How Do Chatbots Work?

31st May 2022

By Ron Moody

In these modern times, automation is the key to success for businesses large or small. Cutting down on menial tasks can result in some mega time savings, which over an extended period, can produce some real financial benefits.

One of the most time-consuming parts of running a business is customer service. Handling queries, delegating problems and responding quickly are just a few of the tasks imposed by responding directly to your customers.

While customer engagement is necessary, sometimes, your resources are spread too thin. Introducing: chat bots. If you’re wondering how chat bots work and how much they could help your business, keep reading as we go through everything there is to know about this modern-day time saver.

What are chatbots?

A bot is a type of computer program that can be automated to complete actions based on a number of variables. These can be anything from site crawling bots used by Google to malicious keylogging software. A chatbot is simply an iteration of these bots that is used to automate a live chat function on a website.

If you’ve used the internet in the past 5 years, chances are, you have interacted with a bot like this. Users simply open a chat button that is usually located at the bottom of a page, and are presented with an instant-messaging medium in which they communicate back and forth with a bot.

Read more: The Advantages of Chatbots: Taking Your Customer Service to the Next Level

How Do chatbots work?

The aim of chatbots is to give off a perception of reality, when in fact, responses and phrases are pre-defined by the site owner. Trigger words for example can be programmed into the bots’ software to make it listen out for specific questions, with answers ready to be sent to the user at an instant.

Here are the three most common types of chatbots found on websites:


Rule-based chatbots are the most simplistic ones available, acting and reacting based on what information is given to it by the site owner. The bot is unable to form original replies, and are best used as an interactive FAQ where customer goals are relatively straight forward.


By benefiting from machine learning, intelligent chatbots are able to decode messages and tailor responses depending on what is asked of it. These bots can understand what different phrases mean, and, over time, can retain even more information following conversations with curious users.


AI-powered chatbots possess all the benefits of both rule-based and intelligent chatbots, with an additional layer of artificial intelligence layered on top. Thanks to complex learning algorithms, AI-enhanced chatbots are able to utilise language processing functionalities such as the GPT-3 ruleset in order to decode messages and give off responses that rival actual humans.

When did chatbots first appear?

The very first chatbot was created in the early 1960s by MIT professor Joseph Weizenbaum. Joseph named his creation ELIZA, and featured a fully interactive user interface with line-by-line messaging functionalities allowing users to have full conversations with the bot.

For many years, ELIZA stood alone as the only fully-fleshed out chatbot architecture, until 2009 when a Chinese company called WeChat launched its own chatbot as part of its new full-service social media platform. This is where many believe the momentum on which chatbots today thrive on was reignited, paving the way for other developments such as Apple’s Siri in 2010.

Since then, chatbots have grown massively in popularity, with e-commerce companies like Amazon and eBay launching their own live chatbot service to quickly funnel users towards the right place. Of course, live chat customer service representatives are still present, but these are only used when the chatbot itself has failed to satisfy a query.

Automate your customer service with Connect Assist

Are you looking to save time dealing with customer queries? Connect Assist can help.

Our live chat operator services allow you to create a personalised experience for your users without wasting time responding to repetitive queries daily. Find out more about our services today by contacting our team directly.