Are you looking to build a chatbot? If you have started your search, you know that there are a number of options and you probably already realize that a chatbot will lead to growth. Whether your customer support team is stretched too thin, you need more leads, or you are looking to provide your customers with a better overall experience- you are on the right path. Maybe you see that your competitors are using a chatbot or maybe you had a positive engagement with a chatbot from another business. There also might be people looking to update their outdated technology. Maybe you already have a chatbot, but it isn’t utilizing the latest AI technology and the current process needs an update. These are all valid reasons to be on the lookout for the best AI chatbot builder.
What Is An AI Chatbot?
An AI chatbot builder is a platform that helps you develop chatbot technology. Developers can build and train chatbots to have conversations with your customers for you. Depending on how sophisticated your chatbot is, it can be trained to better your interactions with your user base each time it interacts. From improving your customer support experience to streamlining your sales operations, a chatbot builder can help you quickly create an application that would be used on a variety of platforms to interact with your customers.
Certain chatbot builders are doing nothing more than breaking up your FAQ and moving it around for you. They spoon-feed your frequently asked questions right back to your users or lead them to various pages on your website for more information. These chatbot builders are not worthwhile and a waste of your and your customers’ time. Outdated chatbots will feel clunky and you will notice a slightly irrelevant and unnatural flow (or lack thereof) to the conversation. Your responses will feel canned, forced, and your steps in the pre-recorded menu might feel slow. These legacy chatbots don’t always rely on artificial intelligence, as the more modern chatbot builders do. If the chatbot feels like you could be reading an FAQ from a webpage, or if you feel like the menu options of a chatbot are only giving you a few choices, the chatbot builder might be using older or outdated technology – perhaps using “keyword spotting” to return an answer when a customer mentions a specific topic. More robust chatbots will use natural language processing (NLP) to more accurately determine context and respond appropriately.
Why The Right Chatbot Matters
Choosing an AI chatbot builder should not be taken lightly. Making the wrong choice could leave you with embarrassing user interactions, increased communication problems, and a decrease in customer engagement. Risking the relationship you have with your customers, and the relationship that your customers have with your brand’s product or service, your company’s reputation could be at stake. So, it’s important to take the decision seriously and do it right the first time around. It’s about knowing the right questions to ask and having a checklist for what you need out of your artificial intelligence.
Questions to ask yourself if you are researching a new chatbot:
- Do we have long call wait times for our customer support lines?
- Does our current FAQ process have a natural flow?
- Are we losing customers during a frustrating/confusing part of the customer journey?
- Is our customer support team at capacity or costing a fortune?
- Is our First Call Resolution rate too low?
- What percentage of our calls need multiple touchpoints?
- Does our lead generation use automation?
- Do we need a chatbot that supports a smaller or larger business?
Questions to ask yourself if you are considering updating your current chatbot:
- Is our current chatbot clunky feeling?
- Does our current chatbot feel like natural communication? Or does it feel forced?
- Can our chatbot integrate with our CRM, email, or other software?
- Does our current chatbot do as much as we would like it to do? Does it serve multiple functions?
- Does our current chatbot require resources to update or maintain?
- Are we using artificial intelligence to complete redundant/simple tasks?
- Do we need a company that could help us with other types of AI products?
- Does our chatbot give us reporting that helps us make better decisions?
These are all questions to consider while researching your options for a chatbot builder. Depending on your business challenges or regulations, the size of your company/team, and what you are looking to accomplish with AI technology- you will find various platforms that match your needs.
Best AI Chatbot Builder Checklist
Once you have found some options for an AI chatbot builder, it still might not be clear which company can provide you with exactly what you need. You’ve reviewed the above questions and weeded out which companies might not be a good fit. What is the next step? Pull out this checklist with what you should be looking for in the best AI chatbot platform.
Aside from the obvious cost comparison, which might not be clear from a website or one sales call, there are other things to look for. It is easy to get overwhelmed by features that you don’t need. Starting with the above checklist will help you keep your eye on the necessary goals.
