Here's a chatbot, there's a chatbot, everywhere's a chatbot.
Category: Chatbots / Emerging Trends
Chatbots, or conversational interfaces, are taking the world by storm. You see them almost everywhere, but not all chatbots are created equal. In fact, many fall flat of good UX best practices for conversational interfaces. If you’re interested in building a successful chatbot, then you need to make sure you’re following a few very important rules.
When launching a chatbot for the very first time, it can be difficult to think about all the various combinations of words people use to communicate something. Even the simplest questions can sometimes get lost in translation. Until a better Natural Language Processing system is in place, you have to start with pre-built responses. These will provide useful shortcuts and take care of people’s needs quickly. So, if you’re a hotel chain, then the key feature you want to make available from the get go is checking room availability and booking.
Another thing people are looking for in a chatbot is the feeling that they’re talking to a real person. If you neglect decision tree shortcuts, the jig will be up early for the user that this is not a real person. And that can set up some undesirable expectations from the start. As your Natural Language Processing model evolves, it will learn from user interactions and your chatbot will get smarter in its reply to the most frequently asked questions.
Above all else, your chatbot needs to be easy to use. If it’s easier for a customer to contact you’re directly or on a customer service or social media channel, then what’s the point of building a chatbot in the first place?
You also must give people value in their experience with your chatbot. It needs to be able to answer their questions or provide a valuable service to them in some other way. If a person can get what they need from a chatbot quickly, then they’ll have a good experience that reflects well on your business.
Speaking of customers having great experiences, it deserves its own subheading! That’s because even if your chatbot offers a specific service that is useful to the consumer, if it’s not built to offer personalized service, then customers likely won’t feel as if they’ve had a good experience overall.
Remember, your chatbot is one of your brand ambassadors. They may be a customer’s first contact with your company and brand, so the stake are high to create an interactive experience that meets needs and perhaps even exceeds expectations. How do you want your chatbot to represent you?
It’s important to realize that a chatbot can’t accomplish everything, so a handoff to a human agent may be needed. You want to make this process as seamless as possible. When you realize that a chatbot has limitations, then you can use those limitations as an opportunity to show your customers just how excellent your customer service is by getting them to an agent as fast as possible.
So, have a human agent ready to step in and make sure the transition from chatbot to human is easy and as smooth as possible. Your user needs to know they’re no longer talking to a chatbot!
Chatbots are getting better every day, but it’s important when using them to understand how exactly to use them to your advantage. When you build a chatbot, know the limitation, but also don’t be afraid to try something new and push the envelope. That’s how progress is made!
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