Gathering competitive intelligence is an essential part of business. To avoid falling behind on industry trends, you must remain aware of what competitors are doing, then act on that information be integrating it into your own products. Because the chatbot and voice assistant space is quickly growing and changing, it’s all the more important that you know how to gather competitive intelligence that you can use to improve your chatbots.
Identify Big Players & Competition
The first step to how to gather competitive intelligence is to understand what information you need, and from whom. Because this information should be actionable, you need to have a clear idea of the return that competitive intelligence techniques will get you. With your competitive intelligence team, draw up a list of competitors you seek to investigate. Consider:
- What do you already know about them?
- Where are there gaps in info—what don’t you know?
From there, you can brainstorm specifically what it is you want to learn from competitive intelligence. For chatbots, this could include:
- Key demographics that the competitor chatbot is targeting
- Issues and challenges the competition is grappling with
- Which platform(s) the competition is targeting, and why
- What niches you can fulfill that competition is failing at (or the opposite)
Start with Public Resources for Competitive Intelligence
One of the simplest ways how to gather competitive intelligence is to scour public resources for information on competition and chatbot industry trends. Check your competitors’ websites for press releases, blog posts, white papers and case studies to get an inside scoop on what they’ve been up to and where they’re going.
It’s possible that some competitors don’t provide this information on their websites. In that case, it’s time for sneakier competitive intelligence techniques. If you’re aware of key leaders in the company’s chatbot development team, look them up on LinkedIn to see if they have published posts that can give you insight on what they’re working on. You can also do an advanced search for employees at the business to find members of their chatbot team, then analyze their resumes and profiles to get a sense of the competition’s projects and expertise.
You might also look for mentions of the brand in leading publications covering chatbot industry trends. An interview with a lead developer of a competing chatbot, for example, can provide valuable information.
Don’t Limit Yourself to Obvious Competition
You’ll want to prioritize gathering competitive intelligence on direct competitors, but don’t stop there. Look at other key players in the chatbot space, even if they’re not within your industry. This is because keeping up with overall chatbot industry trends can inspire creative and new features in your own chatbot. For example, a banking company might survey leading entertainment chatbots to see how other companies are using voice and personality for a more engaging user experience.
Analyzing Competitive Intelligence
The final step of competitive intelligence techniques is to make sense of the data and integrate it into your chatbot. Consider competitors’ weak points and see if there are opportunities where your bot can rise to the occasion. For example, your bot might be better suited to reach an audience that competition is neglecting.
You should also pay attention to competitor strengths. Does the competitor’s chosen chat platform allow them to provide more features than you can on yours? Are they investing heavily in emerging technologies, like voice? Consider how you can learn from competitor strengths and look for ways to integrate them into your own bot.
Gather Data on Your Chatbot Usage
Making use of competitive intelligence techniques can be tough if you’re not on top of your own chatbot data. With a chatbot analytics tool like Botanalytics, you can easily keep track of key conversational analytics, including engagement/retention rates, conversation steps, popular messages/queries, peak usage times and more. This data is essential for comparing with competition and assessing your chatbot’s unique strengths and challenges.
By having all your key chatbot metrics available at a glance, you’ll also save yourself some time—which is important, because gathering and analyzing competitive intelligence can be time-consuming. If you want to get started tracking metrics for your chatbot, sign up for Botanalytics today.