Enterprise Chatbots and Virtual Assistants

The terms “chatbot” and “virtual assistant” are often used interchangeably. In essence, a chatbot is an AI-based software that can autonomously answer its user’s inquiries. A virtual assistant not only answers questions, but also carries out specific tasks or workflows according to its user’s instructions. Based on their usage scenarios, they can be designed for personal, home, or enterprise use, and the formats of the human-chatbot conversation can be vocal, textual, or both.

A successful enterprise-grade chatbot (hereinafter referred interchangeably with virtual assistant) can help reduce HR costs as well as enhance customer satisfaction in areas such as marketing, sales, and customer service; it can also assist an enterprise in automating internal and external workflows. Therefore, an enterprise chatbot can contribute to both the enterprise’s cost and profit centers. 

Every enterprise chatbot is unique – it handles information and workflows specific to the enterprise it serves. The capabilities of an enterprise chatbot can also be gradually added over time instead of all at once. Since there are no identical enterprises – even among those in the same field, customization of various degrees is necessary for the creation and evolution of an effective enterprise chatbot.

Due to differences in their underlying AI technologies, expandability, and customization flexibility, the capability and quality of chatbots available on the market can vary substantially. Their common benefits and drawbacks are listed as follows.

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