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Straight answers to the 10 most important questions about getting started with chatbots

Know Before You Bot

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Chapter 6

What integrations do I need?

When building bots, companies often try to create functionality within the bot from scratch. This can result in an unreliable chatbot that doesn’t play well with other parts of your technology ecosystem. For example, if your chatbot doesn’t integrate with your customer relationship management (CRM) platform, it will create extra work for your team to log information after each interaction.

Wherever possible, leverage the systems that your company already has in place. This will give your bot greater functionality, enable it to be more personalized, and make it more useful overall. Through the right integrations, you can expect less work for agents, a better customer experience, and an overall more efficient workflow

There are no shortcuts here. One of the biggest chatbot mistakes that businesses make is foregoing integrations and settling for web links instead. An example of this mistake is instead of programming an order form directly into the bot for a seamless user experience, they may instead link to another page with the form on it and divert the visitor away from the chatbot.

When you deflect visitors away from your chatbot through external links, you give up the engagement with the customer that you worked so hard to earn. Your bot becomes nothing more than a navigation tool instead of the friendly, personalized helper it can be. If showing the desired web page in the chat window or programming the order form into the bot is not possible, but necessary for many of your bot interactions, you may want to look for a different bot vendor that offers that capability.

Don’t let your bot platform’s technical limitations force unreasonable compromises in the pursuit of your goals. The technology is out there to do what you want.

Consider this

Bots are part of a larger ecosystem with multiple external and internal touch points. Ask vendors what type of integrations they offer out-of-the-box, what needs to be custom-built, and what simply isn’t possible. Then push them to meet your needs.