Last year, a leading cloud communications platform company (Twilo Inc.), released the results of it’s Global Mobile Messaging Consumer Report. It went on to show that 9/10 consumers across 3 continents including North America, Europe and Asia would prefer to communicate directly with brands by using a messaging system. This test was conducted with over 6,000 consumers. With such a finding, it’s hard to believe only less than half of businesses around the world have the ability to interact with their customers in this way. To learn more about the survey and to download a copy of the report, visit http://bit.ly/consumermessagingreport

 

Today, this method of consumer interaction has integrated itself into some of our most loved social platforms.

 

Dominoes Pizza Chatbot
Image Credit: Domino’s

The need to make digital communications as fast and seamless as possible is always evolving. Mobile devices have evolved the requirement of entering a password from physically tapping in your password, to swiping a combination lock, to more recently fingerprint identification and Apple’s Face ID. The concept of needing less input from the user to get to what they need has been heavily invested in. The result of this period of trial and error has resulted in much of how chatbots now communicate with us.

We are going to look at some methods that you can use to improve the success of an existing chatbot or if you are looking to create your own, these tips will also give you some ideas about what can be achieved.

First of all let’s look at some of the benefit’s chatbots can have for your users.

 

Chatbots are useful for…

 

Basic information

If a customer is going to require more knowledge about your product or service, your chatbot must be ready to give a suitable answer from its database or provide an alternative method to get this information. Can it send you to a FAQ page? Can it bring up details to call your company directly?

Personalisation

A chatbot can make a great difference to what a user thinks about your brand and website. If it has learnt about your preferences and habits, a good chatbot might recommend items of interest to you.

Gathering Data

By keeping track of your users’ input to the chatbot, you can see how many users are after the same products or information. This can help you to make marketing decisions to become more user-focused.

 

When should a Chatbot surface?

 

Page Dwelling

Has your customer been loitering on a page for too long? Can a friendly bot point them in the right direction?

Physical Click

Sometimes once an event has been triggered on a page, this can be the perfect opportunity to bring up your bot.

Interface Problems

Has your user got into a strop and started rage clicking all over the page? Try and ease the mood.

 

What questions should it ask?

 

Query ordering

When discovering what queries may be asked, it is a good idea to group these into sections (Level 1 – Basic Queries) (Level 2 – Mid level) (Level 3 – Top tier). Then, figure out your answers for these tiers.

Funneling

The first question should always be an open question which can allow the user to answer with what they would like to do. This is where the bot needs to be at its most clever to be able to handle most requests from the user. The rest of the questions should keep the user on a closed path to provide them the desired information.

 

What should your bot sound like?

Here are some points to measure when designing the personality of your bot

Is it on brand?

Think about how your brand is perceived by your customers. This should be reflected by your bot. Are you selling high-ticket items? You should probably steer away from any jokes.

Is it personable?

Has your bot got a name? The user is more likely to remember the service if the bot is personable and has a name or its own personality.

What role does it have?

Is it clear to the user what the bot is going to be able to help you with?

Who should your bot be like?

Think of a figure you would like your bot to be like. What decisions would they make? How would they talk to you?

 

Ways of delivering content

How can you use more interesting ways of displaying information? We have got accustomed to seeing interactive media and widgets across the web. Why not try to use them here?

Cards

Cards are a great way of displaying content to break up the conversational UI. The example below is a great way of showing your products by using a horizontal scroll which is generally preferred over a vertical scroll in a chatbot.

Image Credit: Domino’s
Integrations

What external applications can you use to make your design more user-centered? If a user wants to know how to get to a venue, why not bring up a map for directions which they can follow with a tap?

Quick Replies

You might have seen these being used in gmail’s mobile app. This is a great way of persuading your users’ answers to get them to say what you want them to. It also means they don’t have to type!

 

Emojis

Why not!

Image Rights: Jamie Oliver
Gifs, Images, Videos!

Make the experience engaging and memorable. Remember to use these mediums to aid the user in what they want to get to!

Things to remember

  • The chatbot should always be helping the user to get the information they need quickly
  • Ask a broad first question and then funnel the user down to a path you want them to take
  • Make sure your bot is on brand with your business
  • Set your bot targets to ensure you are making the most out of this marketing method
  • Write shorter but more messages
  • Ditch unnecessary text
  • Minimise user input!
  • I don’t know is OK

 

I hope these methods will help you when designing a chatbot of your own.

There are nearly limitless possibilities for what can be done. Don’t miss out on this huge opportunity to help, engage, or sell to your customers.