If you don’t already have an AI chatbot, you need to get moving. These intelligent assistants are changing the customer support game for companies of all sizes and you’re missing out if you don’t get on board. AI chatbots can learn from data and interactions over time, deliver human-like interactions, and be easily built, customized, and integrated into your operations.
Before you can start building your chatbot, you need to understand why it’s such an asset. Then, you will be able to ensure that all the features you need are present in the tool that you create.
Five reasons AI chatbots are essential, not optional:
These are just a handful of the reasons an AI chatbot should be at the top of your priority list. How do you go about creating one, though?
There are a lot of platforms and providers you can use to help you build your chatbot. However, they’re not all created equally. You should think about your audience, the types of uses your chatbot will have, and what integrations you need, for example. This can help you narrow down the list and help you start creating a direction.
Is your chatbot for customer service? FAQs? Sales questions? All of the above? Don’t limit yourself here, but make sure that you define why you need a chatbot.
Then, you can move to the next step and choose your platform.
The ways to create chatbots are growing by the day. You can find platforms with pre-built and white-label chatbots, programming languages, and other solutions. If you want to get the most out of your investment, we suggest pairing services where you can.
For example, when you partner with Smith.ai, you’ll get a top-quality chatbot and live chat support with our virtual receptionists.
You should choose a provider or platform that works as an extension of your company, offering both branded and white-label solutions for chatbots and other customer service needs. This will allow you to get the most out of your money and streamline customer service, which is critical for small businesses and startups.
You can’t just set up an AI chatbot and let it go. It will do a lot of learning and refinement on its own, but it still needs your assistance. Taking the time to design the conversation flow and create multiple intents will enhance the understanding of the chatbot so that it can deliver more pointed, effective support.
When your chatbot is purposefully designed to deliver the best experience for customers, it will provide a much better resource than if you just slap some generic chatbot on your site and call it a day.
Once you’ve got everything set up, you will want to go through and review the chatbot to see how well it works. Look at it from both a user perspective and a technical standpoint so that you can iron out any kinks that may come up along the way. Customize the bot and test it out, then ask others to try it out for you.
Make sure that answers are clear, intents are provided, links work, and everything else functions as it should. If a live agent escalation is required, make sure it happens at the right point in the conversation. These are all little details that add up to the big picture, so it’s important to check them all.
If you feel that your chatbot is ready to be open for business, it’s time to launch. The good news is that you can still make changes and tweaks after you’ve started using the chatbot. It should be as ready to go as possible, but allow room for future improvements, too.
Promote your new chatbot on your website, social media, and even through email marketing and other means to your most valuable customers. Put your bot where you want it on your website (we recommend the entire site have access). Encourage people to try out the chatbot and then reach out to you to let you know about their experience.
All this will help you continue to refine your chatbot and deliver a more powerful, personalized user experience in every way possible.
Building a chatbot can take some time and tweaking, but eventually, you’ll get the hang of it. You can also partner with providers who do the building for you, allowing you to provide insight and input so that it fits your unique needs. In either case, there are some things that you want to keep in mind.
Don’t limit yourself too much. As mentioned above, you can sometimes get too refined with all the data that you have, causing your chatbot to be less helpful than it could be. Create a chatbot that can handle a broad range of needs and user inquiries.
Choose a generative AI model that also utilizes conversational AI and natural language processing (NLP) to deliver more personalized answers and address things like context and intent.
Finally, remember to partner with someone who can help you through it all, like the virtual receptionists at Smith.ai. From our AI voice assistant and live chat support to our lead intake, appointment scheduling, and 24/7 answering service, we’ve got you covered. That way, you can spend less time and money on the little things and focus on building your small business.