8 tips to become a chatbot champion!
Your chatbot’s success is determined by several factors. At Watermelon’s Customer Success Department, we focus primarily on turning your chatbot into your next favorite colleague. Our approach to this goal differs. We have a broad spectrum of clients who all have different needs and wishes. Several factors that we take into account are the chatbot’s tone of voice, its persona and the consistency of the bot. Want to know how we turn a chatbot into a successful customer service employee? Read our 8 tips.
1. Create a persona
After accumulating all the different wishes of the customer, we start to look at the persona. Who do your customers see as the ideal customer service employee? Is it a man, a woman, a young or an older person? What does he or she look like? Define the possible hobbies for your chatbot and find out what its character could be like.
Especially focus on the name. By giving him or her a name, you create a clear image. Go in depth and dig underneath the surface, brainstorm. Why all these details? Because you want your chatbot to be relatable to your customers. Think of all kinds of details that give your bot character. You might want to add visuals, like clothing. Add a suit and a briefcase to your avatar to give it a professional look yet do the exact opposite when you want it to seem playful and relaxed.
2. Adapt your tone of voice
When the persona of your chatbot is determined, you can start working at the tone of voice of your bot. Think of the character you just created. Is that character witty? Or is it not in the mood for puns and jokes. Determine whether your chatbot has a certain professional distance, or if it should feel like a friend. Make sure to avoid bias while creating your tone of voice and content. Focus on it being gender neutral, and make sure it is not in any way biased against the preferences of your user. For example, if your customer wants more information about the specifics of a certain car, do not assume it is automatically a man. By doing so you create a space in which everyone feels welcome and included.
3. Build your chatbot as a team
As they say, there is no I in team. Neither is there in chatbot. Building your chatbot is a multidisciplinaire case. Your customers are a broad selection of minds, who all think differently. They have different sets of questions. When building a chatbot on your own, or with only a small set of people you might come across the risk of missing out on your customers mindset. A great tip for meeting the client’s needs is to include your current customer service employees in the process of building, not only your marketeers for example. Your customer service employees are the ones who know what customers are looking for, and they know the type of questions that are being asked.
4. Don’t copy your website
The information you add to your chatbot should be useful, and not already in plain sight of your customers. You want to help your customer with the type of questions that are repetitive and asked 24/7. Your chatbot should provide customers with the type of answers that your customers normally would call or e-mail for. Instead of updating your entire website, you can just add a chatbot for the harder to find subjects. By adding a chatbot you are sure that the customers are finding the answers they need.
5. Be specific
Your customers are looking for something they cannot easily find. They want to know where and how their question can be answered. A common introduction I see for the chatbot is that they put a message like “Hi my name is …” in their status update. This is a fun and personal message, yet you might also want to add a clue that describes the kind of problem the chatbot can help with. By filling in the type of specialties of the chatbot, your customers know exactly where to be and who to contact. This helps getting your customers to the right place. Don’t see your chatbot as just another channel they can use to contact you, but as a new way of communicating.
6. Be a mentor and create conversation flows
Chatbots and artificial intelligence are relatively new. Especially older generations might not know what to ask the chatbot or what to say. By adding a closed menu with several options, you guide your customer to the answer they are trying to find. Create conversation flows within the software that give guidance to your customers. Add a clear structure and make sure your chatbot is asking questions back to your customer. Think of your normal customer service. When you normally call, you get asked questions, like ‘what is your e-mail address?’. Or ‘what are your client details?’. Add this to the conversation flows of your chatbot, so it can answer as adequate as possible. A lot of chatbot services only offer simple question and answer pairs instead of conversation flows. This rarely gets the customer to the right answer since a chatbot cannot understand the human nuances. The chatbot only recognizes a certain word and tries its best to answer accordingly yet it’s rarely the case that this happens right away.
7. Go live!
You can make numerous conversations and test for a year only to still come to the conclusion that when your chatbot is live you did not fill in the right info. That’s why you want to go live as quick as possible. Build quick, fail quick. Learn from your customers and keep learning and building from the moment you go live.
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8. Assist your new colleague
After going live, you can’t just send your new colleague off into the big wide world. It needs a little help! Just like a regular new colleague, it needs the right assistance. Don’t look at your chatbot as just a piece of technology that will manage itself. A chatbot is a piece of technology that is anthropomorphised. This means your chatbot has human aspects embedded in it. In order to act like a human, it needs training by a human. In the ideal world, your chatbot should be monitored and assisted during the first month of being live. This is however not necessary, as long as you keep an eye on your new colleague.
My job at Customer Success is to turn all these tips and tricks in to real, tangible chat systems. This is working out quite well. At Watermelon we have an impressive range of customers, who are all using our platform in different ways. Because of Watermelon’s Customer Success Managers, we can help to turn every vision of our customer into a unique reality. This is exactly how we also make our core values at Watermelon a reality. By realizing our client’s goals, we realize our own. Customer Service made better, faster and more fun!
Do you want to start building your own chatbot? Check out Watermelon’s all-in-one conversational platform to get started!