Chatbots are fast becoming a part of the digital furniture for many company websites and apps. But is it worth going to the trouble of creating your own, even with low-code and no-code DIY options? Chatbot outsourcing is a fast-growing business trend, enabling experts in digital conversations to build and maintain your bots.
The pressure to deliver automated customer service and a great deal of marketing hype has encouraged firms to build their chatbots. Many think it is simple using WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) design tools, but the results are usually underwhelming.
Firms are also being told to focus on having high-value conversations with customers and clients. A simple bot handling basic queries already seems very 2010s-technology, which is where AI can deliver a better quality solution, but few companies have AI specialists on hand.
If you feel that your first-generation chatbot is not having as much impact as you would like, or developing a bot is beyond your organization’s skillset, it’s probably time to find an AI chatbot operations service. One that can deliver the smart conversations your customers expect. This move will free up your teams to focus on their marketing and sales efforts, while benefitting from greater bot engagement.
Choosing the right chatbot vendor
Having decided to make that move, there are plenty of bot creators and vendors out there, all looking for contracts. Many offer bots as part of their general cloud or business service, while others still expect you to do much of the work.
There are 4 key things to consider when choosing your chatbot operations vendor:
1. Choose a vendor dedicated to chatbot operations, not a generalist
There are hundreds of vendors that will take on a chatbot project, and any other technical task you have at the time. From mobile app development to systems integration, these vendors are generalists and may not have the expertise or focus to really make your chatbot a success.
A dedicated chatbot operations company will be exclusively focused on chatbots, have the expertise, experience, and up-to-the-minute knowledge about the chatbot landscape to deliver the bot that your business and customers deserve.
In short, if a general services provider offers you a chatbot, are they really focused on delivering a great product? If they offer lots of other services, remove them from your evaluation list.
2. Analytics and optimization tooling
A team of experts is only as good as the tools they have to work with. When it comes to the technical nuts and bolts, you need to see if the vendor’s analytics, training, testing, workflow, and data solutions are mature and have been delivering value for many clients.
Many chatbot developers tie you to a siloed chatbot platform that may limit the effectiveness or flexibility of what you can deploy. A review of the vendor’s tooling will give you a clear sense of the maturity of their capabilities.
3. References, references, references
A lot of companies may offer to take on your chatbot work but the proof is in the references. If they are truly experts in this field they will have a long list of very satisfied clients who are happy to talk to you about the service they have received.
Don’t fall for the long list of logos on a web page, rather talk to a few of the vendor’s customers to ensure they are a great vendor to work with.
4. What to expect
A chatbot is a long term investment. It will continuously mature over the coming years (if well cared for) so find a vendor that you can see as a long term partner to your business. Looking for the low-cost option will probably be a temporary patch that has you looking for an upgrade a year later. Real experts with a great toolset will not be cheap but will deliver a clear ROI for your chatbot investment.
Find a partner that meets these criteria and you will have a great chatbot that delights your customers and evolves with your business.
Looking to launch an enterprise-grade chatbot quickly?
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