Business chatbots need not be robots
With huge numbers of chatbots appearing on websites, Facebook Messenger and other portals, yours needs to stand out. Here’s a few great ways to add a little love to your that will engage and charm users.
The rush is on to build chatbots to make customer or user interactions more entertaining and engaging. That means lots of businesses or developers that have never made a bot before are taking the plunge and building one based on what they’ve seen elsewhere or what they think one should be like.
For a simple chatbot, one can be made in less than an hour through rules-based design. But anyone building one need to ask what their bot should do, how that will benefit the business and then consider how it can engage, aka the human element.
The basics of a chatbot
Consider the typical conversation you have with a customer in your line of business. There are the pleasantries, then you need to find out what they want and provide them with an answer. Then you might cheer them on their way with a hearty salutation. Follow that basic template for your chatbot and you can’t go far wrong.
If you really want to think about it, then there is a long five-part read on emotional design of chatbots that will help you consider the deeper points, but it is the tone and style of how you build that chat that will define how the customer feels about talking to a robot.
Making people feel welcome
Any trained receptionist will put on a bright smile for a visitor, and your chatbot should do the same, even if it can’t smile. You might think a smiley emoji would do the job, but in a business setting, that might not be what a customer or user is expecting.
As an alternative, most chatbots let you have an avatar graphic, which can be the business logo or something less formal and more welcoming. That first smile out of the way, you can then consider those first phrases.
A firm “hello, how can I help you?” is fine, but chatbots are interactive creatures, and you might be better off asking who the visitor is. Going “hello, what is your name please?” creates that first interaction and provides a frame of reference for the rest of the conversation, making it less impersonal.