AI-powered technologies have become a key element in digital marketing and customer service strategy for online businesses. The reasons for this are the following:
- The way prospects and customers interact with businesses has been evolving rapidly
- Using AI can provide huge savings
- Chatbots can help businesses to be available for customers 24/7.
That’s why the chatbot market continues to develop at the speed of light. In fact, according to a recent report by Grand View Research, it’s expected to reach $1.23 billion by 2025, growing by more than 20 percent annually.
As you can see, it would be a tremendous increase compared to the current size of the market, which means that more and more businesses will develop their own chatbots to meet customer service needs.
If you’re hesitating about whether your customers would appreciate a chatbot, don’t worry. First and foremost, take a look at the image above and see that chatbots are adopted by businesses from a number of industries. Your industry could be there, too.
Second, there’s good evidence that 69 percent of consumers prefer chatbots for quick communication with brands (source: the 2018 State of Chatbots report).
So, now that we know all we need about the potential of chatbots for improving your business, here are tips on creating one.
1. Choose Your Method
You can develop a chatbot for your business using code-based frameworks, development (non-coding) platforms, or just hire a developer to do that for you.
For example, the list of the most widely used code-based frameworks includes Microsoft bot framework , Wit.ai, and API.ai.
Development non-coding platforms worth checking out are Chatfuel, SnatchBot, and Botsify.
2. Understand the Goals of Your Customers
What might be the reasons why your customers may use a chatbot? What would they want them to do? By answering these questions, you’ll be able to help the developers to create conversations aimed at meeting specific goals and resolving specific issues.
There are lots of possible use cases for chatbots, according to the aforementioned State of Chatbots report. See the full list in the image below.
Feel free to use these ideas to brainstorm for potential use cases for your own chatbot and ensure that it’s capable of solving the most common requests of your customers.
3. Design Interactions
There are two types of interactions between a user and a chatbot:
- Structured. These include a logical flow of information; for example, a user asks a chatbot about a specific product, so it views its characteristics or prompts to fill an order form to complete the purchase. Other examples include queries where customers ask how to pay or how to get their money back, or any FAQ-style questions.
- Unstructured. This type is essentially a freestyle text, so it’s difficult for a chatbot to predict what customers need. To ensure quick answers, such AI-powered technologies as natural language processing (NLP) analysis are used (in this case, the chatbot needs to be programmed with the right NLP software).
4. Develop a Script
At this stage, you need to develop a script for messages generated by your chatbot. Remember that you need to keep them close to the goals of customers that it needs to help to achieve.
For example, let’s suppose your business is a pizza restaurant that has a delivery service. In this case, the design of the chatbot needs to script conversations that resemble potential requests from customers (e.g. delivery times, cost, payment, and ordering).
During this process, make sure that the bot is able to answer both open-ended questions (those which can be answered by a simple "yes" or "no"), and closed-ended questions (those which require an answer consisting of more than one word, often used for discussion questions, interviews, and research papers ).
Also, do your best to ensure that the conversations are as natural as they can possibly be, so no complex questions; minimize the number of open-ended questions to maximize the chance that the answers will be relevant.
5. Publish Your Chatbot
At this point, your chatbot will be completed, so it’s time to publish it. Depending on the method you’ve used to develop it – frameworks, non-coding platforms, or using a developer – connect the new tool to your website and monitor its progress.
Time to Become an Early Adopter!
Gartner predicts that 25 percent of customer service and support operations will be handled by chatbots, so it’s a perfect time to adopt this technology. It’ll allow you to take advantage of the many benefits we described above, and be one of the leading companies in your industry/niche in terms of customer service.
With so many chatbot platforms available, it’s safe to claim that a chatbot revolution is coming, so you should definitely consider using chatbots as a tool for solving customers’ problems.