Chatbots are a rapidly advancing area of technology solutions. Major companies are investing in chatbot conversational platforms, and chatbots are becoming increasingly advanced and capable.
Chatbots are being used in multiple applications and industries. Manufacturing firms are using chatbots to handle various tasks, such as managing B2B relationships. Large companies are using them internally to handle in-house HR and IT questions.
Meanwhile, chatbots continue to improve. With the use of Natural language processing (NLP), bots are becoming smarter, more responsive, and more on point. However, there are some best practices you can implement to ensure that your chatbots are being fully optimized.
Make Sure You Educate Users
Chatbots can be very intelligent. They can connect with the intelligent cloud, digest vast amounts of data, and sort through huge databases of information with ease. Even with natural language processing (NLP), however, they are not quite perfect and can misunderstand humans.
By educating users on how to interact with chatbots, you can increase their effectiveness. For external customers, you might provide a brief video and other simple tutorials. Once your customers know how to use your chatbots, they will be able to service themselves.
For internal staff, it often helps to provide more in-depth training. Chatbots are fantastic for resolving IT and HR questions, for example. However, employees need to know how to properly use a chatbot.
By communicating what works and what does not work, you will increase the likelihood of the chatbot resolving issues. For example, many chatbots are excellent for hunting down specific data or acting as product knowledge experts. This can be valuable for both your staff and outside customers.
Keep Your Bots Focused By Limiting Options
Everyone always wants every option. When it comes to chatbots, too many options can be overwhelming. By limiting options on any specific chatbot, you can increase both engagement and outcomes.
When deciding which options to provide—consider core user cases. Ask questions like:
“What are people most likely to search for?”
Rather than building a “jack of all trades” chatbot, focus on these prime use cases. Instead of offering free and open-ended forms for users to fill in, try to offer multiple choice buttons. This will constrain your users, but it will also make your bots much easier to use. In fact, it’s best to limit user actions as much as possible. Instead, use as automatic transitions and actions as often as you can.
Leverage Existing Customers
The top-performing chatbots are adding tens of thousands of users each day. The biggest bots work with millions of people. The best chatbots can develop a viral following, with people spreading the word regarding how great the bots are.
Of course, you can provide a shot in the arm by advertising to fans of your brand or company. The biggest brands have social media networks that number in the tens of millions. By using these existing networks, you can jump-start the growth of your app. These already-loyal fans will be more likely to transition to your bot and to use it effectively.
Double Down on Engagement and Adapt to Feedback
Know your audience. How proficient are the users in the language the chatbot will use? Make sure the language is tailored to your market’s members. Let’s say you run digital marketing for a large law firm. You’ve set up a chatbot to answer basic legal questions. Most of the people who will be using this bot won’t have a legal education anywhere level near that of an attorney, so your bot needs to explain legal terms whenever necessary.
Your chatbots will be smart, but you’re still smarter. Chatbots can crunch, compile, and analyze a lot of data. In spite of that, you, as a human being, will be better at making actual decisions. This means you should periodically review your current users and their habits. Then you can adjust your chatbot using this information, thereby making sure that it’s as effective as possible. Chatbots have a limited knowledge base, but when a Chatbot is unsure of an answer, it can escalate to a real person.