Chatbots, Conversational AI and customer support automation are booming. More and more companies are getting aware about the advantages that a chatbot can offer. These advantages are obviously cost savings. But when used smartly, a chatbot can also provide extra sales. In this article we discuss what makes an AI chatbot software provider good and what criteria to look for when selecting an AI chatbot software provider.
What is AI chatbot software?
AI chatbot software is used for automating customer support and to proactively service webshop visitors. Simply put, it’s the employee in a store that helps you, but then it’s automated and online.
Automating customer support is important. Good customer support takes a lot of time and effort. Especially nowadays when customers are using a wide variety of channels and expect a quick answer too. With smart and intelligent chatbots you can increase customer satisfaction levels and make them come back to shop more. But be aware, when implemented wrong, a chatbot can hurt your customer satisfaction.
Let’s start with the beginning. There are roughly two types of chatbots. Structured chatbots that follow a predefined flow and only expect Yes/No type of answers. These chatbots hurt your customer satisfaction since customer needs are fluent, like when asking for support from a real human. The second type of chatbots is smart and uses conversational AI to have natural, human-like conversations with your customers.
Another thing to look for in an AI chatbot software provider is whether they support multiple channels like Live chat, Telegram etc. and connect them into one inbox.
The last key feature to have is a seamless handover between chatbot and a live agent.
What makes AI chatbot software good?
Defining what makes AI chatbot software good or not should be done using multiple criteria.
We’ve defined 3 criteria to compare different solutions with each other. Each criteria we rank on a scale from 0-10. The sum of all scores will give a total score for each of the AI chatbot software providers you want to compare.
Depending on your needs, you can let one or multiple criteria weigh heavier than others. Simply multiply the score of that criteria by 1,5 or 2. Let’s look at the criteria we’ve selected for a good AI chatbot software provider.
Each of the AI chatbot software providers have a different resolution rate. Typically a good AI chatbot software provider should be able to solve 30-60% of all incoming questions and inquiries.
AI chatbot software providers use NLU (Natural Language Understanding) to make the chatbot smart. It helps to understand natural, human language and allows for natural, human-like replies by the chatbot.
Ease of implementation:
The second criteria here is ease of implementation. Conversational AI and NLU can be hard and complicated technology. An NLU engine needs a lot of training data and correction to get better and to increase the resolution rate. AI chatbot software providers differ in terms of ease of implementation. Some are very easy to implement and use a pre-trained set of NLU data, other AI chatbot providers give more flexibility and customization but are way harder to implement. These chatbot providers typically work for larger enterprises that have sufficient resources and budget since they require custom implementations.
Finally, the third criteria to evaluate AI chatbot software providers is price. Most of them work on a monthly subscription basis but also look at potential investment or setup costs. Subscriptions and plans of chatbot providers are often a combination of volume and features.
Pricing between AI chatbot software providers vary from a few dollars per month to over 10K per month. So it’s good to compare and evaluate your needs before deciding on and selecting an AI chatbot software provider.
Now that we’ve defined criteria to compare providers, consider what your business needs are. Some larger companies want the whole 9 yards, with custom integrations etcetera.
If you’re running a small or mid-sized business, you can also use AI chatbots. Probably the resolution rate will be a few percentages lower but it will be a lot cheaper and easier to implement.
So go out there and compare!