What are the typical tasks of a chatbot agency?
Strategy: A chatbot agency can be a guide for the type of chatbot that will be created, taking advantage of its previous experiences. There are different types of chatbots and they can provide different benefits. Some chatbot experience would be helpful to invest in choosing the right type of chatbot for your company's priorities. For example, a chatbot can be a voice bot, only text bot or hybrid bot and there are pros and cons for each option. The use case should be defined clearly to achieve the expected benefits of chatbots. A chatbot agency can help define these goals and expectations. For more information on what a chatbot is, feel free to visit our article on chatbots.
Design and Development of Bots: Chatbot agencies are responsible for technical infrastructure to build a stable and effective chatbot. The main responsibilities of the agencies can be listed as
- Building natural language skills: The ability to understand and respond to the user is a determining factor in the technical difficulty of building chatbots. Most agencies will rely on tech companies' Natural Language Processing (NLP) products to achieve this.
- Optimizing the chatbot for the specific channel: The environment in which the chatbot will operate will have implications for its development. A bot can be placed on a website or app, a communication platform like Whatsapp, Telegram, or voice platforms like Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa.
- Integration: The chatbot needs to be connected to the existing systems. For example, the chatbot can be integrated to the marketing or CRM software to access necessary information about the potential customer.
- Security: The chatbot agency should ensure that security standards are met in order to secure customer or company data.
Post-development support: In order for chatbots to run without malfunctioning, it is necessary to make the updates and changes for continuous improvement. When there is a problem with the chatbot, agencies should offer timely suppot services.
Why are there so many chatbot agencies?
To understand the importance of chatbot agencies, it is necessary to learn why chatbots are important and what value they provide. We have written extensively on chatbot benefits before.
Though chatbots have numerous benefits, there are also numerous cases of chatbot failure. A chatbot needs to be treated like a standalone product and needs to be tested extensively. Given the risks of chatbot failure and the benefits of chatbot success, some organizations decide that launching the first versions of their chatbot with an experienced agency offers a good trade-off enabling a lower cost fast launch that can demonstrate the benefits of chatbots for the business.
What are the advantages of hiring a chatbot agency?
- Experience: Chatbot agencies know about the problems that can arise in conversational AI projects because of their previous or ongoing work with different companies. Their experience of user interaction via chatbots can guide the enterprises.
- Faster Deployment: Because agencies set up a framework to develop chatbots and have developed different chatbots, they can build a chatbot much faster than a company building its own chatbot from scratch. Faster development of a chatbot system ensures that chatbot benefits are experienced earlier by the business
- Cheaper: Thanks to their experience and sometimes thanks to their team members in low cost locations help agencies deliver results for less. Hiring resources to build an internal conversational AI team can be most costly and risky. For example, deprioritizing conversational AI projects after setting up a team would be quite costly as the now unnecessary team members need to be paid severances.
- No extra resources required: To set up a chatbot, it may be necessary to hire someone or make an internal assignment. Such changes disrupt the usual flow of business. And hiring can especially slow down a project, especially in times of economic expansion which is when these investments occur.
- Less Risky: An agency's experience can help derisk the project. An agency with numerous chatbot development projects under its belt is unlikely to experience delays in the project compared to a team with limited experience
What are the things to pay attention to while choosing a chatbot agency?
- Learn about the fundamentals of chatbots: Although agencies can guide you on chatbots, it is necessary to obtain an understanding of chatbot capabilities so you can see through the marketing speak of some agencies. Unfortunately, some tech vendors and service providers, including chatbot agencies, regularly overpromise or position relatively simple features as technological achievements. You can browse our other articles to learn more about chatbots at the bottom of the page.
- Define the use case and expectations clearly: The application area must be clear to get the most benefit from chatbots. For example, a chatbot to be used in the field of healthcare and a chatbot to be used in the field of e-commerce will be technically quite different from each other. Therefore, the agency to work with should have relevant experience in similar use cases and that industry.
- Prepare clear specifications including response time, share of queries resolved by the chatbot without transferring the user to a customer representative etc. These specs should be measurable metrics. Feel free to explore the most comprehensive article on chatbot metrics to see some example metrics.
- Ask for demo: Evaluating the previous works of a chatbot agency is a way to compare different agencies. Public bots and previous works can be tested to see the quality of natural language ability, speed of responses etc.
Our other articles on chatbots
- General guide about chatbots
- Objective metrics for measuring the performance of a chatbot so you can measure results of testing
- Chatbot success stories. We recommend reading it since success stories are rare and since they can be studied to learn drivers of chatbot success
- Chatbot testing guide focusing on a/b testing
- Top chatbot testing frameworks & techniques in 2020