The value of smart search apps

Chatbot interactions are on the rise, with 76% of shoppers interacting with a chatbot in 2021, up from 51% in 2020. As chatbot technology continues to mature, it’s possible this could bring big changes to how we are looking for answers online.

When search engines were first deployed in the 1990s, they had limited capabilities and provided few, if any, search results to user queries. Now sites like Google, Bing, DuckDuckGo, etc. are our usual sources of reference for answering immediate questions.

Today’s search engines are capable of processing thousands of queries in seconds. Yet, with billions of websites, it can be easy for consumers to search for an answer to a question and not find the exact answer they were looking for. This is a huge opportunity for content providers to tailor and personalize their content based on what consumers are looking for.

Advances in artificial intelligence (AI) and natural language processing (NLP) have allowed chatbots to have more human-like interactions with consumers and function like a search engine. While it’s easy to tell a chatbot from a search engine, the two tools have similar capabilities — and their similarities are growing. As more businesses use chatbots to better serve their customers and streamline operations, is it possible that chatbots could eventually replace search engines and mobile apps? Here’s what you need to know.

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The growing importance of chatbots

Consumers have more choices than ever about where they shop and do their business. As brands compete for consumer attention, you need to be where your customers are, no matter the time or place, and be ready to answer their questions. More than half of consumers express frustration, shop elsewhere, when their responses to brand messages go unanswered. To help combat this, integrating chatbot technology into your communication strategy is essential.

AI-powered chatbots are available 24/7 and have the ability to communicate with customers in a more personalized and human way. Although chatbot technology has come a long way, their ability to understand human language continues to be a challenge.

For many chatbots, a misspelled or misused word can have a big impact on a conversation. If a customer doesn’t get the response they expected with a chatbot, chances are they’ll leave the conversation and your brand. Fortunately, natural language processing (NLP) helps chatbots learn from previous interactions with customers and better understand human language.

Chatbots and search engines are smarter with NLP

In most cases, NLP models rely on ML to understand written or spoken language. With NLP, researching a product or service, or asking a brand a question can be quick and easy, no matter what language you speak or even if you know how to phrase what you’re looking for. Chatbots equipped with NLP are not only able to more accurately understand and respond to customer requests, but they can also handle large volumes of conversations, helping businesses streamline operations and save time and effort. silver.

Although search engines have established better processes for understanding words in the context of search queries, the majority of them only work with specific keywords. This means that you may not always get the exact answer you were originally looking for. However, intelligent search applications powered by NLP can change the way your business communicates with customers.

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Internet research is changing

Imagine your customers having one place to ask all their questions and get the answers they want rather than searching all over your website. With a smart Q&A search engine, you can have a search box on your website that not only searches your FAQs, but also any document or website on the internet. And the best part is that it can be integrated seamlessly into existing technology, like a chatbot.

Whenever your chatbot doesn’t know the answer to a customer’s question, smart search kicks in to give your customers a better overall experience. This technology ultimately gives you a single source of truth, allowing all information to be housed in one place for easy searching – making your brand a one-stop-shop for new and existing customers for all their related questions.

Although NLP has made significant progress over the past few years, it still has a long way to go. Embedding common sense into AI models remains a major challenge, especially as companies seek to have more personalized two-way conversations with customers.

Looking at how far chatbot technology has come, there’s a good chance it’s beyond the capabilities of search engines. That’s not to say there will be a one-size-fits-all chatbot for every business, but if you want to make your chatbot smarter and more efficient, smart search apps may be the best way to go.

Rosemary S. Bishop