How do I quickly set up a chatbot for business?

December 27, 2022

Table of Contents:

A chatbot is a software or computer program that mimics a human conversation through text or voice interactions. Users communicate with a chatbot through a chat interface or voice as if they were talking to a real person. Chatbots interpret and process users' words or phrases and give an instant, predetermined response.

Using robots, businesses can easily guide their customers toward a desired goal, assist them, and even keep in touch with a human for future marketing campaigns.

The communication style can be anything - serious and formal or witty and entrepreneurial.

Studies have shown that messengers are popular and have higher engagement rates than mobile apps. With chatbots, brands can successfully engage customers on social media and use messengers to communicate on a platform that users already like and know.

Chatbots today and in the future

Although the first chatbot appeared in the 1960s, the market for virtual assistants is still very young. The commercial use of virtual assistants began with Apple creating the famous Siri.

After that, all major companies began to release their own products: Google Assistant, Alexa, Cortana, etc. Today this technology has become available to companies of all sizes.

Here's how the chatbot market and its prospects are assessed:

  • The chatbot market has been estimated at $17.17 billion in 2020. Mordorintelligence
  • It will reach $102.29 billion by 2026, a compound annual growth rate of 34.75%. Mordorintelligence
  • Global revenue generated by chatbots in 2021 was about $83 million. Statista
  • By 2027, global revenue generated by chatbots could be about $454 million. Statista
  • The amount in e-commerce transactions made through chatbots is projected to grow to $112 billion by 2023. Juniper Research
  • The introduction of chatbots in retail will save companies and consumers about 2.5 billion hours in 2023. Juniper Research
  • Chatbots can reduce customer support costs by 30%. Smallbizgenius

What chatbot users think:

  • About 60% of the world's people have chatted with a chatbot in the past year / Getvoip
  • 65% of users feel comfortable solving problems without human involvement / Adweek
  • 40% of customers don't care if a bot or human serves them as long as they get the support they need / Hubspot
  • 74% of users prefer chatbots when searching for answers to simple questions /
  • 69% of users prefer to use chatbots because they provide quick answers to simple questions / Salesforce
  • 64% of users think 24/7 service is the best feature of chatbots / Smallbizgenius

So we can conclude that in the near future, having a chatbot will become a similar necessity as having a website or social media account.

Types of chatbots

Scripted chatbots, or chatbots with fast response

The simplest type of chatbots currently on the market. They communicate with users with predefined questions that continue until the chatbot solves the problem. These chatbots are sufficient to answer frequently asked questions, which make up 80% of support requests. However, they fail in more complex scenarios. It's also worth noting that they are the slowest in terms of getting the user the results they want.

Chat bots based on keyword recognition

This type of bot "listens" to what the user types in and tries to respond accordingly, using keywords from customer responses. This bot combines customizable keywords and artificial intelligence for the correct response. Unfortunately, chatbots of this type fail when they have to answer many of the same questions. Chatbots based on neurolinguistic programming (NLP) start to fail when there is redundancy of keywords between several related questions.

Machine-learning chatbots

These chatbots are more complex than the others and require focus on the data. Bots use machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) to remember conversations with specific users, learn and grow over time. Unlike bots based on keyword recognition, chatbots with contextual awareness are smart enough to self-improve based on what users ask for and how they ask for it.

Hybrid chatbots

A company doesn't always have developers or large amounts of data to support artificial intelligence chatbots. That's why many choose a hybrid model. A hybrid model offers the best of both worlds-the simplicity of rule-based chatbots and the complexity of artificial intelligence bots. Users can get answers to their questions directly or use the chatbot menu to make choices if keyword recognition isn't effective.

Voice chatbots

This type of chatbot is the future of technology because of the convenience they bring. It's much easier for the customer to talk than to type. Voice-enabled chatbots use users' speech as input that prompts answers or creative tasks. Developers can build these chatbots using text-to-speech and voice-recognition APIs. Examples include Amazon Alexa and Apple's Siri.

Chatbots Applications

One way to stay competitive in today's business is to automate as many processes as possible. The growth of self-service checkout counters in grocery stores and ordering kiosks in restaurants are proof of this.

Chatbots have been used for years in instant messaging applications for sales and customer service in the B2C and B2B industries.

Where companies can apply chatbots:

  • Shopping assistance. Chatbots act as sales consultants, providing customers with product information, offering more personalized recommendations, assisting with orders and handling returns.
  • Banking. Chatbots answer user inquiries to help find the information they need, can generate invoices, statements and other standardized documents, and match credit offers and investment options.
  • Customer Service. Customer service departments can use chatbots to respond to repetitive inquiries. For example, to help find information about a problem, create the right support ticket, or find out the current status of a request.
  • Healthcare. Clinics use chatbots to tell customers about existing services, make an appointment with the right doctor, remind them of their visit, and ask them to rate the quality of the service some time after their visit.
  • Personnel Management. Chatbots help large companies: a virtual assistant can be used to apply for sick leave or vacation, inform employees about important changes and upcoming events.

This is just a part of what can be automated using chatbots. Cases can be found on the Internet for almost any field.

Benefits of using chatbots

Customers often ask the same questions. By automating conversations that would have previously required an employee, the company can cut costs and direct resources to other purposes.

Chatbots don't forget anything, they work on pre-written commands and always do what they are programmed to do. Consequently, they don't make mistakes.

