5+ pro tips to make your chatbot project a success (proven efficiency with our clients)
You are still considering whether you should launch a Chatbot project? Fair enough!
Given the importance of conversation in today’s world and the strategic aspect a chatbot solution represent, the project needs to be well prepared and managed with a methodological approach. Expertime /Open delivers 5 key tips (+ a bonus one) to make sure your chatbot project is a success.
What is a chatbot?
A chatbot is a computer program that enable users to have a smooth discussion with a robotized agent thanks to an NLP tool (Natural Language Processing). It is developed to answer specific topics and is based on set of rules or on artificial intelligence. Chatbots can be integrated directly on proprietary web tools such as CMS frameworks (native) or on external messaging apps such as Facebook Messenger, Skype, Slack, Wechat etc.
Chatbot, a solution not to mistake with live chat
Unlike a chatbot, a live chat is directly led by a human and hence becomes unavailable when no one is running it. Chatbots are designed to be available 24/7 and autonomous in answering on a real time basis.
Tip #1 / Bring your internal teams together around the benefits of the solution
Optimize the customer experience
Customer experience is key for any company. Some customer requests can be automated without risk. When well designed, a chatbot generates an optimum customer experience with immediate and accurate answers (without error margin) while being available 24/7. From lead generation to customer loyalty or even internally, chatbots can get involved at any stage of the commercial relationship while answering functional needs. A chatbot can, for example, easily take on a first level Helpdesk service, offering instant answers to prospects and client’s recurring questions.
It is important to also note that a more “humanized” service is still worth considering or even recommended in case requests are out of the chatbot scope.
Give employees time to create value
Chatbot solutions avoid useless repetitive tasks and free time in saturated spaces. It can be used to take on processes or tasks that can easily be automated while giving the opportunity to employees to re focus on value added tasks.
Cut functional costs
A chatbot is a great cost-cutting tool when it comes to removing repetitive tasks. Interconnecting it to IT systems such as databases, ERP, CRM etc. represent an opportunity to design autonomous services that deliver great added value. The amount of simultaneous discussions is endless.
Tip #2 / No Chatbot without a real need and tangible objectives!
It is not a gadget
Do not consider a chatbot like a technical tool that will make your brand look like “innovative”. With over 100,000 chatbots already available on Messenger, the conversation era has already been launched. It is even expected by your clients, that are already using chatbots (Siri, Alexa…) in their daily lives.
Give your chatbot a precise role
A chatbot will not answer all needs. A good chatbot will clearly answer users within its scope, and the users have to be aware of it. Failing that, questions will be out of scope and the user experience will quickly become frustrating.
Indeed, chatbots are not a miracle tool that will deliver any message. This kind of belief often lead to failure and limiting its scope to define use cases often is a good initiative.
When should you consider developing a chatbot?
A chatbot project is justified when the volume of “automatable” tasks is substantial. Calculate the return on investment prior to launching it. Compare the cost associated with time consumption to manage recurring tasks and the budget allocated to chatbot development and maintenance. This analysis will then be supported with KPIs.
Tip #3 / Focus on users first
Develop your project around specific users
You have different categories of users: prospects, clients, candidates, employees… Their needs are not identical and the way to address it will differ. Addressing all users the same way is unrealistic. You want to target the usage of your chatbot. This way, it will treat each user appropriately during the entire conversation.
Adapt to the usage context
Put yourself in the user’s shoes to think of appropriate features. The best is to think these features as if it was connected to the chatbot’s life. Organize workshops to identify needs, restrictions and motivations using a user centric approach.
This way, you will make the best decisions regarding technical platform, messaging platform, conversation flow design and personality. Your priority here: efficiency and smoothness of your discussion flow at all time.
Involve internal stakeholders
Request support from teams that are directly on the ground as they perfectly know your target users. They have a clear vision of what are the recurring tasks that need to be removed in order to focus on added value work. This collaborative work will bring your teams around the project and will also limit the concerns revolving around robots replacing humans. A chatbot enables workers to refocus on adding value.
Tip #4 / Start small and continuously improve
Think of your chatbot as a child
The learning process will take place step by step, from the easiest to the most difficult. Although artificial intelligence brings the promise of complete autonomy, most of the chatbots do not learn on its own for now. You directly feed your bot’s “intelligence”. While it understands intents and temper induced by questions or reactions, it will only answer it based on your initial contribution. The more it is used, the better its knowledge will get and the use cases will evolve too.
Don’t leave it alone
Continuously monitor the quality of your chatbot’s content through response rate and user satisfaction. These 2 KPIs are key in quality control. A good analytical tool (such as Chatbase for example) will help you:
- Analyze data;
- Monitor the bot’s learning curve;
- Continuously feed the bot to improve its quality over time.
Tip #5 / Stay transparent and imitate human behavior
A robot close to human
Although a chatbot is a robot with its own social and intellectual limits, it is given a pleasant “personality”. It is “lively” branding tool for your business. It adapts based on requests (from the simple question to the frustrated complaint). It has got a friendly name (helpful to memorize), a voice (if it is a vocal bot), and an avatar. These features will be useful in terms of creating a personalized and close to human feel.
A handy service for users that will not replace humans.
The end user had to understand the point of chatting with a chatbot as compared to a human. The permanent availability, the instant and accurate responses, a simple channel leading to an appropriate action are all perceived as benefits when the project is well developed.
The differentiation between the human and the machine remains in demand. However this expectation could very well disappear as discussion with robots are becoming more and more common. The results of the Citizen Call study in 2017 actually reveal that 57% of consumers are getting interested in chatbots because of its immediateness.
Bonus tip / How to choose your partner agency !
As you will have realized, a chatbot project requires 2 kind of expertise: design and development. Many projects end up being counter productive due to a lack of preparatory work.
Expertime /Open brings a significant experience when it comes to chatbots. We support you from the design until the technical development:
- Identification of the needs a chatbot could answer;
- Definition of the role and scope of the chatbot;
- Design of an optimum user experience (use cases and conversation flow)
- Development of the technical solution;
- Improvement and monitoring support with analytical tools.
You want to explore your Chatbot idea further? Get in touch 😉