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Ever laid awake at night, thinking about how to scale customer service without scaling headaches? If you've got a booming business, you know the drill—more customers equals more queries, and let's not even get into managing those late-night customer service shifts. It's almost like you need to clone your best customer service rep.
Chatbots are like digital doppelgängers for your business that never sleeps. We are not talking about any chatbot, but AI chatbots, the next-gen customer service agents. 🤖
Juniper predicts that by the end of 2023, chatbots can save businesses up to 2.5 billion hours of work.
Adding to that, business leaders claim that AI chatbots have increased sales by 67%.
The numbers say it all 🤷♀️
As a business owner looking to level up your customer service with chatbots, this blog is your one-stop shop. We're diving into everything from why AI chatbots are your next best move to a step-by-step guide on how to create your own custom chatbot from scratch with no code.
Ready to make customer service your competitive edge? Scroll down! You won't want to miss this!
What is an AI chatbot?
You've probably had a run-in with a chatbot at some point, but not all chatbots are created equal. Ever wondered what makes an AI chatbot the crème de la crème of the conversational bot world?
Check out more about Traditional chatbots and AI chatbots.
A chatbot is a software application designed to mimic human conversation. You type in a query, and boom, it spits out a pre-loaded answer.
But AI chatbots are a whole different ballgame!
More and more businesses are building chatbots using artificial intelligence to add to their everyday business workflows like customer service, website engagement, lead generation, conversion, and more.
The increasing adoption makes it clear: AI chatbots are not just a trend, they are becoming an integral part of modern business strategies.
Why create an AI chatbot?
Now you might be thinking, "Every business out there is going gaga over AI chatbots. But does your business actually need one?"
It is not about going with the trend but about optimizing your operations, boosting customer satisfaction, and, ultimately, increasing your ROI.
Real-Time Customer Support
We're living in a world where instant gratification isn't just desired, it is expected. The days of waiting in long queues or enduring hold music are long gone.
According to Forrester, 42% of consumers want immediate answers, and they want them within 60 seconds when using a live chat feature.
An AI chatbot is always on, capable of handling numerous customer queries concurrently. This 24/7 availability translates to quicker resolutions, immediate answers, and no frustrating hold times. It's customer service on steroids, strengthening trust and fostering brand loyalty.
Personalization at Scale
Remember the days when you could walk into a local shop, and the shopkeeper would know your name and preferences? Those days are gone, but AI chatbots offer a digital equivalent.
They can analyze data from customer behavior and past interactions to offer highly personalized suggestions or solutions. You're essentially providing a unique experience for each customer, scaling that individual attention that was once only possible in small mom-and-pop stores.
The financial aspect can't be ignored, especially in today's hyper-competitive marketplace.
According to IBM, chatbots can answer up to 80% of routine questions, freeing your human staff to deal with more complex customer needs.
This efficiency can lead to a substantial cut in operational costs related to customer service. That's not just pocket change; it's a strategic cost-saving initiative that could be a game-changer for many businesses.
Efficient Data Gathering
The value of data in modern business is undeniable. AI chatbots solve problems more than just customer queries. They collect valuable data during every interaction. This goldmine can be leveraged for various applications—product development, chatbots for marketing campaigns, or even operational tweaks. These insights offer you a data-driven approach to decision-making, which is always more effective than going by gut feeling.
Enhancing User Experience
We all know how a smooth experience can make or break a customer's relationship with a brand. Chatbots contribute to this by providing real-time assistance. They can guide users through the steps of complicated processes, instantly update them on queries like order status or tracking, and even cross-sell or up-sell products based on customer behavior and preferences.
Chatbots can be integrated across multiple platforms and services, meaning your customers don't have to go out of their way to seek support or information.
Whether it's through your website, a third-party messenger app, or even via social media, AI chatbots can be wherever your customers are, increasing accessibility and making life easier for everyone involved.
By now, you should be convinced that having an AI chatbot isn't just a "nice to have"; it's a business imperative. But knowing why is only half the battle. Ready to roll up those sleeves and actually build one?
Stay tuned because up next is a step-by-step guide that'll turn you from chatbot curious to AI chatbot creator.
How to make a chatbot with AI: A step-by-step guide
Building an AI chatbot can seem like a daunting task, only possible for techies. But it is actually more approachable than you think, even for business owners with limited tech skills.
In this guide, we're going to break the process of creating a simple chatbot with AI into a step-by-step guide, so you can go from zero to creating chatbots easily.
Step 1: Define the purpose of the AI-based chatbot
The first and essential step in building your AI chatbot is to define its purpose clearly. This is important because the functionality and programming will hinge on what you want the chatbot to achieve.
Your AI chatbot's purpose could vary widely depending on your business needs. It could be for handling customer service queries, generating leads, or even guiding users through a complex application process.
Here are a couple of examples for you to understand it better and use it for your business.
