How Can Restaurants Use Chatbots?

Chatbots are little pieces of technology that can respond to written or spoken verbal cues and so can act as assistants or representatives to a host of tasks. No sector of the service industry can benefit more from this kind of artificial intelligence than food service and restaurants in particular are apt to implement Chatbots into their user interfaces. Here are a few food specific ways that restaurants have found to use Chatbots to improve efficiency and user engagement:

Figuring out what people are hungry for

As personal assistants Chatbots have access to user data that they can constantly recall and analyze to customize their responses to queries and tasks and in turn maximize their helpfulness to their users. These types of chatbots can help users answer the age-old question ‘What do I feel like eating?’ or ‘What food am I in the mood for?’ by taking into account the places the user likes to dine, the recipes they’ve searched for, the foods they’ve shopped for, and coming up with personalized restaurant or meal suggestions based on that very specific data.

Finding places to eat

Once a user knows what they want Chatbots are in place to help them decide on where to go to get it. The same type of chatbot that helps users figure out what they want can then search nearby restaurants and come up with a list of suggestions of where they might like to visit. Once the user is there the chatbot can ask for feedback about their experience and learn whether to suggest it again or not.

Taking orders

In messaging apps Chatbots that text – usually as representatives of the restaurant itself – can message back and forth with users interested in ordering food. These bots can explain and describe menu items, gives pricing information and help guide users to items they might like most. They can also very casually take a user’s order, schedule their pick-up time and in some cases even process payment for the order.

As is true in most cases with Chatbots the capabilities of the chatbot are vast and varied. They’re only limited by the imagination of the business that’s developing them. The number of chain restaurants as well as smaller businesses employing this technology to their advantage is large and growing steadily.

What Does Gesture Based Computing Mean?

Gesture based computing is the idea of moving beyond the age of touch screen interaction with our devices to a future where our natural movements can control our gadgets. In this future keyboards and mouse pads would be replaced with technology that can accurately respond to the wave of a hand or the movement of a finger in the shape of a written letter. Our devices would be able to translate what we do physically into the things we would normally type or say to it. By getting to a place where our technology can interpret movement and use it to register what we want it to do our interaction with our devices would once again be revolutionized.

Is it possible?

The rise of virtual reality viewers and experiences compatible with our smartphones has given us a glimpse of being able to have fully immersive experiences with the technology that we use constantly throughout the day. Gesture based computing is the logical next step for innovation in technology, so not only is it possible its probable and likely to happen sooner than later.

Currently being researched and even implemented in video game development, developers across many different technology genres are working on finding a way to make gesture based computing a reality in many different ways. They’re eager to see how they can realistically and effectively make movement commands that are as exciting and impressive as they are useful. Shaking a device or pinching its screen will soon enough be the least of how we can physically control our devices.

Is it worth it?

Other than the impressiveness and revolutionary aspect of this idea, the practical applications will make it more than worth the effort and the wait for gesture based computing to become fully realized. It’s potential to enhance training and simulation based learning is unparalleled by any other ideas. It has the potential to make job training a fully immersive experience as well as to give educators an unprecedented opportunity to truly engage students in learning physically and mentally.

Excitement for this technology is building and is already high in the tech community. In a matter of a few years we’ll be seeing our world begin to change yet again due to new ways to relate to our devices. Gesture based computing is a breakthrough that will be a reality in the very near future and will enhance our interaction with technology for the better.

Ways to Improve Your Customer Service with Chatbots

Chatbots are an efficient and reliable resource for businesses big and small. Their ability to answer the queries of customers while simultaneously collecting and analyzing data is as invaluable as their capacity to help companies reach vast numbers of people all at once. Using the potential of chatbots for customer service is a no brainer for businesses and brands. Here are a few ways to get the most out of this technology and improve your customer service:

Keep the customer in mind – Consider your customers and their needs as well as how they like to communicate. If a bot is constantly asking its users to repeat themselves or misunderstanding what they’re asked for the experience will quickly become taxing. A frustrating experience is sure to reduce a user’s likelihood of returning to the service or making a purchase.

Grab the user’s interest – The desire to engage with a chatbot is the key to repeat interactions with it. Users who like the experience are more likely to purchase and return and recommend the service as well. That’s why it’s important to create an effective chatbot that holds user interest. It doesn’t need to be wordy or go into long detailed answers but it should be versatile, it should be geared towards user’s interests, and it should be equipped with the messaging features, capabilities and content that users are familiar with and like to use.

