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?
It’s with it that chatbots and email bots become “intelligent” and understand what is asked of them.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
This case is widely used, for example, in marketing campaigns.
Another door that the integrations open is the possibility of selling products through the chatbot.
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.
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
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.
Design: Marta Ramos; Text: Filipa Perdigão