Redeeming the chatbot: more than easy customer interactions

The days of chatbots being the next best marketing trick are over. With machine learning, artificial intelligence and conversational applications, chatbots can and will lift your business to the next level. Using natural language processing and AI technology, they take customers’ questions, inquiries and requests, and transform them into simple and easy to understand conversations. So why treat a chatbot as just a gimmick? Use it to its full potential and reap the benefits for your business.

Developing the chatbot: more than just a few easy steps

As with every NLP (Natural Language Processing) technology or AI project, preparation is key. And a good plan leads to a great chatbot. So, before we jump into developing your chatbot, we embark on a journey together. In this journey, we’ll follow a well-thought-out trajectory during which we decide on your goals, how smart and chatty you want your chatbot to be and what added value your chatbot might bring. In the second part of our journey, we organize a Bot Insights Workshop to determine the Bot’s intents and entities. And we finish this phase with a first sneak peek of a few mock-ups or a prototype before moving on to the development stage. And this is where the fun begins. 😉

This blog will give you a quick overview of the different steps in your chatbot development. If you want to learn more about our Bot Insights Workshop and the process leading up to a chatbot, keep an eye on our blog or get in touch with us!

Taking full advantage of the chatbot: more than an FAQ

Isn’t a chatbot just an accumulation of your business’ FAQs? You upload your frequently asked questions, form a human-like answer, integrate the bot on your website and that’s that. Easy enough, right?

This is one way of doing it, yes. But a chatbot’s potential reaches further than just answering a few simple questions. Don’t get us wrong: integrating your FAQ in your chatbot can still be relevant, as we’ll explain later. However, customers just expect a bit more from chatbots nowadays. And it’s in the realm of possibilities, so why shouldn’t they?

Creating the chatbot: more than the next best marketing gimmick

The chatbot as your virtual assistant

Every company or job description has these straightforward tasks that just take too much precious time. Time you need to carry out more mentally challenging tasks. And since time is money, you’ll benefit from outsourcing these tasks to virtual assistants, or so-called digital employees.

As a digital employee, the chatbot essentially helps its human colleagues by executing tasks or part of tasks. It constantly improves and learns through new conversations. And the best part? It never forgets.

The chatbot as your buddy

Chatbots don’t necessarily have to serve a marketing purpose. They can act as a buddy too! However, this type of chatbot might not be extremely chatty, they do have flawless integrations with a ton of other apps and systems.

Remember when you were going out as a teenager, and your mom used to ask you: “Hey, send me a text when you get there, okay?” And you basically always forgot to actually send the text?

Meet YANA, the chatbot for youngsters in the city of Mechelen. YANA was created to give youngsters (and their parents 😉) a sense of security when they are out and about in the city. Through Facebook Messenger, you let YANA know when and how you’re planning to go somewhere. Thanks to an integration with Google Maps, YANA estimates your time of arrival and checks in with you whether you arrived safe and sound at your destination. She will then notify your contacts – for example, the parents – to let them know you are where you’re supposed to be. But YANA is not a one-trick pony. Check out all her features in this case right here.

Oh, and by the way. YANA is short for “you are never alone”. And that’s exactly what she’s there for. 😉

The chatbot as an infinite source of information

At least, that’s what it feels like. This essentially means that you take your FAQ and stretch it to its extremes. Resulting in a chatbot that could easily answer more than a thousand questions. Meet Bertje, a chatbot we developed for the city of Roeselare. Right now, Bertje knows the answer to a thousand questions and related topics. Thanks to Natural Language Processing, he can recognize new and unknown questions and flag these for future learning, so next time he can come up with the correct answer for the user. Like we already mentioned earlier, a chatbot continuously improves itself (with the help of his human colleagues) without forgetting previous data.

The chatbot as a symptom checker during the COVID-19 pandemic

While the COVID-19 pandemic surged globally, Microsoft was looking for a partner to execute their Healthbot in Belgian hospitals. Thanks to our strong partnership, and our experience with Conversational AI and the Microsoft Bot Framework, Arinti was selected as the exclusive Belgian implementation specialist.

Pressure on Belgian hospitals was still at an all-time high, so we sped through the development process as fast as we possible could. A swift approach, clear communication, and the available HealthBot templates ensured that in 10 days, a total of 6 healthbots went live.

The COVID-19 bot was integrated with the patients’ Electronic Patient Dossier (EPD), helped with risk profiling and resulted – for the first time – in a substantial decrease in the daily Corona related calls. Most users think that this interactive way of self-assessing is useful. At Arinti, we see a bright future for chatbots in emergency care.

For us, it’s never about creating the flashiest attention-grabbing chatbot. It’s all about finding that sweet spot between systems, tools, and apps. Together, we develop a chatbot that will really elevate your organization.

Are you interested in streamlining your company processes, engaging your customers and overall, reaching your business goals faster with AI and NLP? Get in touch and let’s see which (conversational) solution your organization – and its consumers – might benefit from.


Stay tuned.