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What are chatbots and how do chatbots work?

Manpreet Kalsi
min read
What are chatbots and how do chatbots work?

When you hear the word- “chatbot”, what comes to your mind? We hear about, and use chatbots nearly everyday in our daily lives. In fact, according to a report released by Forbes, three in five millennials have used chatbots at least once in their lives. But to many, this technology still remains an alien concept. Hence, let’s start off this blog from the basics as we further break down into the mechanisms and workings of AI chatbots and guide you into building the best chatbot for your business!

What are chatbots?

Chatbot technology is a designed tool powered by the rules of Artificial Intelligence (AI), acts as a simulator of human conversation for the purpose of automating a business process. Chatbots facilitate user interactions when placed within the messenger apps that act as a platform for supporting the bots.

Like Siri for brands, chatbots are quickly rising as a new "voice" in consumer communications. These chatty computer programs respond to texts or digital chats, effectively carrying on quasi-conversations with the humans (your current and potential customers) on the other end. Thanks to advances in Natural Language Processing (NLP) and Artificial Intelligence (AI), these bots have stronger conversation abilities than ever before.

Chatbots are everywhere!

We are much familiar with the meaning and definition of chatbot but did you know bots are everywhere? They let you use the channel preferred by your customers, employees, and stakeholders to communicate with you. The world has moved to a text-message era. Chatbots allow you to pinpoint your queries and get relevant answers rather than traditionally using scrolls and click-to-find the information you are looking for. Of course, bots eliminate the need for traditional call channels, inconsistent customer service, and wait and drop times. You can integrate these chatbots on the website or any other platforms to get your chatbot online!

How do chatbots work?

A chatbot acts as an intermediary that imitates human conversations by initiating live chats instantaneously and responding tirelessly to the user queries at any point in time.

All the working chatbots today are mainly based on this model:

Knowledge Base/ CMS:

  • Real-time, personalised customer experience
  • Universal contact accessibility and personalisation
  • Ability to reach and retain customers.

NLP Layer:

  • Mapping the given input in natural language into useful representation
  • Analysing different aspects of the language.

Data Store:

  • Data required to train the bot
  • Users chat comes to bot once it’s deployed.

There are a couple of different ways that chatbots can be programmed. The most rudimentary form is rules-based. Typical Rule-based approach requires heavy coding, consumes time, resources and money. Rule-based Chatbots only respond to specific commands and are basic in nature and functionalities.

Bots have evolved from that, to incorporating NLP, which translates common language into a form the bot's system understands, as well as Machine Learning that allows the chatbot to learn from it’s own experience and helps you deliver a better customer experience. Hence, to build a full-fledged chatbot manually, you will have to program these AI applications in it.

While making smart chatbots, a builder has to comprise conversational dialogue training. Such dialogue training is done with the help of artificial intelligence, hence the name “AI chatbots”. The building process of all AI chatbots is pretty innovatory, mainly comprising of these three protocols-

  • Data processing– Data processing is basically a multi-step natural language processing workflow to correctly recognise and infer free input text. This process requires serious engineering efforts when the input is multi-line/multi-objective.
  • Context- This helps the program to learn the interdependence between dialogues and the course of actions so that chatbots can drive the conversation in the right direction. This keeps the availability of previous chat conversations (message logs) in check, in order to build knowledge graphs.
  • Chatbot training- Providing training to learn new conversations at all times to improve chatbots performance with the help of unsupervised methods based on machine learning techniques.

Another approach to build bots would be opting for services which render you a substructure to build your chatbots on, without the need for any coding or programming. In this process, a bot builder uses one single code that can be used by all, at all the platforms available. They consist of all the necessary and advanced elements pre-built in the substructure that lets you build a chatbot that stands out in the competitive market out there.

Chatbot building is no longer rocket science and has been made a lot easier through several chatbot platforms.

What is Engati?  

Engati is a robust chatbot building platform. You can build bots under 10 minutes with no coding or programming requirements. Integrations are also possible with your online website, apps or other messaging platforms like Slack, Telegram, Whatsapp, Facebook Messenger, Kik, etc.

You can either build a bot from scratch or choose from 150+ bot templates that procure to multiple use-cases or even ask our experts to build one for you!

Incorporating Machine Learning and Natural Language Process programs into the platform, which are the key aspects, leaves you with only creating the conversational flow and the tasks that you want the chatbot to perform.

Thus, designing these bots is as simple as dragging and dropping from a set of pre-defined functionalities, coupled with some scope to modify and customise them for your specific business objectives. Engati has been recognised for building the best chatbots out there and ranks as one of the best chatbot platforms in the market today. Engati provides your business with robust AI chatbots that can increase your profits and conversions. Building a bot from scratch can be time-consuming, costly and usually falls down in the market pretty soon. These bots require regular testing and updating to keep them relevant.

