Beringer Associates Technology Blog
By now, most of you have incorporated some form of automated sales tasks into your organization. It may be enabling appointment scheduling on your website to sending automated emails for customers with expiring contracts. Congratulations, you’ve made more efficient use of your sales team’s time! You’ve empowered them with more time to focus on tasks that can’t be automated, such as connecting with prospects over lunch or managing existing customer relationships.
One form of sales automation that is becoming increasingly popular is the use of a conversational bot. Conversational bots work around the clock and can offer your prospects and customers information they’re trying to obtain, with human-like perception. Conversational bots can also be used to alert prospects and customers about an event or transaction. Additionally, they can increase your sales reach by working across social channels such as Facebook, Skype, text/SMS and so on.
Increase your Salesforce with Azure Bot Services
Developers have options to get started creating conversational bots with some helpful services and templates the tech industry offers today. One in particular is Microsoft’s new Azure Bot Service. This service is currently in preview and utilizes Microsoft’s existing Bot framework and the power of Azure, a cloud service. It enables developers to build intelligent conversational bots in the cloud that integrate with your website or app!
Their bot framework incorporates the open source Bot Builder SDKs, which enable developers to build practical, refined dialog. Additionally, the framework utilizes Azure Cognitive Services, which empower developers to take bots to the next level, with built in human-like interpretation. This allows for a more natural conversation, whether it be through voice commands or text.
Without additional code, the Azure Bot Service enables you to reach customers from your website or app across your existing social channels. These include Skype, Facebook Messenger, Email, text/SMS and more!
You can start building your bot today with a few available templates:
Basic bot – Respond to user input with controlled dialog that you define
Form bot – Collect user input with guided conversations on form(s) that you define
Language understanding bot – Understand user intent with the help of natural language models (LUIS) that you design & train with inputs
Proactive bot – Alert users of events (e.g. your order is ready, length of time spent at a page on your website) with the help of Azure Functions
Question and Answer bot – Utilize your existing FAQ content or create a new one to expose it in the form of a dialog
A developer can create a tailored bot to fit your company’s specific needs. They can build off of an existing template or extend functionality with other services. For example, they can include attachment functionality for the use of uploading or presenting an invoice/receipt. Developers can write their code directly in the browser and use an integrated chat window to test the bot in real-time.
Alternatively, continuous integration can be configured to manage dynamic code in one of the popular IDE’s, such as Visual Studio Team Services. Developers can test as changes are made using a Bot Framework Emulator and other downloadable components.
Whether you have an app or a website, leverage Azure bot services to help automate and increase your sales force at a fraction of the cost of hiring an additional sales team. Improve your productivity and empower your current sales team with more time to focus on the tasks that bots can’t!
Beringer Technology Group is always here to provide expert knowledge in topics like these. Please contact us with any questions you may have.