Building a bot is a legitimately new addition on most of the business’s to-do lists nowadays. Right from shopping to doing business online, these bots powered by Artificial Intelligence have drastically transformed commerce.
Moving on, businesses today have greatly branched out. Most of them deal in more than a single line of product and service and consequently have different segments of customers to cater to. Accordingly, these businesses look for progressive features to handle their customer interactions with ease and expertise.
So, they have varying preferences when it comes to integrating chatbots for customer support. Some require a voice-activated bot whereas some require text-only bots.
In this article, we will have a look at the strengths and weaknesses of each medium (voice and chat) to help you decide between the two and extend the best experience to your customers.
Understanding a Text-based Chatbot
As the name suggests, a text-based chatbot is the one that interacts and communicates through text or messaging. This may involve media, such as videos, images as well as UI elements such as Carousels, Quick Replies, etc.
Text-based chatbots are amazingly effective and efficient. They quickly sense the need of the users and provides them with instant solutions. In addition, these chatbots assist in gathering feedback and keeping the customers engaged by solving queries quickly.
Currently, these types of bots are most commonly used by businesses to handle their customer interactions. They can be easily merged with Social Media, Messaging Apps, SMS, Emails and much more.
Understanding a Voice-activated Chatbot
Voice-activated chatbots are the one that interacts and communicates through voice. They accept the command in an oral or written form and reply through voice.
Furthermore, these bots can be categorized into two types- one which via text and voice together and the other, which only responds via voice. The most popular example of voice-enabled chatbots is the Amazon Echo and Google Home.
Text-based Chatbot vs. Voice-activated Chatbot
The most significant difference between a text-based chatbot /messenger chatbot and the voice-activated chatbot is the way we interact with them. A text-based chatbot exists on various kinds of messaging platforms and allows the users to interact with them via text or button presses.
On the other hand, a voice-activated chatbot works differently. It uses pre-recorded answers and text-to-speech responses to address the queries of the users.
Both these types of bots share some key similarities as well as differences. Deciding between the two interfaces largely depends upon the purpose and setting for a chatbot’s use.
Let’s understand this with the help of an example.
Let’s assume that you run a restaurant and wish to incorporate a chatbot for handling customer interactions and making food ordering a hassle-free affair.
Now, you would think that using simple voice commands to order your food is extremely quick and convenient. However, if you delve in deeper, you would realize that it is only easy as long as you wish to repeat a previous order. For this, all you need to do is ask your voice assistant to open up the food ordering app, for instance, McDonald’s and say “repeat previous order.”
Now, if you wish to order something different, using a voice assistant for the same is quite unproductive. Why?
Well, it is too hard to listen to the entire menu instead of quickly reading it and then choosing your favorite dish. By the time, your voice assistant reaches dish number 15, you might already forget the initial ones. Thus, having a voice-activated chatbot for an online restaurant is practically worthless.
Additionally, the bot may not be able to correctly pronounce the names of certain dishes, creating a lot of confusion. This may lead to the customer ordering a wrong dish whose name rhymed with another one.
In such a case, having a text-based chatbot that simply responds with images of the restaurant’s menu, allowing you time to choose your preferred dish is a much more feasible option.
So, deciding between a voice-activated and text-based chatbot greatly depends upon your business requirements.
If you are confused between the two, try to answer the following questions.
- Who are your target customers?
- What are the objectives of your target customers?
- What are the objectives of your business?
- Where do these objectives intersect?
Businesses That May Opt for Text-based Chatbots
To help you out further, we have listed certain parameters based on which your company may opt for a text-based chatbot.
- Device-based inquiries: In case your target audience comprises of people who are always on the go, you can opt for a text-based chatbot for your business. This way, you can allow your customers to begin interacting and exploring your offerings at their own convenient time.
- Limited resources: Designing voice user experience is a highly cost-intensive task. So, most of the small and medium-sized enterprises opt for text-based chatbots initially and avoid investing heavily in voice UX.
- Small business: If you have a small business which is not very diversified, a text-based chatbot is ideal for your needs.
- Screen Presence: In case your business requires a screen presence at all times, you will require a text-based chatbot. This will allow you to assist your customers with things they require during an interaction.
Businesses That May Opt for Voice-activated Chatbots
Owing to their interactiveness and ease of input, voice-activated chatbots are also quickly gaining prominence. If you are planning to integrate one into your business, make sure you meet the following parameters.
- No budget constraints: As discussed above, developing voice experience is a fairly expensive task. So, only go for it if your business does not face any budget constraints.
- A particular type of customers: Dealing with voice-activated chatbots is much more practical for people who are multitasking as well as have accessibility to a speaker. In such a scenario, a voice chatbot is more ideal in comparison to a text-based chatbot.
Both text-based and voice-activated chatbots have their own pros and cons. Many times, using a text and voice bot together proves to be very successful.
Once you know what are your business requirements and the kind of user experience you wish to build, choosing the most suitable type of chatbot will become a lot easier and you will be able to find out which chatbot to get developed.