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According to Drift – A conversational marketing platform, 35% of people use chatbots to resolve a complaint or problem, or for getting detailed answers. Hence, chatbots are the future. They are now our hyper-personalized and intelligent assistants – perfectly capable of working in extreme environments. Back in the day, Miss. MoneyPenny was responsible for your early morning coffee, scheduling meetings, taking calls, and even going to the dry cleaners for you. But now we carry personal ‘digital’ assistants in our pockets wherever we go.
Advanced technologies such as Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning are simplifying the interaction between man and machine. This modern-tech savvy world is nothing short of science fiction.
With the latest tech, you can summon JARVIS with just a single tap, ready to obey your commands. Whether it is you looking for a fancy restaurant in your vicinity or ordering groceries, chatbots help us find the information we need instantly. Which in return gives us a chance to easily manage our time for tasks that need a human touch like hugging your dog.
Still, confused about what a chatbot is? ‘Alexa, use the force’ or ‘Alexa, I am your father’, does it ring any bell? No? But anyway, according to Juniper research, chatbot technology will save businesses about $8 billion annually by 2022. So just know, chatbots are huge!
Learn about chatbots below!
What are Chatbots?
A chatbot is a code that can simulate a conversation. Or in other words, they interact through instant messaging or voice search, replicating the patterns of human interaction through AI. Machine learning allows chatbots to learn by themselves without programming and natural language processing helps them to understand human speech and text.
Chatbots are programmed to work independently of a human operator. It usually responds based on what it knows or is fed into it through ML but they do have some limitations. If a conversation brings it to a place where it does not know what to do, the chatbot will either deflect by saying, ‘Sorry but I don’t understand you’, or potentially pass the conversation to a human operator, when speaking in terms of customer service. But in both cases, they try to learn from the interaction, and over time they will gradually know the answers they did not know before.
According to Patrick Welch, who is the president of Bigtincan. ‘The main goal of these chatbots is to assist customers with getting to their end goal as quickly as possible, whether it is finding out more information, or making a sale. In the end, it’s ideally to replicate the success of top-performing customer agents.’ Therefore the use of chatbots in the customer service industry will continue. According to estimates, 85% of customer interaction will be handled without human agents in 2021. Pretty cool!
Different Types of Chatbots
Looking to integrate a chatbot into your website? Good enough. But the very first step is to know the types for perfect execution.
First, there are virtual assistants such as Alexa by Amazon, Siri by Apple, Assistant by Google, and Cortana by Microsoft. They help you find the information you are looking for, give reminders so that you don’t miss out on your meetings, and even make a purchase for you.
They use a voice interface to interact and are categorized as voice-enabled chatbots. Virtual assistants are dependent upon AI and ML to respond to your commands. They are a perfect example of Intellectually Independent Chatbots.
Messaging- Type Chatbots
Then there are the messaging apps – chatbots specifically designed and developed for global brands and businesses for providing around-the-clock customer services with instant responses, and complaint resolutions. It’s just like sending a text message and getting back a response. Here chatbots act like a real customer support staff at the other end but they only follow pre-programmable rules. Hence, they are generally known as rule-based chatbots.
Global Industries that Use Chatbots
Chatbots are the talk of the town and by town, I mean global industries. The chatbot revolution is taking industries by the storm and therefore, every company big or small is jumping on the bandwagon and joining the revolution.
For customers, chatbots are time-efficient and for industries they are cost-efficient. I see a win-win. In the infographic below, I have identified the top industries that has integrated and adopted customized chatbots applications for providing better service.
Top Reasons Why Your Business Needs a Chatbot
- They are useful for providing a basic automated customer support
- Customers can come any time of the day and therefore chatbots are available round the clock and in all respects such as in case of immediate queries
- Chatbots enhance the operational efficiency of a company. According to Chatbots Magazine, implementing virtual agents or chatbots can help businesses to save up to 30%
- They are known to provide a smooth experience to your customers
- Chatbots can work alongside humans for example if they come across queries that are not within their capabilities, humans can take over
- Chatbots can help companies with sales and revenues through improved customer experience
- They are capable of collecting customer data for providing better product preferences and recommendations. Based on studies, 37% of all consumers and 48% of millennials are open to receiving recommendations or advice from chatbots
- Chatbots learn with every human interaction for future improvements
- Friendly chat bot interactions can help companies build a rapport with customers
- They can showcase new products and services as customers land on the platform
- Chatbots can facilitate marketers by only sending the relevant notifications to people as they monitor consumer behavior and track interests
- Last but not least, they are very cost and time-efficient
Learn about Important Chatbot Features
No matter which industry your business is in; customer engagement and satisfaction are equally important. So let’s look at some of the modern features that chatbots should have.
- They should be able to offer a cross-channel communication such as through desktop browsers, mobile phones, and tablets
- Chatbots should be able to send related product catalogs, videos, links, and images through attachments
- Seamless integration of chatbot with your CRMS such as Hubspot, Mailchimp, Salesforce for maximum performance
- Multilingual chatbot features for easy accessibility
- It should adhere to cybersecurity best practices
- They should have analytical capability meaning you should be able to see insights and analytics through the chatbot dashboard panel
- Make sure they are professional in nature and error-free
- Should offer high usability with attractive user interface and experience design
- Fully customizable chat bot that aligns with your brand
- Must be able to understand the context of the situation including slangs and idioms
- Should offer an option to speak to a human agent
Building a Chatbot for your Business
Do you wanna build a snowman, I meant, a chatbot? Then follow the necessary steps given below to learn about chatbots development:
Step 1: Identify
This is the very first step of chatbot development where you identify the type of chatbot that you want to build. Is it going to be intellectually independent or a rule-based chatbot? You also figure out why you need one and what do you hope to accomplish?
Step 2: Platform
Do you want to integrate the chatbot into your website, mobile application, or Facebook messenger? Or will it have omnichannel capabilities? I prefer the latter over the former.
Step 3: Tech Stack
This step is a tricky one because this is where you decide whether you will go for a chatbot builder or custom development. In the case of custom development, do you have the necessary skills and expertise or will you outsource chatbot development services? Be sure to weigh the pros and cons of both options before you start.
Step 4: Design
Now that you have your tech stack, you need to design the conversation flow. Also during this step, you pay close attention to UI/UX branding and design.
Step 5: Train
This is the most important step since this is where you train your bot around multiple scenarios and data sets.
Step 6: Test
No development is final without testing and making sure it’s bug-free. You can use testing tools and also play different scenarios yourself to check the efficiency and accuracy of the system.
Step 7: Deploy
Chatbot development process does not end after deployment. Now you need to make sure that the system is regularly updated and maintained to avoid any unforeseen circumstances.
Chatbot Development Cost
Chatbots, among industries, have proven themselves to be quite useful and valuable in terms of customer service. According to studies, almost 50% of companies will spend their budgets more on chatbots than on traditional mobile app development in 2021.
Seeing the preference, it is pretty evident that chatbots are in the spotlight for businesses across industries. The cost of developing chatbots depends on whether you are looking for custom development or through a simple chatbot builder. So if you are starting from the ground up the cost falls somewhere between $50,000 to $300,000. But if you are looking for development through a bot builder the minimum price starts from $500.
Developing Chatbots with InvoZone
InvoZone offers a mixture of consulting, outsourcing, and specialized services to global clients across all types of software development. These services include chatbot development, web development, mobile app development, UX/UI design, quality assurance services, DevOps, IoT development, et al. We cater to a variety of industries, including eCommerce, Fintech, Healthcare, Education, Food & Groceries, Travel & Tourism.
Interested? So what are you waiting for? Learn about chatbots with us!