It’s never been easier to harness great technology for your business – and chatbots are a great way to do it. The perfect engagement tool for the digital age, they can give your customers information, answer questions, and help maintain interest in your products or services.
The hard part is designing a chatbot that does all this in a way that stands out. We’ve pulled together a list of features to help set your chatbot apart. Once you’ve worked out what you need, turn to an enterprise application development team to put the software in place.
If your customers feel stuck in a conversation that isn’t interesting or useful for them, then that’s going to leave a lasting bad impression. You can avoid this by making it really easy to move around your chatbot: have navigation buttons that help people find the section that they’re interested in, as well as plenty of options to make sure you’re serving up the right content. It should also be easy to exit (or return to the beginning), and to skip ‘back’ if you want to change your choice.
Talking to a robot feels weird, which is why generic chatbots don’t get much attention. Companies that put a lot of thought into giving their chatbot a distinct voice make it a lot easier for the audience to buy into the idea that they’re speaking to a helpful AI assistant, rather than a bit of tech. You can do this by giving your chatbot a conversational style: perhaps they’re friendly, or goofy, or youthful using lots of emoticons and slang. Think about what your audience will appreciate.
Natural Language Processing
We’ve covered your chatbot’s tone of voice, but it also needs to be able to understand what the human on the other end is saying to it. Natural language processing is a type of artificial intelligence that draws on linguistics to teach software how to understand what’s being said to them. It will allow your chatbot to offer up more relevant content, and to learn from your users’ preferences, and it also means that you can give those users more freedom to say what they want.
Clean and attractive design
Good design for a chatbot is clear and simple. Every little detail, from the font that you use down to the design of the buttons contributes to the overall feel, which needs to be natural and fluid.
If in doubt, use popular messaging apps as a starting point, as they have been designed to facilitate effortless conversation.
Let your users give you information that guides the conversation. Give them a chance to tell you their name so that the chatbot can address them personally, and make sure that any other information you have – such as their location or interests – is used to tailor the content that you serve.
If you’re going to take data from your customers, then you need to be very clear about how you’re storing it and what you’re going to use it for. Think carefully about how you’ll look after your users’ data and set that information out in a clear document that’s easy to access.
Cross platform support
Cross platform doesn’t just mean mobiles and laptops, but anywhere that your audience may be active: smart speakers to games consoles. Map out a day in the life of your typical user and consider which devices they’ll want to use to speak to your chatbot.
This might even include integrating it into a social media platform. Considering this on day one can help prevent expensive new software builds further down the line.
Not every business will need to speak to customers in multiple languages, but if you know that many of your customers speak a different language or are based abroad then this can significantly increase your potential audience. Just make sure that you go through an effective localisation process. Simply translating your existing script into another language won’t cut it – you also need to consider cultural differences.
Want to make your chatbot even better? Your users know what they need better than anybody, so getting regular feedback can help you make meaningful changes to improve the experience. Ask for feedback at the end of each conversation, and make sure that it’s a quick and simple process to complete.
A chatbot is great for giving your audience more information about what your business does, but imagine if it could also take action: signing users up for email updates, for instance, or helping them with account changes such as a password reset. If you have a chatbot with proper CRM integration then this should all be possible, as it will be able to communicate directly with your database to get information and give instructions.
Think carefully about which of these features are right for your users. Start by considering why your audience will benefit from speaking to a chatbot, as this should help you understand exactly what your chatbot needs to offer. And remember that even the smartest AI can’t make up for boring or unclear design.