4-Point CMO’s Guide To Buying A Chatbot

PRICE is what you pay!
VALUE is what you get!
-Warren Buffett


45.8% of consumers prefer communicating with businesses through chat, according to UbiSend. That’s almost half of your consumer base. Combine that with the general hype around Conversational AI, and it’s very natural that you may feel the need to buy a chatbot right away.

By now, you’ve probably done a lot of research to learn what chatbots are, what they can do for your organization, zeroed in on that one business area that needs a chatbot and are now looking to make that final ‘BUY’ decision!

There seems to be a new, bigger and better chatbot platform and enabler in the market every single day. This makes it confusing to ensure that you choose the right partner to get the most ROI out of your chatbot.

This 4 point checklist will help you buy a great chatbot and get the most value out of your Conversational AI integration as possible. This article is our solution for all those grappling with the ‘how to buy a chatbot’ query.

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1) Where Does Your Chatbot Get Its Knowledge From?

If someone hasn’t told you already, chatbots, like human beings, have a learning curve.
But it is important to understand that ‘self-learning chatbots’ can be major PR disasters and may cause several issues.

Sure, bots can learn on their own, without human supervision, but it can lead to disastrous results on and off the 70 mm screen. Even Microsoft had a hard time dealing with the Tay Fiasco caused by giving unsupervised learning abilities to a chatbot. If you didn’t know, the bot picked up racist and sexist tendencies from trolls during the time it was live on Twitter.

microsoft-tayMicrosoft Tay on Twitter

Instead of self-learning, look for guided learning and vendors who have used conversational data to pre-train their bots. This data is extremely difficult to come by, so you know you’re getting a robust, smart system when your vendor offers this capability.

READ MORE: 10 Usability Heuristics to Design Better Chatbots

2) Do You Build Your Own or Buy A Chatbot?

A lot of chatbot providers often licence out their platform and allow users/enterprises to build chatbots on their own. While this may arguably save you a few dollars initially, it can be a tricky compromise in the long run. The reasons for this are manifold.

To begin with, the skill set required to work the so-called “DIY” platform needs to be present in-house or will need new hires.

Secondly, most organizations are unique, as are their business cases, and they end up in need of a feature or a functionality which may not be present in a pre-built platform. This would mean an infinite delay in the goal that you wanted to achieve.

We could go on and on about the downsides to a DIY platform, but the bottom line is, save valuable time by working with a solution partner who has years of experience and understands your needs. This will reduce the time involved in getting the bot up and running and save you a lot in the long run.

3) Can Your Chatbot Work With Existing Software?

Your existing business systems(CRM, ERP, HRMS, etc) should ideally be able to connect with your newly acquired chatbot so that it can extract and update data from your organization’s database.

Also, the idea of a chatbot is to be omnipresent as the end consumer may choose to interact with your brand on any digital channel like WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Twitter or even Alexa! Hence, it is best to choose a chatbot provider who covers most major, if not all, messenger platforms besides your company’s own website and mobile application.

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4) What Happens When Your Chatbot Doesn’t Have The Answer?

If your chatbot deals with an especially sensitive or complex topic, it is necessary to think of a backup solution for when your chatbot does not have the answer. This can be a make-or-break point for your brand and the experience you offer, especially if you have a large millennial audience that expects instant replies.

At this point, the bot should ideally pass on the chat to a human agent. The audience is more often than not, smart enough to identify when it’s a bot chatting with them. But it particularly annoys them when it’s a complicated problem and the bot is unable to give them a reply. This may result in your brand coming across as stupid and receiving some bad-mouthing on social media too.

To avoid this, the chatbot needs to have the ability to pass on the chat to a human agent so that he can thereafter, monitor the chat and supervise quality. Take, for example, Haptik’s Agent Chat Interface. When one of our chatbots is unable to provide an answer, the chat is ‘pinned’ to a human agent who then takes the conversation further.


Haptik Agent-Chat Interface

If the chatbot vendor you have selected checks off these points, then you know that your business is truly getting a chatbot that’s worth every penny and will definitely add value to your business.


Feeling inspired? Speak to a chatbot consultant right now! ✨


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