Considering developing a chatbot? Consider these key points! Source: Shutterstock

3 tips to keep in mind when creating a chatbot

AN increasing amount of businesses are beginning to unleash the value of chatbots. This AI-powered technology is facilitating companies in providing a much more advanced level of customer care, while also benefitting their bottom-line by pushing personalized deals and promotions in an instant.

The question is, should your business get onboard the chatbot bandwagon? Many companies are deterred by the idea of creating a chatbot with concerns of costs and hard-work. But in fact, chatbots can be a cheap and effective feature that can bring an abundance of benefits to your business.

chatbots

Chatbots are growing in popularity among businesses. Source: Shutterstock

Benefits of adding a chatbot to your marketing mix include:

  1. The ability to reach your audience.
  2. A platform in which to answer customer queries.
  3. Boost your sales
  4. Push targeted content based on data collected from customer conversations.
  5. Monetize your social media platforms.

There is no doubt that chatbots improve the overall user experience and can add much value to a business. But before embarking on the journey, it is crucial that you have a well-thought-out plan.

We at Tech Wire Asia caught up with Malaysia’s leading telecommunications service provider, Digi, to discover what they found to be important when creating their customer support chatbot “Will”.

Deb Tan, head of digital exploration and design at Digi. Source: Digi

Define your goals and expectations

First and foremost, it is crucial to outline your goals of implementing a chatbot. Is it to drive sales through social media messengers? To improve your brand’s online presence? To automate customer support?

On top of your overall business goals, you should also consider how your chatbot will align with your customers’ needs.

For Digi, the core goal of implementing their chatbot on the Digi website live chat was to provide 24/7 support to its customers.

According to Chatbots Magazine, businesses who implement chatbots can reduce customer service costs by up to 30 percent.

“In Digi, we were looking for a platform, an alternative that can help us manage and improve the waiting time when our customers call into our call center to speak to our agents,” explained Deb Tan, head of digital exploration and design at Digi.

“Research that we carried out showed that many of our customers who called in are asking for general information on our products and services, which are actually available via our Digi website. While it is good to speak to customers, it is taking up a substantial amount of our agents’ time.”

“Hence the idea came to test out a chatbot that can help tend to these generic questions and direct the customers to the information on the website,” added Tan.

Customer experience

When planning a chatbot, it is important to consider how to ensure the chatbot creates a good user experience.

According to Digi, you should design a chatbot which encompasses humanistic features that imitate that of your customer service agents.

In order to connect better with your customers, your chatbot must have humanistic features. Source: Shutterstock

On top of being able to answer the general queries of customers, it is important to develop a chatbot which has the ability to proactively ask leading questions and make recommendations for services or products based on the customers’ needs. This will, in turn, add to your bottom line.

“We have programmed Will to be a guided chatbot, behaving like any of our customer service agents when it comes to engaging our customers,” Tan told Tech Wire Asia.

“For example, when a customer asks about which plan will suit their usage pattern and lifestyle, Will should be able to suggest a suitable plan to the customer by having the ability to ask questions to find out more information, such as their phone usage pattern, whether they use their phone more for calls or data, and what’s their monthly budget.”

Ensuring the option of human contact

It is inevitable that a bot will not have the answer to every customer query. So in the case of this, you must always offer the option to speak to a human agent.

“In instances where Will is unable to answer a customers’question after several attempts, it will hand over the call to a customer service agent,” Tan explained.

You do not want to lose a disgruntled customer due to them not receiving the help they need in making a purchase.

The importance of Beta testing

The final point is to beta test your chatbot. An increasing number of companies are beginning to leverage the power of chatbots for their business. As such, assuring the quality of yours is highly important in order to stay competitive and protect your brand image.

“It’s important to beta test your chatbot with real users, monitoring their reaction and gathering more data on what they are looking for so that we can continuously grow the chatbot’s knowledge,” explained Tan.

“Chatbot Will went beta live during off-peak hours in August 2017, where we managed to grow Will’s knowledge and improve its Machine learning accuracy,” added Tan.

By following these tips and tricks, you will be sure to develop a chatbot which unlocks a new channel of communication between your business and your customers that will be sure to have them coming back for more.






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