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Chatbots vs. Conversational AI: What’s the Difference?

chatbots and conversational AI

In this post, we will explain the difference between chatbots and conversational AI. You will get an understanding of what each of the terms means, how they relate to one another, as well as some of their key benefits.

Let’s begin!

What’s the difference between Chatbots and Conversational AI?

Conversational AI refers to the technology and tools that enable computers to simulate real human conversations. 

Chatbots, on the other hand, are programs that can use conversational AI to communicate with humans. But they can rely on other technology, as well. 

What is a chatbot?

A chatbot is a program that mimics human conversations in order to improve the quality of customer experience. 

Chatbots can function either on pre-built conversation flows or with the help of natural language processing (NLP) and artificial intelligence that enables them to get a better understanding of user intent.


Rule-based chatbots

Rule-based chatbots are the most basic chatbots out there. They function with the help of pre-set rules: if a user asks question “A”, the chatbot replies with answer “A”. 

Sometimes the conversation flow is designed in the form of a decision tree that gives clients the option to choose the answers based on their use cases. 

Rule-based chatbots somewhat resemble automated phone menus that prompt the users to go through a series of choices that guide them towards the information they need.

AI chatbots

AI chatbots (or contextual chatbots) utilize NLP, machine learning, or both, to recognize user intent and respond to it in a meaningful way. 

It’s the type of chatbots that has the ability to learn from every interaction with customers, so their ability to provide quality service actually increases with time. 

What is conversational AI?

Conversational AI is a term that describes AI-powered communication technologies that include chatbots and virtual assistants such as Amazon Alexa.

The technology helps deep learning algorithms understand human language and recognize user intent.

Thanks to NLP and machine learning, conversational AI platforms are able to recognize textual and audio inputs and facilitate the creation of realistic conversations. 

The goal behind every AI chatbot online is to create a feeling of real human interaction.

conversational artificial intelligence

How do chatbots relate to conversational AI?

Conversational artificial intelligence can be used to power chatbots. But not every chatbot can be described as a conversational chatbot.

Simply put, not all chatbots are considered a type of conversational AI. 

For example, rule-based chatbots that rely on pre-built scripts are not designed using conversational AI technology. 

A conversational AI chatbot can be very useful when it comes to mirroring human conversations for the sake of improving the user experience.

Chatbots & Conversational AI: Examples in Customer Service

Both rule-based chatbots and conversational AI agents can make a huge difference in the quality of customer service. 

Let’s take a look at some useful chatbot and conversational AI examples:

Domino’s ordering assistant chatbot

When the chatbot market started getting attention, Domino’s was actually one of the first businesses that put a Facebook Messenger bot in charge of taking orders through live chat.

The bot is also capable of tracking delivery times and redirecting customers to live agents whenever needed.

The chatbot named Dom is also present on other communication channels such as the company’s website and app, as well as Google Home and Alexa.

Amtrak’s virtual travel assistant powered by AI

Amtrak’s virtual assistant called Julie, also known as Ask Julie, has been an invaluable tool when it comes to helping travelers find all the necessary information without having to contact customer support.

Since the time Julie was launched, the platform has made an 8x return on investment by reducing the company’s customer service costs by a total of $1 million. 

There was also a 25% growth in the booking rate, as well as 30% more revenue than with bookings completed through other forms.

Customers can reach Julie through Amtrak’s website, or by calling the company’s phone number.

chat with AI bot

Improve your Customer Service with Conversational AI

According to NewVoiceMedia, US businesses lose $75 billion per year due to the poor quality of their customer service.

That’s why more and more companies choose to implement AI chat into their customer service sectors. 

Many businesses saw significant improvements after they’ve included a conversational bot in their customer service teams. 

The clients show no resistance when they chat with AI bot. In fact, they appreciate the speed with which an AI chat bot is able to resolve their issues.

If you feel like your organization could benefit from chatbots and conversational AI, follow our blog to stay ahead of competitors or get in touch with one of our tech specialists for further assistance.

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