How to Build and Iterate Chatbots Effectively

By Ilker Koksal

metsi / Pixabay

Many businesses are building chatbots to provide personalized services to fans and customers, and to form a deeper relationship with them. Chatbots allow brands to form one-to-one connections and conversations with their users. Benefits of having a chatbot include:

  • The ability to provide personalized content to boost business
  • Makes your business easier for users to reach (and vice-versa)
  • Provides essential data on your customers
  • Frees up time for your customer-focused employees.

If your business is interested in building a chatbot but doesn’t know where to begin, check out our five-step guide on how to make a chatbot.

Step 1: Decide on a Use & Platform

What’s your bot’s purpose? Why should users want to talk to it? Begin with these questions before you build a chatbot. Decide on whether your bot should provide customer support, access to information, make sales or simply serve as a fun conversation partner. Here are some common chatbot use cases:

  • Sell products or services and manage orders (e-commerce)
  • Deliver relevant content (publishers)
  • Provide help with something (tutorials or customer service)
  • Entertain (bots taking the role of fictional characters, celebrities, etc.)
  • Provide information access (search, statistics, knowledge, etc.)

When choosing a focus and use for your bot, try to envision the typical conversation users will have with it. For example, information-based bots should answer questions quickly; entertaining chatbots should hold and retain user attention for lengthier periods of time; e-commerce bots should form a relationship with users to gather data on their preferences over time.

Next, you’ll want to decide which platform to make your bot available on. You may start with just one, or make your bot more ubiquitous across many. Which platform you’ll choose depends on your audience; WeChat and Line are popular in the east, for example, while the west favors Facebook Messenger, Kik and Telegram. SMS is another option, but can be expensive.

Which platform your bot will exist on will also help you determine the chatbot development platform you’ll use to make it. Many development platforms, for example, integrate easily with Facebook Messenger. When considering how to make a chatbot, keep these three things in mind and ensure they partner well with one another:

  • Where your audience is
  • Chat platform of choice
  • Development platform of choice

Step 2: How Smart Will It Be?

Now that you know how and where people will chat with your bot, you must decide how smart you’ll make it. Basically, this means whether you’ll use true artificial intelligence or machine learning to power it. The alternative is to provide a simple, menu- or command-based conversational UI. Sticking to simple commands is easy to set up in house by designing conversation trees, but if you want machine learning, you’ll likely need an outside source to power it.

It’s worth mentioning that machine learning might make a chatbot seem more sophisticated, but keeping the conversation too open can also be overwhelming for the user; some bots benefit from a simpler approach. Whichever you choose, opt to provide contextual buttons throughout the conversation so users always know how they can respond.

Step 3: Make a Good First Go to the full article.

Source:: Business 2 Community

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