Hence, businesses are opting for chatbot platforms not just to build bots faster and with ease, but also because it contains many benefits. To name some of them, here’s a list:


  • Changes in the market take place every minute today. As a result, businesses have to be flexible. Businesses are now opting for flat structures where decision making is faster by shortening the command chain. In order to be successful in the market, usually businesses demand the turnaround time to be bare minimum, which in turn helps them to address uncertainties of a turbulent digital market.
  • Coding is expensive. Besides, when you want to implement your chatbots in different platforms, it requires even more coding. Hence, businesses don’t go for chatbots as it involves huge initial investments. Therefore, DIY chatbot platforms offer flexible pricing. For example, Engati offers you to pay only for the features you want, check here. This enables businesses to choose a platform that addresses their goals for nominal rates.
  • When you create a chatbot manually, you usually design it with one particular channel in mind. However, when you want to switch to another platform, the entire process has to be repeated, consuming time. Omni-channel bots offered by these DIY chatbot platforms integrate into various channels when an organisation decides to switch to a new platform. All channel specific requirements are taken care of and this is done in no time.
  • The learning aspect of the AI system is the very essence of a chatbot. While choosing a chatbot, always keep in mind how easy it is to train the bot. Chatbot platforms are a combination of different machine learning techniques. They involve supervised learning, semi-supervised learning, unsupervised learning and reinforcement which induces intelligence into the bots. This requires varying levels of human intervention.
  • With the ever evolving customer expectations, businesses are demanded to incorporate the latest technology and keep a constant tap over the latest developments. With third party chatbot development, after a point the entire process becomes saturated, giving a rise in the gap between consumer demands and seller supply. Chatbot platforms offer organisations with the best technology and the latest updates in a cost-effective manner, so that the skill requirements are always kept to a minimum.

How to get started with Engati?

First and foremost, before you think of building a bot, you will have to register at the Chatbot building platform. Engati offers free registrations in just a few simple steps.

Here’s a video guiding you how to.

After you’re done registering, you have to follow these simple steps-

  1. Click on “create a bot” button
  2. Name your bot, give it an identity and a use-case.
  3. Build your conversational flow. Research with your team on the most frequent queries and build an answer that you’d want the chatbot to deliver to your clients.
  4. Train your bot to do all the necessary functions you expect it to automate.
  5. Use the various ‘Intelligent Nodes’ to make your bot even smarter and multi-functional.
  6. Or just use a free template to start straight away, with room for customisations and alterations as per your requirements. Visit the ‘Bot Marketplace’ to choose your ideal bot template, click on the template, watch the demo, click on ‘download’, customise the dialogue flow and voila!

You can also watch this complete step-by-step tutorial on getting started with Engati.

Build a chatbot with the incredible features we offer:

We offer some of the best features out there for you to build and customise your bot upon. You will not find these anywhere else. Here’s a short preview for you-

Conversational Modeler:
  • Conversational builder for building, testing and implementing a chatbot.
Contextual Conversations:
  • Maintain a contextual flow across conversations to engage customers better.
Multi-platform Support:
Human Takeover and Live Chat:
Bot Building and Customisations at only USD 22 Per Hour:
  • Offering the most affordable prices for a hell of a lot features!
FAQ Builder:
  • Build a FAQ bot to respond to frequent questions and concerns. A useful way of organising your information and giving it out to the public so that they can understand you better.
Multi-lingual Support:
  • Make a vernacular chatbot so that it can detect your customers’ language and automatically communicate your product in their own native language. You can build your app in 20+ international languages.
  • Broadcast messages across all the different chat platforms we support.
Voice Bots:
Bot Templates:
  • Different templates to choose from to build bots specific for different businesses.

Mobile SDKs:

  • If you’re creating a mobile app and your business relies on your interactions with your customers, it would be handy to have chatbot services to handle all the queries related to your app.
WhatsApp Support:
Intent and Entity Recognition:
  • This is the main two factors that carry out contextual conversations in a chatbot.
E. Sense:
Easy Chatbot training:
  • Train the bot properly by feeding it with data, information, responses, greetings and entertainment.
Easy Integrations Framework:
  • We can easily integrate with third party platforms.
Copy a Bot:
  • Make a bot once and copy it to several platforms without the need for building it again and again.
White label:
FAQ Upload:
  • Upload FAQs in your bots to get you going immediately.
Rich Analytics:
  • Analytics is the discovery, interpretation and communication of meaningful patterns in data and applying these patterns can help in effective decision making.

For more information, click here!

How can you develop your chatbots further to derive the best user experience?

So now that you’ve got the gist of how to build chatbots, let’s discuss a few implications that can further improve your chatbots to deliver the best user experience.

  • Know your potential user and understand your target audience.
  • Read the user sentiment and make your chatbot emotionally rich.
  • Welcome the user pleasantly.
  • Guide the user and let them know the areas of assistance the bot can provide.
  • Reduce user struggle and keep things simple.
  • Listen to the user’s voice by enabling voice features.
  • Understand the intent of the user.
  • Infuse intelligence quotient into bots to reply to custom queries. You can use NLP and Machine learning to do this.

Chatbots sound promising, don’t they?

To build a Chatbot for your business, please visit Engati.

Thanks for reading!

Ride the automation train and register with Engati here.

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