This article was originally posted on the Bot the Builder blog before being migrated here. Content may differ from original post.
Mark my words — The back half of 2017 will be the year that chatbots enter mainstream media.
However, just like the website and the app, there are certain principles that we must adhere to, ensuring our creation is effective and valuable to our audience/customer.
1. Create a persona
Millennials are now the largest consumer group in the market place (if you want to know more about this, head over here.)
These creatures like to have fun when they interact with a company or brand. When creating a bot, One way to satisfy this is to give your bot a quirky persona (make it like Jay Z, if you wish.)
Now, you should have an idea about who your target market is. You should also understand the main personality types that are associated with this market.
From this knowledge, create your bot to represent this personality. For example, if your target market involves young and ‘hip’ teenagers, then using colloquial language isn’t just ok, it’s beneficial.
For example: “What’s up man!?”, “Gimme a sec…” you get my drift.
Related: Bot the Builder
2. Give your audience options, not free reign
It’s no secret that chatbot technology is not quite good enough to answer EVERYTHING, so a way around this is to 1) let your audience know you cannot answer everything and 2) give them options regarding what your bot can answer.
A perfect way to do this is to provide a message along the following lines:
“Just so you know [insert name here] I can answer questions related to the following…” (Remember point one though, please do not create a boring sentence like this!)
Then actually give you audience the opportunity to select one of these options by using buttons or quick replies. Your audience will benefit, because they will receive value instantly.
3. This ain’t email. Keep it short and sharp
Let me pose you this question: Why doesn’t email marketing work?
Answer: Am email takes too long to read and are they are generally impersonal (there are obviously other reasons, but let’s focus on this for now)
When creating a chatbot, do not fall into the trap of long messages. Keep it short, sweet and to the point. Your audience is interacting with a chatbot because they want something from it right here, right now. Don’t make it complicated by adding useless jargon or edge case language.
Answer the questions posed by your audience. No more, no less.
4. Have a proactive focus, rather than reactive
Too many of the current chatbots are purely focused on answering audience questions in a reactive manner. Meaning they are waiting for the consumer to make the first move.
Why is this a problem you ask? Well, the majority of consumers are actually looking for value before they do ANYTHING. So, based on how your audience has previously interacted with your bot, why not send them content/information that is relevant to them?
Push more interactive content out to your audience, and I guarantee that your chatbot interaction rate will increase dramatically.
5. Make it fun!
People crave excitement. So, why not make your bot the thing that they can gather such excitement from? Along with a quirky persona, ensure that you have he required functionality that allows your audience to have fun with your bot. This can range from witty replies, to conversational games.
Regardless of the benefit of your bot (engagement, sell products etc) the fun aspect can and should be included.
If you have found this beneficial, please like and share below.
If you have anything you would like to add, I’d love to hear from you! Drop me an email (email@example.com) and I will get back to you. Alternatively, reach out to me on twitter.