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Nov 4, 2021 7:34:00 AM

We Need a Chatbot. Where Do We Start?


Working as a solution consultant in the AI & customer service automation space, I get the pleasure to talk to large enterprises, fast growing fin-tech businesses as well as agile eCom companies in the DACH region.

What frequently strikes me in those discussions is how little is known about the current status quo of chatbots including reservations that came with failed projects in the past. Clients report of astronomical maintenance cost, complicated NLP algorithms as well as a lack of personalization and CX:


"Our CEO did not see the promised results so we took it offline after the POC".

Confronted with this (in some cases justified) scepticism, my job is not not only to educate about functions over features but also to guide clients towards the right service automation solution for their specific needs.

In order to get there, I build prototypes and discuss company specific rollout plans which allow for a step by step and KPI-driven approach. The goal is that clients develop an idea and understanding of what a good chatbot solution should be able to do – only to discover that the market is overloaded with providers that "more or less all promise the same".

How do you pick the right chatbot for your needs?

When it comes to decision making I see four key areas that matter for different stakeholders within the company. The following checklist offers the most important questions in each area to discuss with your team. Answering those in respect to the vendor you pre-selected will lead you to the right solution for your needs.


Features vs Results


  • Can the bot be adopted to your brand look and feel?
  • To what extent can the bot respond to the user in a personalized way?
  • What self-service rate, ticket savings, CSAT, response times can be expected?
  • Are there case studies to prove this?
  • How are the KPIs measured? Is there a dashboard?


Maintenance & TCO


  • How time consuming is the initial set up? How much IT capacity is required?
  • How complex is the connection to the CRM/ticketing system?
  • Is there support for our tech stack?
  • How time-consuming is the training of the chatbot? Can the service team train new solutions on an ad-hoc basis? How much time per week do I have planned for this?

Proof of Concept & ROI


  • Is there a test phase or proof of concept (POC) available?
  • Are there common benchmarks attached to it?
  • What is the ROI and how is it measured?
  • Project Planning
  • What are the roll out stages? Is there a project plan?
  • Is there a dedicated Customer Success Manager (CSM)? What will be their availability?

Ready to get started? Learn more in our guide “How to Buy a Customer Service Chatbot”.




Chris is Key Account Manager for e-Commerce, Fintech and Retail in the DACH region at Solvemate. He provides interdisciplinary consulting on automation, scaling and personalization with tailored solutions and a common goal: saving time and enabling meaningful customer conversations. In his free time, he likes to sit on his (e-)mountain bike or surfboard in the meditative swell of the Atlantic Ocean.