With the global chatbot market, businesses are seeking platforms to build and host bots. Hundreds of chatbot platforms exist, so which one is right for your company? How do you find out? Look at these four critical points, in no particular order, to narrow down the list.
• Learning and Continuous Learning
Enterprise bots have the ability to respond to difficult, complex questions. Natural Language Understanding (NLU)allows chatbots to take a user’s specific request and either perform the request or have the intelligence to probe the user for more information.
Here is an example. A user types: I’d like to purchase 2 reams of paper, 4 packages of blue pens, and 1 package of red pens and have it delivered to my office.
On a basic platform, the chatbot is unlikely to pick out the user’s complex intent. It might add 2 reams of paper to the user’s order, but it would not understand what to do with the remaining items. On a platform that allows for understanding and complexity, the chatbot would do as the user asked and only prompt them for their work address. This is because a complex platform detects multiple intents and entities.
From inception to launch, chatbots take about two months to build, longer for more complex bots, and refining the chatbot is ongoing over its lifespan. This includes integrating it onto the chosen platform. The platform vendor typically covers that, but owners should make sure that their timelines are in sync and that their chosen vendor can deliver.
Where the chatbot lives is also important, and it should be available wherever a company’s customers are. This could be a company website, mobile apps, voice assistants, or live messaging apps. If the bot isn’t or cannot be where customers can use it, there is little point to using that platform.
A chatbot is and should be no less educated than an employee should. At the same time, the chatbot must grow with the company and continue learning. Platforms play an integral role in this function, and some platforms require businesses to do (input) all the training. It is time consuming and requires a team to constantly monitor and adjust the chatbot. However, platforms exist where the bot takes data from emails, knowledge bases, documents, chat logs, etc. and is then able to learn more about the company and expand on its effectiveness without requiring constant observation.
Any business should have an idea of their budget to entail what they are looking to spend in fees on a monthly or yearly basis. This is a good starting point because platform services follow three pay models: monthly, pay-per-call, and pay-per-performance. While there is no right pricing model, a company should be aware and make sure it fits their needs. A one size fits all business and chatbot models service doesn’t exist. Each company will need to find the solution that fits their brand, services, and requirements.