Customer Support Chatbot: Why and How to Build It

Nikolina author

Nikolina Maškarić

Ctrl + V Manager

According to the trend forecasters and marketers around the world, last year (2018) was the year of the chatbot. We beg the differ with the attitude – we are living in the chatbot decade and the best is yet to come. To gain better insight into our point of view, let’s take a walk down the chatbot memory lane.

Chatbots have become an integral part of our everyday (digital) lives. Whether we realize it or not, they are becoming our personal assistants, customer care agents, support in finding parking, coffee shops and alternative ways to work. Sometimes, they just might amuse us like Siri often does with her beatbox session. And with the emerging AI-powered bots, we have just beginning to explore the many possibilities and technology side-effects of this trend.

Today, we are going to explain how (and why) you should build customer support chatbot!

🚀 Download our free eBook: Create a Chatbot that Delivers  🚀

Customer Support Chatbot History

Chatbot development cornerstone was laid in 1966 by Joseph Weizenbaum. The principles used in ELIZA, the first chatbot ever designed, was a foundation for the development structures of chatbots we know today. Although ELIZA was able to fool a couple of users into thinking that they were actually talking to a human, she failed the Turing Test. Alan Turing developed a test to evaluate the machine’s ability to exhibit intelligent behavior equivalent to, or indistinguishable from, that of a human.

Chatbots history and development

Picture 1. Short History of Chatbots

Fast forward to 50 years later and we are witnessing the skyrocketing number of chatbots around the world. Bots have become an integral part of our everyday lives. Whether we realize it or not, they are becoming our personal assistants, customer care agents, support in finding parking, coffee shops and alternative ways to work and sometimes, they just might amuse us like Siri often does.

Customer Support Chatbot Types

Definition of chatbots describes it as a software program for simulating intelligent conversations with humans using rules or artificial intelligence. Be it written or spoken text, users interact with chatbots in real time. At the moment we are dealing with three types of chatbots:

MENU OR BUTTON CHATBOT: 

These are the most basic type of chatbots on the market. Most frequently they are a decision tree hierarchies presented to users in the form of buttons and menus. Just like automated phone menus in most phone-based customer support, these bots require users to make several selections to dig deeper towards the final answer.

KEYWORD-BASED CHATBOT: 

These types of chatbots listen to what users are typing (or saying) and respond appropriately, or at least try to. Conceptually, chatbot of this kind follow the customizable keywords to determine how to serve the best possible answer to the end user.

CONTEXTUAL CHATBOT:

Chatbots that utilize Machine Learning (ML) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) are known as contextual bots and are by far the most advanced. Using ML and AI, these chatbots store conversations with users to learn and grow over time. Contextual chatbots are smart enough to advance and improve based on what users are asking for and how they are asking it.

How Customer Support Chatbots are Changing the CX?

Think of all the messaging services people use on a daily basis: Whatsapp, Facebook Messenger, Kik, Slack etc..Count in the equation eMarketer’s survey which found that 63% of customers were more likely to return to a website with live chat and you got the bigger picture – it is essential for online businesses to implement chatbot in order to maximize their performance.

Related: 8 Brands with Excellent Omnichannel Experiences

Being available for your customers in real time, when they want it and on their preferred channel, is imperative from the digital, omnichannel society. In the battle for user attention, brands have to stand out in order to take their position on the market. While having a chatbot developed to do so will cut down cost and maximize the time of the customer care agents and improve user experience.

Improve customer onboarding

Companies that offer products or services that come with a learning curve can drastically improve the onboarding experience for their users. Whenever a user can’t figure out how to use the service, he will have the possibility to communicate with a chatbot and solve the problem, quickly.

Automate transactions and product recommendations

Every business owner wants to make online shopping as convenient as possible for their end users. Most of the consumers will visit your website with something in mind, but many will not be exactly sure what they want. This is where your chatbot hops in!

Chatbots can nudge the consumer into purchasing by offering them assistance on site, product recommendations based on previous choices or just by helping them out with the purchase process. In most cases, users will not have to leave the live-chat window to complete an order. Not that different from the in-store experience when you count in handing over your credit card to the cashier, especially if your chatbot has developed a bot persona to make it more human-like experience.

Increase the value of your service

Providing more value to your customers and going beyond selling will ensure your visitors will return. You can use chatbots to solve consumer pain points and increase the value of your product or service in a variety of ways. Take for example Duolingo, the language learning app. They have crafted conversational bots that allow users to test out their new skills. 

Read How to Make Your Chatbot More Human?

Chatbot questions to ask

Picture 2. Questions to Ask Before Chatbot Development 

Customer Support Chatbot Development

This emerging technology is rapidly finding its way to websites of many brands worldwide. With every new chatbot developed, the communication skyline between brands and consumers is changing, but not always for the better. Before getting started with your customer support chatbot project here are 4 questions you should consider:

WHAT WILL THE CHATBOT DO: The role of your chatbot will depend on the customer journey (or a specific part of it) you want to improve.

WHERE WILL THE CHATBOT LIVE: Your channel research starting point can be found in your companies data. To ensure the highest possible adoption rate, start with the channel that is already being used by your brand.

WHAT INFORMATION WILL IT USE: Your bot is smart as the information you equip it with. Whether it collects data from your knowledge base, website, existing documents, shipping information, product inventories, partner sites or some other sources. What information your chatbot will collect depends on the answer to your first question – what do you want the chatbot to do.

IS A CHATBOT RIGHT WAY TO SOLVE IT:  before going to the chatbot project, take a second to consider if the chatbot the best way to help your customers. Answering this question will assure that your future customer/users will love what you are doing and that chatbot is not invasive to the user experience.

Chatbot Examples

Retail & E-Commerce Chatbots

Why would you go into the store when you can shop via chat right? Some of the best examples are provided by best e-commerce sites in the world such as eBay, 1–800-Flowers, Nordstrom.

May’s OnCall connects will even connect you with a shopping assistant in store in case you need an extra hand in your chat shopping. Here is a list of 6 bots that stand out of the crowd:

Travel Chatbots

In highly competitive travel industry, it is hard to stand out of the crowd. Dozens of websites offer multiple booking options, so it’s not easy to draw the attention of potential customers.

Visitors entering and then quickly leaving a website is a common problem in this industry. It’s even more problematic to draw their attention long enough to make any kind of offer

Here is a list of 11 bots that stand out of the crowd:

Automotive Chatbots

Remember when you needed to make a phone call to hail a taxi? Now, when you text your friend via Messenger that you are on your way, Uber and Lyft chatbots pop up to make your ride as soon as possible. Hyundai and Ford have taken the chatbot game to the next level by allowing users to control their cars via Amazon Echo.

Here is a list of 5 bots that stand out of the crowd:

Chatbots: Beep Beep Boop

Time’s person of the year 2006 was ‘You, the digital presence who anonymously contributes user-generated content to wikis and other websites such as YouTube, MySpace, Facebook, and the multitudes of other websites. Emerging digital presence, chatbots who are yet to be explored and perfected, in that sense should (and will be) a Time’s person of the century.

Find out how to build Customer Support Chatbot with Paldesk:

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Customer Support Chatbot: Why and How to Build It was last modified: July 2nd, 2019 by Nikolina Maškarić