where Avion Communications comes in. We have a team of dedicated conversational design specialists who can help create meaningful chatbots for your brand.

If you’re interested in finding out more about how we can help create a chatbot that’s right for your business, contact Avion today.