Chatbot Development, Chatbots

5 Best Practices for Chatbot Experience

How can you optimize the chatbot experience? We spoke with Hillary Black, Conversation Designer, Brand Marketer & Conversation AI Content Creator, and Discover.Bot partner to share her best practices for chatbot experience.

By Hillary Black
August 15, 2022

How can you optimize the chatbot experience? We spoke with Hillary Black, Conversation Designer, Brand Marketer & Conversation AI Content Creator, and Discover.Bot partner to share her best practices for chatbot experience.

Hillary Black - 5 Best Practices for Chatbot Experience on Biteable.

Find the transcript of the recording below to follow along with the video!

Chatbots have become a staple sales and customer service channel for many businesses due to the major benefits that they provide. The below best practices should be kept in mind when you want to improve the conversational capabilities of your chatbot.

Best Practices for Chatbot Experience

Keep it sweet and simple:Starting with your introduction, you're going to want to use the most user-friendly language possible and keep it consistent with your brand's tone. Don't overload the user with conversation for conversation's sake, use overly wordy sentences, or complicated instructions. You want to keep it simple, so they know exactly what they're supposed to do.

Over-explain: Although we want our chatbot experience to replicate human conversation, we need to remember that a chatbot is a chatbot, and this is not a face-to-face interaction. The user is not going to draw assumptions about what the chatbot means and what it doesn't mean. They can't read between the lines. You should not assume anything about what the user is saying to you or the way that they're saying it, unless they explicitly tell you. If you are using a rule-based or on-script chatbot, the chatbot only knows what you program it to know, meaning that it's extra important to make sure that you are clear with the user and are explaining to them what the chatbot can do for them.

Lead by example: A super easy way to improve the quality of your conversation is to tell the user exactly what you want them to do. If your chatbot has buttons, consider saying something like, "Select from the options below," or, "Tap to continue." If you have more complicated requests like asking for a photo or a video or wanting them to use a certain feature within your app, be sure that you are showing them exactly how to do this by sending them a photo, video, or a GIF in order to instruct them exactly where they're supposed to go to accomplish this task.

Use confirmation: One very important thing when it comes to chatbots and users is trust. An important way to build this trust is to make sure that the user knows that you understand what they're saying. If you are using a rule-based or on-script chatbot, the chatbot only knows what you program it to know. So it's extra important to make sure that you are clear with the user about this and you are explaining to them why you can't do something and what this chatbot can do for them.

Make it structured: In other words, make hard things easier by keeping things structured. Use the same types of question and answer mechanisms. So if you are using an input like A, B, C, D, use that every single time, as opposed to changing it from 1, 2, 3, 4 to A, B, C, D. Decreasing a user's need to type is something that is going to move them very quickly through the conversation. With chatbots we really want to flex our conversational capabilities. We want to have a free-flowing, natural conversation. But the reality is the user just wants to get to the end of the experience as quickly as possible and accomplish their goal. They're not just there to chat.

Once your chatbot has been deployed and is starting to have conversations with users, you're going to want to make sure that you're analyzing the performance in order to identify any pain points, any places where the users are getting confused, or where your chatbot is getting confused so that you can continue to improve the conversation and minimize all of those errors and make sure that you're having the best conversational experience possible.