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How to build a customer service chatbot

Building a chatbot is a daunting task, but it is also required to provide a better customer experience in order to scale our business. These days virtual agents are found almost on every platform, including the web and mobile. Conversational agents are also getting smarter with the ability to engage in human-like conversations. The most apparent advantage that businesses can achieve with a talkbot is making their services available for customers worldwide, around the clock. The bot will take site visitors through all the steps of a buying journey or help them answer their queries.  With all these features and benefits, it is necessary for all businesses to build a chatbot of their own. By following the steps outlined in this article, we can build a chatbot that will help us connect with our customers and resolve their issues more quickly and efficiently.

What is a chatbot?

An artificial intelligence system, or chatbot, is a computer program created to mimic human speech. Typically, chatbots are used to communicate with people using voice- or text-based interfaces, like those found on websites, messaging apps, and phone systems. They are able to carry out a variety of duties, including answering queries, giving information, offering support, and having natural language conversations with people.

Types of Chatbot

Depending on their capabilities and characteristics, there are many types of chatbots.

Rule Based Chatbot

The rules-based chatbots use the conditional if/then logic to create conversation automation flows. They serve as interactive FAQs where a conversation designer programmes preset query and response formats so the chatbot can understand user input and provide relevant responses.

Because these chatbots rely on basic keyword identification, they are relatively simple to train and perform well when asked pre-defined questions. They struggle to answer sophisticated questions and find it difficult to respond to inquiries that the conversation designer has not anticipated.  The chatbot asks the user to repeat information that has already been supplied and ignores crucial elements when it cannot comprehend the user’s request. This makes for an unpleasant user experience and frequently prompts the chatbot to forward the customer to a human service representative.

AI Chatbot

AI chatbots are capable of comprehending every inquiry posed by a user. Because of its artificial intelligence (AI) and natural language understanding (NLU) capabilities, the bot can swiftly identify any pertinent contextual information that the user shares, facilitating a more conversational and seamless exchange of ideas. The AI-powered chatbot asks clarifying questions and presents a selection of potential actions from which the user can choose the one that best suits their needs when it cannot grasp what a user is requesting and anticipates multiple actions that could fill a request. AI chatbots may continuously build a knowledge base of queries and answers based on user interactions with the aid of machine learning techniques. Through this continuous process, the AI chatbot will be better able to comprehend the user’s goals and respond with more precise, in-depth information.  Chatbots using conversational AI are able to recall user discussions and apply this context to their interactions. The AI chatbot may receive data from several sources, including client preferences, through continuous learning, which helps streamline the process.

The user transfers smoothly to a human agent when they are not happy. The live support representative starts the session with knowledge about the history of the chatbot conversations.

Hybrid chatbot

The best elements of both live chat and chatbots are combined in a hybrid chatbot. They benefit from the efficiency and scalability of rule-based chatbots as well as the machine-learning chatbots’ capacity to learn and adjust over time. Hybrid chatbots combine AI-powered and rule-based techniques to reply to user inputs with greater robustness and flexibility. Usually, hybrid chatbots are employed for more complicated activities that rule-based chatbots are unable to complete on their own, such as providing technical help or responding to intricate consumer inquiries. They can still perform basic duties like extending a warm greeting to clients and giving them basic information. AI is used for more intricate or dynamic interactions, while rules are used for other activities. It initializes a chat like a Chatbot and it tries to clear out the customer’s query as soon and as simple as possible. If it is not able to provide a desired solution, it transfers the talk to a customer support person.

How to build a customer service chatbot?

On the internet, chatbots are growing in popularity. This is a result of its many benefits and the money-saving advantages companies are receiving from this technology. An ideal addition to human agents in customer support is a chatbot. FAQs are the basis of customer service bots. To free up our human support employees for far more intricate, worthwhile work, we must configure a bot to handle the most common, repetitive queries. Depending on our brand, sector, and target audience, a FAQ bot can be as simple or complicated as we like.

Following are the steps to be followed to build a perfect chatbot.

Choose the type of chatbot

When developing chatbots for customer support, there are three primary methods: rule-based, AI or machine learning, or hybrid. The simplest kind of chatbots are rule-based chatbots. To find out what the user wants, they adhere to preset guidelines. Bots that use machine learning are more advanced. With AI capabilities, they are able to deduce intent from language usage in natural contexts. These chatbots get more adept at answering complicated questions the more interactions they have with users. The third method of development is a hybrid of AI and rule-based chatbots. The hybrid can comprehend purpose and context and perform rule-based tasks. Your customer service chatbot’s goal will determine the development strategy you select.

