Chatbot And Virtual Assistant: Difference Between Them

It is easy to need clarification on some concepts about tools like chatbot and virtual assistant. After all, they have very similar characteristics, starting with conversational software that interacts with us using some level of intelligence.

At the same time, with a direct approach, it will be very easy to differentiate them. This content will help you understand how they work and choose the best option for your company.

Before that, a single important alert: these tools are key to some successful new service models and are a reference. It’s a topic to keep an eye on. So check it out with us!

After All, What’s The Difference Between A Chatbot And A Virtual Assistant?

Nothing better than deciphering words to find and memorize the differences between definitions. So, see: chatbot is a robot (bot) that interacts via chat, including messaging apps such as WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger. It is worth remembering that this robot does not have a human appearance, being characterized as software that performs tasks automatically.

They do this via text messages, file uploads, and directing the user to the proper channel. Typically, these robots are used in customer support, sales, and service automation.

On the other hand, virtual assistants are commanded by voice or text and respond according to the availability of the most relevant information, according to the user’s needs, which can be a text available on the internet or a YouTube video, for example.

You will find famous solutions such as Siri, Alexa, Cortana, and Google Assistant on various devices like smartphones, tablets, and computers. They assist in using these devices and answer questions users ask using conversational interfaces — instead of the messaging applications where chatbots run.

What Is The Difference Between Them?

But many people need clarification and notice other differences that are not real. The main mistake is to say that assistants are more intelligent when this is only sometimes the case. Some chatbots use cutting-edge artificial intelligence to serve the persona well.

The functionalities and capabilities of most chatbots are indeed more limited than those of virtual assistants, but this difference is increasingly smaller and needs to be noticed in some of these solutions. So let’s not use this as a universal truth, shall we?

Another myth is that chatbots should be used for one-off functions, such as sending links to purchase tickets for specific shows in chat on a production company’s website. Increasingly, they can perform diverse functions.

What Are The Advantages Of Each Of The Tools?

A list of advantages would only be very useful for you if you solve the problem of using these tools humanely to improve the customer experience and develop a natural language with coherent and useful answers for the user.

It is always good to remember that this makes the difference and allows for applying a truly innovative service model, as innovation depends on acceptance by the public — or “it stays in the garage.”

Thinking about the experience, the great advantage we can take is the ability of chatbots and virtual assistants to preserve consumer autonomy. They help with searches, and directions to the ideal channel, with quick responses, and, in the case of assistants, even leave the user’s hands-free, as they can be activated by voice.

This is fantastic! As assistants evolve, they tend to “behave” like an intelligent secretary who does research and advises on the most diverse subjects while driving, playing with the pet, or walking on the beach — this depends more on our multitasking ability than on the tool itself.

More practically and objectively, the two technologies automate processes, which reduces costs, increases the company’s ability to scale its operation, and improves the team’s focus on the public and strategy. In customer service, for example, employees can dedicate more time and attention to cases where they can make the most difference and generate more revenue.

And Now, Which Of The Options To Choose For My Company?

Answering that question depends on two very practical details: what the public wants and what the company can deliver. In other words, the customer wants facilities and has specific and concrete problems while interacting with your brand. The site may register a high abandonment rate on a given page due to the complexity of the topic it addresses.

Consider a chatbot sufficient to help him understand what he needs to know. In this case, the robot could provide some simple alternatives, such as a link to explanatory material, a map with indications on how to interpret a graph (if it was the perceived problem), and the option to transfer the contact to a human attendant.

On the other hand, developing more complex robot software, either as a virtual assistant or as a chatbot, can be too demanding and unfeasible. Taking on challenges is always good, but taking too big steps can create problems in this type of initiative.

Therefore, the ideal tool is supported by the structure possible to have in the company, based on technological, human, and equipment resources, and, at the same time, perfectly meets the customer’s needs, providing a better experience adequate to the consumer journey.

Currently, some chatbots can be configured for simple functions, even by those who do not understand programming. This is a facility that can make a difference. At the same time, you don’t have to take on the task of developing a more sophisticated solution yourself.

In this type of initiative, specialized external help is always very welcome. Instead of developing all the capabilities, absorbing all the knowledge and all the experience you need, you can count on those who provide this type of service and have already done it for you.

In the meantime, you can dedicate yourself to developing the ideal service model — with the help of specialists in this task, too, if you wish.

Also Read: Service via Chatbot: After All, Is It Worth Investing?

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