"Chatbots?" - "I've only had bad experiences with them!"

Such statements occur more frequently with the rise of technology and easy access. But experts in the field know: there is another way. In fact, 80% of all customer queries can be solved with the help of well-designed bots (Accenture). Through our years of experience, we have collected 20 valuable and easy-to-implement tips that immensely improve the usability and of voice and chatbots:

 

  1. Let your users use both free text input and buttons. This makes communicating with the chatbot as easy as possible for them.
  2. Conduct a user acceptance test before going live with your bot.
  3. Can you say your voice bots answer in one breath? Perfect! If not, it’s too long. 
  4. Make your voice and chatbots show human traits. Let them show empathy and affirm the users.
  5. Keep it simple. Avoid overly complex and inefficient software integrations for voice bots. They could lead to a delay in response.
  6. “Can you say that again?” Give your voicebot the ability to repeat its answers.
  7. A chatbot is like a baby. It has to learn. Train your bot especially in the beginning of the Go Live.
  8. Don’t let your voice or chatbot sound like a broken record. Use variations of your error messages or other frequently used messages.
  9. Say “Hello” first. Your bot should always greet your users with a start message. This way he can let the users know what he was built for and how he can help.
  10. Be transparent. Let the users know that they are talking to a bot and not a real person. If this fact is hidden and the user finds out, they may feel betrayed and frustrated (this phenomenon is also called Uncanny Valley).
  11. Some things can only be optimized with the input of real live data from your users. Therefore when planning your project, reduce the development time of your bot and focus more on training and optimization after Go Live.
  12. Use automated testing to regularly check the functionality of your bots.
  13. Define KPIs and goals you want to achieve with your bot project. Common KPIs are metrics like the rate of error messages or the rate of human handovers. 
  14. Create personas for the users of your bot. With them, you can adapt the conversations to the needs of your users in the best possible way.
  15. Don’t sound like an encyclopedia. When creating content for a bot, do not simply copy your website’s FAQ. They’re usually too long. Keep it short and simple.
  16. Use real customer queries from the past to create content for your bot. This ensures that the bot can answer your users' queries.
  17. If chatbots don't have an answer ready, they should offer the possibility to seamlessly forward to a real employee. This increases customer satisfaction and trust. The reason for the handover should be looked at more closely in the course of the conversation and the corresponding content should be updated in order to optimise the conversation with the bot.
  18. Use the "Wizard of Oz" test method even before the start of chatbot development to validate your conversation map concept with real users. This saves time and money and allows you to find out whether individual functionalities are actually used and necessary.
  19. Build feedback questions into the chatbot, such as "Was this information helpful? This allows you to measure customer satisfaction directly in the conversation. 
  20. Tell your users about your bot. If you use a voice or chatbot to create new communication channels, you will need a marketing strategy to promote your bot.

Just following a few of these tips will quickly lead to more acceptance of the bots and significantly increase user satisfaction. However, the time after the go-live should be permanently invested in support and optimisation. Customer needs change constantly and the knowledge of the bot must be maintained and expanded. Especially with conversational AI technology, standing still means taking a step backwards. 

Download here the matching infographic with an overview of all 20 tips. 

Have you encountered questions and difficulties in your bot development? Then write us a comment below in the comments section and we will give you an individual tip for your issue!