If you’ve ever used the chat feature on a website, chances are that you were chatting to a robot (at least part of the time!). You might not even have realized it. Chatbot development has come a long way since the early days when you clearly were not speaking to a human being. Chatbots use natural language processing and artificial intelligence to mimic human speech and have very natural interactions.
Let’s look at how to build a chatbot in 2022.
The Ins and Outs of Chatbot Development
Chatbots have become so ubiquitous that you can make your own chatbot without coding, although it’s best to hire a development team when you are building chatbots powered by AI.
Before you make your own chatbot, you need to establish what type of chatbot your business needs. Most websites either use a customer service chatbot or a lead-generation chatbot. A customer service chatbot provides 24/7 support for your clients by answering questions using a knowledge base on-site or referring clients to blogs and articles on your site. This can reduce the number of staff you need to keep on hand and reduces your costs. You can also use a lead-capturing chatbot to reach out to site visitors and capture their info so that a sales rep can call them at a later stage. This type of bot can save your sales reps time and eliminate time wasters upfront.
Bear in mind that the cost to build a chatbot application can vary dramatically. You can use open-source chatbot software that needs a little modification or hire developers to assist you with building a customized bot that meets your exact needs.
How to make an AI chatbot
Once you have your budget and your customer needs down, you can start building your chatbot.
1. Give your bot a personality
You can give your chatbot a personality that matches your user personas by changing the tone of voice and terminology your chatbot uses. Bear in mind that your chatbot will represent your brand, so focus on brand consistency and mix professionalism and personality. Creative names, brand language, emojis, and jokes are all cute ways of personalizing your bot.
2. Create your chatbot conversation flow
The conversation flow will be the foundation of your chatbot interaction with customers. This usually takes some time and learning on the bot’s behalf, but you can get started by thinking of the questions you want your bot to answer for your users. Picture the conversation flow like a decision tree. Create a diagram of as many message options as possible, and then choose response options to guide your user to the next prompt or desired page. You should also determine if and when you want your bot to refer the customer to a human agent.
3. Design the bot
You can build a bot with a built-in design platform so you can add elements to a simple template, e.g., changing the colors and your goals, or build from scratch. However, before you hit the publish button, you should preview and test it for yourself. You should test every variation of the chatbot flow to see that things are working like they are supposed to. It’s also a good idea to see what your chatbot will look like on different devices.
4. Target your chatbots
You can set up target rules for your chatbot to determine which actions will activate your chatbot. You can use multiple criteria or just one, e.g., what page the visitor is on, where they come from, the geographic location, the device they are using, or whether they’ve visited your site before.
5. Measure and optimize
Once your bot has gone live, you can measure its performance and optimize content accordingly. You should consider how often your bot is being used, the bounce rate of conversations, and whether or not it’s completing its goals.
Chatbot development may seem complex at first, but it’s one of the most affordable customer service tools you can deploy for your business. Save time and save money on people costs and keep your customers happy by building your own bot today!