Planning on implementing chatbots on your website? Get to know all the basics and important things with this article before diving into using chatbots for your business. We'll give samples and platforms you can choose to create your chatbots too!
Table of Contents
- What are Chatbots?
- What Is a Chatbot Service?
- Can I Make My Own Chatbot?
- How to Choose Chatbots Software?
- Implementing Chatbots in a Website
- Best Platforms to Create Chatbots
- What's Next?
Chatbots, are tools used to converse with actual people over the internet and perform routine tasks efficiently.
Using a chatbot, being a digital genius as it seems, is as simple as having a conversation with it. You can ask questions or give commands and it will respond to you. Chatbots can be run in any number of chat apps, including Facebook Messenger, text messaging apps, and a lot more.
Chatbots are considered artificial intelligence (AI) software programs that can chat with a user in a natural language.
As an AI, these chatbots help add convenience for customers. The use of conversational AI in these chatbots makes it easier for people visiting a website to gather the information they need about certain products or services that the business is offering.
Different kinds of chatbots have different applications and functionalities. Knowing these things will give you a clearer picture of what chatbot is ideal for your business.
Here are the different types of Chatbots:
- Menu/Button-Based Chatbots
- These are the most basic type of chatbots currently common in the market today. Similar to the automated phone menu we all interact with, these chatbots require the user to make several selections to dig deeper toward the ultimate answer.
- While these chatbots could answer FAQs that makeup 80% of support queries; they fall short in more advanced scenarios in which there are too many variables or too much knowledge at play to predict how users should get to specific answers with confidence. It’s also worth noting that menu/button-based chatbots are the slowest in terms of getting the user to their desired value.
- Rule-Based Chatbots
- Linguistic or rules-based chatbots create conversational flows using if/then logic. First, you have to define the language conditions of your chatbots. Conditions can be created to assess the words, the order of the words, synonyms, and more. If the incoming query matches the conditions defined by your chatbot, your customers can receive the appropriate help in no time.
- However, it’s your job to ensure that each permutation and combination of each question is defined, otherwise, the chatbot will not understand your customer’s input. This is why a linguistic model, while incredibly common, can be slow to develop. These chatbots demand rigidity and specificity.
- Keyword Recognition-Based Chatbots
- These chatbots can listen to what users type and respond appropriately. They utilize customizable keywords and AI software or NLP (Natural Language Processing) to determine how to serve the right response to users.
- Machine Learning Chatbots
- Called a contextual chatbot which is far more advanced than the three bots discussed previously. Machine learning chatbots use AI to remember conversations with specific users to learn and grow over time. However, keyword recognition-based bots, that have contextual awareness are smart enough to self-improve based on what users are asking for and how they are asking it.
- Hybrid Model
- Businesses love the sophistication of AI-chatbots, but don’t always have the talents or the large volumes of data to support them. So, they opt for the hybrid model. The hybrid chatbot model offers the best of both worlds- the simplicity of the rules-based chatbots, with the complexity of the AI-bots.
- Voice Bots
- To make conversational interfaces even more vernacular, businesses are now beginning to use voice-based chatbots or voice bots. Voice bots have been on the rise for the last couple of years, with virtual assistants like Apple’s Siri, to Amazon’s Alexa.
- It’s much easier for a customer to speak rather than type. A voice-activated chatbot brings friction-less experiences directly to the end customer.
The chatbot ecosystem has changed for many businesses using Chat Marketing, but the goal remains the same: quick, creative, and convenient customer service.
In a noisy and competitive space, the best types of chatbots for business are novel and act as the direct line between customer problems and solutions.
- Bank of America
- National Geographic
As you go on to build a chatbot for your business, remember to always keep a customer-friendly mindset. What problems are they having when interacting with your business? How can your chatbot help them achieve their goals? Use the above tips and examples to create a conversational, data-driven, and personalized virtual assistant that helps grow your business.
Businesses have been steadily adopting chatbots and incorporating them into their service models to answer customer questions and automate routine tasks. While chatbots have some limitations - they're not very smart yet - they can play a useful role when performing the right tasks.
Chatbot as a Service enables you to provide a better customer experience quickly with an initial set of capabilities such as answering FAQs, collecting feedback, and more.
New customers of a business usually browse or view what is on your website before they start asking questions or throwing inquiries.
With the help of these chatbots, their digital experience will go smoothly. It will be like talking to a customer service agent but using an AI program. Customers will have quick access to the price of the item they want, and the services and also get the right support through livechat.