Example 1: Customer Service Bot
If you're running an eCommerce website, your chatbot could serve as a 24/7 AI customer service rep, answering FAQs, tracking orders, and handling returns.
This way, you're not just offering a service; you're enhancing the customer experience, making it more convenient and accessible for anyone shopping on your site.
Example 2: Lead Generation Bot
For a B2B company offering SaaS products, the chatbot could serve as a lead magnet, engaging visitors with questions to qualify them as potential customers. For instance, asking about their company size, and their needs and providing tailored product recommendations based on feedback and on their answers.
By the end of this step, you should have a rough document or flowchart that outlines what the chatbot will do and how it fits into your overall business strategy.
Step 2: Choose a Communication Channel
Now that you've defined your AI chatbot's purpose, and you are eager to bring it to life. Hold on just a second! The next big decision is figuring out where your AI chatbot is going to live—basically, it’s the home address of the AI chatbot in the digital world.
This is more than just a logistical step, it's about finding out where your audience hangs out and how they prefer to communicate. Let's break it down with examples.
Example 1: Website Chatbots
Your website is often the first point of interaction between your business and potential customers. Adding a chatbot here can drastically improve customer engagement.
Example 2: Social Media Messengers
Platforms like Facebook Messenger, Instagram, and WhatsApp are where people spend a lot of their time. If your audience is active there, meet them where they are!
Example 3: Slack, Teams, and Workplace Chatbots
If your bot's primary function is internal—like helping your team with HR questions or streamlining project management—then consider deploying it on team communication platforms like Slack or Microsoft Teams.
Choosing the right communication channel isn't just about what's easy or what's trending. It's about where your own chatbot can be most effective in achieving its purpose, whether that's answering customer queries, generating leads, or assisting with internal tasks. So, give this step the attention it deserves, and you'll be setting yourself up for success in the long run.
Step 3: Choose an AI Chatbot Platform
After you have got your purpose locked in and your communication channel sorted. The next on this AI chatbot journey is choosing the right chatbot platform, of course! This is where your chatbot will come to life, learn from interactions, and, dare we say, make you proud. 😉
Now, there are a ton of chatbot platforms already out there, but we're going to zero in on Writesonic's no-code AI chatbot platform - Botsonic that's been stealing the limelight for all the right reasons.
It makes the chatbot building process easy for anyone in your team as it is a no-code AI chatbot builder with GPT-4 powers. Moreover, it is user-friendly and packed with features, as listed below.
- No-Code Magic: You don’t need to be a tech whiz to navigate this Chatbase alternative. The platform offers a drag-and-drop interface that makes it straightforward to design complex workflows.
- AI-Powered: We're talking about Natural Language Processing (NLP), predictive analytics, and real-time learning to create a chatbot. The AI behind Botsonic is robust and keeps evolving.
- Multi-Channel Support: Remember Step 2, where you chose your channel? Botsonic’s got you covered on multiple fronts—be it your website, email, or social media platforms. All you need to do is embed a piece of code.
- Built-In Analytics: Data-driven decisions are the backbone of any successful venture. Botsonic offers detailed analytics to help you track performance, engagement, and ROI.
- Cost-Effectiveness: Being budget-friendly while offering a range of features makes Botsonic an ideal choice for businesses of all sizes.
You can start your account with free 10k words and move on to paid plans starting from $16/ month (unlimited words).
Step 4: Create the AI Chatbot
Once you sign up for Botsonic, you’ll have access to a dashboard that looks something like this. Click on ‘Botsonic - Train ChatGPT on your data’
You’ll be taken to a new dashboard, where you can choose to ‘Create new bot’ and give a name to your bot.
For the purpose of this blog, we are creating a bot for JOI - A sustainable brand that makes vegan food accessible to everyone.
Step 5: Train your AI Chatbot
As soon as you name your bot, you’ll have a dashboard with different windows. The first one is ‘Source settings,’ where you can drop information, and the Chatbot will learn using machine learning algorithms.
Basically, we have 3 ways to give user inputs to the chatbot.
- Entering weblinks
- Uploading files (.pdf or .docx) under 100 MB
- If you have too many web links, you can download our template and add the sitemap
- FAQs in bulk - again you can use our template for this
We are choosing the weblinks option and adding 3 links for the chatbot to get trained on. Click on ‘Upload and Train’
Step 6: Customize Your AI Chatbot
You can now customize the AI Chatbot according to your brand identity from the appearance settings tab. You change the brand logo, brand color, messaging, tone, and more.
Moving to the next tab - Bot settings. Here you can decide the length of the chat history and responses the AI chatbot gives based on your customers’ preferences. You can choose a language that works for you - Botsonic supports 25+ languages.
Add a customer support email for the users to use if they want to have a human conversation. Additionally, you can also build a rule-based chatbot by adding chatbot guidelines about how to respond, the writing tone, and more.
