Chatbots, aka conversational interfaces, can easily deep link and integrate with many other services, which allow users to do a lot more from one main platform. For businesses, instead of trying to create and onboard users to new ecosystems, businesses can integrate and push content or services to social messaging platforms, where users are already active.
Bots are more flexible than other mobile customer service options because they can interpret and respond to plain text and more personalized offers can be sent in direct messages to customers, which are proving to be more engaging than newsletters.
But while you are building your own bot, or if you are having someone build it for you, keep these 5 tips in mind:
1. Conversations from scratch
Website or mobile app users are familiar with seeing tabs, images, text, links, and buttons. On chatbots, a user typically lands on an empty screen without any of these guiding elements that a standard mobile app has. So, it’s imperative that the opening statements, information, and UI buttons are clear and easy to interpret what the value of the bot actually is to the user.
2. Conversational interfaces
A chatbot could spend hours listing available options to the users, describing each one of them, and offering multiple options… That’s what NOT to do! Instead, use Graphical Interfaces to support the conversational, not bog it down. Remember, keep it simple.
3. More than just a chatbot
It’s boring to talk to a robot and besides, it’s not what users want. Give your bot a personality that is aligned with your brand to make users feel like they’re chatting with a friend or someone familiar. By repeating inputs back to users to check and see if the conversation is understood, this will make users feel comfortable and gain their trust.
4. Be natural
Building a conversational bot does not necessarily require the use of the latest in natural-language processing. For now, your initial bot can rely on standard “web” tasks that carefully define how the conversation will flow, as opposed to algorithms that learn on their own from data. It’s not the best way to handle limitless conversations but can work quite well for bots with a clear goal.
5. Human’s intervention
You just have to accept that a bot is going to get stuck at some point or another in a conversational user experience. The best way around it is to plan for it and make the broken experience as frictionless as possible. So, in situations where the conversation gets stuck, show users that you understand their pain and offer human intervention as seamlessly as possible.
What we’ve learned so far…
Conversational bots, even though very early in development and mass market adoption, can still be super powerful for a brand. The engagement rates are through the roof with some of the amazing bots out there. However, follow these 5 simple tips when starting off to make the experience memorable with your users.