What to Expect from a Chatbot Demo
Demos are amazing.
We have made it a common practice to prepare a chatbot demo for all of our clients. The simple reason behind it is they are a great way to visualise the product we are going to build.
Talking about chatbots and imagining all the cool stuff that can be done is incredibly exciting. However, there is always a point at which the client, us, or both, get lost in how things will actually look like.
A demo is a perfect remedy to all the confusion.
In this article, I want to go over our process when we build demos, why we think they are important (although I did touch on that already), and what you should expect from a demo.
What is a chatbot demo?
First things first, what is a chatbot demo?
A chatbot demo is a mock up of the final chatbot product. It typically shows you one (sometimes more) interaction flow. It is neither functional nor usable by the user.
What to expect from a demo
Great, now that we are all caught up on what they are, let's have a quick overview of what you should expect when receiving a demo.
It is important to note that the following is our philosophy on the matter. This is how we believe they should be built to serve their purpose. Hopefully, if you decide not to deal with us (but why wouldn't you), the company you choose has the same idea.
It will not be functional
This is an important one, in my opinion.
Your chatbot demo will not be functional. This means it will not allow you to click anything, write any words, or engage in an actual conversation.
Ideally, your demo should be a video. You have to remember the purpose of this is just to see your idea come to life in a visual format.
In fact, I would argue anything more than a video draft of your chatbot might be suspicious. Are they really building custom chatbots or are they using a DIY platform?
The unique value proposition of your chatbot is achieved
During the short span of the video, the core idea of your chatbot should be demonstrated and achieved.
Let's say you intend on having an e-commerce chatbot built. The demonstration should show the user journey from discovering the bot, to interacting with it, asking it information about products, and finally purchasing a product.
If you are planning on having an FAQ bot built, you should see one of your users prompting the bot about a common question, the bot figuring out the issue and replying with the adequate answer.
Although this sounds like the demonstration is the 'ideal scenario' and may look like it has been built just to please you, it serves a real purpose: show you the ideal customer journey.
The chatbot industry is still new and it is sometimes hard to picture what that journey will look like when it is actually happening. It is easy to say 'the user prompts the bot and asks a question and the bot replies, done, have a nice life'.
In reality, once real users start interacting, things might look a whole lot different. Therefore, you need an ideal customer journey mapped out and drafted, something you can refer back to later on in the build or six months after your chatbot has been released to make sure it is still achieving your goal.
Show a hint of creativity
Robots are cool. We think so, at least. In case you hadn't noticed.
That said, some seem to take robots being 'cool' a bit too literally, making their chatbots cold.
I think a great chatbot building company should be able to make you feel the creative possibilities chatbots offer right from the demo.
Your demo should show a hint of creativity in terms of language, images, or even conversational flow.
Some of our best chatbot personas started as a funky joke on the way it would answer FAQ questions.
In your demo, look for hints of creativity from the development and/or language team. It shows knowledge of the creative possibilities and might even give you some inspiration of what is possible.
Some effort went into it
As you can see from the three points above, we take demos seriously. I think the drafting phase is extremely important for both parties, you and the building company.
As such, your chatbot demo should reflect a certain amount of effort. Not just on the technical side, but also on the human side.
The previous point was about creativity, which I believe fits into this one as well. However, I think 'effort' is more than that.
Does the demo bot contain images from your Facebook page?
Does the demo bot contain pages from your website?
Does the demo bot mention an actual employee of your team when it says it is going to put the user in touch with a human?
Is your demo bot branded with your logo and colours?
All these things make a world of difference.
I have said it, the draft of your chatbot is a really important step for you. It is your idea starting to come to life.
Make sure it is made with care.