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5 Best Bot Building Practices

5 Best Bot Building Practices
August 08, 2017

Today, businesses deploy fresh new strategies such as zero UI that allow users to ask questions and interact real-time with a brand on messaging platforms. Tools, such as chatbots and voicebots, are being used to help users solve problems and promote interactivity. The chatbots create custom-tailored experiences that help enhance customer relationships. While chatbots unleash a world of possibilities, they are not always reliable. If a brand or a store has poorly designed chatbots, it could lead to customer attrition. Some chatbots repeat phrases, are limited to a restricted vocabulary, and often misunderstand what a customer is asking for.

To prevent a digital disaster, here are 5 chatbot design considerations you need to keep in mind before introducing a chatbot or any assisted AI to you customers:

Personality

To ensure an improved chatbot experience, you need to invest a considerable amount of time in crafting a personality for your chatbot. Your chatbots should, therefore, have near-human qualities so as to facilitate a genuine connection with users. Nevertheless, using emojis and informal language might not be agreeable to all users.

Solution: What’s required is to design a customer service chat bot with a personality that connects with its users. This could be customized according to your avatar, tone, and vocabulary. In order to enable smooth conversations, make your bot more human and inviting. Users often respond to a human-like personality because they feel there is more than just a computer on the other side. For instance, bots like Siri are more acceptable because they are responsive and have a well-rounded character.

Tip: Do not use language that will make you seem as if you are trying too hard.

Emotionless 

It might be obvious but the bots simply cannot relate to humans. They do not have the capabilities to interpret contextual questions, or anything unique, personal, and complex, that might be beyond their knowledge database. The chatbot will be unable to understand your sarcasm, sense of humor or insults.  As I have already mentioned, excessive use of emoji’s and colloquial expressions will generally avert the user. 

Solution: Start by acknowledging your mistake. Users will appreciate the honesty if the bot simply accepts the fact that its rephrasing capacities are limited, and the query resides beyond its linguistic ambit. 

Tip: Expand your bot’s range of language learning skills. This will ensure that the above is a rare occurrence.

Know it all 

Unfortunately, bots have faults too, and despite our wishful thinking, their knowledge is not all-encompassing. While technology has developed, the lack of functionality can hinder the user experience. 

Solution: Team people and bots together. Although the whole purpose of having a bot is to reduce human dependency, teaming up with a human can enable these unique queries to be answered seamlessly. This is done by sending the bot to a human when it cannot find an answer to a query. Once there is an increase in the chatbot’s knowledge base, this occurrence will eventually reduce.

Tip: If you are willing to invest time and effort, you are going to reap the benefits in the long run. 

Elegance is understated 

Try and keep it simple. If you overload the users with too many tabs, images, buttons, links, and colors, they will stop using it immediately.

Solution: Instead of confusing the users, make sure the entire process is functional and pleasing to the eye. Ensure it takes only a few clicks to get to a place where you type a response, making it easy to initiate a conversation. This is possible by making all buttons and commands actionable. By keeping phrases simple, you can ensure a smooth flow of conversation. Short answers and quick responses are the best. However, make sure that the pacing, tone, and dialogues are natural. 

Tip: The bot must be fast and efficient without compromising conversational and appropriate language to meet the criteria. 

Microcopy

The designer needs to delve deep into the mind of a copywriter and ensure that the content and dialogue reflect the business, brand, or product. In general, conversational UIs are mostly liked by users. 

Solution: Follow the same flow as in a normal conversation. The bot needs to be concise and not sophisticated.

Tip: Be sure not to use gender-specific pronouns and different replies that will make the conversation seem more human-like. Add messages and suggestions to guide the users. You can also add witty replies for topics that are not known by the  bots and make the tool a lot more fun. 

Although chatbot is a resourceful tool, it comes with a few limitations. However, UXD is equipped with information needed to break down these limitations and get the desired result.

References

https://blog.intercom.com/principles-bot-design/

https://www.smashingmagazine.com/2016/12/conversational-design-essentials-tips-for-building-a-chatbot/

http://venturebeat.com/2017/01/20/how-to-build-a-better-chatbot/