6 Ways to Get the Most from your Chatbot
Recent years have seen the rise of the robots… and it’s not the sci-fi nightmare Keanu Reeves had us picturing.
Conversational AI, or ‘chatbots’, have been climbing customer service ranks, with a 92% increase in use since 2019 (Drift). In fact, chatbots now appear on 42% of B2C websites – and a whopping 58% of B2B companies use a chatbot on their site (Relay).
By using existing resources – like FAQs and knowledge articles – to give customers quick answers to common questions, chatbots can provide round-the-clock customer service, reduce agent workload and cut operational costs.
When done right, chatbots therefore become shining self-service machines. But getting their software up and running is just the first step.
And the rest of the journey? It’s all about the content.
So here, we’re offering the red pill of chatbot reality – 6 of our top tips to make sure our chatbot content is tip top.
Our chatbots should be…
First, our chatbots have to, well, have good chat.
Here to make life simpler, chatbots shouldn’t leave customers scratching their heads. Instead, they need to use the right language, to answer the right questions.
The voice of our chatbots should be concise and clear – so ditch the jargon, drop the waffle. When composing chatbot content, use common terms and avoid long chunks of text.
Say it short, sweet and straightforward. (After all, they’re chatbots – not drones 😊)
The beauty of the bot is that it can humanise the customer experience… without requiring actual humans.
By giving our chatbot a persona and a voice that matches the natural language of our users, we can give customers a memorable, and likeable, part of their journey.
For instance, Dominoes, with their automated pizza-ordering bot ‘Dom’, have cashed in on the comedic potential of the chatbot. Delivering cheese-y puns as well as pizza, Dom’s a prime example of a bot used to make the customer experience more enjoyable.
And by using a chatbot to give our FAQs a friendly face, we can leave our live agents more time to answer the harder questions.
But a word to the wise: chatbots work best when they’re real about being fake. Don’t be tempted to try and pass your bot off as a human – that way lies confusion for chatbot and customer alike.
No chatbot is an island.
That is to say: our chatbots are just one part of a bigger customer journey, and this should be reflected in their content.
If your chatbot says one thing, but the rest of your channels say another, customers will be left confused… and more likely to call an agent “just to check”.
Making sure our chatbots are an integrated part of our multichannel strategy is therefore key to cutting down secondary contact. But it also lets us throw our bots a rope when they get out of their depth.
Chatbots are a cool bit of kit, but they can’t do everything – and the best bots are ones that know their limits. For example, when a customer asks Dayinsure’s ‘Alex’ a question it can’t answer, they’re passed seamlessly into live chat with a real agent.
So, to keep the customer journey smooth sailing, let’s unite our chatbot with our live channels. Ultimately, chatbots are here to make our lives easier, not to replace us entirely.
Are some customer queries leaving your AI looking less than intelligent?
By looking at our chatbot data, we can turn its failures into its next successes – finding our newest FAQs in the questions it can’t answer.
And there are also hidden content gems to be found in the data from our other channels. The what’s, whys and when’s of all of our customer contact can tell us where next to build our chatbot’s knowledge base, and help keep our customer journey unified.
So, if “data is the new oil”, our chatbot – fed and fuelled by data – should be a shiny new cog in a well-oiled customer service machine.
So, we’ve set up our chatbot, given it content, and sent it out into the world… but our job isn’t over.
To stop our bots getting rusty, we need to make sure they can evolve with the needs of our customers. And to do that, we must continually refresh and revitalise their content. As our FAQs and their answers change, our chatbots should change, too.
And sometimes these changes need to happen sooner, rather than later. When temporary problems cause a sudden spike in new customer queries, our bots need to have the right responses ready.
Great at staying cool in a crisis, chatbots can be the perfect way to give customers the information they need when things go wrong. We’ve just got to give them the right content.
Finally, once we’ve chocked our chatbot full of clear, current content, it’s vital our customers know where to find it.
Let’s not hide our bots away in the darkest corners of our website. Instead, let’s give them pride of place, popping up at key parts of the customer journey.
Let’s signpost our chatbots from our other channels and let’s offer our customers the red pill of chatbot reality.
We know getting our chatbot to deliver easy answers is easier said than done… but we hope these tips help.
And if you want to know more, just get in touch – we love a good chat.