Chatbots a.k.a conversational UX is the new medium for businesses to communicate with their customers. They are a cheaper and more efficient tool to automate some of the day-to-day tasks, enabling you to focus your resources on the core aspects of your business. And this is why businesses of all sizes are jumping on the chatbot bandwagon.
You will come across a wide variety of chatbots ranging from news chatbot, information aggregator chatbot, scheduling chatbot, medical chatbot, shopping chatbot and more. However, you need to determine what kind of bot would meet your business requirements and whether you should go for a do-it-yourself chatbot or hire a chatbot developer to develop an AI-powered custom chatbot.
The popular messaging channels that you can use to integrate your chatbot with are Skype, web chat, direct line, email, Office 365, Facebook Messenger, GroupMe, Kik, Slack, SMS and Telegram, though, all of them do not support the DIY chatbot approach.
What’s what – Do-it-yourself and custom chatbot
There are a lot of DIY platforms for building a chatbot with plenty of templates, integration, tools, and conversation flow builders to create a simple chatbot without coding. The DIY bot can undeniably communicate with your customers non-stop 24/7 without human intervention but lacks the ability to have personalized / contextual conversations if built for underpinning your business’ customer service.
Enterprises look for intelligent chatbot that understands their customer intent, have a semantic two-way conversation, and provide quick customer service. A tailored AI-powered or NLP-based chatbot integrated with your business ecosystem will bring great results offering effective customer service.
4 major reasons why customized bots are always better than DIY chatbots
The DIY chatbot has a limited scope of scalability and low learning curve compared to a custom chatbot. This is because the platform interface of a DIY chatbot is confined and not in your control. Hence, in the future, with the changing needs of your business, if you wish to add some custom features to your DIY chatbot you might face a problem. On the other hand, if you have a customized chatbot developed for your business, you can scale up the features and add in more about intent, entities, and dialog anytime.
A custom chatbot has myriads of AI-based capabilities that deliver context-based or intent-based personalization or advice to customers, improving their overall experience. This kind of bot can also be integrated with LUIS API that offers a personalized conversation with customers and keeps evolving by learning from the day-to-day conversation.
The challenge with a DIY chatbot platform is that it is a flow-driven, predefined bot with limited AI-functionalities offered due to which it fails in providing a human-like conversation with customers as understanding of natural language capabilities are quite limited.
Support and guidance
This is a very important factor and if you are using a DIY bot built on a free platform, then getting on-time support is often not feasible. Besides that, the chatbot industry is in the infant stage and getting complete professional guidance for free is also difficult. Some of the popular DIY bots do have a community of developers. But this approach is ideal for companies that have in-house software developers who are active in these forums. Hence, if you choose to develop a custom chatbot for your enterprise, then you can find experienced chatbot bot development companies who have a team of expert chatbot developers familiar with the nitty-gritty of custom chatbot development offering outstanding conversational UX.
Data control and security
The enterprises that use a free do-it-yourself chatbot have no control over their personal data as the bot is hosted on the third party server. The data includes personal information like name, contact number, email ID, Facebook profile picture and more which can be misused by the platform provider. Other than this, if the third-party platform goes down then your chatbot would stop working. You will lose chatbot codes, gathered data, and customers too. Later, even if you decide to export a chatbot from the DIY platform, it’s impractical.
The final say
By now you must have understood that a do-it-yourself chatbot brings a lot of uncertainties. You can come up with some functional prototype of your idea using DIY approach.
However, for enterprises who are serious enough about their business, customers and want to mint money, should count on building a custom chatbot and have full control of their work, customer data and more.
If you are planning to build a chatbot for your enterprise, talk to our experts to know how to go about it the right way.