What’s the difference between chatbots and voicebots?


As a customer, you’ve probably had some questions about a product or service in the last 12 months. What do you do? Send an email? No, that might take too long! Your best bet is to head to the brand’s website and try and get in touch with a customer service agent. When you are there, you may stumble upon a tiny window that pops up on the website or mobile app that asks if you need help. This chat window enables you to either ask questions or troubleshoot issues you are having. But did you know you are probably chatting to a chatbot?




Chatbots are artificial intelligence (AI) programs that users engage with on a conversational platform by using key predetermined phrases or text-based signals.  Chatbots, good at dealing with repetitive or impossible tasks, are most often used for customer service and marketing systems that integrate with social media platforms and instant messaging (IM) services.

Gartner  predicts that by the end of 2020, more than 85 % of customer interactions will be managed without a human. Chatbot Magazine  found that organisations can reduce customer service costs by up to 30% using conversational chatbots. Some of the key factors driving the growth  of the chatbot market are growing demand for chatbot across various industry verticals and its ability to focus on enhanced customer intelligence/engagement using AI.

Another reason chatbots have become the popular tech kid has to do with how modern consumers have become a custom to communicating via text-based messaging. Facebook, Twitter, WeChat and Whatsapp have dominated the text-based market for years and now that these platforms allow for AI plugins, chatbots have become the channel where most customers tend to be at. No wonder chatbots are all the rage in 2020.




Much like their name implies, Voicebots communicate using voice. Vociebots take in verbal speech, convert it to text, check it for accuracy, produce a response, and build that response from machine language into audible speech. This is made possible using speech-to-text technology. To accomplish this voicebots require far more computing power and a lot of design to build. Voicebots are like chatbots but on voice or Voice IVR.

Voice assistants  have been integrated into smartphones since Apple introduced Siri, in 2011, but they didn’t take off until the Amazon Echo and Google Home smart speakers were launched, in 2014 and 2016 respectively. Alexa the Echo’s assistant is equipped with smart speakers and able to listen to instructions without having to push a button.

Smart speakers will eventually automate our homes. It will make tasks simpler through the power of voice recognition. All things considered, this kind of chatbot has a greater utility to the end-users, empowering them to communicate handsfree.




More advanced chatbots or voicebots are known as Virtual Assistants  and have an AI engine usually referred to as a neural network, allowing them to ‘learn’ with every new user input and adjust their corpus with every conversation. Machine Learning enables these intelligent digital assistants to have natural conversations with users, thanks to its ability to process free form phrases, nuance and small talk. These conversations can be in the form of a messaging layer but can also extend to entire websites and even voice or telephony interactions.




Now that you know the key distinction between chatbots, voicebots and virtual assistants you might ask “which is the better choice for my business?” You need to look at automation as a holistic approach. It is not just about being trendy. It is about understanding your customers and trying to be where your customers want to interact with you.

It could be in-store automation, it could be several different channels and surfaces you want to be building these interactions on. When you look at just text messaging services, whether its WhatsApp or Facebook messenger, any one of those tools could be dominant in your market. What is important is that your customers are already engaging with you on the channel you chose to integrate with AI technology.




Depending on your target customer, you’re going to have a younger audience that may prefer dealing with text and you’re going to have maybe a slightly older generation that prefers dialling up and using voice as a channel. Your customer interactions could require smarter conversations.

At Everise DX, the first stage of any client work involves the analysis of data. By creating algorithms that analyse a large amount of data, our team can develop a profile of who the potential user is. This will give you a better picture of the kinds of communication channels users are likely to engage.

More important than trying to implement the latest technology, the focus is to ensure that the client gets a solution that is going to deliver unique digital experiences. The aim is to create an outstanding user interface and intuitive design. This shows customers we understand what they want, and know where they are going to look for it.

So when it comes to implementing AI as part of your digital experience, it truly depends on the type of brand you are and the kind of customer base you have. Ultimately, it’s not a question about whether you use a chatbot, a voicebot or a virtual assistant but a question of who your customer is, this will determine which kind of AI solution is the best choice for your business.