How to choose the best chatbot platform
AI applications, especially chatbots, are where companies are currently concentrating their marketing efforts in order to sustain their competitive advantage, organize their productivity and cut business costs.
Together with Machine Learning (ML), AI has transformed the way consumers and businesses interact globally. Searching, shopping and garnering information have become seamless with chatbots and consumers have embraced them. According to Oracle, 80% of businesses plan to be using chatbots by 2020, and they are expected to reduce business costs b $8 billion by 2022 (Juniper Research). Off course the new version2 of SnatchBot has been designed to offer the most advanced features in the chatbot market – even including robotic process automation (RPA).
Besides their popular applications in the business-to-consumer (B2C) space, chatbots are also drastically changing the way business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-employee (B2E) situations are handled within organizations.
Depending on the needs of each business, there are several options to consider when a bot development strategy is put into place. Single task bots don’t cover the needs of every business, because some require an automated workflow over many channels. These may include internal and external integration ecosystems and natural language processing applications.
Chatbot frameworks have fixed-set scenarios that are easy to use when singe-task bots are needed. However, they lack the end-to-end development and management capabilities needed by organizations that need demanding, sophisticated, and hard-working chatbots to cover their overall needs.
Choosing a chatbot platform that will work wonders
Chatbot developments within enterprises require a chatbot development platform that has experience in the industry and domain knowledge. Other essentials abilities required are:
- Various chatbots with the ability to perform a multitude of tasks
- Support across all channels
- Speech Support and Natural Learning Processing (NLP)
- Ability to deploy intelligent chatbots across the platform
- Capability to bridge with the platform
- Chatbot building
(Suggested reading: Avi Benezra on RPA technology)
Breaking down what to look for in a chatbot platform:
The platform should offer the ability to track and streamline multiple functions simultaneously with a single task chatbot. The ability to create and deploy a multi-purpose chatbot for communication and completing tasks with multiple systems is also important.
This requires that the chosen platform offer pre-built bots that are ready to deploy in order to address specific tasks; these could include customer support, lead generation, and so forth. It’s imperative that these bots have the ability to be customized so that other interactions can be added according to the type of business, e.g. responding to customer queries.
Deployable bots for multi-channels
The chosen chatbot development platform should have customized user interfaces for bots that can be designed according to the preferred channel. These could be websites, mobile apps, social media, email, and SMS. Skype, Slack, and Telegram are just some examples of the corporate tools that the bots should be able to interact with.
The best chatbot development platforms incorporate NLP and Speech Support which allow them to be trained to maintain accurate interactions and conversations through both text and speech. They understand user intent and give relevant responses.
Machine learning helps bots to develop and perfect their natural language processing capabilities. Therefore, the platform chosen should have intelligent chatbots that will understand, remember and continue to learn from the data and information collected during interactions with customers, especially specific customer requests.
Sharing of messages
The platform must also have the ability to internally bridge, sharing messages that are sent between users, chatbots and the cross-functional systems. It should also record success and failure categorization of messages so that the bot manager can have a comprehensive and clear picture of its functionality at all times.
Design tool options
Considering the ease with which a chatbot can be designed, built, deployed, and if needed, be re-designed is important when looking for a bot development platform. Therefore, the web-based tool needs to be intuitive and must have the option to develop a bot from scratch or to re-use some of the components and testing is an important option that needs to be used throughout the design stage.
Technologically advance bot-building platforms
Finally, it is important that the chosen platform has experience within the industry and domain knowledge. Essentially this will ensure that the platform offers a developmental framework that will be expandable, offer speed, scalability and the flexibility required in all departments, whether these are being developed for customer support or internal business system chatbots.
Research is the key to finding the right bot-building platform, especially for businesses that need chatbots that have demanding overall requirements. The features of each platform need to be assessed and identified with care, making sure that the design and building of hard-working chatbots will be a successful and profitable endeavor.