September 8, 2023

Prebuilt Chatbot vs Conversational AI Chatbot: Which is Better and Why?

With conversational AI chatbots growing at light speed, are they taking over prebuilt chatbots? Let’s find out.
Time to read: 
3 min
Dineth Lankaloka
With conversational AI chatbots growing at light speed, are they taking over prebuilt chatbots? Let’s find out.

Does the rapid uprising of conversational AI chatbots mean doomsday for prebuilt chatbots? Is Chat GPT and the rest of the AI gang here to take the world by storm?

On the surface, the chatbot vs conversational AI debate seems to be a no-brainer. Most people think that conversational AI chatbots will K.O. everything in their way. With their natural language understanding (NLU) and ability to converse contextually, there’s no doubt conversational AI chatbots stand leaps and bounds ahead of alternatives!

But what about their usability and efficiency? Think of it this way: You and your friend go to two real estate websites, one with a prebuilt chatbot and the other with a conversational AI chatbot. You’re both looking for a property in London which costs no more than €500,000. While you can simply click a few buttons to find the listings you need, your friend has to type the entire prompt into the conversational AI chatbot for it to understand what he really wants. 

Does this mean that prebuilt chatbots are still viable Chat GPT alternatives? For us to understand this better, we’ll need to take a look at both the technology and differences of a prebuilt chatbot vs conversational AI. Strap yourself in!

Both regular and conversational AI chatbots exist to help web users to get answers to their questions. But which is better to ask what sort of questions?
Chatbot vs conversational AI: Which is better to 'ask'.

Prebuilt chatbot vs conversational AI chatbot: Core technologies used

As I’d brought up earlier, conversational AI chatbots use a technology called natural language understanding (NLU). What NLU does is help the AI understand the context behind a sentence rather than just understanding the sentence itself. 

Take these 2 sentences for example: 

  1. I’m your customer, am I eligible for a discount?
  2. I’d like to be your customer, am I eligible for a discount?

Without NLU, a chatbot won’t be able to understand the subtle difference in context between the two sentences; it will only pick up certain keywords such as ‘customer’ and ‘discount’, then output a response based on that. 

But what about a prebuilt chatbot? There are several types of prebuilt chatbots, actually, but the one common core function for all of them is that they’re built to follow a script. And this script can branch out to any number of different topics or conversations you intend your web visitors to have with the chatbot. 

Despite being scripted, the good thing about prebuilt chatbots is their usability. Unlike in conversational AI chatbots, users don’t have to type in any prompts on prebuilt chatbots. With a few simple button clicks, the user can get from point A to point B quite easily.

Prebuilt chatbot vs conversational AI chatbot: Market trends and economic forecasts

There's no doubt that conversational AI chatbots are bigger than ever and a lot of people are putting money into them. But that doesn’t mean that Chat GPT alternatives are losing their share of the market. 

According to a report by Finances Online, the global conversational AI market is set to grow from almost $5 billion in 2020 to roughly $14 billion by 2025. On the other hand, the global chatbot market, which includes conversational AI chatbots, is forecast to grow from $18 billion in 2020 to a whopping $102 billion by 2026! That’s a mind-boggling compact annual growth rate of almost 35%.

The chatbot industry is forecasted to grow from $20 billion to $102 billion by 2026.
Prebuilt chatbot vs conversational AI chatbot: Both chatbots are forecasted to grow exponentially in the next five years

Chat GPT alternatives such as prebuilt chatbots are responsible for a fair share of this market growth. According to the Finances Online report, 70% of customers have indicated good experiences with chatbots and 13% of them have at least once purchased costly products through a chatbot.

If you want your customers to be able to directly make purchases through a chatbot, then you’d need something more than a conversational AI chatbot. While the conversational AI chatbot will understand what the customer wants and point them in the right direction, if you have a prebuilt chatbot with a search function and an ordering system, your customers will be able to directly make purchases without even needing a re-direction. And that’s not the only reason why you should use a prebuilt chatbot for your business!

Prebuilt chatbot vs conversational AI chatbot: Usability and functionalities

It’s unfair to prebuilt chatbots to call them Chat GPT alternatives. Because prebuilt chatbots can do a lot more in one minute than Chat GPT could in 10. Let’s take lead generation as an example. 

Most businesses use chatbots – conversational AI chatbots or otherwise – to help with generating more leads for their business. The downside of having a conversational AI chatbot for this purpose is that there are millions, if not more, ways that users can interact with your AI bot. 

With a scripted, prebuilt chatbot, you can script the beginning of the conversation in a way that helps you qualify what a prospect is really looking for. For example, if you’re working for a real estate agency, you can start the flow by asking if they’re looking to buy or sell, and then ask for their budget or from where they’re looking to buy (or sell) to give yourself a headstart when approaching that customer. This way you can always stay a step ahead of your real estate leads!

Compared to conversational AI chatbots, prebuilt chatbots can easily ask qualify leads by asking a series of questions that helps the agent identify what the user is looking for.
Chatbots vs conversational AI: Pre-built chatbots are better at getting a user from point A to point B easily

And these leads can be automatically routed to your favourite CRM for easier management and distribution of leads. Unlike in conversational AI chatbots where users can say the same thing a million different ways, prebuilt chatbots let users follow a comfortably similar structure as to how conversations play out. This helps you when you want to filter and sort website leads based on user intentions. 

Integrating a prebuilt chatbot with your CRM is also very simple. You just need to find the right integration and then map everything exactly how you want it!

Prebuilt chatbot vs conversational AI chatbot: In a nutshell

All this doesn’t mean conversational AI chatbots are bad or that they’re inefficient. They have their fair share of use cases. If you want to find the perfect line of code to execute a very specific function, you won’t find many Chat GPT alternatives for that purpose which are better than Chat GPT itself!

But for a company website, is a conversational AI chatbot really necessary? Let’s summarise!

First and foremost, usability of prebuilt chatbots vs conversational AI chatbots is much easier. Users will be able to get from point A to point B by simply clicking a few buttons! No need to type anything. 

Second, setting up scenarios such as purchasing or checkout and customer support directly through the chatbot requires you to script and prebuild certain things into your chatbots. So if you have to prebuild and script two of the most important functions you need your chatbot to perform, why spend extra bucks on AI? 

Prebuilt chatbots can do a lot more than conversational AI chatbots for a lot less money.
Why spend more money on Converstional AI chatbots when you can get much more for a lot less

Lastly is managing and organising all the responses from your chatbots. With a conversational AI chatbot, if you get 100 responses, those 100 different responses will have been submitted in 100 different ways. But with a prebuilt chatbot, you can make sure these responses are structured in a way that makes it much easier for you to organise and distribute the leads afterwards. 

Chat GPT is most definitely the future! But until the future is today, we can confidently say that the old but gold Chat GPT alternatives of prebuilt chatbots are still the most trustworthy and efficient assistant for your web visitors. 

Read more about chabots by returning to our Chatbot guide main page!

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