Chatbots have been around for quite some time now, and only recently made it into the mainstream at an accelerated rate, thanks to the popularity of messaging apps. There are currently over 100,000 chatbot applications on Facebook messenger alone, and thousands others on WhatsApp, Kik, and other popular messaging services.
Due to the ever-rising popularity of chatbots, businesses are getting on board, and offering chatbots for a variety of reasons. For example, enterprise companies have chatbots that handle basic customer service inquiries, and fashion retailers and publishers have chatbots that act as a personal shopping assistant to ease customers down the funnel.
However, not all chatbots are created equal. Some bots are quick, simple, and efficient with responses/results. Then there are others that try a little too hard to show how smart they are. Then there are bots like the one created by Microsoft, which was taken down shortly after launch due to it using its AI in all the wrong ways (to put it mildly.)
So is there any way to ensure your chatbot would be great from day one? Considering the many different use cases, there isn’t a single blueprint. However, there are some basic tips that do apply across the board when it comes to creating a content strategy for your chatbot.
Give your Bot an Engaging Personality
For the most part, users will ask your bot many questions. As you craft a series of answers to those questions, try to add a bit of personality into some of the responses (as it fits with the company voice.) For example, instead of saying “Your delivery will arrive tomorrow,” it would be recommended for it to say “Great news! Your delivery will arrive tomorrow!” Just be careful not to go overboard with this, as you wouldn’t want your users to feel your chatbot is too wordy. Also, don’t try to fool users into thinking they are chatting with an actual person, because your brand will lost a lot of credibility when they figure it our.
Offer an Interactive Experience
Internet users of today simply adore all forms of media, from audio, to video, to infographics and GIFs. So consider having your bot ask users if they would like to have a look at your latest video, or check out the new interview on your podcast. What’s the worst that can happen? Them rejecting the offer? No big deal!
Keep Interactions Short and Sweet
Try to keep interactions between the customer and the bot as short as possible, and stick to the point by skipping the small-talk. Lengthy interactions would be a little off putting, as it would appear as though the customers time is not being respected. Try to keep interactions less then 6 lines total. Speedy and efficient service will keep your users coming back for more.
Schedule Regular Updates
Update your bot often (at least quarterly) so it can always stay current and relevant.
As you work on the strategy, there are some questions you would want to ask yourself as you proceed, to further ensure every move is strategic and on-brand.
- Who is your current audience? What do they want?
- What should your audience know and do after interacting with your chatbot?
- How should your audience feel after working with your chatbot?
- What is the goal of with the chatbot?
- What are your customers looking for?
- Does your online presence and activity (across social media and company blog) generally provide your audience with the information they are seeking?
Create a Content Model
A content model will help assist with the conversational UI aspect of your chatbot, which will help lay out attributes. For example, a user can ask, “What other books were written by John Smith?” With a content model established, your chatbot would be able to offer several different answers, such as:
- There are 10 more books available by John Smith. Would you like to see them all, or select a category?
- According to your search history, we think you would enjoy the following titles by John Smith: [List of suggested titles]
- Here’s the full list of books by John Smith: [LINK] Would you like to take a look at other similar books on [Topic]?
The creation of a chatbot content strategy with all these points in mind will help you build a chatbot that delivers quality experience through scalable answers.