Provide users with options – Don’t allow the convenience of chatbots to cloud recognition of the fact that all customers are different. There’s no need to hide the fact that the tool in use is one of artificial intelligence. Program your bot to respond in several different ways to likely queries. It’s also wise to be sure to always provide users with the option to speak or chat with a live human representative should they feel the need to.

How Chatbots Can Help with Education

A sector of the community that’s doing important work to harness the potential of chatbots for its benefit is the field of education. Educators can always use new and exciting ways to reach and relate to students, Chatbots present them with an unprecedented opportunity to communicate information in a way that their students are familiar with and also enjoy using.

Because chatbots are compatible with the messaging services that students are so active on they’re an ideal way for students to engage with their lessons. Being able to get guidance, knowledge based facts, or even tutoring help from text messages is an easy and fun way for students to learn using an interface they’re very familiar with.

Education through creative games, tests and more

With their interactive nature and ability to be programmed with specific personality traits chatbots can present themselves to students as a fun and exciting alternative to textbooks and websites. Chatbots can also be programmed to play games and ask or answer trivia questions, they can even be programmed to take on the personas of historical figures or other educational characters.

This creative take on using chatbots for education is a great way of giving students and educators new opportunities to make tests, projects, quizzes, and homework assignments feel exciting and interesting while keeping engagement simple. Most importantly chatbots for education will help more of those students who need one on one help have access to it in a way that’s easy for them to use and get understanding from.

Which chatbots can help?

With so much room for creativity and customization, Chatbots are a very intriguing tool for use in education. Educators are looking into ways to implement them most efficiently and effectively.

Here are some examples of useful chatbots for student:

DuolingoThis bot was created to learn languages like Spanish or French. It learns step by step, gives individual answers, asks if an answer was helpful to continuously improve its support and can be used as App.

OyotyFor children to be save when they are surfing in the web. It looks over social media activities and warns the children if there is anything strange happening, e.g. they want to give someone their phone number.

T-Rex Tina A chatbot for children and of course adults who want to learn more about the dinosaurs, their life and the early earth history. This is way learning new things is fun and interesting.

As the technology continues to develop the possibilities for it to positively benefit the field of education will only increase.

Will Chatbots Replace Humans?

The rise in the popularity of the chatbot is a thing of excitement in the tech community. It wasn’t exactly on the radar for this long standing artificial intelligence to see such a surge in interest, but with new and promising developments in its capabilities programmers and businesses alike are seeing how valuable this technology can be.
From individualized customer service on a scale that would be impossible otherwise to digital assistants that act as effectively as personal assistants do, chatbots are poised to become an integral part of our personal and professional lives much like Capps and websites are now.

Fear for Jobs

It stands to reason that with the rise of the chatbot comes some apprehension about the implications of this artificial intelligence coming to dominate the market. If trends are to be believed then soon enough chatbots will overtake apps in popularity, and as companies large and small clamor to develop their own chatbots, people are beginning to worry that it won’t be long before this more cost effective and efficient form of technology replaces humans at work altogether.

Why not bots?

As a cheaper, faster, more efficient, alternative to humans it isn’t hard to see a chatbot’s appeal. They don’t require a salary and can be programmed to always act ethically and appropriately. Consumers can easily interface with them and they are able to answer all queries in a knowledgeable manner and will do so even more effectively as their command of language patterns and intent is improved upon. Businesses will be able to use chatbots to communicate, upsell, suggest, and guide users throughout the purchase process.

No need for cashiers anymore?

Service providers will be able to program chatbots to aid in selections and schedule user’s appointments. The possibilities of integrating this technology to the benefit of any business will be close to boundless. So, it stands to reason that customer service jobs will undergo a transition from being done by humans to being automated and handled by chatbots. The need for cashiers and servers in retail industries will decrease as consumers are offered the option to order and pay for their goods via text message and then have it delivered or pick up the order themselves at their convenience.

No need to panic

Though the advent of chatbots will undoubtedly replace some jobs now done by humans the fact that they will also vastly increase the reach of the companies that use them is sure to mean new job opportunities for people. Without the physical human manpower in place to solve problems, troubleshoot technology, serve the customer, produce the products, perform the services, and maintain a standard the quality of service will suffer and eventually business will too. It’s this fact that will ensure that artificial intelligence can never truly replicate or replace the human touch.

The Rise of Chatbots

The popularity of chatbots comes as no surprise to programmers and the reason for it is no mystery to them either. The technology is equally beneficial to developers and users because of its ability to process interpret and remember information. Developers get to learn and analyze user data while users get personalized results and feedback. Bots are an interactive and ever evolving form of artificial intelligence whose potential is limited only by the developer’s imagination and the amount of access the bot is permitted to have to its user’s information.

