How to create a conversational AI

Your ultimate guide to building and using a conversational AI chatbot in your business

A conversational AI has the potential to revolutionise how your businesses interacts with your customers. By automating communication and providing personalized customer experiences, conversational AI boosts audience engagement and enhances your marketing efforts and overall business growth.

 

Building and implementing a branded conversational AI can transform customer service, sales, and marketing strategies. In this article we’ll explain exactly what a conversation AI is, how they work and why they’re a critical tool for businesses aiming to thrive in a competitive online environment.

What you'll learn:

1. Understanding conversational AI

What is Conversational AI?

Conversational AI refers to sophisticated systems capable of understanding, processing, and responding to human language in a natural and personalized manner. Conversational AIs can adapt to context, learn from interactions, and provide more human-like responses. Creating a conversational AI based on you or your brand has huge potential; it can dramatically scale your reach and the depth of relationships with your audience.

The difference between chatbots and conversational AIs

Before we get too deep, we should understand this. Chatbots have been around for decades; long before AI came to prominence and, if we’re being honest, no one really likes speaking with a customer support-type chatbot.

 

This is because chatbots are pretty basic and don’t provide a comprehensive or human-like experience. They typically follow a set of rules that generate predefined responses, while conversational AIs leverage advanced technologies like Natural Language Processing (NLP) and machine learning to understand and respond to human language more intelligently.

Essentially, this artificial intelligence means conversational AIs processes information and “think” about how to continue in a human-like fashion. If you’re looking for a chat interface that meaningfully engages with your audience and potentially helps or coaches them, a conversational AI is the obvious choice.

2. The business case for conversational AI

Driving marketing and branding

Brands and individuals that adopt and deploy a conversational AI position themselves at the forefront of innovation. It sets them apart from competitors. Those using AI can engage customers more effectively, respond to queries instantly, and deliver a personalised experience.

 

Through consistent and personalised interactions, conversational AI strengthens brand identity. It allows individuals and businesses to maintain a continuous presence, engaging customers at their convenience and fostering a deeper connection.

A man creating a conversational AI based on him from his home office.

Customer insights and lead generation

Your conversational AI chat gathers data from every interaction, providing you with valuable insights into your audience’s thoughts and behaviour. You can use this to drive more informed marketing decisions and tailor your strategies to meet the specific needs and interests of your target customers.

 

Of course, your AI is a potent lead magnet. They’re intriguing but they can also deliver great value to someone wanting to more information about your product, or those who get coaching from the AI coach you built. Every time someone signs up to chat, not only do you capture their name and email address, but you can see exactly what their issues are.

Adding value or even upselling

Your conversational AI gives personalised value to those that engage with it. These could be audience members, prospects, existing clients or members of your organisation. This builds deep affinity and brand loyalty. People feel like you’re personally helping them. This can aid customer retention, repeat purchases and referral.

 

On top of all that, your AI can be trained to upsell other products or services you offer.

3. Planning your conversational AI

Define your AI's purpose

First, define what you want your conversational AI to achieve for your business. Are you looking to build your brand, generate leads, add value to your customers or even charge for access to your AI?

 

Identifying clear objectives will guide the process and ensure your AI aligns with business goals.

 

Building on this, what are the actual functions your’ll require your conversational AI to perform? Will it handle customer inquiries, provide product recommendations, or support lead qualification? The more precisely you define its role, the more effective it will be.

Decide where to deploy your AI

Your AI needs to be accessible, in line with your chosen use case. If you want to capture the data of people that visit your website, you’ll want your AI shown on some or all of your site’s pages.

 

If you want to get your social following more deeply connected with your and your brand, you should direct them to your AI, which should be somewhere easy to chat to it.

 

With Coachvox, it’s possible to deploy your AI chat wherever accepts html code. This means all websites and most apps, including online course platforms. You can also direct people to your chat’s unique link or on your “share page”.

Choose a tool to build your AI

This is a critical decision. This is where you decide how to build your AI, which, unless you’re very technical, requires you to choose a tool that does the heavy lifting for you.

 

AI builders vary massively in terms of functionality, conversational capability, data limits, and how well supported you’ll be with tech issues or making your AI work for your business. You not only need to identify a tool that has the functionality you require, but one that you can actually implement into your workflows and get ROI from.

 

Furthermore, many of these AI tools are closer to what we think of as chatbots; not true conversational AI. But that’s not always obvious until you try using one.

