7 Best Practices for Building Your Own Chatbot

We delve on the importance of Bots and Best practices of Building your own Chat Bots. Let’s roll our sleeves, guys!

Why Chat Bots Are So Important?

1- User engagement and Mobile Ready

Most organizations have a web presence. But being on the internet, the boundaries of night and day shifts have changed, so have users’ expectations. Thus the main reason your business should deploy the use of bots.

Additionally, Chatbots give the user an interactive experience. It makes clients feel they are working with someone to resolve their problems.

Besides, it’s increasingly important for businesses to have a mobile presence. Most Chatbots do not need you to work on tweaking their UI. They are ready to implement thus available to clients immediately. Having a brand app is great, however having customers discover the app and download it is a daunting experience.

Instead, implementing a Chatbot which works for everybody, everywhere, every time makes it a lot more engaging with your customers.

2- Sales Drive $$$$

Chatbots are intelligent. Depending on the user’s purchases or experience preferences, it can send products to clients who are more likely to be converted. Also, Chatbots can be used to send coupons to customers or send clients to your e-commerce site so they can buy a product directly.

3- Minimum Cost and Maximum Returns

With the availability of necessary infrastructure, they require minimal maintenance and are automated. No intensive labor work, thus a high return on investment.

7 Best Practices in Building your Chatbot

1- Make the user feelwelcome

Although Chatbots are gaining popularity, many users have no experience in chatting with a virtual being. Thus, when creating your Chatbot, you need to include a warm welcome message for your intended users to make them feel comfortable while using the Chatbot’s interface. Let the users familiarize with conventional buttons to use while typing.

As well, it’s important to list what your bot can do in the welcome message. This will help your users not waste time trying to get into a conversation that your bot cannot support.

2- Avoid setting gender

It is always salient to use a neutral gender. This way, users can prioritize the activity at hand instead of dwelling on how to address the bot according to its gender. When your users don’t know the gender of the Chatbot, they will feel free to hold a conversation without having to judge every response they get from it.

3- Provide a way to return to the main menu

The Chatbot should have smooth interaction between the user and system. One of the most frustrating experiences is being unable to continue a conversation because the system has hit a dead end in its responses or the information provided is not useful.

To re-engage, there should be an easy way to return to the main menu. A ‘Start Over’ or ‘Help’ button does this. It is, however; better when it is part of the onboarding process rather than being available only when the conversation hits a dead end.

4- Monitor and regularly update your Chatbot

Since Chatbots are continuously growing with each passing day, be ready to keep an eye on your Chatbot and automatically update it to keep up with its dynamic nature as time goes.

It is sad that you cannot just create a bot and forget all about it. Each day brings new information and knowledge to your bot, and it is only fair that you try and keep up with this progress. This way, your Chatbot will never become outdated.

5- Don’t let your Chatbot be too lengthy

If your message is too long, there is a likelihood of the user glazing over it. The maximum should be 90 characters per message. People get bored with large chunks of texts. Along with this is forcing the user to scroll through your messages because they don’t fit their device.

You should, therefore, test each Chatbot message to see whether it fits the screen of any device used without scrolling.

6- Fallback to humans

Like every piece of technology, Chatbots might fail. To prepare for such unforeseen occurrences, ensure your Chatbot seamlessly connects to a human if it fails to answer sufficiently.

7- Strive for consistency

According to User Interface Design Rules by Ben Shneiderman, a consistent user interface allows users to learn and navigate easily. This rule applies to conversational interfaces as more users will use your Chatbot if the learning curve is smooth enough and they can transfer knowledge from previous experiences of similar applications. Additionally, consistency helps create a recognizable brand image.

In conclusion, a Chatbot should be designed with the end user’s enjoyment in mind. If your messages are not pleasant, too long, or bothersome, you can be sure your users will not stick around for long.

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