A Quick and Easy Crash Course on Chatbots for New Marketers
The future is here. Chatbots are taking over customer support operations. And this is not surprising, since they can perform a bunch of functions and can do it 24/7. This can lead to amazing results. According to Chatbot Magazine, chatbots help businesses to save up to 30% on customer support spending.
There are tons of information on chatbots out there, and this blog is fine-tuned to give you a birds-eye view of the world of chatbots. This will help you make informed decisions when it comes to choosing and creating the best chatbot for your business. Let's get started!
- How Does an AI-Powered Chatbot Work?
- Conversational Marketing Is the Future of Business?
- Why Get a Chatbot? Greater Customer Experience and Much More
- Multiple Paths to Create Your Own Chatbot
- Where to House Chatbots? A Mobile App, Messenger Applications, or a Web Page?
- What Is So Great About Making a Chatbot and a Mobile App Into one?
- Integrating Chatbots in a Mobile App with TruVISIBILITY
- Summing It All Up
All chatbots could be divided into two categories based on how they operate: rule-based and AI-based chatbots.
A rule-based chatbot is a simple algorithm that gives the user a set of options to choose from and then gives a prepared answer with no Artificial Intelligence involved. This chatbot does a good job carrying out simple tasks like connecting the user to a human support agent or suggesting the necessary support page. To read more on rule-based chatbots and where they can be of great help to your business click here.
We are not going into details with rule-based chatbots, since it is not what's driving the chatbot market and making the use of chatbots so attractive and beneficial for businesses. All the fun is at an AI-powered chatbots party.
Today, you don't have to know anything about coding to set up your own AI-based chatbot. Still, understanding what lies behind this mysterious program is crucial for understanding the limitations and possibilities of a chatbot.
AI-based chatbots owe their existence to a set of tools together called Conversational AI: Natural Language Understanding and Natural Language Generation that are both parts of Natural Language Processing, and Machine Learning. Let's break each of these tools down.
All of these technologies might sound Greek to you. ML, NLU, NLP... But you will be surprised how much they have recently become a part of our daily lives. If you ever used automatic translation tools, predictive typing, or apps like Siri, or Alexa, you are already a part of this exciting world.
What NLU does is it breaks the sentence, spoken or typed, into parts, defines the meaning of each part within the context, then transforms the meaning into the code that the machine is able to understand.
Such a chatbot is able to understand typos, hurriedly typed-out requests because it looks beyond words, into the main idea of your sentence, trying to identify the intent of your query.
This technology allows chatbots to communicate with us orally or in writing. The process is very similar to NLU run backward.
Wait, do chatbots know how to speak English, German, or Korean?.. Not exactly. The chatbot chooses the right words and phrases from various databases, and if it is a proper name that humankind has never seen or heard the chatbot is able to build the word letter by letter.
Both Natural Language Understanding and Generation are part of an umbrella technology called Natural Language Processing (NLP) which is in its turn a sub-technology of AI.
This technology implies that machines are learning from interactions with humans and are developing problem-solving abilities without human interventions. Here is how it happens:
- You feed the data to the program. Speaking about business chatbots, it is users who make this input.
- ML uses algorithms, i.e. a set of rules that the machine adjusts to solving a problem, and NLP to parse, analyze and take in information.
- The system makes its own decisions and draws conclusions based on the input.
Of course, this process is far from being perfect, although this technology is advancing very fast. Maybe in the nearest future, AI programs will be completely flawless, but as for now, they are still prone to mistakes. Take the famous example of Tay, a Microsoft AI-powered chatbot: in just 24 hours, using Twitter as a source of input, the chatbot started producing rude, offensive, and inappropriate tweets.
Luckily or unluckily, a chatbot used in marketing is usually not as smart as Tay and it doesn't crawl Twitter. Instead, it is designed to make the life of your customer a bit easier and more pleasant.
The use of chatbots, live chats voice assistance, or any other Conversational AI technology to talk to customers, establish relationships and create authentic experiences can be called Conversational Marketing.
Imagine you are a customer going through traditional sales funnel. You land on a page of the product you are interested in. In order to connect to a sales rep and learn everything you need to know about the product, you have to submit a form on the page, then your lead gets qualified. After that, you receive multiple cold calls or emails. Then after some time, you might be able to schedule a call that will help you make a purchase. Do you find it rather tiring?
As for 2020 stats, the average e-mail open rate is just 18% and the average click-through rate is only 2.6%. It doesn't seem that customers want to be bombarded with emails and cold calls. Then what does the customer want?
- Chief Marketer reports that 66% of consumers prefer to communicate to brands through a messaging mobile app.
- According to HubSpot, 82% of consumers believe that an immediate response is crucial when it comes to marketing-related issues.
- A study from Harvard Business Review suggests that companies need to respond within five minutes of initial contact to have the best chance of qualifying a lead
- The 2020 Conversational Marketing Report says that 1 in 3 global shoppers has made a purchase via social media in the past year. And these are mostly people from 18 to 34 years old. No doubt they will keep their shopping habits for decades.
A customer does not want to be sold to. They want interaction, communication, fast and personal service. Conversational marketing, spearheaded by intelligent chatbots, is there to meet their needs, simplify and speed up the process.
We see that this approach to marketing is highly attractive and user-centered. But does it have a future?
