How to Select the Best AI Chatbot for Your Marketing Agency

While consumers remain frustrated with certain automations, such as automated phone systems, many have embraced chatbots. In fact, almost three-fourths of individuals who use the internet regularly say they prefer to engage with chatbots over human customer service reps when all they want is an answer to a straightforward question.

AI chatbots are increasingly common in retail to assist shoppers, in fields like medical or legal to help manage appointments and answer simple questions, and ecommerce to help with order tracking and other tasks. Knowing how to select the best AI chatbot for your agency or your client's needs can help you integrate chatbot services into your agency offerings. 

Learn how you can create a digital-first sales culture in media and build new revenue streams to thrive in a rapidly evolving buyer landscape.

Benefits of AI Chatbot Tools

The best chatbot software serves your (or your client’s) needs and provides features that support a range of benefits. Some important benefits you should get from chatbots include:

  • 24/7 availability. In the age of social media, audiences expect constant access to information and brands. However, it can be exhausting or impossible to keep up with messages the way consumers expect. Chatbots are available 24/7 to provide basic answers and interactions, ensuring constant availability without burning out human representatives. 
  • Instant responses. Modern customers want speedy responses—two-thirds of consumers say speed is as important as price when they consider products or their satisfaction with a brand (Forbes). AI chatbots help you meet that need for an instant response.
  • Personalized interactions. Top AI chatbots support personalized interactions by leveraging data from your CRM systems and other sources. For example, they may engage with a consumer by mentioning their last purchase and offering suggestions for accessories or upgrades. 
  • Removing tedious tasks from human reps. Many consumers use online chat systems to ask simple questions, seeking information about hours of operation, locations, or order status. AI can easily answer such queries, removing these tedious tasks from human reps so they can deal with more complex customer needs. 
  • Accurate, consistent information for customers. Chatbots help support digital marketing efforts by offering consistent and accurate information, building trust with consumers. 

How are AI chatbot tools more cost-effective than hiring additional staff?

Another benefit of chatbots worth mentioning is that they are much more cost-effective than hiring and training more staff members. While there is an initial investment in the technology and training it to support lead generation and nurturing efforts, the ongoing expense is minimal when compared to adding more people to the payroll. This can be a big boon when you start an agency or want to invest in other startup ideas on a bootstrap budget. 

Challenges in Using AI Chatbot Tools

Anytime you integrate AI marketing tools, you may face a few challenges. Some that are common when using AI chatbots include:

  • Language barriers. Even the best natural language processing technology is not human, and the best chatbots for customer service can include some natural language limitations. Planning ahead for these by training chatbots to raise issues to a human rep when they aren’t sure how to answer queries can help.
  • Failure to understand complex or indirect questions. Chatbots don’t always understand what a person is asking, especially if the query is phrased in a complex or indirect manner. Consider training chatbots to instruct users to rephrase or clarify questions. 
  • Need for training and continuous updates. As with AI art generators and other AI technology, chatbots may not work best right “out of the box.” It takes training, maintenance, and updates to ensure chatbots best serve clients and customers. 
  • Reliance on data. Chatbots are most effective when they can draw from robust data, so if you don’t already have a well-functioning CRM or other data source, your bot may be limited. 
  • Requirements for proper integration. The best AI chatbot for website use is one that integrates with your existing processes. However, this does take some technical know-how and time to complete. 

How to Find the Best AI Chatbot Tool for Your Agency

To find the best AI chatbot for your agency or to support your client, move through the following steps. 

1. Define Your Goals for Integrating a Chatbot

Start by discussing the goals you have for using a chatbot. How you proceed will be different if you’re looking for a white-label software option for your clients versus how you might step forward if you want to build a custom chatbot for your own agency. Create a list of functions you want that can act as a checklist as you research chatbot options. 

Some tips for defining your chatbot goals and preferences include:

  • Including multiple stakeholders and subject-matter experts. Talk to customer service reps about what types of things they’re constantly helping clients with, and consider getting customer feedback about what they might like to see in a chatbot.
  • Consider your budget. How much you can pay to implement and maintain a chatbot is a big factor in which product is right for you. 
  • Think about your in-house technical resources. Consider whether you need outside assistance in implementing chatbots or if white-label software is better than developing from scratch.

2. Understand the Key Features of Chatbots

When choosing the best chatbot for website use, consider how the various features of chatbots will work for your needs. Some common features to consider include:

  • Natural language processing capability. How well a chatbot manages natural language processing is relevant to the flow of its conversation and how capable it is in engaging with humans. Low natural language processing capability results in stilted, computerized language and responses while high capability can drive more human-like, organic responses. 
  • Integration options. Consider whether the chatbot can integrate with appropriate data sources and website systems, including ordering systems, CRM systems, social media, or other relevant platforms.  
  • Customization options. Look for chatbots that allow customization and ongoing training. For example, you may want to train a chatbot to respond with language that matches your brand style and voice.
  • Scalability. Consider the cost and effort required to scale a chatbot as your business grows. It’s important to consider how you pay for the chatbot, especially if you invest in a Software-as-a-Service option. 

3. Research and Compare Various Options

Combine the information from steps 1 and 2 above into a formal checklist. Then, put together a team that can research and compare chatbot options for your site. You might include someone from customer service, digital marketing, and management. If you’re running a small agency, you may complete this step yourself.

Look at available AI chatbot options and use the checklist to vet each one. Whittle the list down to one or two options. Choose the option that seems to fit your needs best to test. 

best AI chatbot

4. Pilot and Test the AI Chatbot You Choose

To figure out if you’ve selected the best AI chatbot for your purposes, start with a pilot period to test its functionality. You might implement the chatbot on a single web page or domain or at limited times of day. This lets you gather data about how the chatbot performs and whether you need to put more effort into humanizing the content it generates.

You can also conduct customer or client feedback interviews or surveys to find out how people feel about engaging with the chatbot and whether they find it helpful.

5. Complete a Full Integration

Once you tweak the pilot and decide the AI chatbot is the best one for you, it’s time for a complete integration. Roll the chatbot out to all appropriate domains and apps and train staff members as needed to manage it. 

Don’t set and forget your chatbot technology. Continually monitor it and ensure it keeps generating positive results. Remember to update the chatbot with data and functionality as needed and continue training it to improve how it interacts with customers. 

Tip: Vendasta's AI Chatbot answers 24/7 questions about your business and captures leads for you and your team to follow up with—all in one place.

Best AI chatbot: Vendasta's AI-assisted chatbot

Better yet? You can rebrand and resell this tool to your own clients—Try Vendasta for free here.

Integrate AI Chatbot Tools Today

The best website chatbots provide benefits such as improved customer experience, cost and time savings for marketing, sales, and customer service teams, and increased operational efficiency. While there are some challenges in implementing chatbots, such as integrating them with website builders and other tools, proper planning and implementation can help you overcome those obstacles. 

Exploring and investing in AI chatbot tools for your agency and clients can help you improve the outcome of other efforts, including campaigns for social media and SEO. After all, if you do the work to attract visitors to a website but they don’t convert because they can’t get their questions answered immediately, that can be a lot of wasted marketing effort. Chatbots help ensure that doesn’t happen. 

About the Author

Lawrence Dy is the SEO Strategy Manager at Vendasta. His career spans from starting as a Jr. Copywriter in the automotive industry to becoming a Senior Editorial Content Manager in various digital marketing niches. Outside of work, Lawrence moonlights as a music producer/beatmaker and spends time with friends and family.

Turn your digital agency into a scalable power house with Vendasta

Shares
Share This