It’s easier to chat than to surf

In addition to their vast and varied potential to assist, chatbots are extremely easy to use. Unlike apps and websites, users don’t need to navigate through pages or sift through search results to get a chatbot to find what they’re looking for, they only need to speak to a virtual assistant bot or text a messenger bot. This convenience, safety, and simplicity of easy interaction is something apps and websites won’t ever be able to replicate or compete with.

Reach more people for less money

Brands and businesses large and small are eager to capitalize on chatbot technology because of its far-reaching capabilities. Chatbots are a unique way to guide a user through the purchase process with a personalized, interactive, enjoyable experience. They can also speak to lots of users at once, outpacing their human counterparts and so reaching more people while giving each user a distinct, personalized, and effective experience. Chatbots expand the reach of the companies that use them to numbers never before possible by making it possible to interact with each user who talks to the bot, and does so efficiently and in a cost-effective way.

Chatbots are the future

As bots continue to evolve and learn to fully understand language and intent they will become even more capable and productive. Through their convenience, cost effectiveness, and the benefits and simplicity of their use, Chatbots could conceivably not only become preferable to apps and websites, they could end up replacing both platforms altogether.

Chatbots Can Do Much More Than Read the Weather

Any brand or business using chatbots in their most basic form isn’t using the talkative form of artificial intelligence to its fullest or most effective potential. Chatbots can do a lot more than send a text or read an email aloud. They are more than local weather reports or convenient news updates. They have come very far in recent years and can now offer the user an immersive and personalized experience that has the potential to guide the consumer throughout the purchase process for a variety of products and services.
Businesses and brands with a clear vision of the needs of their customers and users can get creative with the build of their chatbot assistants and develop them to be a real help to the users they serve. When considering how to make a bot as effective as possible it’s important to know the incredible ways digital assistant chatbot technology is being implemented today.

Assisting through listening

The capabilities of digital assistants are at an all-time high. Bots that were once limited to very simple voice activated tasks are now equipped to provide personalized help to users on new and very user specific levels. Virtual assistants are no longer just capable of running basic web searches and reading off the results or listening to and logging appointment details into a calendar. Now these bots can immerse themselves into the details of our lives via stored information from previous queries and conversations as well as location information they receive from the devices location services. They can then take this data to give more accurate, detailed, and helpful responses to the tasks we ask of them. The more an assistant chatbot is able to learn from its user the more it will be able to aid the user and the less effort the user will have to put forth to get the bot’s help. It will be able to anticipate many of the users’ needs and requests automatically by assessing patterns in the data it collects.

Putting information to action

Though many users only see their digital assistance as a way to use their devices handsfree, soon it will be clear how much more this technology can do beyond weather forecasts and flight schedules. Today’s digital assistants can open music apps and go to specific stations, songs, or genres. They can keep users on schedule by suggesting departure times based on daily routines and their assessment of traffic conditions on regularly taken routes. They can also update users who search for specific flights on flight delays, departure times, expected weather conditions, and other trends in travel at the time of a trip. The digital assistant is quickly becoming the digital personal assistant, learning user preferences and assisting user needs on an individual level.

Begin Your Bot Build with Design Principles

Chatbots are equally useful to a variety of businesses because of their versatility and the ease of creating them. With all the programs and resources available – many free of charge – for bot building anyone with or without programming knowledge can make a chatbot to fulfill whatever task their site or profile needs. Still, even with the aid of expert software, the process can be daunting and knowing where to start can be difficult. The easiest thing to do to begin is to establish the design principles of the project and go from there.

What basic principles should be considered?

Design principles are a set of rules that developers put in place at the start of their build which they adhere to throughout the project to guide and focus their objectives. Knowing the design principles of a project is a great way to keep track of goals and make sure they’re met.
Beginners and professionals can follow these project specific rules to successfully create a well-developed and efficient chatbot user interface. Design principles can also be brand or business specific to help make sure the project’s end result reflects the brand’s image well.

Design principles help to clarify the goal of the project and in turn make those goals easier to achieve. If the design principles are considered throughout the design process they can make any dilemmas or decisions that arise during the build easier to navigate. The following are some basic design principles that can be helpful when developing a chatbot:

Keep it simple – Users usually don’t want too much interaction, just enough to get the help or clarification they need.

Remember it’s a chatbotYour bot should have a personality but it shouldn’t try or be expected to mimic human behavior. People know they’re interfacing with AI and will appreciate the experience more if they know they’re dealing with a bot but that human support is needed if necessary.

