We’ve all had experiences with chatbots we’d rather just forget. From unanswered questions to mind numbingly long blocks of text, nearly everyone can relate to the feeling of defeat that a disappointing chatbot can provide. Business owners are rapidly choosing to supplement or entirely replace their call centers with automation and, as that trend continues upwards, it’s almost imperative to a company’s success that their chatbot is engaging and helpful.
This, however, is not always so easy to attain.
We’ve come up with a few tips to ensure your customers find chatbot nirvana on your webpage:
1. Naming your chatbot
While this might sound a little silly, the name of your chatbot matters. Now, this doesn’t necessarily mean you need to name your chatbot so it sounds like it could be a human representative. A human-sounding name can give your chatbot a more personal touch but it’s important that your users recognize they are speaking with an automation and not a live human. This will hedge expectations as they enter the conversation.
Additionally, the term “chatbot” might be best left in the past when referring to the automation you implement on your website. Users associate the term chatbot with the bots of yesteryear, the ones that just spit out FAQ responses or can’t understand your question Consider using creative alternatives that allow the user to recognize the solution for what it is – something that stands apart from your standard “bot”.
2. Succinct main menus
There is no easier way to lose your user than by offering them an overwhelming or confusing main menu. When constructing your main menu, offer the user a few buttons that cover the use cases your chatbot can service. These buttons can then open up to more detailed menus. Try to ensure these buttons are self-explanatory so your user doesn’t need hand holding or additional information to find their way. By doing this, you stand a better chance of keeping your user contained to the conversation and helping them perform tasks more easily.
3. Basic language
For a number of reasons, using basic terminology in your responses to a user is incredibly vital to the success of your chatbot. The first reason is simply that the average user may not understand what an “SMS message” is or what “Authentication” is referring to. In these situations it’s best to use terms the average user will understand like “Text” or “Log in”.
Additionally, non-English speakers may have additional difficulty understanding the message you’re trying to communicate if you stray from basic terminology. If you find a word or phrase is hard to simplify, offer the user a chance to leave the conversation to receive an explanation and then to return to where they left off from.
Keeping your messages clear and concise will streamline the processes you want to automate and guarantee your customer doesn’t require the assistance of a real person.
4. Minimize clicks
Your users don’t want to click through a million different buttons to figure out the answers to their questions or to solve their problems. They want simplicity. Certain use cases don’t lend themselves to simplicity but it is always important to expedite whatever processes you can to enhance the user experience.
Audit the amount of clicks it takes to get through a single user path and determine if you’re risking drop off. One of the best ways to limit the amount of work a user needs to do to complete a task is to anticipate what the user will want to do next. For example, if you are a DTC eCommerce brand and you have the prior knowledge that a user has an open order, when they click “My orders” on your menu, immediately offer them a status update on their open order. Chances are strong that that’s why they’re there in the first place.
By anticipating what a customer might want to do you can quickly help those who have simple requests and filter out customers that might have more complex requests that require a live human’s assistance.
5. Rich visual assets
The average user does not want to read boring chunks of text. In fact, one of the better ways to ensure your user will drop-off is by throwing big chunks of text at them. This is because text is not attention-grabbing and in a world of falling attention spans that doesn’t bode well.
The way to remedy large chunks of text and monotonous conversations is by introducing rich visual assets to your user journey. When constructing your work flows, consider whether you can break up long messages with an image or if you can employ a graphic to say everything (or almost everything) you needed to say.
Also, consider the navigation tools you use. Users want to do more than click button after button. Try to make the experience more entertaining by offering different ways for users to get around. Perhaps a button could work for your main menu but maybe a listpicker is better for the next step.
These additions might seem small but they can be the difference between a snoozefest that causes your user to fall asleep at the keyboard and an adventure that makes paying an electric bill entertaining.
Creating a chatbot that brings a smile to your customer’s face can be difficult if you don’t know what you’re doing. That’s why, here at Pypestream, our Customer Experience team is trained to create the chatbot that you and your customers want.
Want to learn more? Contact us today!