Chatbots have become very common nowadays, so common that it is now easier than ever to develop a chatbot. But not all chatbots are created equals and their quality can vary immensely from one to another. So what does it take to make the best AI chatbot? Read on to discover the crucial qualities any successful chatbot should have.
Best AI chatbots have a purpose
A chatbot should always be created with a specific purpose in mind and that purpose should be at the center of its functionalities. Indeed, the best AI chatbots are often built in order to help a business and there are many ways for an AI chatbot to be of help, so let’s review some use cases.
Relieve Customer Service department
This is probably the most frequent use case for AI chatbots as they have always been used in order to help clients find answers to their questions online, rather than getting in touch with customer support.
Indeed, one of the most frustrating things as a customer is to have to wait for a long time in order to be able to get hold of customer service when you need some answers on a simple issue. By offering this tool to your clients, you help them solve their problem online, immediately and by themselves, leaving the customer service department to focus on users with more complex issues, thus increasing customer satisfaction.
Help the HR department
Chatbots targeted at helping HR Departments are here to handle repetitive enquiries collaborators often have regarding HR matters, thus lowering the burden on the HR team and leaving them free to focus on the human element of their role.
Typically, an HR chatbot will be able to answer generic HR questions such as an employee’s owing annual leave for example, but not only. It can also be designed as a great onboarding tool, become a channel for internal employee communication, act as an interface for team members to manage shared resources such as booking a meeting room or even serve as a social binder, prompting colleagues to share their hobbies or a coffee break together.
Supplement your Sales department
A chatbot can help your Sales team in two ways:
- By helping qualifying leads so that your Sales Representatives can focus on prospects that are mature enough and are reaching the bottom of the funnel, i.e. are ready to convert.
- Even better, by allowing potential customers to go through the entire sales cycle without having to talk to a human!
By answering questions about the product a web user is looking for, this type of chatbot, also called a transactional chatbot, will help relieve any doubts the customer might have, slowly guiding him down the conversion path and ultimately giving him the opportunity to make a transaction within the chatbot itself. It can even go further and prompt matching products, which might result in a possible upsell.
Fundamentally, the best AI chatbots are designed to serve a particular purpose. This may be freeing up staff time, improving employee satisfaction, or enhancing customer interactions. They should help make your customers and collaborators’ life easier, otherwise they are not much better than any website or app.
Technology used by the best AI chatbots
As mentioned above, all chatbots are not created equals, especially when it comes to the technology they use, and therefore the user experience they provide. Let’s dig into this in more detail.
Conversational AI chatbots using NLP technology
As developed in a previous article about the difference between the various types of bots, there is a big gap between button/menu-based chatbots, the most basic bots that you can find in the market, keyword-based chatbots and the most elaborate form of bot, the conversational AI chatbot.
This last type of chatbot is commonly recognized as the best form of AI chatbot as it uses Natural Language Processing technology that allows the bot to understand the intents behind users queries, even when these are misspelled.
Integrations with third parties platforms
If you look around, the best AI chatbots all have the capacity to integrate to third parties softwares such as a CRM, an HR platform or an inventory management tool.
This ability allows the bot to retrieve HR information to answer an employee’s query, customer history to help a client with a specific request on his account or product availability for a sales chatbot. Indeed, if you take this last example, a sales bot needs to have access to your inventory details in order to be successful.
Imagine that you have a Shopify clothing site and a user wants to know what size 10 red dress you have available. The chatbot connects to your inventory database and knows the categories of your products along with stock levels. It then informs the user of the choice available, all in one swift conversation.
Available on multiple channels
People now expect information at the click of a button. To achieve this, your chatbot should be readily available across multiple communication channels, including social media. This means that the platform that you use in order to build your chatbot, must allow your bot to converse seamlessly across multiple digital channels and retain data and context for a seamless experience. In best cases, the bot needs to be able to pass that information to a live agent if needed.
Escalation to a live agent
As with all things technological, even the best AI chatbots have their limits, meaning that the bot can’t answer the user’s request.
In that case, it needs to have the ability to fall back to a human agent when the going gets tough. For the escalation process to be as seamless as possible, the bot must be able to pass on any conversation history and other useful information, so that the user doesn’t get even more frustrated by having to repeat himself.
Best AI chatbots’ design
Even though design options are not endless when it comes to chatbots, you must not overlook this element. Indeed a simple design and an easy to use interface will make your chatbot far more appealing to use.
But what does that mean exactly? One example would be the option to break down long content into what we call a side-bubble so that it’s easier for the user to read. You also need to keep in mind that more and more web users are now browsing on a mobile device, so you need to ensure that your chatbot is responsive, i.e. adapts to different screen sizes. Here functionality should precede aesthetics.
So here you go, you now have an idea of the different criterias that define the best AI chatbots available in the market and you need to keep these in mind when building your own chatbot.
If you would like to go further, our ebook highlights the keys to successfully complete your AI chatbot project, from the thinking phase to the operational implementation.