Almost all businesses are adopting digital transformation to modernize customer communication and support. With the increasing popularity of messaging and social media platforms, chatbots are now the center of business messaging.
Building a chatbot is very easy nowadays, but the important thing is to create the best chatbot with best practices and strategies. If you’re building a chatbot, your users are going to say all kinds of things that you’re not going to expect. Hence, it is a never-ending improvement process.
And part of building a chatbot is really guiding people to success by showing them the types of things they’re expecting.
The main points to be noted are thinking of users first, simply the user experience, and inform your product/service.
Here are some best chatbot practices for building and implementing bots successfully.
Table Of Contents:
- Define Your Objectives & Goals
- Chatbot With a Personality
- Increase Engagement With Proactive Greeting Messages
- Use Interactive Rich Media Elements
- Provide Help Cues to Your Users
- Make the Chatbot User Friendly
- Use Suggested Replies
- Use Fallbacks & Hybrid Support
- Re-Engage Your Users
- Improve Chatbot’s Performance
- Pay Attention to Branding
1. Define your objectives & goals
Clearly define your objectives and goals. Before starting to build a chatbot, it is crucial to define your purpose and the role of your chatbot clearly.
Is the chatbot specifically designed to lead generation or customer support, or the self-serve resolution of an issue, or perhaps the chatbot is there to onboard new users. In the below example, you could see an admission bot that mainly concentrates on the university admission process and questions.
For example, below is a chatbot for an educational institution. The goal here is to help students access information easily.
2. Chatbot with a personality
You must endow your chatbot with a personality. Your chatbot should definitely reflect your brand’s values. Because it could be one of the first interactions a client might have with your company.
Emojis, images, gifs are also a great way to keep the conversation interesting and natural. A pinch of humor will not hurt as well. Remember TARS from the movie Interstellar? They did it to let TARS fit in better with the squad. I leave finding the correlation to you.
You need to find the right balance between your brand image, user persona, and chatbot purpose. Keep in mind that images and other interactions speak louder than words alone.
3. Increase engagement with proactive greeting messages
You need to pay particular attention to the greeting messages. A greeting message is the first message that will be shown to the users. Your chatbot’s first few messages are the first thing your customer will be seeing.
They act as an invitation to strike up a conversation and to ask questions. It is therefore essential to clearly and concisely present the role of your chatbot. Also, make sure there aren’t any typos nor grammatical mistakes.
4. Use interactive rich media elements
You can also use rich message media types to make the chatbot conversations more attractive.
Rich media elements such as buttons, cards, lists, and forms make the conversations more interactive. They also act as failure-proof pillars for your chatbots by guiding users to choose or select potential questions.
5. Provide help cues to your users
Show and tell the users how to reply, so the chatbot understands clearly and aligns with the way the training phrases are set in the intents.
It makes life easier for both you and your users. Guidance reduces failure and the time to achieve specific outcomes.
6. Make the chatbot user friendly
Keep the chatbot simple & user-friendly. Even though your chatbot can be extremely complex internally, it does not mean that your chatbot needs to be hard to use. Don’t use long and confusing sentences.
The more your chatbot is user-friendly, the more customers like it. To do so, make sure your answers are short to the point and written with simple words.
7. Use suggested replies
Suggested replies are very easy to use. Suggested replies are nothing but buttons that can guide users to the desired conversation flow.
Use suggested replies at the beginning of your conversation flow to show customers examples of questions they could ask.
However, it is best to add a button for the users to directly and freely type their queries. Using NLP, your chatbot should be able to understand user’s inputs and reply to them accordingly.
8. Use fallback & hybrid support
Make sure to use fallbacks for the chatbots. Sometimes your chatbot will not be able to understand its users’ inputs. The question may be too difficult, or they typed in a query that does not match the purpose of your chatbot.
If the bot is unable to understand, then instead of saying I didn’t understand or Say that again, use a phrase that helps users continue the conversation.
So let’s say you have a food order bot, and your user has asked for a specific pizza that is not listed. You can say ‘Do you want – Veg Pizza or Nonveg Piza?’ instead of a negative reply. Once the user replies with the chosen option, you can populate the list of pizzas available via rich media elements such as cards or lists.
You need to be more specific, so your users can choose the right options. You really don’t want to put users in a perplexing situation where your chatbot says I didn’t understand for a basic question.
So you should always set a fallback answer for when the chatbot can’t seem to meet the user’s needs adequately. Your chatbots must keep learning new case scenarios.
You may set the bot to human agent handoff if the user wants or the chatbots cannot understand.
9. Re-engage your users
Always re-engage the user. When the conversation is about to end, make sure to ask users if they still need help or not.
Set the intents to strike up another conversation if the user stopped answering after some time. Also, ask for users’ email to contact them later if needed based on your use case.
10. Improve chatbot’s performance
Chatbots feed on data. You can use analytics and keeps improving your chatbot. Keep track of how much your chatbot is used, and how. With this information, you will be able to update and improve it. In most of the chatbot tools, you can analyze intents and messages.
Kommunicate keeps track of chatbot intent and chatbot messages.
This shows the count of the intents used by your chatbots. You can analyze which intent is used by the visitors/users many times.
It will show the chatbot intents and their corresponding messages along with categories – Intent, Fallback, Handoff, Small Talk, and the triggered sentences belonging to any of these categories.
It will be useful to analyze the user’s inputs and at which point the chatbot is unable to understand or is handing off the conversation to a human agent. In this way, you can add the training phrases and improve the chatbot performance.
11. Pay attention to branding
You need to take care of your chatbot’s aesthetic. Users’ will enjoy using your chatbot even more if its design is pleasing and well representing your brand’s image. You need to add an avatar, a logo, colours, backgrounds.
In Kommunicate, we have settings to do chat widget customizations and align with your business’s brand identity.
Here’s an example, the design of the chatbot is well aligned with the business website, which will provide a pleasing experience to the users and increase engagement.
The above chatbot practices will help you to build and improve your bot successfully. Your chatbot will reveal opportunities and provide strong communication between your business brand and your customers.
At Kommunicate, we are envisioning a world-beating customer support solution to empower the new era of customer support. We would love to have you on board to have a first-hand experience of Kommunicate. You can signup here and start delighting your customers right away.