Today, AI chatbots are highly utilized in the majority of industries. Ever since the introduction of AI chatbots, industries around the world have been gradually transforming in numerous ways. The AI chatbot market is scaling rapidly and is expected to grow exponentially in the upcoming years. The rising demand is fueled by the consumers’ growing comfort with virtual assistants as well as their desire for constant customer support. One of the fascinating developments within the chatbots industry is that companies are using chatbots across multiple channels to facilitate sales and marketing efforts.
Chatbots are increasingly able to connect with people via SMS, email, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, etc. to promote new product lines, offer discounts, and provide updates and tracking. Today, it is important for the bot to have the ability to integrate with other apps. Forward-looking chatbot development companies such as Bavard AI are keeping up with the latest advancements in the industry. The company is working to fine-tune its integration with apps like Shopify and Slack, in addition to building out those messaging channel capabilities.
Furthermore, today’s customers desire chatbot conversations to replicate human interaction. Rudimentary bots that only perform simple actions such as message intake or account troubleshooting are failing to reduce friction in the sales funnel and service experience. Bavard aims to differentiate its product from competitors by offering a chatbot that can communicate in multiple languages, recognize a wide variety of intents, and display a sense of personality via embedded videos and GIFs.
After getting a simple prototype working, Angelique Brown (Co-founder and CEO of Bavard AI), along with David Brown (Co-founder) realized they could create a competitive solution with minimal resources. This motivated the duo to establish Bavard. They also recognized that conversational AI technology is evolving rapidly and that whatever is state-of-the-art today is likely to be obsolete tomorrow.
Situations like these give startups an advantage over established companies as they can react more quickly to new developments. Presently, Bavard is fully intent on providing the most sophisticated AI chatbots on the market that are also the easiest to set up and use. “We won’t stop until this goal is realized. Luckily we are already way ahead of most competitors along those two dimensions,” states Angelique.
The first year after Bavard’s establishment was the toughest part of the startup journey for its founders. They were trying to grow the team by finding incredible employees who had a passion for the industry and the company’s business goals. Finding quality staff was also a difficult task. It took months for the company to make the first hire. Over time, it managed to find the right people by recruiters as well as word of mouth. Angelique adds that the interview process was long and tedious, however, it was important to the company that it ensured there was a strong culture and a personality fit.
Bavard AI provides a bouquet of platforms and features including,
All the aforementioned features have significantly evolved since inception, mostly based on current customers’ needs and suggestions. Bavard AI tried to follow the lean startup method of letting customers lead product development.
Angelique mentions that Bavard’s NLP capabilities are by far its most sophisticated and well-rounded services. Customers can add potential queries or FAQs that get added to the model for training. As the bot is used and new questions are added, the model just gets better and smarter. Moreover, the analytics dashboard is a good place for clients to see these interactions taking place and the success metrics they are achieving. It allows Bavard’s clients to refine their chatbot and make sure it is learning or interacting properly.
Bavard AI does not directly compete with the drifts and intercoms of the world. Many of these platforms work well for simplistic live chat and decision-free functionalities which is not the space Bavard is trying to occupy. The company aims to focus more on complex customer service interactions. “All of our engineering time is going into creating sophisticated NLP/ML models that can handle dynamic interactions,” mentions Angelique.
While Bavard has the ability to offer those simplistic widgets—if the client demands—it aims to differentiate with chatbots that are not just built, published, and then forgotten. The AI side of things is using current data and real-time interactions that get recycled into the models to include their accuracy and breadth. This works well for companies that need more business management services. Simultaneously, Bavard’s knowledge bases have UIs that are intuitive enough for companies to be added to and re-trained by non-technical clients.
“We aren’t necessarily trying to spew out every chatbot-related feature possible. We want to be really good at a few specific things,” affirms Angelique.
According to Angelique, the most rewarding part of being the CEO of Bavard has been the connections she has made with her employees. She takes pride in working with an amazing team and feels honored to be leading/supporting them. Angelique envisions focusing more on how to create a positive work environment for remote workers. “It is difficult to maintain presence and inclusivity when we work in different time zones, different countries even,” she adds.
In the beginning, Angelique received feedback that some employees felt a lack of direction and clarity in their work. She realized that the company was not engaging each employee in the right way. Bavard is solving this issue by ensuring that its company vision is accessible to all, and it always connects tasks/workload back to that vision. Angelique believes that clear vision statements and product roadmaps are the key.
The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted and accelerated the need for chatbots across all industries. As more people and companies move to an online world, Bavard has been able to create a value proposition to fit the new needs accompanied by the changes.
As a business, Bavard has been remote from the start—thus social distancing did not affect it considerably. If anything, it made Bavard’s work culture more intriguing and acceptable to new employees. Its staff did not feel obligated to put themselves at risk of COVID. Although navigating the remote work culture was difficult, Bavard managed it by facilitating as much communication and collaboration as possible.
Angelique predicts that the majority of support services will become automated in the near future. She adds that call centers and Zendesk FAQ lists are a thing of the past. Customers today want immediate solutions to their queries and don’t want to search on their own, or to call a human agent.
Heeding the changes, Bavard is using knowledge bases and language processing to train complex models with all the information a potential customer could ask. The company wants visitors to leave the interaction so quickly and with such satisfaction that they never want to have to wait in a call queue again. Bavard’s team of advanced machine learning engineers continues to build and refine the smartest technology out there so that its chatbots are constantly learning and growing.