The world is changing constantly with all the new technology being introduced that is easy to get confused with the terms bot, chatbot and virtual assistant. Are they the same thing? If not what are the differences, you may ask? Well, we have gone to the liberty of dissecting these terms to provide you with more clarity, helping you to pick the correct one that fits your business.

But before we hash out the differences, one of the major differences in this new era of technology is that virtual assistants can either be software or real people. So with that being said what are the various artificial intelligence software’s and how is it similar to human virtual assistants?

What are Chatbots?

Many companies that run online services or who offer e-commerce services may already be offering chatbots to help with their customer services. So what are chatbots? Do you know that little messenger that pops up asking how they can help you? Well, that is a chatbot. With this becoming very popular its easy for you to want to follow the buzz surrounding chatbots, however, if you are considering them over hiring a virtual assistant, you should not make hasty decisions as you need to really understand the difference and how virtual assistants may actually be a better option.

Similarities and Differences between Chatbots and “computerised” Virtual Assistants

Even though computerised virtual assistants (Siri) may appear to be similar to chatbots, they are, in fact, very different. Both technologies are viable for all businesses and are no longer in the testing stages of technology – they both are perceived as artificial intelligence and employ a sort of machine learning, however, while chatbots may be quite useful in set industries and applications, the future lies with virtual assistants powered by machine learning algorithms and AI.

The reason for that conclusion is because of the very nature of chatbots that limits their capabilities. Unlike virtual assistant technology, chatbot services are limited in what they can actually do for a business. Chatbots are suitable for customer support, customer engagement, or automated purchases. They cannot range across into the vocabulary and jargon typical of any other function. Universal chatbots would not make sense until the technology has become so cheap, the average business owner could afford an all-encompassing business bot.

The technology behind virtual assistants enables them for much broader use. It allows sophisticated applications in everyday use and for business. What early virtual assistants lacked were workable AI algorithms and machine learning capabilities. An up-to-the-minute virtual assistant, however, should even be capable of tasks like doing research and comparing products, among other quite surprising abilities.

Human Virtual Assistants Benefits

Yes, AI has become very popular in the business world, they do, however, lack that human-to-human feel. Human virtual assistants are able to complete more tasks with the given management programs that are now available to all. You won’t receive automated responses from your human virtual assistant that is always available to help with all your business needs. They are able to plan your life for you on a more human feel and can help with anything, whether it is personal, business or family orientated. The great thing about human VA’s is that you don’t have to be tech-savvy to have someone help you with your day-to-day activities, thus it does not limit who can actually use the services.

What’s better for my business: VA or Chatbot?

You need to first understand your business strategy in order to answer this question. Do not rush to implement a chatbot or “computer” VA. Riding the chatbot tide might be tempting, but only a handful of bots can offer you exactly what is need to improve your customer service. Jumping on the “computer” VA bandwagon is more promising, but be aware that virtual assistants still need a few more years to become a feasible business solution, however, human VA’s have been proved to be the solution to many problems faced within a small to large business.  Both chatbots and “computer” VAs depend on developments in AI and machine learning, thus may not give you the best solution as a human VA may be.

If you are in need of a human virtual assistant, contact us today.

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