7 Steps to Develop a Chatbot for Your Business

Dr Mark van Rijmenam, CSP
8 min readJun 19, 2019

Since a few years, chatbots are here, and they will not go away any time soon. Facebook popularised the chatbot with Facebook Messenger Bots, but the first chatbot was already developed in the 1960s. MIT professor Joseph Weizenbaum developed a chatbot called ELIZA. The chatbot was developed to demonstrate the superficiality of communication between humans and machines, and it used very simple natural language processing. Of course, since then we have progressed a lot and, nowadays, it is possible to have lengthy conversations with a chatbot. For an overview of the history of chatbots, you can read this article.

Chatbots are a very tangible example where humans and machines work together to achieve a goal. A chatbot is a communication interface that helps individuals and organisations have conversations, and many organisations have developed a chatbot. There are multiple reasons for organisations to develop a chatbot, including obtaining experience with AI, engaging with customers and improving marketing, reducing the number of employees required for customer support, disseminating information and content in a way that users are comfortable with and, of course, increasing sales.

Chatbots offer a lot of opportunities for organisations, and they can be fun to interact with if developed correctly. But how do you start with conversational AI and how do you build a good and engaging chatbot? To answer that, I researched 20 organisations from around the globe who developed a chatbot. As part of my PhD, I wanted to understand how organisations can get started with conversational AI and be successful.

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Seven Steps to Develop a Chatbot

Starting with a chatbot is not easy, as there are many different variables to take into account.

  1. Define the reason for a chatbot;

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Dr Mark van Rijmenam, CSP

Innovation Keynote Speaker (CSP) & Strategic Futurist for Fortune 500 | Talk to my Digital Twin via text, audio or video in 28 languages!