Customers don't always find the information they're interested in. Sometimes they don't even know exactly what they want. The user may accidentally go to a website or social networking group and inquire about products or services. Asking a series of clarifying questions, the bot will help find information (or contact the manager in case of difficulty).

Human resources are severely limited, while a robot can handle a huge number of requests simultaneously. Imagine a global airline with hundreds of customers who want a prompt response. No call center can handle that many requests quickly and efficiently. For chatbots, it's a chore.

A company that doesn't have 24-hour support won't be able to answer customers after hours. However, using a chatbot can solve the problem of access to the information they need. The 24/7 availability allows people to use bots regardless of time or time zone.

According to research, consumers expect to get answers to their questions as quickly as possible - the average expected response time is between 0 and 20 minutes. The cost of engaging users is reduced by the chatbot's ability to respond within seconds.

Chatbots collect feedback on every interaction, thereby helping companies improve their services and products, and optimize their websites and apps. Bots can record user data to track behavior patterns. This information can provide insights into how best to sell products and services, as well as common problems customers encounter during the buying process.

In the case of unusual ways of engaging customers with chatbots, companies are mostly limited by a flight of fancy (and budget). Here are a few examples: Domino's Pizza developed a Twitter bot that allows customers to order pizza using emoji. Disney has a special way for fans of The Muppet Show to chat with Miss Piggy. Another example: a chatbot of the cinema, which is aware of all the current movies and future premieres. It helps users pick a movie and schedule a trip to the theater.

The challenges of using chatbots

New technology brings with it new challenges. While AI-enabled bots learn from each interaction and improve their behavior, the process can cost organizations a lot of money if initial interactions cause customers to interrupt conversations and walk away.

Security. Users must trust the chatbot to share personal data. Therefore, companies should design their chatbots so that they only ask for necessary data and transmit it securely over the internet. The application architecture should be as secure as possible against unauthorized access.

Differences in how people type their messages. This can lead to misunderstandings of intent. Chatbots must handle both long and short sentences. The user may use slang, misspelled words, or abbreviations. Chatbots should struggle to understand them. But unfortunately, learnability has its limitations and cannot completely solve this problem.

Unpredictable human behavior. People are random, and emotions and moods often control behavior, so users can quickly change their minds. Chatbots have a long way to go before they adapt and begin to understand spontaneity.

User satisfaction. Users always want the best, but are rarely satisfied. They always want the chatbot to be better than it is now. This means that chatbots need to be constantly updated and improved so that people feel they are communicating with a reliable and intelligent assistant.

How to make a chatbot using a builder?

If you're not familiar with programming and don't have enough time or money to invest, you can use services to create chatbots.

Define goals and objectives for the chatbot

Solve a service problem? Promote a product? Generate quality leads? The more specific the goal, the better. Research your customers' most popular requests, write down examples and try to group them together. Then decide where the chatbot will be most effective.

Choose communication channels

To do this, it's worth knowing where users are most often coming from. When choosing a service, be sure to study the possibility of integrating your communication channels with the future chatbot platform. Usually services already offer a wide range of integration options:

  • Online consultant on the website. Most designers offer integration with online consultants or a ready-made widget. For popular CMS there are solutions that require the user to only download and install the plugin.
  • Social networks and messengers. If your users prefer to communicate via WhatsApp or Telegram, provide them with this option.

We also recommend checking API integration options: it is possible that in the future you may want to integrate the bot somewhere else - for example, into a mobile app.

Many chatbot development platforms offer multiple integrations, so you can use chatbots across multiple communication channels.

Develop scenarios for chatbot conversations

Start planning the user's possible paths in the chatbot conversation. You can do this using mind-mapping tools, google drawings, or chatbot development tools in services.

Add questions that users can ask you as a conversation starter.

For each question asked, come up with the best answers that users can choose. Create multiple answers for each question you ask so that you are more likely to meet the user's needs.

For each question you ask and each answer available to the user, you should build a dialogue thread, asking clarifying questions. Some conversations may stop after one question, while others may span multiple levels.

Take the time to ensure that all conversations fully address the customers' problem. For dialogue threads that go too deep, it is advisable to lay down a translation of the dialogue to a company employee.

Think carefully about the endpoints users need to reach. With the right approach, the bot will be able to generate sales on its own without the need for human assistance.

Choose the right service

There are a large number of services on the market. Before delving into the individual capabilities of each platform, you need to determine your desired budget and ROI. This will allow you to immediately cross out options that are out of budget.

For the bot to function, you need to receive and record data: this can be information about availability, the current status of the order, and so on. To do this, you need to set up integration between the service and your database. The database can be your CRM, a website database, or, for example, Google tables. So the next step is to check if there are ready-made solutions for your case.

What else to consider when choosing:

  • a simple and straightforward account management interface;
  • intuitive bot configuration;
  • the availability of ready-made templates;
  • competent and efficient technical support;
  • the absence of mandatory integration with other services;
  • test period.

List of popular platforms:

  • Sendpulse - chatbots for all popular social networks and messengers;
  • Manychat - an international service with a large number of integrations;
  • ChatBot - creating chatbots with AI support.

In conclusion

It is impossible to imagine modern business without process automation. Chatbots help to solve this problem: create your own robots and direct free resources to other important tasks. Today, robotic assistants are available to both large companies with established business processes and small organizations.

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