Chatbots have become the buzzword in marketing. These bots can automate customer service, sales, after sale service - you name it! With major messaging platforms like Facebook Messenger, Kik, and Slack coming up with their chatbot tools, these bots have gained a massive reach. Each of them has a sophisticated number of existing users to solidify marketing efforts.
Thus, chatbots can engage with potential customers at many levels providing ample scope of self-service. While the industry sees immense potential in this automation tool, it is crucial not to go overboard with it. It is still an evolving technology and needs constant monitoring to be implemented successfully. Here we will discuss major precautions to take before going all out with chatbots so that you can leverage them properly.
Let’s first understand how chatbots work:
Chatbots are programs that can stimulate human conversation by understanding inputs (text & audio) and give output based on the pre-defined data. It uses natural language processing to understand the context in human conversations. A predefined conversation flow is used to provide relevant output to the users. Chatbots can be made intelligent by using machine learning to enable it to learn from past conversations. Sentiment analysis can also be used to help it understand the emotions of the user, although that is still under the development process.
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5 Precautions to Take Before Using Chatbots for Business:
1. Keep it Simple:
Make your bot good in one thing and let it master it. A novice mistake made by many marketers is aiming to make a chatbot for the entire consumer journey. These automation tools are still under development and they need sophisticated data to fully perform any task. If you increase the number of tasks you will create complications for both the user and yourself. Giving too many options results in users giving vague responses which a predefined conversation flow is too static to handle. Keep it simple, realistic and specific and you are on the right track.Read More: Why Chatbots are Important for Businesses?
2. Be wary of open-ended questions:
As we discussed most of the chatbots still function based on a predefined conversation flow. Open-ended questions from a chatbot can deviate a conversation from the real flow rendering the bot insignificant for the user. To prepare a chatbot for open-ended conversations you will need a lot of data and complicated conversation flows to keep users engaged. A chatbot should aim at creating a flow of conversation that directs user from ‘Hi’ to conversion.Read More: 5 Simple Steps to Create Addictive Chatbots
3. Give it a character:
You should always showcase your chatbots as a bot and never disguise them as humans. But that doesn’t mean that a bot cannot have a personality. You chatbot’s character should communicate your brand image. For example, Nike’s chatbot can have an informal tone while a B2B bot should be more formal in conversation. Giving chatbot a character also engages users and makes them stick to an otherwise boring conversation flow.Read More: Top 11 Chatbots Trending in 2017
4. Never overdo automation:
Automation is still a solution in making and not a dependable way out of any problem. By overdoing automation, you can instantly irritate users and create a negative experience. Overdoing it can come in the form of overdependence, too many notifications, using it as a questionnaire etc. Keep it minimal, understand behavior and scalable in a limited fashion.Read More: 5 ways chatbot is taking over customer success
5. Showcase an exit option:
Chatbots can go insanely wrong. It can be annoying if the user is stuck in the middle of a communication with no way out of it. In the end, the potential customer might exit the bot, uninstall and never try it again. To save your brand always give an exit option like a way to the app, customer care or FAQ section as an alternative in the bot itself. Sometimes even website homepage can work for this purpose.
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If you are looking for professionals to create a bot for your business then feel free to contact us. We have successfully created many chatbots and automation solutions for different industries like retail, banking, finance, travel etc. Contact us today to schedule a consultation or ask for POC. Happy Bot-ing.