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How to Differentiate an AI Chatbot

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Chatbots and conversational AI are all the rage, but with so many products on the market, it’s natural that some of those products blend in and become hard for consumers to distinguish. 

A better path for any programmer is to differentiate an AI chatbot as much as possible, improving functionality and/or unique appeal.

So how do the most successful products do it?

The Power and Potential of an AI Powered Chatbot

An AI powered chatbot of sufficient capability has practically unlimited potential. You can apply such a bot to customer service applications, sales applications, and a variety of other business tasks. Deployment of a chatbot, if successful, should save you time, save you money, and even improve outcomes through the following effects:

  •       Automation. One of the greatest benefits of a chatbot is its ability to automate various types of conversations. This way, you can spend less time and money and ensure greater consistency in service delivery.
  •       Immediacy. Unless you plan on keeping your customer service center fully staffed and open 24/7, most forms of customer interaction face limitations in availability and time. But chatbots allow you to serve people more immediately and more reliably, at any time of day and any day of the week.
  •       Scalability. Chatbots are incredibly powerful for businesses looking to scale. With the right technologies on your side, you can serve an ever-increasing number of prospects and customers without spending more time or money to do it.
  •       Better communication. While chatbots still aren’t capable of human-level empathy or understanding, they do have considerable communication advantages. For example, they tend to be clearer and more consistent – and they can speak any language.

The Importance of Differentiation

The catch is, chatbots have become a new normal. There are millions of individual chatbots in circulation, and most people expect to encounter one anytime they visit a website or contact customer service. In this sea of mediocrity, it pays to have a chatbot that truly stands out; if you can provide your customers, prospects, and other business contacts with a much richer, more unique experience, you’ll see better results.

If you’re creating your chatbot as a commercial product, the benefits of differentiating this product are even clearer; you’ll reduce your number of competitors while simultaneously making your product more attractive.

How can you accomplish this?

How to Differentiate Your AI Powered Chatbot

These are some of the best strategies for differentiating your AI chatbot:

  •       Consider building from scratch. Most modern chatbots are built on existing infrastructure. You can create a new bot as a branch of an existing technology, or use an established framework to create something more original. However, if you want your bot to be as unique as possible, you should consider developing it from scratch; it’s much more expensive and effort intensive, but it might be worth it.
  •       Define your goals. Too many people approach chatbot development and improvement with a generic mentality. It’s much better to go into the process with clearly defined goals that direct your efforts. You want your chatbot to be different and successful, but what does success mean in this context?
  •       Develop a clear strategy for achieving those goals. Once you have an idea of what you want your bot to achieve, you need to develop a clear strategy for achieving those goals. What aspects or elements are missing from existing bots, and how could your AI powered chatbot close that gap?
  •       Tailor your chatbot to a specific audience. Next, try to tailor your chatbot to a specific audience through configuration and training. It’s tempting to make your bot as open-ended as possible, appealing to a much broader audience, but it’s much better to connect with the people you’re engaging with most frequently.
  •       Create a unique name and personality. People respond to robots (and even inanimate objects) much more favorably when those robots and objects have human elements like names and discernable personalities. Accordingly, you should spend significant time creating a name that’s friendly, cute, welcoming, and familiar – if you can make that name catchy, it’s a nice bonus. With a name in place, you can develop a more fleshed out personality and try to humanize your chatbot.
  •       Give your chatbot as much expertise as possible. Some chatbots are perceived as stupid because of their lack of knowledge and expertise. You can correct this by providing your chatbot with more material and more training.
  •       Create a smooth handoff process. Even the most powerful, most uniquely differentiated chatbots are incapable of handling every conceivable request. That’s why it’s important to cultivate a smooth handoff process, so you can quickly and reliably connect people to human agents when required.
  •       Pay close attention to analytics. After you release your chatbot, pay close attention to analytics and get feedback from the people using your bot. The more data you gather, the better you can hone your strategic approach.
  •       Be ready to upgrade. Chatbot technology and best practices change rapidly; the bots of two years ago are easily outclassed by the bots of today. Accordingly, you need to be ready to upgrade. Monitoring your competitors can help you stay tuned to the latest developments.

Creating an AI powered chatbot is easier than ever, but if you want it to be successful, it needs to be differentiated. These strategies can help you make a better product that truly stands out among your competition.