Chatbots are here to stay, but once a business has built one, unlike a website, they shouldn’t stand still. Here are eight ways you can quickly make the chatbot better, to encourage repeated use from your customers, improve satisfaction and engagement, and make it a key part of your digital business. 

1. The chatbot is just part of the customer experience

Many businesses, especially startups, look to the chatbot as a way to farm off customer interaction to technology. This isn’t the right approach, the bot needs to be part of an all-around experience. At its simplest, that means if the bot can’t solve a problem it needs to bring it to a person’s attention, not bury the issue in a loop or result in an unsuccessful experience. Don’t be afraid to route chatbot issues to your team or customer service agents, and when regular issues do start appearing, improve the bot to handle them.

2. Chatbots should be part of your overall content strategy

Website? Check! App? Check! Social Media? Check! Chatbot??? All of these ways that customers or prospects can interact with your business need to be linked and accessible. Don’t assume one user will only use one method. Where possible make the chatbot available on social media like Facebook Messenger or Twitter, or within the app. Also, take time to refer to the chatbot in Twitter and Facebook posts to raise awareness. Highlight success stories and how it can help to make people feel comfortable about the technology and provide guides for nervous newcomers on how to use it.

3. Roll out the welcome mat

Whatever your business or service, the chatbot will represent your company and brand. Therefore, it is important to spend a few seconds providing a warm welcome and giving people the opportunity to learn more about the bot before diving into the main purpose of any chat. Do not forget or ignore these niceties, and use them to provide the same type of welcome as you would to someone walking into your company reception or into your office. The bot can also use elements of your brand or marketing, such as a logo or tagline, to reinforce the fact that is a part of the business.

4. Graphics and video can play too

Chatbots aren’t just about text and voice responses. They can also use video and pictures to help speed up a conversation, to provide a different type of information or to reinforce instructions or advice. They can also help make bots more interactive, with emoji or buttons being used to help guide the conversation or encourage people to use non-text queues. If you need to ask someone how they are feeling during the conversation, a range of emoji answers provide a less invasive way of asking the question, while “Yes”, “No” or A, B, C option buttons will help speed up a chatbot conversation and get people to the answer or information more quickly.

5. Use bots for quick marketing surveys

If you can do so, without dragging a conversation out, bots are a useful place for doing a little marketing. It only takes a second to ask someone if they prefer option A or B as part of a relevant conversation, or what their preference is for a future product or purchase. Quick little nuggets of information can provide the business with useful insights along with the other benefits of the chatbot.

6. Make sure the UI works

If your bot is running in an app or on social media, test to make sure the window or screen for it is large enough for all users, that the text is large enough or can be adjusted for readability and that all instructions are clear, and there’s a “?” for help.

7. Provide a regular exit point

Rather than loop a chatbot or dive deeper into complex questions, you should regularly offer alternate ways to provide the user help. This can be a regular “Do you want to talk to an agent?” options or “Click here to find other sources of information.” They give the customer a guilt-free out, and can avoid an unsuccessful conclusion to the conversation.

8. Tell people that it is a bot

While your bot may have a good, strong, name and a bit of personality, it is far from a person in your business. In the age of AI and smarter chatbots, it is an imperative, and likely a legal requirement, that you tell people the bot is not a person. Do not try to imply or hint that a bot is a person. That, along with the usual market small print about any advice provided will help set expectations and limit the risk of a misunderstanding.

Whatever your chatbot needs, SnatchBot provides a cloud-based solution for all businesses to enjoy the benefits of the latest in bot technology.