AI Chatbot vs Rule-based Chatbot: Which is the smarter choice for your business?

It has hardly escaped anyone that artificial intelligence, or as it is shortened; AI, is a buzzword right now.

There is a lot of information on the subject, and we have become accustomed to headlines saying that AI bots will soon surpass human intelligence.

In this blog, we want to demonstrate that automation does not necessarily mean complicated AI technology.

Although AI and rule-based chatbots come in all shapes and sizes; basically, they all are about the same thing – automating one or more processes.

AI chatbot vs rule-based chatbot

First – what do chatbots really mean?

A chatbot is a computer program for automation that in a simpler or more complex way imitates a human's way of conversation.

Chatbots have become an extremelt common phenomenon and we dare to say that you all have been in contact with a chatbot at some point – whether you knew it yourself or not. 

In fact, over 87% of customers report that chatbots effectively resolve their issues.

This reduces the requests for human agents and is one of several advantages of how chatbots benefit businesses. 

With digitalization, we increasingly live in a mobile-first world and as a company, it is important to get on the bandwagon in order not to miss out on today's demanding consumers.

Did you know that 41% prefer real-time chat as customer service over other channels? And this is a figure that is only expected to increase, which is not surprising since chatbots come with several advantages: they give answers in seconds, are available 24/7, save both time and money and can be built with personalization.

There are different types of chatbots and different ways to divide the concept.

First, we usually talk about button bots that guide the visitor by allowing him to serve himself, or then, we talk about conversational bots that more closely mimic a real conversation. Furthermore, AI technology has taken chatbots to a new level as it has made it possible for these computer programs to act even like humans. We will go on tell you more about this comparing an AI chatbot and a rule-based chatbot and help you figure out which one to use and when.

Types of chatbots

Firstly, to fully understand AI and its role in chatbots, check out our full article on everything there is to know about AI chatbots. But to give you a quick run-through, an AI chatbot is a chat controlled by a robot that uses artificial intelligence.

With the help of machine learning, AI technology can mimic human-like traits by being a problem solver, thinking creatively, and reasoning independently. This opens up new possibilities for automating processes that could not have been automated before this technology. 

For example, you have an extensive website covering many areas or a dozen products. It may then seem too good to be true to be able to automate incoming inquiries and any considerations under the sun, but the future is here. A well-developed AI chatbot can solve most things, and if there is something it cannot solve, it has enough self-awareness to understand when it is time to hand over the conversation to a human agent. 

You can say that an AI chatbot is great at self-development because the more interaction it is exposed to, the more it develops itself to tackle bigger puzzles. This, in combination with a technology called NLP (Natural Language Processing), means that the ​​bot converses the say way we humans do, making these conversational AI sometimes scary smart. 

how does AI works

Examples of use cases when AI chatbots show their best features: This chatbot is perfect when you need a seamless layer between your real agents and automation. Because the chatbot feels so non-robotic, it is an excellent way to establish the first contact with your visitor and qualify if a real agent is even needed to solve the question. 

What is a rule-based chatbot? 

A rule-based chatbot, on the other hand, is also a form of automation that is somewhat less technically complex. A rule-based bot is a set of predetermined rules that behave in a particular way based on the user's behavior and responses. By guiding the visitor in already predetermined directions, many of the frequently asked questions can be answered by the visitor serving himself.

Below we show three examples of common rule-based bots that do not use AI technology but still utilize automation:

Different forms of rule-based bots

It may go without saying, but this decision tree automation type is easier to start with. This because the chatbot only needs a certain amount of data to deliver information, and the entire setup can be done in one go. 

But with advantages come disadvantages. 

With a rule-based chatbot, the user can only enter what the chatbot is programmed for, and the chatbot is unable to develop itself as it does not learn from previous chats but runs its own race. In other words, no valuable user data is collected from this flow type, making it a difficult tool for further development, and instead requires some essential preparatory work. 

Examples of use cases when rule-based chatbots show their best features: A rule-based bot is perfect in situations where you have to give standard answers or answers based on a computer system, for example, in booking a table at a restaurant, providing the visitor with the delivery time and tracking code of their purchased order, or other straight forward cases.

Which one should I choose, AI chatbots or rule-based chatbots?

Do you have a lot of chat history from your website that can be fed into a technical system, or are you ready to start a larger project to build a solid chatbot eventually? If you are also prepared to open your wallet to automate parts of your website, then an AI chatbot may be the solution you are looking for. 

If, on the other hand, you have a more straightforward website with many recurring questions and actions from your visitors, a rule-based chatbot flow may be the ultimate solution. Despite the simplicity of constructing a rule-based chatbot flow with a tool like Interaction Builder, we would like to emphasize that a rule-based flow can do wonders for your website by considerably relieving the workload of your customer service team when the pre-work has been well thought out.

Comparison: rule-based chatbot vs AI chatbot

How to get started with the right solution for your company

It is important not to categorize the comparison between a rule-based flow and an AI chatbot as black and white – both help you do the same thing; automate, streamline and improve your processes. There are also several cases where combining both parts can be the solution, not to mention using live chat's best features to complement your automated support.

Your automation solution should be tailored to your company's needs and size for the best results. Giosg offers an excellent solution for setting up flows that alternate buttons with text. Combining chatbots in this way is called hybrid chatbots, and maybe this will be the upcoming trend to watch out for – to bring the gold nuggets from the various chatbots to create an even more golden combination.

To learn more about chatbots and their value for your business, book a meeting with our skilled salespeople. Giosg can help you determine what your company needs to meet your objectives and automation requirements.