Now that you’ve taken on-board the popular advice and decided that, yes, you absolutely do need a chatbot, the next step is to pick the one that’s right for you.

If you’ve heard of chatbots but haven’t taken action yet, the next step is to assess which ones are right for you.

Chatbots can automate your lead qualification, sales and customer support processes but there’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all solution. Some chatbots are super basic, while others are super advanced. And if you do this right, you can achieve an open rate of 98%.

In this article, we will take a look at how to choose the right chatbot solution that’s right for you so that your business is always moving forward.

Contextual Chatbots

Contextual chatbots are among the most advanced types of chatbots available at the moment. They’re like ninja chatbots that combine Artificial Intelligence with Machine Learning to remember the conversations they’ve had with individual users. As time passes, they learn more and more about specific users.

This means that the chatbot — in essence — self improves. How cool is that? For your business, this means that it can learn greater insights into what your customers are asking you and how.

As a result, the chatbot is then able to use these insights and data to engage the customer better.

For example, let’s imagine that a customer makes an order from a pizza app. They’re asked several questions by the bot until payment is processed and the order is on its way to their door.

Answering these questions each time the customer makes an order could get very boring very quickly. So what the contextual chatbot is able to do is recognise who they are conversing with and, remembering their past orders, it asks them if they’d like to repeat their order.

This saves time, and this high level of user experience can boost your conversions. Remember that a chatbots goal is to provide customers with an experience that exceeds expectations, and which is better than your rivals.

Button/Menu-Based Chatbots

This is the most basic form of chatbot available to you right now.

Essentially, the chatbot gets your customer to the right answer by providing them with a succession of buttons/queries.

The benefit of this type of chatbot is that it’s easy to install, and it answers most of the common questions that your customers have. In this way, it’s super useful.

On the the hand, it’s not ideal for those advanced scenarios that it might find itself in with a customer. For example, to get to the right answer, there might be too many variables involved that ultimately prevent the chatbot getting there in a timely manner.

And as we all know, customers want to get to the right answer as soon as possible in 2018.

Keyword Recognition-Based Chatbots

These chatbots are more advanced than button bots. They are able to lookout for keywords and, using AI, respond appropriately.

Let’s imagine that I ask the question, “how long would it take to deliver pizza to Denver?”

The bot would look out for the keywords deliver and Denver and would then work out a suitable response.

These can be useful chatbots, but they show their limitations when they’re called on to answer similar queries. If there is a keyword redundancy between numerous related questions, the bot can easily make a mistake.

What you could do is go for a bot that mixes together buttons and keyword recognition. These allow customers to either ask a question directly or rely on the buttons if the recognition software isn’t quite working.

All in all, you need to base your decision on the following:

  • What you want your chatbot to do
  • Who your target audience is
  • Value proposition

What you want your chatbot to do

To help you build more leads and automate the whole sales process, you need to be asking: Will conversation context add value here? Is this what my customers want?

If the answer is “no”, you can instead look at a cheaper, more basic alternative, such as a button-based chatbot.

Who your target audience is

Take the time to place yourself in your customers shoes and recognise the value they want, and don’t forget to take into consideration your target user base with their ux preferences. For example, some customers might prefer the visual nature of buttons. Moreover, buttons might be able to guide them in a way that open-ended questions can’t.

The best thing to do is to test your chatbot on your customers and see how they react and respond. This doesn’t have to cost you much time or money because you don’t need to 100% commit at this point or go live with it.

Value proposition

A high value proposition is going to demand that you implement enterprise-level AI capabilities.

On the other hand, there will be some businesses who can stick with basic menu buttons.

Knowing your value proposition makes your decision regarding chatbots much easier.

Just do your research, know what your customers want — and know what you want from this, too.