To achieve success with chatbots, businesses need to know what they are looking for and be aware of the options available to them. Given the AI hype, the ideal chatbot should be AI powered, able to converse with the users in free-flowing text format. But do you even need a complex AI bot for your business?
It is much better to introduce a simpler bot first, and evolve the bot from there. The bots can be classified based on the underlying conversation engine:
1. FAQ chatbots: The simplest form of chatbots. The backend is fed with standard questions that a user can ask, and the responses to those questions. These bots do not store conversation history and work on the principals of answer and forget i.e. it will not have the context of the conversation if the user asks a second, related question. The bot is hardcoded, uses no AI and can be deployed very quickly. This type of bot is ideal for answering frequent inquiries
2. Menu based chatbots: This is another simple form of a chatbot where you have defined a scenario tree and have built in responses within the bot, much like an automated IVR. The bot does not use any form of AI and simple to build. This type of bot is ideal for tasks that are straightforward, but involve multiple steps
3. Conversational Chatbots: These are most advanced bot, and are also referred to as virtual assistants. They are designed to be interactive, handle open ended and free flowing inputs from the users. If built right, these bots can learn the context and intent behind a query, and have the potential to minimize the need for human customer support staff. These bots use Machine Learning & AI algorithms at the backend, learn from the conversation data and improve query resolution success rate over time.
4. Voice based Chatbots: Voice based bots are an extension of conversational bot, utilizing the most natural form of conversations i.e. voice. The progress of voice based bot is driven by the progress of speech recognition and linguistic technologies within AI, which is an ongoing research area. The success also depends on the language of the geographic area a business operates in
No matter the industry you operate in, you could deploy a chatbot that can automate some part of your business. It is however important to know your requirement, and assess the return on investment (RoI) that you could generate from the solution. The advanced AI based bots take more time to develop, as well as require significant investment.
Benefits of deploying chatbots:
1. Reduce customer wait time
2. 24×7 availability
3. Standardized, quality controlled engagement with customers
4. No limitations on query volumes and highly scalable
5. Improved return on investment with reduced human resource training, hiring and retention
At Xtage Labs, we have developed a set of guidelines to help you choose the right chatbot solution:
1. Identify your business requirements
2. Build the bot across your simplest use cases
3. Measure the key metrics like customer satisfaction, resolution rate etc.
4. Measure the bot return on investment (RoI) and assess if an advanced conversational chatbot or voice based chatbot makes sense
Building the first chatbot for your business and testing how your customers respond does not require a huge investment or time.
Chatbots are here to stay, and an early start can provide you with the competitive advantage. It is however important to understand that a chatbot is like your website or a mobile app – and you will need to keep enhancing the customer experience through the chatbot for continued success.