Customization and personalization should be a priority. Every industry has specific needs, and your chatbot will need to understand the concerns your customers will have. If you aren’t able to customize your audio files or your call process, your chatbot will not feel modern or fresh. It could also make your brand image come off as something unappealing or not fit the tone of your company. Personalization is the part of artificial intelligence that gets the user closer to feeling like they have a human touch as part of their interaction. The customization also allows for your chatbot to fill multiple roles. If your software is utilizing NLP (natural language processing), it is a positive sign that the chatbot developers have created a product that can be personalized. Making sure that your customer walks away feeling positive about the engagement or communication is important.
The next aspect to consider is your timeline. Do you need to launch your chatbot quickly? Don’t assume that all technology can be implemented easily. Look at your schedule and discuss an ideal timeline. Hiring a person to build your chatbot with code can be a laborious task. Depending on the company or team, building an AI can take quite a deal of time and effort. If you are starting something from scratch, it will set you back. Companies might offer templates as guidance for a faster implementation time.
Plum Voice offers a large library of pre-built templates that allow for fast turnaround times and easy deployment, while still ensuring that your customer service will be tailored to your industry and use cases. These built-in templates also make the ease of use a huge benefit and will allow for easier internal operations. Ask your chatbot builder about implementation and how quickly you can start moving towards the benefit of using an AI chatbot. Plum Voice products offer drag-and-drop features that make the building process fun and realistic to edit on your own. Your chatbot builder should have templates that make the creation of your chatbot easy to visualize. You don’t even need to know how to code! That is a huge bonus. Some chatbot builders might require coding, but the best platforms will make it so that you don’t require any coding.
Integrations are next on the checklist. Make sure that your chosen chatbot integrates with any of your current software or systems. If it’s a possibility, this can give you an advantage by streamlining your internal efforts, supplementing your marketing campaigns, and optimizing your CRM. Ask if your chatbot builder is set up to integrate and sync with the platforms that you want to continue to use, or technology that you plan to use in the future. Make a list of the technology you currently use for marketing, sales, automation, or email to see if your chatbot builder can connect with it.
Not all AI engines are created equal. For some industries, there are proprietary options, and everyone is familiar with the offerings from companies like Google, Nuance, Amazon and IBM. All have their strengths and weaknesses. It may be hard to choose what’s best for your project. Fortunately, with Plum Voice’s AI Fusion(™), you can avoid locking yourself into any one AI vendor – AI Fusion allows you to easily switch between AI engines for different parts of your chatbot to optimize your accuracy and performance.
After taking a look at the pricing, the customization levels, the power of the features, the deployment time, and whether or not you can integrate your tech stack, the last thing to review would be the chat builder’s reporting. Data is only as good as the analytics that we can use alongside the technology or application. The end goal is to use the information that your AI discovers and unearths. The only way to achieve that is to be able to take the analytics that the chatbot delivers or presents. A platform should offer a product like VoiceTrends that provides a portal, or dashboard, about your chatbot metrics. When are you losing people in the conversation? What is your FCR (First Call Resolution) rate looking like? Which menu options get used most often? The information you receive from reporting is more than numbers to present in a financial report. The details and information gained can help you improve your engagement, strengthen the bond with your customers, and improve your customer experience.
Before you take the final step and commit to a chatbot builder, ask to review testimonials or case studies. Any trusted company should be able to gladly provide use cases on how the chatbot has worked for other companies. Ask for ebooks, whitepapers, or any documentation they can provide on previous clients.
Your chatbot could be handling conversations 24/7, collecting information, assisting customers, and building your database. If it’s not, it might be time to revamp your current applications. If you are ready to discuss your chatbot build project, schedule a time to chat about what type of AI your company could use to move forward. A Plum Voice team member would enjoy spending time reviewing your needs and explaining what a chatbot could look like for you.