10 Chatbot Best Practices
A chatbot is will always be online, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It will never get grumpy, tired or say something silly or rude which might upset a customer. A chatbot will be the most trainable, optimisable and scalable member of staff your company will have.
Here are 10 chatbot best practices to make sure this becomes a reality for you.
1. Start small
A chatbot is an iterative product. It can 'do' customer service, sales and lead generation and manage internal HR questions. Start simple, create a persona and grow and learn.
2. Start now
According to Gartner and Business Insider, chatbots are the future, and we are only 2-5 years away from mass adoption. Now is the time to start investing and learning. When your competition realises it is happening, you will be streets ahead.
3. Think strategically
A chatbot can become the face of your company and solve multiple business problems. Think broad and big picture and start with the low hanging fruit. Don't treat a chatbot as just a siloed tool that sits in one department; it is a company-wide technology.
4. Find the mundane
A chatbot is great to reduce repetitive work. Think of a position or function within your company that requires efficiency over human-level intelligence. That is where you should start.
5. The hype is real
Although most off-the-shelf self-developed chatbots are poor quality, well developed, integrated and thought out solutions are starting to appear. Enterprise-grade chatbots are already solving real problems. Don't expect results if you don't use a professional development.
6. Work with experts
Artificial intelligence, machine learning and natural language processing. These are not skills you or your team can develop overnight. Find, contract or hire the talent you need to deliver an ROI-generating product.
7. Fallback to humans
Should it fail to answer sufficiently, ensure your chatbot gracefully connects a user to a human. We also suggest you do not try to trick users into thinking they are talking to a real person.
8. Plan for disruption
Your chatbot implementation will affect every department, Marketers using a new tool, brand managers creating new personas, customer service having more time on their hands and developers figuring out how to do it all.
9. Monitor and iterate
A chatbot is not a one-time installation. It learns, improves and integrates more over time. The technology powering this service is moving fast; your business needs to keep up and keep learning.
10. Include everyone
The use of artificial intelligence is synonymous with job security concerns and fear of new technology. Communicate with your staff, explain what your chatbot can and cannot do. Reassure people it is not taking their jobs but giving them more time to do the things only humans can do.
Chatbots are a new technology, lots of businesses from all over the world are scrambling to figure out their chatbot best practice and use case. Our advice right now is to run a straightforward test and learn. See what a chatbot solution can do for your business and iterate its development over time.
Chatbots are here to stay, and they're getting smarter and more integrated into business systems to solve real problems.
It is time you started to think about how they can help you.