We have been dreaming of computers being able to independently take over unpleasant or routine tasks for a long time now. Thanks to artificial intelligence (AI), this scenario is no longer wishful thinking, but already – at least to some part – reality. For chatbots, in particular, AI opens up completely new possibilities. Whereas simple chatbots have only been able to process clearly defined queries in the past, with the help of artificial intelligence they can now conduct real conversations that go far beyond simple answering, hence relieving customer support staff.
The potential of chatbots is enormous and enables companies to implement personalised communication and better customer service. According to Juniper Research, banks alone will automate up to 90% of their customer interactions via chatbots by 2022. In order for AI-based chatbots or conversational AI to fulfil their respective goals, they must be properly integrated into the existing corporate structure. You can find out how this works in this article.
Define the purpose of the chatbot
Before you start with the technical integration of the chatbot, you first need to establish the basis. What do you want the chatbot to do? What problem does it solve for the company and its employees as well as for its customers? What functions does the AI chatbot need to be able to do this?
Take enough time to define the purpose of the planned chatbot. During development, it is important to get a clear understanding of how the chatbot can efficiently help your business and customers. A list of goals should be a good start for this.
Goal-oriented conversation design
Basically, conversations with a chatbot can be divided into two categories: structured and unstructured. Structured interactions involve the analysis of logical information. Unstructured interactions, on the other hand, are written texts written similar to our chat with friends or family.
When developing conversations, make sure that the user interface and content are simple and intuitive. Ideally, your users should feel like messaging a friend. This results in a natural and task-oriented conversation flow that ultimately leads the user to their goal.
Develop your own chatbot or use service providers?
You can either develop a chatbot yourself or choose a pre-built chatbot solution. If you decide to develop your own custom chatbot, you need to have the relevant resources in-house or cover them with external developers. The advantage of a custom-developed solution is just that: it is customized to your needs and requirements.
If you want to have more than just a rule-based click-bot however, a custom chatbot requires years of development time and a dedicated team of data scientists, software engineers and developers. Moreover, the data-based training of AI in particular requires a lot of data, which makes development even more difficult. Here, external solutions could score higher because they offer a core application that can be additionally customized.
With e-bot7, for example, you can integrate a functional AI chatbot within a few days. The chatbot can answer requests from the beginning because the AI is already trained with an extensive database. As a result, the chatbot understands the language and provides automated responses from day one.
This sets the chatbot specialist’s solution apart from many other service providers that only offer rule-based chatbots without AI. Rule-based chatbots without AI are unable to learn from incoming requests and to understand natural dialogue. To further train AI, companies often use a hybrid approach. This means that the AI only learns from human input to ensure that the company is in full control.
The right channels for your chatbot
How you integrate a self-developed chatbot depends on where you want to be embedded. For example, with a WordPress website, you can use appropriate plugins for integration or the platform API.
Professional chatbot providers, on the other hand, rely on standardized APIs, which allows them to implement complex solutions for individual requirements. This allows you to insert the AI chatbot into various channels, such as on the website or in messaging services like WhatsApp or Facebook, without having to worry about codes or integration. Beforehand, of course, it also depends on whether you take the chatbot solution as Software as a Service (SaaS) or as an on-premise application.
With a SaaS solution, the service provider takes over the entire effort and ensures a quick and easy implementation. With the on-premise variant, on the other hand, the chatbot is integrated into your existing server infrastructure. This gives you full control, but it takes longer for the chatbot to be ready for use.
Draw attention to the chatbot
Chatbots are usually found on the company website, in addition to social networks such as Facebook or Twitter. When used on the website, the chatbot must be visible. Otherwise, the implementation of the virtual assistant was pointless. Fortunately, there are suitable tools to increase the conversion rates of chatbots and motivate users to interact with the assistant.
Pop-ups are a popular method to draw website visitors’ attention to a newsletter or a special offer. Meanwhile, they are also becoming more and more established in the chatbot context. As the name suggests, the chatbot pops up centrally on the page. This draws the visitor’s attention to the chatbot and encourages them to interact.
A less intrusive variant is the so-called Top Bar. Here, a window appears at the top of the screen, allowing strategic placement. This variant is also available at the bottom of the screen. In terms of chatbots, this alternative is certainly one of the most popular. Just think how often you have visited a website with a chat window in the bottom right corner of the screen, where you can communicate with the chatbot.
Scroll pop-ups are specially designed for users who stay on a website for a longer period of time. They appear like a pop-up on the screen only after a visitor has scrolled to a certain point. The user’s attention is thus specifically directed to the chatbot.
Ideally, combine the chatbot with a pop-up or bar that puts the chatbot in the visitor’s field of vision. This gives users an easy way to ask questions without having to look up another page. In the long run, this can increase conversion rates and improve customer experience.
Proper integration brings long-term success
AI chatbots will be essential for many companies in the future. This makes it even more important to jump on the bandwagon now and take advantage of the opportunities offered by chatbot technology. Here, the right integration plays an important role since it is one of the factors determining whether the chatbot will be accepted by customers or not.
When choosing the right chatbot provider, you should therefore not act hastily, but take enough time. With the right expert, you can develop and implement your own use case within a very short time.