Choosing the Right Chatbot for Your Business
A quote by Michael LeBoeuf states that “every company’s greatest assets are its customers, because without customers there is no company.” The many variances of this quote as spoken by several business influencers suggests that there is great truth in this maxim.
Leading businesses are consistently working to improve their customer experiences; and as the evolution of smart bots continues at a rapid pace, many are looking at how to successfully integrate these into their daily operations.
Before implementing new technology into your business however, it is important to know what considerations you must heed when choosing your smart bot.
What are Chatbots
We have all heard about Artificial Intelligence and it’s impending takeover – but where or how to chatbots fit into all this?
Chatbots on their own are a small page off the book of artificial intelligence. In today’s society, it is very likely that you will have had shared an encounter with one – think: WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and similar messaging platforms.
By definition, a chatbot is a computer program designed to simulate conversation with human users, especially over the Internet.
In a business context, a chatbot is similar to an assistant that you can communicate with via text message, web chats, and instant messaging applications. It is an automated or programmed system of communication.
Why Choosing the Right Chatbot is Important for Your Business
Chatbots are being hailed as time-savers, particularly for basic, repetitive tasks; thus increasing staff and employee productivity. However, will this may be so, it must be noted all chatbots are different.
In the same way that a business takes the necessary steps to recruit talented staff, the same care must be taken when choosing the right chatbot.
There are simple chatbots, and then there are smart chatbots.
A simple chatbot is programmed to understand predetermined keywords. Of the same accord, its function is limited by these keywords.
A smart chatbot on the other hand, uses artificial intelligence with engaging with its users. These bots are able to intelligently respond to conversations using a wide selection of suggested topics. Every time a smart chatbot encounters a new topic, it keeps that occurrence on record for future use.
5 Things to Consider When Choosing a Business Chatbot
When shopping around for a chatbot, it is important to make sure that you choose the right one. Here are 5 points to consider when choosing the right chatbot for your business:
1. Ensure Your Chatbot is Consistent With Your Brand
As a point of contact for your business, it is important that your chatbot is consistent with your brand and speaks to your core customers. Think about your target demographic and ensure that your chatbot behaves or embodies a similar persona.
2. Natural Language Processing (NLP)
Chatbots were created to assist with standard communication activities; and yet, it is also in communication that chatbots often miss the mark.
Natural Language Processing (NLP) is generally defined as an area of artificial intelligence that helps to allow computers to understand and manipulate speech and human language.
Chatbots draw and extract their knowledge from open sources. As such, it is safe to say that if a chatbot is not programmed to leverage off an industry specific source, there is a greater chance of failed conversations with your customers.
3. Learning Capabilities
As chatbots are manually developed and programmed, it is essential to understand the mechanics of how it will learn what it needs to do. Are there workflows that guide your bots conversations? What vocabulary does the platform support? And will it support the anticipated complexities of your business conversations?
Look for smart bots that are programmed to track and record user interactions to enable continued machine learning and improved efficiencies. Smart Bots learn quickly and adapt to the needs of your business.
4. Ease of Integration
When implementing new technology into your business, it is important to ensure that this can be integrated with ease; and that it will work well with all your other relevant systems.
There is significant concern surrounding new technology and chatbots are not immune to the security risks and issues. When choosing a third party bot, you need to do your research and ask the right questions of the developer or reseller. Find out if and how their systems are created to protect the valuable data and information of your customers.