How to Build an AI Chatbot for Your Website
Chatbots are here to stay. ChatGPT ignited serious interest in self-learning, powerful AI for customer support.
An AI chatbot is an asset for offering personalized engagement on your website. Unlike rule-based solutions, an AI chatbot learns from interactions, improves its intelligence over time and has human-like conversations. Plus it’s easier to build and more readily available than ever before.
Whether you're a small business owner or a marketing professional, this post will help you understand the advantages of using an AI chatbot for your website and explain how to build one.
- Why is an AI chatbot an essential tool for your website?
- How to build an AI chatbot for your website
- Use cases for website chatbots
- Examples of AI chatbots
- Userlike: AI chatbot for your website and more
Why is an AI chatbot an essential tool for your website?
An AI chatbot is essential for several reasons. First, it helps businesses save time, money and resources by automating routine tasks and assisting customers with their questions around the clock.
AI chatbots are also more pleasant to interact with since they use conversational AI and natural language processing and understanding (NLP and NLU). It can detect context and pull answers from a knowledge base instead of relying on a predetermined decision tree.
Lastly, an AI chatbot helps with lead generation and personalizing customer experiences. It can collect data, qualify leads, build customer profiles, make recommendations and more.
How to build an AI chatbot for your website
- Define your chatbot’s purpose
- Choose an AI chatbot platform
- Design your conversation flow
- Test and refine your AI chatbot
- Launch your AI chatbot
Define your chatbot’s purpose
Before you can choose a provider, determine what your AI chatbot will be used for on your website.
For example, consider the audience you want to target, the problems your chatbot will solve and what type of integrations it should seamlessly connect with.
This will help you narrow down a provider and have an end goal in mind for your bot. An AI chatbot is essentially a member of your team, not an accessory, so pre-planning its role will also help with the design and writing process.
Choose an AI chatbot platform
There are many platforms and programming languages available to create chatbots, such as Dialogflow, BotSociety or IBM Watson. However, we recommend using a live chat provider with a built-in AI chatbot for easy monitoring, management and agent handovers.
Userlike, for example, offers a unique combination of live chat, messaging and AI automation features. You control your AI chatbot via the same dashboard your agents use to chat.
It’s connected to a central knowledge base, which is where you write or import your Q&As and other business knowledge in the form of short entries. Your AI chatbot will use this data in interactions with your site visitors.
This is the modern approach to customer support chatbots. You’ll save money and time by keeping all of your support tools in one software.
Design your conversation flow
The key to creating pleasant but helpful chatbot conversation flows is to create many different intents (even if they’re similar) and keep your answers concise.
Creating multiple intents, even if the answer is the same, will help your AI chatbot strengthen its context understanding. Your customers can ask their questions freely and the chatbot will rarely have to fallback to your agents.
It’s best to build a knowledge base, like with Userlike’s AI Automation Hub. That way you can write your Q&As and all other helpful info, which will be used by your chatbot, interactive FAQ page and even your contact form.
Over time, your knowledge base will grow from interactions and improve its accuracy. This means faster resolutions, happy customers and more time for your agents to focus on serious matters.
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Test and refine your AI chatbot
When you’re done building, test your chatbot from a technical and user perspective. A soft launch of your chatbot on your website will let you test its functionality and give your colleagues and select customers a chance to try it out.
In Userlike, you add your chatbot as you would a human agent. When you’re done customizing your bot, you set its parameters in the dashboard and go live.
Double check: Are your answers clear? Do all of your links and redirects work? Do images and other media appear? Is it easy to escalate to an agent? Make sure to test it all!
Launch your AI chatbot
Once your AI chatbot passes testing, launch it on the pages and channels that make most sense for its purpose. For example, if you build a customer support chatbot, it makes sense to have it on your website’s contact page and in important popular messaging channels like WhatsApp.
If your goal is to get more leads and sales, then it’s better to use your bot sitewide. Then it can proactively approach customers and keep them from abandoning your website or their cart.
Make sure to promote your new chatbot on your social media pages and make it visible on your website. Customers will notice it and use it in no time.
Use cases for website chatbots
Many industries benefit from offering an AI chatbot on their website and in popular messaging apps. Sometimes “talking” is better than clicking through a stiff button-based menu — customers can receive personalized support without having to get your agents involved.
Here are some popular chatbot use cases for businesses:
- Collect contact information. Before a service rep can even lift a finger, your chatbot can collect the customer’s details and ask for the issue. If necessary, it can forward the message to a human who will pick up the conversation, already well-informed.
- Answer common questions. A chatbot, ideally one connected to your knowledge base, can relieve your service team from answering frequently asked questions and guarantees a quick response.
- Guide your customer to the right operator group. If your service agents have different areas of expertise, your chatbot can ask the customer to pre-select a certain topic or department. That way you spare the customer’s valuable time by forwarding the chat directly to the right person.
- Offer sales support. Website chatbots can help drive your sales and marketing efforts by collecting interesting leads, making product recommendations, collecting contact info and upselling or cross selling products and services.
- Recruit new talent. An AI chatbot can be used to streamline the recruitment process. Chatbots can conduct initial interviews and screenings, schedule interviews, and answer candidate questions, freeing up recruiters' time to focus on more strategic tasks.
Examples of AI chatbots
Here are three examples of intelligent chatbots assisting customers on websites.
Norbot is a Userlike chatbot used by German energy company Stadtwerke Düren. It uses both keyword recognition and button options to respond to users about common or pressing energy topics.
Norbot also cleverly shares a contact form mid-chat, so customers can receive further help from an agent — and Stadtwerke Düren can collect data on new leads.
MailChimp’s chatbot is easily accessible via a “Chat with us” button on their website homepage. When you start a conversation, it “types” its responses, creating a more realistic conversation feel.
It uses a combo of written text and button options to keep the conversation going and offers help for both new and existing customers.
When you click on a topic, the chatbot shares button options for all the most popular relevant topics for this keyword. It’s clear a lot of knowledge base planning went into this bot, making it a helpful website chatbot assistant.
Chatbot platform Roof AI specializes in real estate automation. Their bot helps qualify real estate, mortgage and agent recruiting prospects, answer inquiries, schedule tours and create customer profiles.
A notable example is Sunny, a chatbot created for The Keyes Company. It uses natural language processing and button options in the conversation to help narrow down what customers are looking for.
Conversations with Roof AI’s chatbot are very human-like — it “types” and sends responses at a realistic pace. It also uses short, precise questions to learn what the user is looking for and, in the case of Sunny, has a calm, helpful persona and feel to it.
Userlike: AI chatbot for your website and more
Although it's tempting to let a chatbot do all the work, we don’t recommend using it as a stand-alone solution for your support. Customers prefer a healthy combination of automated self-service options and human live chat support.
At Userlike, we have more than 10 years of experience with helping customers set up their chatbots and manage and increase their chat conversations. We built our AI Automation Hub to modernize websites and turn them into intelligent self-service portals.
In addition to our AI chatbot, we provide a self-learning Smart FAQ and responsive Contact Form Suggestions. These three modules are powered by the central knowledge base, where you add your Q&As and other helpful entries.
Do you want to learn more about the long-term benefits of using AI features connected to live chat software? Start a chat with us on our website so we can talk!