Watch your business make more new sales with the help of chatbots. They're tools that can be used to boost your marketing campaigns since customers will spend less time finding answers to their inquiries with the help of AI chatbots.
Chatbots have become all the rage with companies, new and old looking for ways to streamline operations and answer customer questions without bogging down their service teams. However, chatbots take away from the personal touch that’s important to building brand trust, and often lack the sophistication and empathy of speaking with a real-life human. While many companies are adopting chatbots, customers still prefer talking to a real-life person when they need assistance.
With all the help and benefits businesses get from chatbots, all the applications where it can be implemented experience downsides as well. Since these chatbots are part of your marketing strategy, it is important to know how it works, the good and negative effects on your customers, and your business management itself.
Having this knowledge will help you prepare the requirement you need for your business. Your marketing strategy will be curated accurately and your management skills will broaden.
Benefits of chatbots:
- Faster Customer Service
Since chatbots can be programmed to answer simple questions, your staff can focus on the more complex issues that your customers may have. There’s no question that chatbots can save your team valuable time.
- Always Available
Chatbots are available 24/7 making it convenient for those customers around the world regardless of the time differences. Being able to respond immediately will make you gain positive reviews based on the experience they had even during dawn or late at night inquiries.
- Conversational Marketing
Customers always prefer to get answers in a short period of time. They don't appreciate viewing all the pages on a website to find answers.
The ability of these chatbots to support customers and give them answers in a conversational way is a good form of marketing. It is also beneficial for business owners since it saves them money instead of hiring people to do their job in which a human cannot perform 24/7 duties.
- Customer Request Management
The great thing about having chatbots to manage your customers' requests, they can handle multiple customers at once. Chatbots can give information about products and services that these customers are interested in. With the knowledge these chatbots have, they can do everything that livechat support can.
Businesses that struggle with customer engagement can often utilize digital transformation solutions to help discover more information about what the market needs from their organization. Chatbots can be one part of this multi-faceted solution.
Chatbots can solve a broad array of both simple and complex problems for businesses. I’m going to share with you some of the most common ways that chatbots can be used to help businesses better engage with their customers, streamline business workflows, and also increase the profitability of a business.
Here are some of the problems these AI chatbots can solve:
1. Assisting with Continued Lead Generation
Chatbots can help gather information from potential customers to better understand the intent behind a user visiting a website or an application. The ability to automate this user interaction will allow data to be stored to better understand the patterns, and ultimately, predict what the user is wanting with a service or product from your organization. Being able to understand what the desired intent is and providing interaction to capture that lead through a conversion via the chatbot can help streamline the lead generation process.
2. Driving More Sales
Chatbots can help customers and users find the product or service that best solves their problems. Chatbots can build a customer journey and understand the persona of a user, which enables the business to suggest relevant products to a customer. If patterns emerge and successful interactions are rendered by the chatbot, the ability to automate these interactions and build additional sales funnels will allow the chatbot or virtual agent to better serve the user without the need to engage another human.
3. Guiding Customers and Users to Better Outcomes
Customers sometimes don’t always know where to find the information that they need or are unaware of what they need. Chatbots can help by asking questions to better route your customers to the information they are seeking. In addition, it allows them to qualify the information they are seeking.
In developing a chatbot that helps guide customers, machine learning algorithms along with predefined FAQ services can help gather information from the customer and provide them with the information they need.
4. First Line Customer Service Support
Having customer service chatbots available can help your brand build loyalty and also retain user engagement on your website or application. Chatbots that are responsive and interactive that align with the brand allow for more brand recognition, which then drives continued user engagement. The moment a window opens, your chatbot will be visible.
Once customers feel comfortable with using your brand’s chatbot, they can also use it as the first line for support, the benefit of not only saving expensive human customer service support interaction but also providing prompt responses to inquiring customers.
5. Globally Scaling Businesses
Chatbots are an effective support tool because they can help sustain customer support around the clock without the need to hire human agents around the clock. In addition, for e-commerce businesses that have high traffic websites during large sales and events like Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Christmas, New Year, or President’s Day, chatbots can help alleviate some of the strain from your human customer service agents by handling initial interactions to gather the information needed for the human agent handover.
Without a doubt, chatbots can revolutionize the experience of the customer and streamline business processes for efficiency. Chatbots are inching towards the mainstream market for business owners. They can help increase customer satisfaction with your organization’s products and service, which is a great way to help level-set expectations.
