What is a chatbot and how does it work?

Short for chat robot, a chatbot is simply a computer program that simulates human conversations. Fundamentally, a chatbot allows a form of interaction between a human and a machine. The interaction happens via written messages or voice. The chatbot is programmed to work independently from a human operator. It can answer questions formulated to it in natural language and answer like a real person would. A chatbot comes up with its answers through a combination of predefined scripts and machine learning. When a question is asked, the chatbot will respond based on what it knows at that point in time. If the conversation brings it to a place where it does not know what to do, the chatbot will either deflect the conversation, or potentially pass the conversation to a human operator. In both cases, it will also try to learn from that interaction. Over time, and over multiple interactions, the chatbot will gradually gain in scope and relevance. The complexity of a chatbot is determined by the sophistication of its underlying software, and the data it can access. If the chatbot is not connected to the relevant data, then you will quickly find out that it is not very useful.

You may already be using chatbots in your life. If you’ve asked Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri, or Microsoft’s Cortana about something… for example, “what’s the weather like today?”, you’ve interacted with a chatbot. For Travel, many e-commerce companies are looking at various ways to use chatbots to improve and scale the customer experience whether for shopping, booking, or customer service. Next time you hear about chatbots, especially in Business Travel, remember to look beyond the fancy term “chatbot”, and ask about how it really connects to and adds value for your Travel Program. This was a crash course on chatbots. See you in the next episode of Egencia Business Travel Academy. Please subscribe to our Youtube channel to get notified..

Read More: Why Chatbots Are Good for Your Business

As found on YouTube