Last year was a unique one. Everyone has experienced radical changes in their lives within a few weeks. At a time when human contact had to be limited, chatbots came into play to fill the gap. Moreover, throughout this period, chatbots have been at the center of the fight against COVID 19. From supporting healthcare professionals to reshaping healthcare by enabling better communication between health authorities and the community, chatbots contributed to the digitalization of the industry. And contrary to fears, chatbots have also shown that they are here to assist the business force rather than replace it.
Today, a significant part of customer service is conducted through chatbots. Business Insider reported that the global chatbot market was expected to grow from $2.6 billion in 2019 to $9.4 billion in 2024, forecasting a compound annual growth rate of 29.7%. The report also suggested that the highest growth in chatbot implementation would be in the retail and e-commerce industries due to the increasing demand for seamless omnichannel experiences. This fact should be enough to convince you that chatbots are the way to manage prospective customer relationships. Still, they will continue to grow as internal tools for enterprises, and almost every industry will adopt this technology if they haven’t yet.
Now that we are convinced of the necessity of chatbots, we can discuss what we should pay attention to when designing.
Tips for Building an Effective Chatbot Design
Create a persona for your humanlike chatbot
Even if people know that they interact with a machine, they still expect a human-like and friendly dialog. So, you should develop a persona for your chatbot. A persona would help your chatbot to build a natural-sounding dialog with your customers. By designing a natural dialog flow that imitates a real conversation between two people, you can enhance customers’ experience.
Try to define as many details as possible about your customers. Who are they? Students or employees? Which age group(s) do they belong to? What are their habits? How about their language and tone? What kind of sentences would they use? Would they prefer short and direct communications, or would they enjoy longer conversations? The answers to these questions will define your chatbot’s persona.
Offer an intelligent solution
The intelligence level of your chatbot is parallel with its ability to understand customer demands. In other intelligent words, the better a chatbot understands customers, the more intelligent solutions it offers. Be prepared that different expressions such as “Can I book a table?”, “Do you have a free table?”, “I would like to make a reservation.” can have the same meanings. And sometimes almost the same words such as “I want to apply for a credit card.”, “I had applied for a credit card.”, “How can I apply for credit?”, might mean totally different in various contexts. Each question requires a different action. So, understanding the meaning accurately is crucial for offering the right answer.
Sound more human
The language your chatbot uses is essential for a natural and offering a personalized experience. While building a smooth dialog with your chatbot, focus on language details. Consider your audience and the language and tone they would like to hear. Build your dialog accordingly. You can enrich your language with casual intros like “hey,” “what’s up,” and funny images like smileys and gifs. But make sure you use them at the right time. Keeping the copy as short and to the point as possible also contributes to a more comfortable dialog. Keep the prompts short, and don’t confuse your customers by offering tens of options at once. So, offer a specific option rather than an open-ended reply.
Be concise. Don’t write ten lines when two will work. Also, make sure your chatbot asks questions one by one instead of asking for all the details within one prompt. Make sure your chatbot makes the necessary assumptions. Otherwise, it would need to ask unnecessary questions that bother customers. Besides, customers might change their minds during a dialog and ask for something different from what they had just said. You should be ready to understand these changes. Offering an omnichannel chatbot that integrates with multiple customer service channels helps you enhance the customer experience. If your chatbot seamlessly integrates with other customer channels, it can pick up the dialog from the channel your customer left off. So, your customer wouldn’t need to they like repeat herself. Besides, your chatbot can offer options according to the previous behavior of the customer. This helps you anticipate your customers’ needs and provide specific solutions that match their personal preferences.
Respect customer preferences
Don’t force customers to complete a transaction via chatbot. If it would be more practical, offer alternative methods. For example, for a loan application dialog, the chatbot needs to ask many questions regarding the customer’s national ID, phone number, annual income, loan amount, etc. Instead of asking too many questions, sharing a form with the customer or forwarding him/her to a website might be a better option.
When it comes to communication, customers have different styles. They might use various abbreviations, slang words, and personal idioms, etc. So, make sure that your chatbot allows customers to communicate via their own words. Prevent ambiguity by asking additional questions. Tolerate typos. By doing so, you would make your customers feel your chatbot understands them. They would feel more relaxed and find it easy to interact with your chatbot. This is the best way to improve the customer experience.
To learn more about the design tips for building the right chatbot to ensure better customer experiences, download our e-book “Introduction to Chatbot Design.”
Author: Çağrı Doğan, Accessible Products Consultant, Sestek
Introduction to Chatbot Design
Building The Right Chatbot To Ensure Better Customer Experiences.
Today, chatbots are a significant part of customer services. From reserving a ticket to completing a banking transaction, they can offer any service that a live agent can. But being able to do these tasks might not be enough for enhanced customer service. Because customers not only expect high-quality services but also personalized experiences. According to recent research, more than 63% of customers expect personalization as a standard of service. So, chatbots need to answer this need to ensure an enhanced customer experience. Why do chatbots need personalization? Today’s customers seek more than functionality. They expect authentic connections with businesses. And the only way to build a strong and emotional bond between customers and chatbots is personalization.
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