2016 was the year of the chatbot, and in 2017, it's getting even bigger. But that doesn’t imply that everyone you come across knows all about bots, which is important to consider this while building a chatbot. In this article, we're sharing best practices that can be leveraged for building user-friendly chatbots.
The talk of best practices brings two perspectives into the picture: practices for making bot development a success and practices for assuring that conversation with the user is seamless. For assuring successful chatbot development, it's imperative to first know the target audience. It is also important to identify use case scenarios, determine how to initiate conversation, and determine and the tone of the chat. The blog 8 Best Practices for Bot Development provides a detailed account on the subject.
By adhering to the best practices below, you can assure that your chatbot will have seamless conversations with users.
Who Are Your Potential Users?
First things first. A successful bot building experience starts with the understanding of the target audience. Know who the users are as well as the purpose that the bot is going to serve. For example, it could be a bot to entertain the audience, to allow users to buy and sell, to provide news, or to serve as a customer service channel. ALso, learn about the customer product and know how the bot fits in to make it more customer-friendly.
Make It Emotionally Rich
The conversation here is just not an interface — it is also about emotion. Read and understand user sentiments to promote content blocks that can prompt the user to continue the conversation with the chatbot and have a rich experience. Remember: The user comes back when they have a rich conversational experience. It is important to visualize the bot that is going to shape the conversation with the user.
Leverage positive sentiments for promoting your product or turn users into brand ambassadors. Also, address negative comments. Make use of friendly language to make users feel that they are chatting with a familiar person.
Make the User Feel Welcome
Though chatbots are growing in prominence, users are not that experienced in conversing with an object. This creates the need to extend a warm welcome to the user and make them comfortable with the conversational interface.
Use buttons that are familiar to users wherever possible to make it comfortable for the user to enter into a conversation with the bot. Encourage the user to respond by typing, enabled through actionable commands.
Guide the User for Better Engagement
Users have gotten used to the limitations of most websites and apps. In the same way, it is essential to set limits and create paths for the user to make them comfortable during their conversation with the chatbot.
Guide user conversation through actionable statements and buttons, and take cues from their previous experiences with apps and websites.
Make It Easy to Access
Designing the chatbot with button clicks and a template can help you keep a check on whether the bot has broken. Users can get into limitless conversion, and your bot will not have all the connections to serve the users as time passes after you have built your chatbot.
Make users feel that the chatbot understands their pain. Let them know that they can ask for help — and offer human help when the conversation stalls.
Listen to the User’s Voice
You cannot give your user everything they want — or even anticipate everything they'll want — with your bot. Without trying to play the guessing game, include natural ways and means, allowing the user to give his feedback during the interaction.
Prompt users to come up with their own suggestions and ideas when they don’t find things that they are looking for. Additionally, allow users to submit tickets when the chatbot fails to respond to queries or requests.
Our new virtual assistants will be ever-ready. They'll be able to listen to our questions and respond intelligently. Well-designed, easy-to-use, intuitive, and fun chatbots will grow very quickly. If you follow the best practices above for developing your bot, you'll create a great experience for your users.