Everything You Need to Know About Chatbot API Integration

Everything You Need to Know About Chatbot API Integration

Companies are more demanding with the services they offer. Chatbots that answer the most frequent questions are no longer enough. It’s necessary to make them more complex. And that’s when an API integration comes in.

Get ready to learn how a chatbot with API integration can improve your service delivery.

What is a Chatbot?

Before we get to the integration, it’s necessary to know what a chatbot is.

In short, a chatbot is a chatting agent that helps optimize your company’s service level.

These agents can use Artificial Intelligence or not.

What does AI do in a Chatbot?

Artificial Intelligence is a more recurring theme these days. It can be considered the most used word when talking about process automation.

It’s with it that chatbots and email bots become “intelligent” and understand what is asked of them.

Don’t know what email bots are? Find out everything here!

Chatbots that do not have AI are more basic systems. Generally, they’re ruled by decision trees, where the user clicks on the option he wants until he gets the answer.

On the other hand, chatbots with AI are more complicated systems. That is, they have more associated technologies that allow them to learn and understand the human language.

These technologies are Machine Learning and NLP (Natural Language Processing), and they allow the system to have a “natural” conversation with a person.

Machine Learning is the area responsible for the system’s learning. The NLP is responsible for processing the information, in this case, the language.

What is API Integration?

API stands for “application programming interface”.

An API is a computing interface that allows information sharing between different software components.

These interfaces define what kind of requests can be made, how they can be made, which data formats can be used, etc.

In this case, when integrated with chatbots, they allow the expansion of the system functionalities.

Imagine you are talking to the bot and need access to your Client Area. With an integrated API, you can access it directly in the bot without opening another web page.

REST vs. SOAP

Most probably you’ve heard of REST and SOAP, when the subject is APIs.

Well, that’s because they’re the most common ways to integrate web-based services.

SOAP is the message transfer protocol, in XML format, for distributed environments use. This protocol works as a framework that allows interoperability between different platforms.

One of the advantages of this protocol is that several programming languages and tools can read and generate messages.

However, it has a negative aspect.

Because it’s in XML format and has many meta-information tags, it becomes more “heavy,” also taking more time to translate the message data.

REST, on the other hand, is an HTTP-based protocol. It does not impose restrictions on the message format but only on the behavior of the components involved.

Its greatest advantage is the flexibility regarding the message format that the developer uses.

Although it is “lighter” and consequently faster, it brings more interoperability problems.

The REST format is almost always the one used for web services.

What are the Benefits of API Integration in Chatbots?

A smart system without integration is certainly good. But a chatbot AI with integration is much better.

More Complex Bots

Some consider that complex chatbots are those with artificial intelligence. And they are not wrong, admitting that there are much more basic bots.

However, the really complex ones are the ones that have their features expanded.

That is, taking the example previously spoken, it’s the difference between a chatbot that directs you to the Client Area and another, with integration, that takes you directly, without leaving the bot, to your account.

More Efficiency

By automating processes, which would otherwise take longer, the efficiency of your chatbot increases exponentially.

Besides answering your users’ questions, it also makes certain procedures easier for them.

Improves User Experience

The user experience is becoming a more relevant factor for companies.

They know that if the client cannot solve what they want, they will be frustrated and displeased.

Therefore, the available solutions must be as complete as possible to have only satisfied customers.

Boosts employee productivity

In addition to making procedures easier for customers, these integrations also promote the productivity of your employees.

The bot answers the most frequent and repetitive questions and, with the integration, speeds up other processes.

Therefore, your team is more available to handle more complex requests, which require more attention.

Chatbot API Integration Use Cases

Now that we know a little bit about integration with APIs let’s move on to the examples.

What are the practical cases of integration in your chatbot?

Client Authentication

A great advantage of integrations is to authenticate your customers.

To do this, just integrate the chatbot with the software your company uses.

Thus, if the user enters the ID number and is already registered in your company’s database, the chatbot returns a response framed with that user’s specific case.

If the user isn’t already registered, the chatbot can direct him/her to a different stream, where, let’s imagine, it requests the data to generate a new commercial lead.

Payments

We can say that a large part of the requests made are related to payments.

Requests for Payment References

Companies have begun to find that many users use chatbots to request new payment references. And, before integration, it was necessary to talk to a human assistant to fulfill the request.

However, companies realized that they could easily automate this process.

With the introduction of a specific number (ID number, policy number, etc.), the system crosses the information and returns its payment reference.

Documents Duplicate Requests

Another question much requested by customers is the copy of documents. For example, many customers ask for a second copy of the car insurance document at insurance companies.

To receive the duplicate, the chatbot asks for the policy number and then the code that the user will receive in their phone contact or email.

Once this verification is done, the chatbot returns the asked document by email or post.

Sending Documents

This case is widely used, for example, in marketing campaigns.

In a campaign carried out by a Visor.ai client, users had to send a photo of a receipt proving the purchase of a certain product.

After reading the document sent through OCR technology (Optical Character Recognition) and checking the requirements, the chatbot assigned the user’s awards.

Insurance Sales

Another door that the integrations open is the possibility of selling products through the chatbot.

Imagine you want to buy insurance for your new smartphone. You would normally subscribe to this insurance in person or with a human agent.

With API integration in your chatbot, the customer can buy the insurance without any human intervention.

Giving some essential data to fill out the contract, the chatbot crossing and sharing information with other platforms ensures a fast and secure customer subscription.

Location Sharing

Another example of integration happens, for example, in retail stores.

Each store has its own promotions and discounts, and the consumers don’t always know what is available.

In these cases, the client shares his/her location with the chatbot, and the chatbot will answer with a map of the nearest stores and their promotional brochures.

The Integration Hub You Need to Know

At Visor.ai, Integration Hub is the tool where you can integrate the APIs you want.

With the REST and SOAP options, you can choose the solution that best suits your needs.

We can also integrate the Visor.ai platform into CRM platforms, such as Salesforce, or communication channels, such as WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger.

Make your chatbot more complex with the different integration options. Increase your customer and team satisfaction even more. Contact us now!

Design: Marta Ramos; Text: Filipa Perdigão

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