Choose the right chatbot platform

Once we’ve decided what we want our chatbot to accomplish, we can design a targeted approach to make sure it gets there. Since it frees up about 80% of agents’ time to deal with more difficult client concerns, our chatbot should initially respond to FAQ-oriented questions. Once our chatbot’s goals have been established, we need to decide which platform will work best for it. The platform needs to be easy for our consumers to use, affordable, and meet all the functional requirements for our chatbot.

Setup our goal

We will need to ascertain the chatbot’s entire set of objectives. It may involve lowering the cost of customer service, shortening wait times, or even focusing on a more focused objective like order validation for customers. We may develop a targeted approach to make sure our chatbot first accomplishes that objective. IT engineers will use the specific requirements and the order of importance for each goal as a tactical guide to create a customer support chatbot that meets our expectations. Numerous chatbot systems are available, each with unique features and advantages. We need to select a platform based on our needs and financial constraints.

Create Bot Journey

We must design our chatbot after deciding on the best platform and establishing its objectives. Writing the chatbot’s responses, designing a conversation flow, and integrating it with our website or other systems are all included in this. A conversation flowchart outlining the chatbot’s user interactions must be constructed. User inputs, possible answers, and branching logic depending on different scenarios must all be defined. The data and information the chatbot will require to offer precise answers must be gathered and arranged. FAQs, product specifications, support materials, and more are included in this. In order to better comprehend and handle user input, we must customise or train the natural language processing (NLP) component of our chatbot architecture, if it is supported.

Train our Chatbot

It’s crucial to thoroughly test your chatbot after it’s been designed before implementing it. This will assist us in locating and resolving any issues. We can integrate our chatbot with other systems or our website if we’re happy with it. The foundational logic of the chatbot must be developed, for both rule-based and machine learning-based responses. The chatbot has to be trained using a sample of chats so that we may gradually improve its responses.

Use Analytics and Improve Our Bot

The conversational data produced by our chatbot’s interactions is known as chatbot analytics. Analytical data reveals the effectiveness of our chatbot. This chatbot data can assist us in enhancing our company plan. Every time a consumer engages with our chatbot, data is gathered. These variables may include the duration of the chat, user happiness, user count, flow of the conversation, and more. Chatbots can expedite conversational commerce by conversing with clients in real-time through natural language processing. Customer satisfaction statistics can be obtained through chatbot analytics. This is a simple way to gauge how well they interacted with our chatbot. We may utilise it to enhance the quality of our services and chatbot strategy while maintaining client satisfaction.

Test Our Chatbot

Thorough testing is crucial once our chatbot is built before it is put into use. We can locate and address any issues with this assistance. Our chatbot can be added to other systems or our website once we are happy with it. Its comprehension and response to user inquiries are verified by testing. Particularly for AI chatbots, a variety of user intent expressions and variations (words, phrases, grammar, spelling) must be used for training and testing. It will be necessary to manually update rule-based chatbots’ intent classification. More manifestations of intent are possible with AI chatbots. Additional aspects that need to be tested include navigation, usability, fallback (which evaluates the bot’s reaction to irrelevant inputs), user tone identification, and small conversation.

Monitor the Performance and Make Changes

To find areas for improvement, we must track the chatbot’s performance and collect user input. The chatbot’s capabilities can be improved by updating and training it on a frequent basis. After we launch the service, we continue to test our customer care chatbot. There’s always space for development. Considering that language and human behaviour are always changing. We ought to keep an eye on client patterns and modify our chatbot’s responses accordingly. To find the best elements that our target clients respond to, we can employ split testing or A/B testing. Users see two variations of the same chat menu during A/B testing. The more effective variant is chosen. A chatbot’s text, graphics, typefaces, welcome messages, interface design, tone of voice, and other components can all be tested. We can collect feedback from users to see if our chatbot is helpful. We can try ending each conversation with a short survey and make the appropriate changes.

Conclusion

Customer support Chatbots serve as our company’s customer support representatives. They are altering the dynamics of communication between businesses and their clients. There are numerous advantages to employing chatbots for customer support. While customer support professionals have more time to handle complex customer issues, customers receive the assistance they require when they need it. Without sacrificing the calibre of the customer support experience, a chatbot for customer service enables businesses to provide what the majority of customers desire: a personalised and effective service. Chatbots are becoming increasingly important in a variety of industries, including eCommerce, retail, agriculture, automotive, tourism, entertainment, and more, thanks to the rapid advancements in technology.

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