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Everything you want to know about an AI chatbot

Nov 29, 2021 5 min
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Everything you want to know about an AI chatbot

Leestijd: 5 minuten

Artificial intelligence is beginning to be more important to growing or giant organizations. The pace of technological development is accelerating, and the AI ​​chatbot plays an interesting role in these developments. Chatbots are everywhere: now more than ever you’ll find them across websites and a variety of social media channels. They support customer service by handling first-line contact. Self-teaching, they take over processes from human agents. Gartner is predicting a 400% growth in automated customer service using AI, as compared to 2017.

What is a chatbot? How does an artificially intelligent chatbot differ from other chatbots? This blog has in-depth answers to these questions!

What is an AI chatbot?

AI chatbots are automated conversations partners that are often used in customer service to handle first-line contact. They provide automated answers to incoming questions from customers on websites or social channels. The chatbot answers the question by linking the question to the correct answer in it’s database. Since it’s powered by artificial intelligence, the chatbot learns to recognize the intent of the question. This form of intelligence is also called Natural Language Processing.

How does it work?

Artificial intelligence is a broad term. AI is a part of many everyday objects. Your smart thermostat, Apple’s Siri assistance or popular social media apps like Snapchat and TikTok. Artificial Intelligence means that computers and other programs learn to understand human nuances to complete increasingly complex tasks that originally only a human could do. Think about logical reasoning, understanding slang or efficient planning. The brain behind this technology is machine learning, which allows the technology to develop algorithms. This allows computers to learn multiple question-and-answer variations, which then allows the chatbot to respond to even more questions with the correct answer.

Natural Language Processing

When a chatbot has artificial intelligence, that means the chatbot can independently answer the question, even if it’s asked in a way it doesn’t know word-for-word. First, the chatbot instantaneously searches a database of information. Then Natural Language Processing ensures the interpretation of the question that’s being asked is linked to the right text: the answer. Natural Language Processing technology ensures that human nuances are understood, even when the sentence structure of the question may vary. The chatbot understands the intent of the question and provides the chatter with the right answer.

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Difference between AI chatbots and rule-based bots

These two types of chatbots are often confused. There’s a critical difference between them: a rule-based chatbot only works on the rules it knows. The chatbot builder writes up the question-and-answer combinations, shares these with the chatbot, and the customer goes live. The customer or site visitor is brought to the right answer using buttons: it’s not possible for them to ask a rule-based chatbot an open question.

When the customer’s question doesn’t exist among the pre-planned content or they don’t understand the buttons, they also don’t get their answer. The road to get to an answer is also often longer, because the customer needs to take a specific path to get to the specific information he or she is seeking.

This is also the main difference between an AI-chatbot and a rule-based chatbot. An AI chatbot can be asked an open question, or even interpret single-word questions, and still produce a correct answer. A rule-based chatbot’s conversation is limited to communication with buttons.

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The pros and cons of an AI chatbot

An AI chatbot brings a number of unique and diverse advantages to your business. We’ve summarised the pros and cons of an AI chatbot for you here below.

Pro: You’re available 24/7

A chatbot is a main point of contact for your business, day or night. After closing time or during the weekend, your website visitors can get the answers they seek. Machine learning enables the chatbot to answer a wider range of customer questions over time. Being available 24/7 decreases frustration and can give your customer satisfaction rating a boost.

Pro: Improve reachability

You can launch the same chatbot on your website and all your social media channels. You can respond to customers at any time on every channel. By being active on a number of popular channels, you’re responding to a growing customer preference for online interactions on the channel of their choice, but still working from a single conversation overview.

Pro: Save service and operational costs

Since a chatbot can handle up to 85% of first-line contact, your customer service agents will have more time in their days. A bot can have hundreds of conversations at the same time, and transfer conversations to human agents only when necessary. This allows your team more time for the 15% that remains, perhaps complex cases, which they can handle in peace.

Pro: A complete customer profile

Since a chatbot collects relevant information from your site visitors and customers, you’re enriching a complete customer profile. You can allow your chatbot to ask for details including name, company name and email address. This information is saved even after the visitor leaves. This allows you to prevent the same visitor from repeating himself, and you learn about the person behind website visitor #454.

Con: Need to grow knowledge

Just as a human agent would, a chatbot also needs to learn. Once the bot goes live, onboarding begins. At first, there will be questions that the chatbot can’t answer. When you resolve these mismatches and add them to the database, the chatbot gets even smarter. The chatbot’s knowledge grows the longer it’s live and the more time you spend optimising it.

AI chatbot implementation process

You can implement a chatbot manually, or use a platform. If you have the right resources and the right budget, you can launch a very detailed chatbot. You might choose, for example to use Google’s Dialog Flow. One disadvantages to this approach is the amount of time and money needed. That’s why some companies choose to outsource the programming of their chatbot. When you choose to build a chatbot with a chatbot platform, you don’t need to do any programming. Your role in building the chatbot includes adding the content that the bot needs to know. This content often already exists – on FAQ pages or in databases. The step-by-step plan below describes how you build a chatbot using the chatbot platform from Watermelon.

Build conversations

You build the conversations the bot will have by working with pre-programmed elements, like a multiple-choice question, or a feedback module. The only thing you’re responsible for is the content. We provide the code. By building conversations, you design the flow of the interaction between your bot and your customer.

Determine content for your AI chatbot

Much of the content for your chatbot exists on your FAQ pages today. You’ll add this, then you’ll add some supporting details and then your bot is ready. You’ll also add question variations to allow the bot to start to learn to interpret the various ways in which a single question is asked. You’ll determine the bot’s tone of voice and branding. You can also supplement your conversational style using emoji, GIFs or photos. Want a more corporate approach? Have your chatbot’s avatar appear in a suit!

Test and go live!

Once you’ve added your content, you can train and test your chatbot. Test it first yourself before it’s gone live in the same dashboard you used to build it. When you publish the chatbot, all incoming conversations from all channels come in to the same single

All-in-one solution

A chatbot leads to more happy customers because it’s available 24/7. Thanks to smart artificial intelligence, the bot understands human nuances, allowing it to handle first-line customer contact and leave the service team with more time. By allowing the chatbot to collaborate with human agents, customers have an even better service experience. Curious how other companies are using chatbots to grow their business? Request a free demo and find out what Watermelon can mean for your business.

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