AI-based Chatbots are used everywhere, including as lead-generation tools on websites, personal shoppers in eCommerce, and even healthcare assistants in the medical field. It’s no wonder that chatbot development is a big priority for many companies.
In this article, we’ll show you how to build a chat bot (based on experience from Topflight Apps).
Chatbots have several benefits, including making customers happy by quickly answering their questions, hosting multiple conversations at once, and offering better user experiences. Unlike human employees, chatbots never have a bad day, go on vacation or get tired. It’s no wonder you might want to make your own chatbot.
Coding a chatbot with AI is a challenge. You can use natural language processing and AI algorithms to build your app, but it’s expensive and complex. You need the right tools and the right team.
1. Decide what the chatbot should do
You have to give your chatbot a purpose. Do you want to make an AI chatbot to support automation, improve customer experiences, or for lead generation? Look at your customers and some of the questions or needs they may have to guide your decision. This purpose will steer the features you need to add.
2. Choose where the chatbot will “live”
Do you want your chatbot to speak to customers on social media or on your website via a widget? You can even implement a chatbot on Whatsapp, Telegram, or Slack. You can usually integrate with these platforms through a simple code snippet or API. Many chatbot development platforms will offer multiple integrations, so you can deploy your chatbot across multiple channels.
3. Choose the Tech Stack
You need to choose either a framework or platform. AI frameworks (Dialogflow, IBM Watson, Microsoft Bot) act as libraries that software developers use to code a bot. Platforms are chatbot builders that make it easier to build and implement a bot with minimal or no coding. Be warned, the tech you choose will impact the cost to build a chatbot application significantly. Choosing a chatbot builder is much cheaper, but it will be very limited in its functionality, whereas building one from scratch enable you to design the AI-based chatbot exactly like you want to.
4. Design the Conversation
You need to teach your bot exactly how to speak to customers. You can build a conversation flow by dragging and dropping building blocks to create a conversational sequence that takes your brand and tone into account. You can start with a trigger that sparks action, e.g., a user logs on and receives a welcome message.
5. Testing and Training
Make sure that everything works as it should. If you are using a software development company, they will handle QA testing to ensure that your chatbot works the way you want it to. If your chatbot uses a simple decision tree flow, it’s ready to use. If you use AI that understands the user’s intent, you need to train it further to analyze and respond in a certain way. Collect feedback from users to find out how you can improve.
Here are just a few tips for implementing when building your bot:
- Add the human touch. Make sure the tone of voice matches your brand tone and sounds warm and friendly to keep your users engaged.
- Route complex conversations to human support agents. AI-based chatbots can solve minor issues, but if they can’t help and keep repeating themselves, your users will get frustrated. Make sure chatbots can route conversations whenever appropriate.
- Your chatbot should break answers into quick replies and set delays instead of responding at lightning speed.
- Don’t design dead-end conversations. Make sure customers can resolve their queries. Chatbot flows shouldn’t be overcomplicated, either. The more interactive your bot is, the more complex it gets.
Speak to your development team to ensure that everything goes according to plan.
And this blog will take you through the rest of the challenges and benefits of building a chatbot.
When you first investigate the world of chatbots, chatbot development sounds complicated and perhaps a little intimidating. However, with the right team by your side, you can quickly launch an AI-based chatbot that can assist your customers with whatever they need.