What Type of Chatbot Best Fits My Need?

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Chatbots come in a variety of forms, from customer service agents to SMS-based virtual personas and everything in between. Every chatbot is unique, but they’re all compelling for the same key reasons:

  • Higher user engagement because chatbots are easy to interact with
  • Greater customer satisfaction because chatbots deliver instant answers
  • Incredible scalability as a single chatbot can chat with thousands of people at once

Yet for all the benefits of chatbots, they can also miss the mark when they fail to meet user expectations–and users have proven to be rather unforgiving. In fact, according to Forrester Research, 63% of customers will leave a chatbot conversation after just one poor experience. For this reason, it is essential that you design your chatbots correctly and choose the right modality that fits your situation.

In general, there are two kinds of chatbots, machine-learning-based virtual assistants and programmatic chatbots. For most enterprises, the most compelling use of chatbots comes in the form of programmatic chatbots. 

Machine learning chatbots get smarter over time by experiencing a large volume of user interactions and learning from trial and error. They are appropriate when you need a passive chatbot and anticipate having millions of user interactions that you can afford to have the chatbot learn from trial and error (which means many users may not get the answers they are looking for). 

Programmatic chatbots are designed as scripted user experiences, with each interaction purposefully orchestrated. Programmatic chatbots can be designed to reach out to a user first, often via mobile messaging channels like SMS or WhatsApp. You can think of a programmatic chatbot as sharing expertise via a conversation, carefully guiding your audience in learning, and applying what they need to know and do. 

Key differences can be summarized as follows:

Machine LearningProgrammatic
The “right” answer comes from a general consensus in the data over timeThe “right” answer is set by a content expert or the “chatbot author”
Requires a large volume of interactions to be accurateAccurate from the beginning

Four major modes of programmatic chatbots:

  1. Onboarding – Get your target audience up to speed right away and keep them progressing step-by-step as they learn or do something new
  2. Teaching – Teach your people what they need to know and help them begin to apply it in their day-to-day life
  3. Follow-up – Make sure your people follow through with important commitments–and keep them motivated along the way
  4. Assisting – Help your audience when they’re stuck 

The Mobile Coach Platform is the premier platform for the design and management of programmatic chatbots for enterprises. It features the entire tool set you need to create your chatbot, deploy it on one or many different platforms (like SMS, Facebook, LINE, Telegram, etc.), and manage each user to ensure chatbot success. The Mobile Coach Platform also comes with a library of the most common programmatic chatbot scripts that enterprises can leverage to more easily go to market with the style of chatbot that they need.

Mobile Coach has been in business since 2013 and has deployed over 5,000 programmatic chatbots for businesses large and small across a wide spectrum of industries. These chatbots have helped people lose weight, succeed at a new job, become better leaders, increase inclusion, and more–and the list just continues to grow. Mobile Coach chatbots have influenced hundreds of thousands of people to take positive steps in their careers and in their lives. Why not see what a programmatic chatbot could do for your organization?

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Schedule an introductory meeting with a Mobile Coach chatbot expert to discuss which type of chatbot is best for your use case.

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