Chatbots have become increasingly commonplace on corporate websites and social media pages. They offer customers an interactive experience that mimics human interaction, providing assistance and support, as well as quality leads, 24 hours a day. In addition, they can help to create loyalty and increase engagement with your business.
Chatbots have rapidly become an essential part of customer service for a variety of companies, including Bank of America, Lyft, Verizon, Fandango, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), Spotify, Mastercard, Whole Foods, Starbucks, and Staples. They are part of the developing area of conversational marketing, which simplifies essential customer-facing processes, personalizes interactions with businesses, and improves the user experience.
Want to know how to put this cutting-edge technology to work for your company? Learn from this guide on how to program your own conversational AI.
Different Chatbot Varieties
Chatbots can be categorized into two main types: basic and complex. However, there are many other ways to classify them based on their functions and identities.
A developer can create a simple chatbot that is programmed to respond to questions containing predefined terms. As their name suggests, these chatbots cannot understand the user’s question unless it contains one of the specified keywords they have been taught to recognize.
A more advanced chatbot utilizes AI to gain insights from conversations and evolve over time. Its repertoire of ideas is continually expanding, and it no longer needs to be programmed with predetermined keywords to generate an appropriate response. Interactions with the chatbot are designed to simulate those between two human beings.
The chatbot industry has several specialised subsets. The following are examples of common chatbots:
- Robots that converse through a series of buttons or a menu system
- Artificial conversationalists
- Conversational robots for customer service
- Mixed-type chatbots
- Chatbots that can recognise keywords
- Artificially intelligent chatbots
- Robot chat operators based on a set of rules
- Chatbots for social media communications
- Robots that mimic the human voice
How to Make a Chatbot in Seven Easy Steps
Let us focus on the details and explore the processes involved in creating a chatbot. The exact steps may vary depending on the context, but here is the general approach.
1. Ask yourself whether you really need a chatbot.
What purpose do you intend for your chatbot to serve? How will it improve the quality of customer service offered? As you plan the development of your chatbot, it is important to consider these factors.
2. Figure out what functions and characteristics are required
What is the primary purpose of the chatbot? It is important to have a clear understanding of the overall goal before beginning to outline the characteristics that the chatbot must have. It is helpful to divide the list of characteristics into two sections: core requirements and optional features. It is advisable to create a basic version of the chatbot, known as a minimal viable product (MVP), to begin with and then evaluate which optional features can be added without exceeding the budget.
3. Choose a medium.
Building a chatbot is achievable using a variety of different platforms. Most of them are low code, meaning you don’t need an extensive coding background to make use of them. When deciding, be sure to take the time to evaluate all the possibilities available to you. It may be beneficial to hire a third-party service to assist with the development of more complex features and customizations.
4. Find a place to put the chatbot
It is important to consider the appropriate context in which a chatbot should be deployed. This could include websites, social media pages, or any other form of communication. The design and functionality of the chatbot should be tailored to the chosen context in order to ensure an effective user experience.
5. Build on what has been said thus far.
It is contingent upon the complexity of the chatbot as to which approach should be taken. Nonetheless, it is essential that the core topics that you wish to communicate are accurately represented. Start by initiating a friendly greeting before delving into more intricate scripts. With the help of low-code platforms, the construction of the necessary components can be achieved with ease by dragging and dropping.
6. Make sure the chatbot works by testing it out.
It is essential to understand the functionality of the chatbot. Preview mode is often included, allowing you to experience the tool from a user’s perspective and evaluate its user experience (UX) in a simulated environment. Furthermore, it is important to check that the chatbot functions correctly across various interfaces and devices.
7. Modify It to Your Preferences
Your chatbot is now operational; the next step is to give it a distinct personality. Branding, such as the use of specific colors, patterns, and other visual components, can help to create the desired impression of your business. Once any changes have been implemented, it is important to re-test to ensure they are working as intended.
8. Educate the chatbot
Training your chatbot is essential in order to ensure it functions efficiently and improves your experience. Without this step, it is not possible to build an AI chatbot. The more information you provide, the more the tool will be able to learn and refine its responses.
9. Compile and analyse information
User feedback and analytics are two key sources of information that can help optimize your chatbot. To gain the most benefit, users should be able to provide ratings and reviews of their experience, as well as offering qualitative comments. Monitoring the analytics generated will help identify any issues the chatbot may be encountering and improve its responsiveness.
Boosting Customer Service with Chatbots
Chatbots that are regularly updated can provide excellent customer service. This can be a great tool for promoting customer loyalty, increasing product awareness, and providing tailored service to each user. Furthermore, they can free up the time of your human customer support agents, allowing them to focus on tasks that require a human touch.
It is important to constantly review and refine your chatbot’s capabilities, making use of the data you collect to further improve performance. This will provide a valuable resource for your business’s sales, marketing and customer service teams.