Chatbots are the new conversational interfaces that utilize messaging platforms such as Facebook Messenger. The use of artificial intelligence and chatbots are the big inventions prospected to take over future technologies in business communication. Building successful chatbots, however, is not a simple task. It is easy to create a bot while the same applies when it comes to making mistakes. If you are anticipating building a chatbot for your business, try to avoid these costly mistakes.
Many of your chatbot users will only interested in purchasing your goods or services. Some of them will be too impatient to read lengthy messages. Long messages not only appear boring but also lack precision. Short messages are catchy because they mention the most important information that the client or user should know. If a text has to be unavoidably long, consider splitting it into chunks that follow one another simultaneously. Long messages may imply that you are struggling to justify your product, which may not be the best impression to make. Keep messages short and you will win the trust of your clients.
Messages that do not engage visitors miss the point of having a chatbot rather than an FAQ page. A simple tip towards providing a good conversational experience for the user is to use the question / answer format. For example, instead of using a dead end text such as, ‘I’m here to help you,’ you can use ‘How can I help you?’ or better still ‘Can I be of any service to you?’ Questions contain a call to action aspect that will keep your visitors in the conversation flow until they get what they want. Flat statements will never deliver the objectives of your bot as most of the time visitors will leave without making any further inquiries or seeking the intended services.
Not Personalizing Your Chatbot
Visitors are aware that they are communicating with a robot and there is no need to remind them that. If you cram a thread of answers together, you tell your visitors what they already know, that they are communicating with a robot. Personalize your bots because they are more than a PDF document. Give your bots life by adding a definite tone to them. Moreover, the tone you set is an opportunity to strengthen your branding messages and appeal to your target audience. For instance, a bank might well want to project authority and reliability to an older user-group and might therefore use emojis a lot less than a clothing company aiming at teenagers.
Not Integrating Your customers’ Data Into the Conversation
Customer data is a key tool that will make your chatbot more successful. A number of social media platforms such as Facebook Messenger and emails let you access client and prospects’ names, location and their local time. Everybody feels great when they are at home. Make your visitors feel at home by building a bot that will recognize them by name and location. Even those using your chatbot for the first time will have an impression that they have been there before. A chatbot whose first questions are to gather a visitor’s names, gender, location, etc, will alienate them, raise concerns about data protection and reduce the chances of the user moving on to the main purpose for your using a chatbot.
Too Complex a Chatbot Navigation Process
Your business is dealing with several clients and prospects. Build a chatbot that is tailored to meet the demands of the most naïve customers. Putting complex navigation processes in place will discourage potential users using your chatbot for the first time. Develop a simple navigation process whose action leads to the next level. Keep your customers on track to meet their demands and avoid irrelevant steps. The simpler the navigation structure, the more productive your chatbot.
Avoid Over-Reliance on Buttons
Designers often make this mistake. Many – the majority even – chatbots have been built exclusively with button pressing interactions in mind. Yet this can all too easily make users feel railroaded towards your goal, regardless of what their own aims in talking to the chatbot. By all means use plenty of buttons, but also provide the options of entering messages freely when you can. This may look simple but it is important because it will leave feeling of autonomy in your customers.
Make the Chatbot OmniChannel
Your customers and users subscribe to different social media platforms. Build your chatbots to provide same user experience across the different platforms that your users subscribe to. Let your clients experience similar feelings as they interact with your chatbots irrespective of the platform they are using. Different user experience when they swap platforms results in dissatisfaction which will reduce the efficiency of your chatbot.
A chatbot is a noble tool in the modern business world. Its effectiveness depends on how it is built. Simple mistakes that developers ignore when building chatbots can be costly. In order to propel your business to another level using chatbots, seal any loopholes that may lower its efficiency. Build a chatbot that will strengthen your customer relations and turn your business into an empire.
Jussy Jussy is an IT specialist and holds a Masters in communication. She writes to open the blind eye.