Next up is ‘Starter Questions.’ Sometimes visitors can be confused about what they are looking for from a website. In order to break the ice, you can add a couple of starter questions like,
- What are the best milk-based bases you have?
- Do you have a sale running?
You can either add answers to these questions or let the AI chatbot autogenerate a response from the database.
You can collect details of your visitors and customers to analyze user behavior, track them as leads, and so on with the user responses on the ‘User form.’ You can edit these fields and add the fields you want to collect information on.
Step 7: Test the AI Chatbot
Now it is time to test the AI Chatbot by asking questions and checking if it can give responses based on the user input correctly.
At the same time, you can also notice that the ChatGPT-powered Chatbot cannot answer questions that it is not trained on. It is best for you as a brand - you do not want the user to chat about something else on your website.
Step 8: Embed the AI Chatbot on your communication channel
It is time for the AI Chatbot to go live now. All you need to do is copy the code from the ‘Embedding settings’ tab and paste it on your website.
You can also use the API option to embed the AI chatbot built on Botsonic into your website or social media channels.
Voila! You have successfully created a Chatbot with AI 👏
Step 9: Monitor the AI Chatbot Analytics
Monitoring analytics is like your chatbot's report card. It tells you what's working and what needs to go back to the drawing board. If you ignore analytics, you're basically flying blind, hoping your chat bot is doing its job.
You can get the complete data about all the chats from Botsonic’s ‘inbox’ and ‘analytics.’
You can export this user interaction data as a CSV file and run further analysis like user behavior to predict trends.
Dos and Don'ts of Building an AI Chatbot
We know that you are not just looking to build any chatbot—you're aiming for a chatbot that fits your business. Something that can multitask like a pro, offer stellar customer service, and engage website visitors.
Here are the Dos and Don’ts that we think you should consider to build a masterpiece AI chatbot.
- Add a Human Touch: No one wants to chat with a machine that sounds like it just walked off a factory line. Create a chatbot that sounds personable and approachable so users feel like they're talking to a buddy, not a block of code.
- Route Complex Conversations to Human Agents: Let's face it, your chatbot won't have all the answers. And that's okay! When a query stumps your bot, make sure you have a seamless transition in place to route the user to a human agent who can help.
- Mimic Real Human Conversations: Conversations are more than just question and answer sessions. Create a chatbot that can handle chit-chat, pleasantries, and even throw in a joke or two. The idea is to emulate real human interaction so users forget they're talking to a machine.
- Design Dead-End Conversations: The last thing a user wants is to hit a conversational dead-end. You know, when the chatbot says, "I don't know," and leaves it at that. Always provide alternatives or suggestions for users to keep the conversation moving.
- Overcomplicate Chatbot Flows: Simplicity is key. Your mom should be able to use your chatbot without pulling her hair out. Keep the conversations and navigational flows simple, intuitive, and easy to follow. Don't drown users in a sea of options.
- Allow for (Too) Open-Intent Conversations: While it's great that your chatbot can chat about anything it is trained on, this can be a double-edged sword. Too much freedom can lead to off-topic and unproductive conversations that do not match the user intent. It's good to be open but have some boundaries in place.
The Chatbot Blueprint: Final Words
So, you've made it through the ins and outs of AI chatbots. We've covered everything from why they're essential for customer support and scaling your business, to how to actually build one step-by-step.
It's a lot, but it's all manageable. Especially when you have the right tools. Speaking of which, if you want a hassle-free way to build an AI chatbot, Botsonic is your go-to, a no-code AI chatbot builder. Time to take action— Try Botsonic and give your business the upgrade it's been waiting for.
1. Is it easy to build a chatbot?
You bet it's easy—especially if you use a platform like Botsonic. Botsonic offers a no-code solution, so you can create a functional chatbot without wrestling with complex programming. With an intuitive interface, white labeling, and customization options, it's designed for simplicity and efficiency.
2. How can I make my first chatbot?
To make your first chatbot, you'll need first to define its purpose, choose a communication channel, and then pick a platform. If you're looking for ease and convenience, Botsonic has got your back. Just follow a step-by-step guide within the platform, and voila, your first chatbot will be up and running!
3. How long does it take to build a chatbot?
The time can vary depending on the complexity and functionality you need. With traditional coding, it can take weeks or even months. However, using a no-code platform like Botsonic can significantly cut down the time to a few days or even hours!
4. How do I build a chatbot for my website?
Making a chatbot for your website isn't as daunting as it seems. Define the purpose, design the conversation flow, and integrate it into your website. Chatbot platforms like Botsonic make this process easy by providing options to directly embed your own chatbot back into your website with no hassle involved.
5. How much does it cost to make a chatbot with AI?
Costs can range from a few hundred dollars for basic conversational commerce bots to thousands for more complex versions. The beauty of using Botsonic is that you can start building your AI chatbot for free and then choose a pricing plan that suits your business needs, offering both affordability and functionality.