Chatbots are a cost-effective way to deflect customer service calls, eliminate traditional online navigational concerns, or even create a digital personal assistant that can schedule, locate data, and check in with colleagues faster than a human professional.
As more and more businesses invest in chatbots, an increasing number of solution providers are flooding the market to offer the cheapest, easiest to deploy, most flexible AI solutions.
In this blog, we’ll do a little chatbot Q&A to break down some myths about the technology and illustrate why personalized chatbot solutions are a far better investment at scale than out-of-the-box chatbots.
“Aren’t out-of-the-box chatbot builders easy to use?”
If you’ve used a search engine to research chatbots, you’ve likely seen promoted links telling you it’s possible to build an effective chatbot in less than an hour with no coding experience. What the chatbot builder approach lacks, however, is that it essentially encourages to the business to skip the step of building a strong understanding of chatbot technology and articulating a data-minded approach before jumping into the pool.
A chatbot builder-style solution will help you answer basic Q&A relatively quickly, but it does nothing to create a foundation for a long-term strategy. All you’re really doing is uploading a spreadsheet and creating something that’s as good as it’s ever going to get.
Furthermore, if you’re trying to accomplish something that’s just beyond the out-of-the-box bot’s abilities, you’ll be totally out of luck!
So, sure, chatbot builders are “easy,” but they’re not very powerful either!
“Don’t personalized chatbots take a long time to develop?”
No; not at all, actually! Chatbot technology is still cutting-edge stuff, but it’s not as brand new as it was just a half-decade ago. That means leading IT integrators and solution providers have already had years to refine and strengthen their practices.
A “custom-built” or “personalized” chatbot isn’t built from scratch for each individual customer but rather configured to meet the customer’s specific needs based on functionality that has already been developed during successful high-level deployments. That means the framework and scaffolding for the bot already exist, making scripting and “bringing the bot to life” much more streamlined.
Even if your custom-built chatbot requires creating brand new code or functionality, the timeline for the project can still be quite short because the vast majority of what you need to succeed has already been created.
“Won’t purchasing something fast and light be easy on my IT team?”
In the short term: maybe. In the long term: probably not.
Yes, you will save IT manhours up-front if you deploy an out-of-the-box chatbot solution, but as we’ve said before, you’re not really doing your chatbot strategy any favors by insulating your team from learning how the technology truly works. You’re only making life easy on them by weakening their potential to help maximize the value and effectiveness of the bot.
A solution provider’s ability to enhance your team’s capabilities, increase their comfort level with the technology, or even manage services to reduce internal strain all have the potential to increase the return on your chatbot investment by creating a mindful approach and strategy. When you “buy a chatbot,” you do just that – buy something that can be used. When you build a chatbot approach with a solution provider who has a history of building success for businesses in a variety of industries, you’re embracing a long-term strategy for growth and success.
“Machine learning means all chatbots get better over time, right?”
Generally speaking, yes, chatbots get faster and more efficient over time. That doesn’t mean that a bare bones out-of-the-box chatbot can grow up to be as powerful as a bespoke, custom-built bot, however!
Your chatbot’s ability to recognize user intent as fast as possible, answer all relevant queries, and provide a satisfying experience is directly tied to your data study and continuous improvement efforts. If you use an overly simple chatbot, you may not be creating the data set your team needs to make the most of the bot’s growth and accelerate its improvement beyond the pace of trial and error.
Furthermore, if you purchased that no-code chatbot instead of creating a dedicated chatbot team within your IT department, your team may lack the fundamental knowledge of the technology and appropriate mindsets to retrain the bot in an optimal manner.
Get more answers about custom-built chatbots
Artificial intelligence can feel new and complex, which is why you need a dedicated IT partner with a strong base of chatbot knowledge and history of successful implementations.
If you’re looking to learn more about chatbots, trying to articulate the right strategy, or simply trying to cut through the noise of what works and what doesn’t, contact Sofbang today to schedule a chatbot opportunity assessment with one of our AI specialists.