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Chatbot DesignMarch 23, 2017Written by Alex Debecker

Never Run Out of Chatbot Ideas

never run out chatbot i

You'd love to do something in the chatbot world.

You'd love to build something for your company or have a team of experts build something for you.

Yes, you'd love to get there but there is a but.

What will you actually build? Where will you find the inspiration to build something amazing people want?

If you have a specific idea in mind, this article is not for you. This article is for those who need inspiration, for those who need to build a process to never run out of chatbot ideas.

Ready to find (lots of) ideas?


Satisfying (your) business goals

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote an in-depth article about benchmarking a chatbot's engagement metrics. In this article, I acknowledged the fact that many businesses at the moment have no clear way of knowing whether their fancy new chatbot is actually doing well or not.

For this first section, I want to take one step back and look at the inception of the chatbot.

Chatbots have, so far, been used in broad environments, from fighting Twitter crime to helping kids with their homework.

When it comes to business-related chatbots, though, we see a strong and obvious trend: chatbots that help the business achieve its goals.

To never run out of chatbot ideas, focus on your business' goals. What is your company trying to achieve and how can a chatbot help?


Sell shoes

Build a chatbot that helps the customer find the perfect outfit and the pair of shoes that goes along with it for a night out in town. 

chatbot selling shoes

Call it Puss In Bots.


Dig in deeper: micro goals

Don't stop at the macro goal, dig in deeper.

Within a business, there is always the big goal ('sell more') but also all the small steps leading to it.


Increase traffic to a movie review website

Build a bot that helps its users find the right content on your blog by asking them questions about their favourite genres. Call it Bot Office.


Not working at the moment?

Don't limit yourself to the company you work for. There are tonnes of companies out there with a myriad of macro and micro goals.

Go to a company directory like Yelp or even Google, and find the businesses near you. Put yourself in their shoes - what are they trying to achieve? Build your chatbots based on these assumptions.


Bring mascots to life

We have had the chance to work on a few projects involving this very chatbot idea, so I thought I would throw it in there.

Businesses have always tried to build a mascot to impersonate their essence. From Tony the Tiger to the Meerkats, there is a vast range of silly characters to play with out there.

Monkey logo

Monkey, the PG tips mascot

Although bringing a mascot to life may not directly impact a business' bottom line, it is a massive brand awareness play and can be really valuable in the long run.

Consider turning the character that represents your values into a fun, smart, and interactive chatbot - your customers will love it.

PS: That's also the type of chatbots that get nominated for cool awards. Just sayin' :)


Monkey is alive

This one's easy. Have a look at our latest creation, Unilever's Monkey mascot. We brought him to life at the start of March, allowing his fans (he has plenty!) to chat to him about tea, life, and PG tips.


The best chatbot ideas are found in failure

Speaking of businesses, their goals, and their mascots, let's talk failures.

Some of the best chatbot ideas can be found in business failure (or disappointing results). Remember that chatbots are a new way to interact with an audience, a brand new channel to explore.

best chatbot ideas failure

What better way to utilise this new channel than to use it where you have failed before?

Struggling to reach your audience with email? Try engaging via a chatbot.

Struggling to upsell your customers after an initial purchase? Try having a friendly chatbot pop up at checkout, encouraging to take advantage of this sweet deal you are trying to push.


App stores are full of it

And by it, I mean chatbot ideas.

You can literally pop into your favourite app store right now and find 20 ideas in 10 minutes. Let's do a random test. This is my Google Play store (I know I know, Android. Shhhh).

chatbot ideas app store 

At a quick glance, I see a Namecheap app, an Upwork app, an app I assume would help me become a better musician, a TripAdvisor app.


Build a chatbot that helps its users find the right domain name. The user inputs a word, the bot scrapes the web to find which extensions are available.

Build a chatbot that helps its users build a CV step by step, then exports all the information into a neatly crafted and printable document.

Build a chatbot that helps its users recognise music notes and chords on the different instrument. Each day a new guitar lesson, each Sunday a quick test on the finger placements and chord progressions.

Build a chatbot that helps its users plan a perfect themed night by asking them the theme ('jungle') and feeding them a series of restaurants, pubs, and hotels available in their area that follow that theme.

Millions of ideas to be found in there.


Satisfy your personal frustrations

'You know what really annoys me?' is typically the way I start an intricate moaning session.

Moaning is great for two things: annoying the people who listen to you and finding great ideas.

Dig through the latest things that annoyed you. Might there be something a chatbot could help you with?

Let's try.

Finding a decent horror movie on Netflix annoys me. The ratings are constantly terrible, yet I have seen horror movies on there I have enjoyed. I constantly have to flick through the movies, avoid looking at the ratings (1/5, I KNOW), open IMDB and read actual reviews.

worst horror sequels

Why not build a chatbot that would help me by engaging in a two-way conversation about the sort of horror movies I like that are listed on Netflix, then offer me a gist of the IMDB's user reviews, and finally allow me to fire up Netflix at the click of a button?

There is gold in our every day moans, mine it.


There is no turning off

You wanted ways to find unlimited chatbot ideas, you got it. If you need some inspiration, have a read through all these.

The good news is you should never run out of ideas. The bad news is you will now see them everywhere. Don't blame me, you asked for it.

Can't do them all? Find a company that can!