If you run a business, you already know how crucial it is to provide customers with a service they can brag about. You may have excellent products and beautiful campaigns, but if you aren’t giving site visitors what they need, they’ll leave anyway.
It’s crucial to consistently improve your company’s customer service to ensure it grows and reaches success. Businesses that prioritize customer service bring in higher revenue than their competitors.
That’s where chatbots come in. Chatbot software uses artificial intelligence to hold real-time conversations with a customer, build brand credibility and boost engagement. Even when you or your team members aren’t available, chatbots work around the clock to tend to online visitors.
Building an AI chatbot, or even a simple conversational bot, may seem like a complex process. But if you believe that your users will benefit from it, you should definitely give it a try. You can refer to a template you see online and have it as an inspiration.
You can create a prototype all by yourself with a bot builder and add it to your business website.
To create your own chatbot:
- Identify your business goals and customer needs
- Choose a chatbot builder that you can use on your desired channels
- Design your bot conversation flow by using the right nodes
- Test your chatbot and collect messages to get more insights
- Use data and feedback from customers to train your bot
- Check which conversation routes are the most popular and improve them for a better user experience.
While deciding if a chatbot is right for you, place yourself in the shoes of your users and think about the value they’re trying to receive. Is conversational context going to significantly impact this value? If not, then it is probably not worth the time and resources to implement at the moment.
The right chatbot is the one that best fits the value proposition you’re trying to convey to your users. In some cases, that could require enterprise-level AI capabilities; however, in other instances, simple menu buttons may be the perfect solution.
There are different chatbot builders that allow people to create their own chatbots for free. All you have to do is find the right platform that meets the requirements you need for your business.
A lot of things to consider when choosing the bot builder you want to work with. First is the chatbot architecture of which you will know the usability and other components it has. Next, the functionality and design of the chatbot you want while ensuring that it is user-friendly.
To implement chatbots on your website, you will need to know the different ways to do it.
There are various ways to embed or put a chatbot on your website and that includes using a widget, a link or code to copy, or a different programming language, or in other words, coding. Enabling cookies will also allow these chatbots to enable user specification functionalities.
With a myriad of chatbot platforms out there, we’ve narrowed it down to a list of the 5 best chatbot-building platforms out there since it is not always about the templates. The list below goes into detail on their features, and pricing details, and if you require any technical expertise for building a chatbot for your business, read them.
TruVISIBILITY provides the best bot builder that turns leads into customers. Their no-code, AI chatbot builder will guarantee to convert leads, capture vital data, and personalize a customer's journey, 24/7. It's free to start and will still be affordable as your needs grow.
If your business relies on one or two digital sales superstars, your growth is limited. High-performing AI Chatbots built with TruVISIBILITY can simulate authentic conversations of your top salespeople… and deliver that message 24/7, with consistency, at scale. They’ll also never get sick, demand a raise, or get poached by your competition.
WotNot offers chatbots and chat tools to scale sales and support, with human intervention, when needed. If you’re in a rush to build your bot and go live in no time – WotNot is the platform for you.
There is a 14-day free trial for users to explore and test the platform. WotNot offers a flat pricing plan with access to all features at $99/month or $949 per year.
Intercom provides a range of products in the digital customer support space. They provide custom chatbots for use cases around sales, marketing, and support. These bots can also be integrated with e-commerce and social platforms, or a network that has live chat options.
Plans of Intercom are starting from $499/month which includes 10 seats. You are required to pay more if you have a high volume of conversations.
Drift primarily started off in the live chat space and got into chatbots fairly recently. Their offering is more specific to a chatbot that books meetings for sales teams.
The bot facilitates conversations with leads and qualifies website visitors without using any forms. It also identifies the right sales representative and schedules a meeting on their calendar.
The free pricing plan only covers the live chat. The paid plan starts at $400/month (billed annually) which covers chatbot and livechat.
LivePerson is an excellent digital platform that helps you comfortably build, deploy, and optimize AI-powered chatbots. One of LivePerson’s highlights is that it enables you to leverage advanced analytics for continual optimization and real-time intent detection.
The pricing of the platform is based on the scope of automation and the extensiveness of messaging channels. You can book a demo or get more information from their website.
All these platforms above may or may not suit the needs of your business so knowing everything about chatbots, pros and cons and the kind of chatbot software you want is essential.
Whether you choose a chatbot platform independently and build it on your own or an agency for chatbot development services, you ultimately need to look at all the pros and cons, your use case(s), carry out additional research, and then make a decision.
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