Chatbots are getting more popular with many businesses and there is no denying that they are great attention seekers. Chatbots has enormous potential in delivering a great customer experience and help you offload some of the monotonous work to capable bots. If you are about to take the plunge, ask yourself these 6 questions to build a better bot.
What is the business outcome I want to achieve?
Accounting/Bookkeeping/Expense Assistants, Travel Booking, Ordering Food, Cab Booking, Technical Help, Product suggestions based on preferences…Chatbots are everywhere. So what is that you are looking for? Customer support or customer retention or new market niches? Create a high level list of business outcomes you want to achieve.
What is the outcome I want for my target audience?
Many chatbots allow customers to access information using messaging apps and virtual assistants. It can help customers get 24X7 service, perform product research by asking intelligent questions to narrow down options, accepting payments, up-selling, cross-selling and sending alerts. So you should ask questions like which part of the customer journey you want to improve and map the places where the chatbot could make the greatest impact.
Am I trying to replace what my target audience love?
If the answer is yes, then you have unforgiving users who would be ready to move out when the first opportunity arrives. Find out which tasks your customers hate to do and find out how chatbots can ease their way in such a place.
What information sources will the chatbot use?
Chatbots need data to work, be it knowledge-base, website, documents or some other source. The more the data, the better the working of your chatbot. Suppose you want a chatbot for your website, then the chatbots need to have a prior knowledge of what questions could be asked and how to answer them.
If you are a dental clinic employing a chatbot to fix appointments, the bot needs following basic information
- Work timings of the clinic
- Doctors list
- Doctor’s availability
- Patient History
- Treatments offered
Mapping out chatbot’s information sources, system security, customer login requirements if the information is sensitive are the high level requirements to look in to.
Where will the chatbot live?
How are people going to interact with the chatbot? Some channels for consideration are website, Facebook Messenger, IMessage or Mobile App. Find out where most of your target audience are located and choose that channel for maximum impact. If mobile is popular with most of your audience, then mobile should be where your chatbot should live.
When will the chatbot escalate to its human superior?
Any technology eventually runs in to problems which only a human can interfere and solve. So its crucial to find the boundaries of a chatbot and decide the course of action beyond that border. An escalation to a human can be done when the same question is asked multiple times, situations such as medical emergencies, a question that has no answer from the bot or encountering an angry or frustrated customer. Yes, bots can be made intelligent enough to understand human sentiments. You are also in a position to decide whether to inform the customer that they are facing a bot, empowering them to find out when they need an escalation to a human.