All these numbers speak for themselves, and now you can answer the question asked before:
Are Conversational AI and chatbots the future of business?
However, these numbers give a general idea of chatbots' success in the market, but how can an individual company use a chatbot for their advantage?
- A chatbot makes the brand accessible 24/7, none of your employees is capable of working so efficiently.
- It collects valuable data about your customers' shopping habits, preferences, etc. This data then can be used in two ways: your chatbot will learn to better understand the user, and you can make more data-driven decisions in your marketing strategy.
- It saves you money. One chatbot can perform the work of 140 people, dealing with 1,7 million access requests. Thus, as expected by Juniper's research, chatbots will save businesses about $8 billion.
...all of this leads to a better customer experience and a revenue increase.
If you've made it to this part of the blog, you already have quite some knowledge about chatbots. But you might still be wondering: how can I go about creating a chatbot for my business?
There are two major tracks you can take depending on the resources available to you:
We'll be honest, building a chatbot from the ground up is a considerably complicated task, so this track will suit those who are skilled at coding. Moreover, it is not done by one single developer, but a team of experienced developers. On the other hand, building a chatbot from scratch gives you total control over the chatbot and the possibility to build any features you want. So, consider your options and resources carefully before making a decision.
However, if you are just at the beginning of the programming journey, here is what you can use:
- Code from the open-source platform with sample codes written by other people.
- Low-code platforms such as
- Microsoft bot framework
These frameworks still require coding, but they make the job much easier: they offer database tools to integrate your chatbot with other apps, analytic features and they infuse AI into your program.
You might have heard that chatbot building is possible without any coding. It is the rise of no-code web apps that make it possible. So, what do they have to offer?
It is a programming website app with a visual interface where users can create apps by dragging and dropping its elements.
Drag-and-drop interface. This is probably the primary reason why no-code platforms gained so much recognition. All you have to do is assemble pre-configured modules into a logical sequence.
Connection to databases. Normally, no-code platforms come with already pre-configured connections to the database and server-side applications or offer a basic user interface to make such connections.
It saves time. It is no secret that developing, deploying, and testing the chatbot is a time-consuming process. Why waste this time, if there is already a ready-made solution?
It reduces the cost of development. Not only is building a chatbot app from scratch time-consuming, but it is also expensive. You would need to employ frond-end and back-end developers.
It can automate and simplify most of the business processes. A no-code platform can become a great solution for employee onboarding and off-boarding, purchase requests, leave management, budget approval, etc.
It lets you focus on what matters most. By giving your business a temporal and financial advantage, such a platform gives you an opportunity to concentrate on building relationships with customers and create a great and unique customer experience.
Well, nothing is perfect. No-code platforms have limitations. That means that however wide is the range of functions they offer, is limited. You will have to adapt your company's strategies and procedures to match the features of the platform.
Security limitations might also be the issue. You are using the code you never wrote, so your authority is limited The no-code platform itself might have security breaches, which might place your application in jeopardy.
Your chatbot can be deployed on various channels:
Today it is a social network with over 100,000 active chatbots. There are two ways you can create a chatbot on Facebook:
- Facebook Creator Studio. It is Facebook's own chatbot that interacts with the users through Facebook Messenger.
- Many no-code platforms, including TruVISIBILITY, have a feature to connect the chatbot you created to Facebook in just a couple of clicks.
- Other social networks (Twitter, Instagram, etc.)
- Messengers (WhatsApp, Telegram, etc.)
- Mobile app
- Your company's website
There is no right or wrong when it comes to picking the channel for your chatbot. You might want to consider your business needs, your time and resources, the channel where most of your leads are coming from.
While integrating your chatbot into all the other channels doesn't take a rocket scientist (given you are using a no-code platform), marrying your chatbot with your company's app might be a bit trickier.
But the game oftentimes is worth a candle. Let's see how the chatbot and the app play together:
Immediate quality service cannot leave anyone indifferent. After the first positive experience with your app, people will want to stay, explore, and can even take advantage of your product or recommend it to their friends.
Users who are more present on mobile devices will have a better customer experience if there is someone helping them navigate the app, chose the product, or find the answers to the questions.
Valuable data about what your customers buy and how they buy, carefully gathered by the chatbot, will let the app send personalized promotional campaigns. This is a great way to offer your product without being inappropriate or obnoxious.
An instant payment button built in your chatbot makes online shopping so much easier, faster, and more tempting. Thus, the customers are more likely to use it!
Now we know that integrating a chatbot into a messaging app is fairly simple and most of no-code platforms offer this feature. Integrating a chatbot into an already existing app requires a bit more effort. Each app as well as each no-code chatbot building platform is unique. This is why here we are going to look at TruVISBILITY copes with this task.
To add your TruVISIBILITY chatbot to your company's app, you need:
By now you probably realized that the question "Can I put a chatbot in an app?" is much more complex than it appears.
By presenting your business with a smart AI chatbot, you have a great opportunity to offer fast, efficient, and personalized services to your customers, which, as the statics show, they adore and expect.
Luckily, today there are many chatbot-building apps that require 0 coding or technical skills. You are free to closely inspect their features and pick the one that reflects your customers' needs the most.
At TruVISIBILITY we do our best to stay on top of recent marketing trends and use the latest technology to give the user what they really want (even when they might now know it!).
TruVISIBILITY makes the complicated easier.
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