The 5 Imperatives of a Chatbot Strategy

By Kirsten Oelrich 4 min read

Chatbots opened new ways of engaging the customer through ‘conversational commerce’. They are not meant to completely replace the websites and app, as they are tools that can help you to communicate with the customers. The main aim of chatbots is to enhance customer experience with conversations and provide relevant responses or solutions based on their needs or requirements. Businesses need to realize and understand the necessity of chatbots in their business these days, as customers require quick responses and follow ups.

Chatbots learn from their past interactions and automatically update themselves and over time they become smart and intelligent. They can engage with customers in a friendly and natural way. They are easy to interact with as they use a simple interface. They can also outperform humans, as they instantly handle customer queries or take orders. They are very efficient as they give customer service 24/7. It is easy to build a chatbot and its cost efficient too. Chatbots will help reduce human resources and channel it in other productive places and save your finances. Chatbots also can influence customers in making purchasing decisions.

According to a survey, 80% of businesses will be using or designing their own chatbots by 2020. 85% of customer service interactions will be powered by chatbots by 2022. 27% of customers were unsure whether their conversation with the customer service was with a human or a chatbot, as it sounded very human. How to improve and serve customers better with the advancement of knowledge and technology? You need to build your natural language processing (NLP) data model. You also need to understand the impact it would make, especially reforming the training data and adding new customers or intents in the future. Here are tips for building a better bot:

Give your Chatbot a Personality

You need to think about how to serve your brand to your target audience. You need to be cautious about the tone of the voice to gain an instant rapport with them, as well as their empathy. As chatbots represent your business, they should be polite, helpful, efficient and have basic etiquettes. They must be trained to use general greetings. You must also consider the diverse culture of the audience, as people interact with chatbots in different ways in different countries. With the right content and personality, a chatbot can educate prospective customers, collect relevant information and data and use it to convert them by offering help and real value.

Start Big

Chatbot experts generally advise you to start off small. You must train your chatbot with a good amount of knowledge and information, so that it is ready to converse with the audience. Build a model that will initially cater to a minimum of 50 intents. Also examine the domain and subject area that you want to deliver.

Constantly Test and Retest

You need to ensure that you repeatedly test the chatbot before going live. You need to cover a lot of bases as human behavior is unpredictable. Test it on the people from your business and ensure that they are from diverse ethnicity, age, gender and roles. You can also test it on your friends, relatives and loyal customers. Analyze their questions, feedbacks and the chatbot’s responses.  You should identify the elements that can help make conversations enjoyable. Then retrain and make the suitable changes wherever it is required and send it again for testing. Keep testing it until you are confident enough to release your chatbot to the public.

Essential to Continuously Analyze and Retrain

With the advancement of AI in business and customer experience, new roles such as Conversational data model analysts and administrators have been created. It is imperative to monitor and assess every conversation between the chatbot and the customer. You will require the support of a corpus management system or chatbot testing solution. You must make a note of new questions and conversations, so that you can enhance the performance of the chatbot. Chatbots have the ability to react to sentiments or events instantly, which enables it to become the information touch point. After going live, you must retrain once a week in the initial months.

Handle Certain Questions by Chit-chatting

Generally, people enjoy socializing and chit chatting. You must keep in mind certain questions that people could casually ask your chatbot, for instance “What’s the time?” or “What’s the traffic like today?” or “What’s the weather like today?” or “Can you make me smile? “or “Can you tell me something hilarious?” Such general questions have been asked in the conversational platforms. The chatbot needs to be trained to respond to such questions instantly and have a steady conversation to engage the customers and keep them coming back for more. Conversational data model analyst monitors conversations between the human and the chatbot, gains more insights on it, and sees where training is required to improve the customer’s experience. You must be transparent with your customers by letting them know that they will be conversing with a chatbot and not a human. In this way customers will adjust their questions and tasks.

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Kirsten Oelrich

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Kirsten Oelrich