By Murray Newlands
Recently, conversational business has taken center stage, thanks to the evolution of the chatbot. What used to be clunky customer service tools have now been implemented in a huge variety of other processes like marketing, sales, business-to-business, and internal uses.
Since conversational business isn’t just about chatbots, I’m going to tell you why bots are in the spotlight, and share some design tips that will help you on your path to success.
Why Are Businesses Implementing Chatbots?
Messaging is quickly becoming the most common form of communication for consumers and businesses alike. In addition to mobile app usage declining by 20% in recent times, those who do still use them spend the majority of their time on messaging apps. The number of messaging users have surpassed social media users, and as a result, businesses are targeting consumers through these channels the best way they can…with chatbots.
Chatbots can be implemented in virtually every popular messaging app today. Not only this, they can now be voice-activated and new conversational devices have been launched by some of the biggest brands in the world, meaning they’re likely here to stay. Plus, they’re able to have unique interactions, at scale, thanks to the rules, machine learning, or artificial intelligence (AI) that powers them.
We’re going to focus on the most popular form of chatbot: AI-powered chatbots. They act as direct members of your team, so it’s crucial they act like it. With that in mind, there are certain conversational aspects to consider when creating your chatbot, no matter its purpose. Here are 10 conversational business tips that will lead you to success:
1- Find Out Where Conversations Will Create the Most Value
While chatbots have proven to be extremely effective tools for a variety of business activities, they’re not necessarily relevant to all brands. You shouldn’t add a chatbot to your processes because they’ve become popular. In fact, implementing a chatbot without a defined strategy could hinder your success.
Find out where conversational interactions will create the most value for your brand and audience, and then work on your chatbot strategy. Find out where your audience frequents and engage with them on their preferred platforms. If these are messaging platforms, find out which ones.
2- Always Aim to Meet Consumer Expectations
Your chatbot should be clear about its capabilities in order to not disappoint your audience. If you promise one thing and deliver another, your bounce rate will be higher and you could lose a significant number of leads. Focus on offering valuable interactions that meet your audience’s expectations and needs.
3- Add Context To Your Conversations
As mentioned above, it’s important to inform your audience of your chatbot’s capabilities. Aside from setting realistic expectations, telling your audience about your chatbot offers them a level of context. It will make your chatbot more likable and personable.
As a result, you’ll reach a higher level of engagement with more meaningful conversations. This, in turn, should allow you to gather more data about your audience. The more you know about your customers, the more you can personalize each conversation to suit their needs and increase sales.
4- Be a Representative of Your Brand
It’s important you make your chatbot an integral part of your brand. It should represent your brand in every conversation and should be able to deliver key business functions through customized and relevant interactions. To achieve this, make sure your chatbot:
- Has the right welcome message
- Has the correct branding, colors, etc.
- Follows your brand’s tone of voice
- Knows answers to your company’s most frequently asked questions
- Is aware of various relevant business protocols
5- Tailor Your Communications to Your Customers
The beauty of an AI-powered chatbot is that the more it communicates with people, the more it learns. This will improve its understanding of user intent and allow it to generate relevant and accurate responses to any queries it receives.
For it to offer the best possible service, you should pay attention to the flow of the conversation and ensure it is natural in order to reach maximum engagement. Lastly, your bot must be able to communicate in the correct language and style. This can only be achieved by learning about your audience’s demographic, location, age, ethnicity, and so on.
6- Analyze Past Conversations
The best way for you to tailor your communications to your audience is by learning from past conversations. It’s highly likely that your chatbot’s first few interactions won’t be seamless. To improve them, you need to analyze each conversation it has and train it to better understand your audience.
Start by analyzing past conversations. First, establish what it did incorrectly. From there, you can help it understand users, direct conversational flow, and fuel it with insights that it can then use to improve its capabilities and enhance the user’s experience.
7- Humanize Your Chatbot
While you should never try and trick your audience into thinking they’re speaking to a human, there is no reason you can’t make your chatbot human-like. Making your chatbot as human as possible will likely increase user engagement, as well as offer a more positive, memorable, and personable conversational experience.
8- Backup Your Chatbot With a Human Representative
Just because they’ve become more popular and powerful tools does not mean that they are perfect. Chatbots, like humans, still make mistakes. Make sure you’re using your chatbot to automate the right aspects of your business, and if it’s not up to the task, provide a human representative as a backup plan.
Using a human to compensate for the current chatbot technology limitations will help you upkeep your reputation with your audience. This will also help your chatbot generate more data that will allow it to better understand and respond to certain queries in the future.
9- Keep Information Private
10- Aim to Reduce Conversational Friction
Even if you create the most personable and likable chatbot in the world, your audience will not want to have to chat to it for hours on end to get answers to their questions. Although giving it personality could be a great option for your brand, you need to eliminate any conversational friction and ensure your chatbot makes it easy for users to complete their desired tasks, quickly.
You could do so by:
- Offering closed answer questions
- Creating clear calls-to-action
- Using visuals (imagery, videos, etc.)
Because chatbots have improved, users have higher expectations. Launching a chatbot that doesn’t provide a productive service isn’t a good reflection of your brand; if it simply can’t get the job done, it will have a negative impact on your reputation. By following the tips outlined above, you’ll not only keep your audience engaged, but also attract new users, and in turn, increase sales.