Keep the platform in mind – Design your chatbot to be compatible with and take advantage of the most popular assets of whatever platform it’s built for. If it’s a messaging platform be sure to include the use of pictures, videos, gifs, and emojis. Social media bots should be programmed to post content that users will find engaging. Whatever use your chatbot is put to its important to maximize its effectiveness by incorporating relatable features.

Streamline the experience – A bot should be programmed to deal with a variety of user queries, but at the core of its design should be a streamlined and efficient approach to all interactions. Having a basic set of principles in place makes the bot’s behavior more reliable and also benefits the information it gives and gathers.

Developing Your Chatbot’s Personality

Chatbots are specifically designed to carry out conversations with users while simultaneously collecting information it can then use to create more detailed and specific responses to their queries. In order to allow users to feel comfortable and excited to interact with a chatbot it’s important for a chatbot builder to consider and create a distinct personality for it and to program the bot respond accordingly to whatever it is asked. Choosing the right characteristics for a chatbot’s personality is important, the interactive nature of the bot is its strength.
Although users must know they’re talking to some form of artificial intelligence and not to a human representative, they don’t want to feel as though they are having a run of the mill, overly generic encounter or else they’ll feel the effort is a way of time. The more personable and distinctive a chatbot is designed to be the more enjoyable users will find the experience of interacting with them to be. This will also help them to find the experience memorable and so they will be more likely to use the service again. To create a chatbot with a winning personality keep the following tips in mind during the development stage:

Consider the brand

Since your chatbot will act as a representative for your brand or business, it needs to behave accordingly just as its human counterparts would. When developing a chatbot’s personality it’s important to consider the mission, target customer, and goals of the brand or business that the bot is for to be sure that the end result reflects those characteristics. Your bot can have a friendly helpful disposition, a dry and witty sense of humor, or anything in between, as long as it represents your business or brand image well.

Consider the user

Knowing who is likely to interact with the chatbot is important, since you want users to understand and be understood by the chatbot for it to work most effectively. Age, gender, and intent of the average user should be clear and at the forefront of the minds of the bot’s developers to help in anticipating the kinds of queries the bot will receive and the responses it should give.

Consider the task

Whether offering product options or taking an order for its user a chatbot’s prompts and responses need to pertain to the task at hand. Its personality should also be task oriented in order to help the bot and the user to stay focused on the goal of their interaction.

The Tools Programmers Use to Build Chatbots – That You Can Use Too

Because chatbots are a kind of artificial intelligence that can be programmed to effectively communicate with users they are ideal to fit many of the needs of businesses large and small. Chatbots are also very easy to program and develop and no prior knowledge of coding or programming is necessary to create one. Through the development of tools and resources that anyone interested can find and use to create Chatbots that suit their websites or social media profiles it’s now very simple for all businesses to have access to the help of this technology. Whether it’s for answering customer’s questions or gathering and providing information about local weather and local events, a chatbot is only as versatile as its programmed to be. The following is a list of tools that are all anyone needs to program chatbots even with little to no programming experience:

ChatfuelSpecifically designed to allow anyone to create the bots they need without having any coding experience, this program prides itself on being easy to use and on providing advanced features and quick development as well. With a step by step guide that leads its users through the process this service makes creating the right bot for your needs easy. Chatbots created with Chatfuel are compatible with well-known platforms Facebook messenger and Telegram.

Motion.aiThis service is another one that allows users to build without having experience building Chatbots before. It too is compatible with many well-known messaging platforms, but it’s chatbots can also be used with email and SMS texting services as well as web chats and certain apps. It’s user interface is designed to make the process of getting the bots ready for use simple and fast and is completely free of charge up to 100000 messages a month.

BotsifyA popular option for a chatbot builder because of its compatibility with the ever-popular hosting platform WordPress, this service is a great option for beginners because it comes with many different tutorials – including video tutorials, that aid in the building process. It also features quickly evolving marketing and integration options that will make your bots more effective and versatile.

Mindiq – This tool uses no coding at all to provide its bot building services and is innovative in what it makes its bots capable of doing. Users have the option to do cool things like making a bot that delivers a company newsletter through messages in a messaging platform or sending out posts to social medias – including Twitter – via an RSS feed. These posts can be scheduled to be sent out at certain times. This builder also creates bots that are helpful with ecommerce and can be integrated for use with shopping platforms including Shopify.

Bot analytics – Once you’ve built your bot and have it running on your sites and social media profiles, it’s important to be able to monitor how well it’s performing and how effective it is at helping meet the goals of the business. It also gives users the chance to read and reflect on the data the bots collected. This tool allows business owners to evaluate not only their bots and the information they collect but also what customers and visitors found most engaging or were most curious about when interacting with the chatbot.