Joachim Jonkers is the Director of Product – Conversational AI at Sinch. He provided some of his insights about the current state of the industry and a glimpse of what you can expect to hear at the 5th World Chatbots & Voice Summit

Ever since 2016, companies have gotten serious about building bots. Most of the large enterprises (1000+ employees) that have a lot of customer interactions have a bot or are at least building one. However, many companies still don’t have a bot, especially smaller companies. There are successful cases, but overall the adoption rate remains low. With Sinch Engage we want to unlock chatbot success for the broader market.  

In this blog post, we will explore the reasons why smaller companies are hesitant to build chatbots and how we can overcome these challenges to bring the benefits of chatbots to companies of all sizes and skill levels.  


What is preventing smaller companies from building bots? 



One of the main reasons why smaller companies don’t build chatbots is the perceived complexity of chatbot development. Many businesses assume that building a chatbot requires technical skills and can be too complicated to undertake.   

Lack of resources

Small businesses often have limited resources and do not have the budget to hire developers or purchase an expensive platform. As a result, they think it's too difficult to build a chatbot, and it's not worth the investment. 

Prejudices about chatbots

Another reason why smaller companies are hesitant to build chatbots is that chatbots have a bad reputation. Many people have had bad experiences with chatbots, resulting in frustration and a negative perception of them. Companies are wary of providing a bad experience to their customers, which can harm their reputation and business. 

Lack of scale

Some companies feel that for their amount of interactions with customers, a chatbot isn't worth the effort. They believe that a chatbot is not essential for their business and that it won't significantly improve their customer journeys. As a result, they choose not to invest in a chatbot. 

Lack of understanding

Finally, some small business owners don’t grasp the benefits of chatbots. They don’t understand how chatbots work, what they can do, and how they can benefit their business. This lack of understanding makes them hesitant to invest in a chatbot. 


How can we address these problems? 


Changing the narrative around chatbots 

To address negative perceptions of chatbots, we need to change the narrative around them. Rather than focusing on the potential downsides, we should highlight successful use cases of similar companies. We need to emphasize the positive benefits of chatbots, such as improved customer experience, more and better handling of leads, reduced costs, and increased efficiency. 

A bot builder that prioritizes near-instant return on investment 

To help smaller companies build chatbots, we need to offer a bot builder that prioritizes near-instant return on investment. The bot builder should provide businesses with an immediate return on investment while keeping the level of expertise to a minimum. Ideally, the bot builder grows in capabilities as the customer gets more out of the bot. 

The first step in bot building is typically based on a pre-built template. Interestingly, using generative AI models, these flows can be easily customized for a specific use case. As soon as the customer is getting value from that basic flow but wants to take it a step further, a drag-and-drop builder can be added for constructing basic flows. That story can continue with the introduction of NLP, entities, deeper integrations, etc. For example, with the chatbot builder in Sinch Engage you can build your chatbot within 10 minutes.  

This guide on “How to design the perfect chatbot for your company... in just 7 steps!” will also help to build your chatbot. 

Want to learn more about how chatbot builders can scale with the needs of the customer? Come listen to my talk on the 5th World Chatbots & Voice Summit – 12 May at 9h10 AM.