4. Designing and building your conversational AI

Choose a design for your AI

However you’re planning to use your AI, it’s important that it represents your brand effectively. Anyone using your AI should instantly know it belongs to you and your business.

 

With Coachvox, this is all handled in the “My Coachvox AI” area and is incredibly simple to set up.

Tell your AI about you and your style

Your conversational AI needs to sound and feel like you so your audience truly believes they’re engaging with something unique. Give your AI some basic background information so it knows who it is. Configure the AI in your style and, with Coachvox, you can even suggest the type of language it uses in conversation.

Choose access settings

It’s important to configure your access settings for your AI. How much information do you want to collect from new users? Should users be able to see their chat history? Should they pay you a subscription? This very much depends on the intended purpose of your AI.

5. Training your conversational AI

Upload your content

The first step to creating an AI based on you, is to give the model your knowledge. With any AI creation tool, you’ll upload content for the AI to be able to reference when it has conversations. This is what makes your AI personal and different to a tool like ChatGPT.

 

With Coachvox, it’s a simple drag and drop and we have lots of guidance about which content will create the best data for your AI to use. You might be surprised at how quickly you can create your AI clone.

Fine tune the conversations

The final piece of the puzzle is to actually start chatting to your AI. Here’s where everything comes together; the style, language and your content. You can rate and edit responses to train the AI to converse as you want.

6. Testing and refining your AI

Alpha testing

Once you’re satisfied with how your AI looks and chats, it’s time to invite others to interact with your AI. These first few alpha testers are incredibly value because they’ll ask questions you haven’t anticipated.

 

Ideally, you run a test where you collect information about your alpha testers and their goals for interacting with your AI. This is especially important if your aim is for your AI to be helpful for your audience or charging a subscription. Getting feedback via a Typeform at the beginning and end of your alpha test will give you excellent data.

Implement feedback

Use feedback from alpha testers and other trialists to improve your AI. How helpful was your AI in adding value? What else did they expect? Perhaps you need to provide more direction about what to ask your AI about.

 

You should also review the transcripts of chats with your AI to see if there are gaps in the training data or if more fine-tuning is required.

7. Integrating your conversational AI

Deploy your AI

Now you’re happy with your AI’s performance, it’s time to get it live and start directing traffic to it. Depending on your use case, embed your AI on key pages, within your courses or wherever you’d like your audience to engage with it.

 

This is the first step to integrating your AI into your sales and marketing funnnel.

Integrate with your CRM

Your conversational AI chat can be a lead generation machine. All of those new contacts could be potential customer so you need to have a process for engaging with them and following up.

 

Here’s where you need an integration in place, so these leads enter your CRM or email automation flow. With Coachvox, this is all handled by Zapier.

Use other features

Depending on the tool used to develop your conversational AI, there may be features you can use to grow your business.

 

For example, Coachvox offers content creation tools, meaning you can use the content you’ve been creating over the years to create brand new, original content to share on your website, in emails or on social media.

8. Challenges and considerations

Whilst there’s huge scope for AI to transform your brand and business, there are some things to keep in mind when developing your tool.

 

Compliance and privacy: You’ll be collecting data from people using your AI, as well as having access to the transcripts of real conversations. You’ll need to ensure that your audience is aware of this and that they agree to your terms and conditions and relevant privacy policy.

 

Brand consistency: for your AI to have the biggest impact possible, it need to represent your brand accurately. Training, testing and fine-tuning can all contribute to getting this right.

 

Obscure questions: from time to time, your audience will ask your AI something you didn’t expect. Maybe there will be no training data to draw one. That’s okay! But it’s worth testing your AI to see how it handles random questions and train it to respond appropriately.

 

Hallucinations and errors: conversational AIs, including popular tools like ChatGPT are prone to making errors, including “hallucinations” whereby generations (the AI’s responses) are inaccuracies presented as fact. These are increasingly rare, but it’s still possible and you should monitor transcripts to see if any common ones occur. This is also something your should reference in a disclaimer and terms.

9. Scaling yourself to infinity

Your conversational AI clone has the potential to transform your approach to brand-building, sales and marketing. With a plan in place for how you’re going to utilise your AI, commitment to training and refining the product, and with effective implementation, it’s possible to scale your impact to infinity.

 

Now is the perfect time to embrace this game-changing technology and position yourself ahead of the competition and begin reaping the rewards.

If you’re brand new to Coachvox AI, you should watch this super-quick explainer video.