5 Tips for Experimenting with Chatbots

January 8, 2018 Matthew Cook

If you’re thinking about experimenting with chatbots, you’re not alone. Dozens of brands are already using chatbots in creative ways to put their marketing efforts above the competition, and they’re getting a lot of attention. With all the chatbot chatter, it’s no wonder you want in on the action. But how can you get the ball rolling?

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No chatbot is perfect right from the start. In order to find out how this technology can fit into your marketing and make an impact, there’s a lot of experimenting that has to take place. To make the process as smooth as possible, here are five tips to consider when experimenting with your chatbot.

1. Consider the Journey

Before you begin chatting with your chatbot, first think about its purpose and the journey you want your audience to experience from start to finish. How should the conversation begin and how will it end? Why is the bot being implemented in the first place?

If your bot is expected to answer questions, think about some of the potential red flags beforehand—is there anything your bot won’t be able to answer?

Once you have a holistic view of the entire experience that comes from your chatbot, you’ll be able to create an engaging resource that’s both helpful and beneficial to the intended audience.

2. Define Expectations

Your chatbot is there for a purpose, so it’s important to know what you expect it to accomplish. As you begin experimenting with your chatbot, make sure your expectations are realistic. Don’t overload it with a bunch of features that it can only perform at half its ability. Instead, try focusing on one key element and let it become the master. People value quality, not quantity, so having a bot that can do one thing perfectly is ten times better than a bot that can do five things half-decently.

3. Give It a Name

Everyone knows who Siri is—that’s because it’s a great name that’s been branded perfectly. The same should go for your chatbot. When thinking of a name, experiment with a few different options and see which one fits. Remember, many companies are starting to experiment with chatbots, so you don’t want yours to get lost in the crowd. Your name should be easy to remember, unique, and relevant to your brand.

4. The Human Test

Even though it’s a robot, chatbots shouldn’t sound robotic. In fact, great bots are just the opposite. An amazing chatbot leaves the audience questioning whether or not they were talking with a real person or a bot—if they don’t know the difference, you’ve got a great chatbot on your hands.

One of the easiest ways to test your chatbot for the “human factor” is to use the human test. Simply engage in a conversation with your chatbot and see if there are any red flags that scream “robot” instead of person. If you’re able to have a conversation from start to finish without questioning its human status, it’s passed the human test.

5. The Office Test

So your chatbot passed the human test—that’s great. But can it pass the human test with more than one person? Before your customers engage with your bot, open up the experiment to the rest of your office. This is the ultimate test, as it allows different people with different habits, personalities, and communication styles to test your bot’s skills. Gather feedback from your testers and let it help you optimize your bot’s conversational capabilities.

Artificial intelligence, like that of a chatbot, might be intimidating. However, if you follow these tips and test your bot properly, it will be chatting like a pro and serving your customers in no time!

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