How To Design A Chatbot

How To Design A Chatbot

In a world that is beginning to be ruled by computer programming, going to AI-based software for your queries is no big deal. In fact, the concept has gained popularity and is now being used by almost every website and company.

If you think that this computer program is a Chatbot, then you are absolutely right.

In brevity, Chatbots are rudimentary computer programs that simulate human conversation, creating a virtual platform that can be used for interaction. This can be done over mobile phones or laptops. These are used for answering simple queries that require one word or single line responses.

Having a chatbot for your domain can make it look more advanced and fun. With this article, you can learn how to design an amazing chatbot for your company and customers.

Tips for creating a perfect chatbot

For creating a chatbot, there are a few things that you need to determine first hand. You need a good platform, a simple and clear script, a catchy name, and a fun image for your chatbot to work.

A chatbot can even be useful internally, for example if you’re managing a remote workforce of graphic designers.

Apart from giving it a good personality, you also need its functionality to be smooth and glitch-free. This is how you can make that happen.

What is the purpose of my chatbot

This is the primary question you need to ask yourself. The answer to this question will determine whether you actually need a chatbot. Once you have determined the reason, working around its development becomes easier.

You can program it in the direction of the purpose and make the functionality clear.

Should it be a rule-based or NLP based platform?

Next step to determining why you need a chatbot is how you will get your chatbot. The choice of “rule-based” or “NLP based” platform will help you understand how flexible and smart the operability of your bot will be.

Rule-based program

A bot based on Rule-based program functions on a defined decision tree. The entire conversation for the bot is set in a flowchart. These are then mapped out, enabling to anticipate the questions of a customer and what response should be delivered.

For instance, if the customer enters ‘buy,’ then the chatbot sends a message that contains a list of products that the customer is looking for.

These chatbots are cheaper and more effective as the users engage better with them. The reason for the same is transparency in the process.

NLP based program

(Source : Google Images)

The Natural Language Processing or NLP based bots hold the ability to understand a complex line of questions. They are inclined towards AI-based technology, so the bot can learn from the mistake and improve with every inquiry.

What are the limitations of my platform?

The reason why this question is important is that it helps in choosing the right bot for your platform.

(Source : Google Images)

There are a few rule-based platforms that enable only multiple-choice questions. In such a scenario, it becomes difficult to create answers for more complicated questions. Though the bot can help move the conversation in a particular direction, the same might not keep up for a long time.

Some platforms are code-based. You are required to put the questions and answers in the form of code. So if you have an affection and liking for coding, then these platforms can be a great option to go for.

If you are a newbie in chatbot designing, it is better to opt for thoroughly tested platforms that provide the users with elaborate documentation about the tools and tricks they can use. This will help you ease your way in the process of chatbot designing.

What should be the tone and personality of my chatbot

A chatbot is not just an icon on your domain’s screen, it is a representation of your brand. It is often the first thing that interacts with your customers when they enter your website. So, your chatbot’s design must align with your corporate identity.

(Source : Google Images)

Studies have shown, customers look for a chatbot that is able to facilitate a more human-like interaction. For instance, the google assistant can communicate with the user just like another human.

For such a personality to work, you would need your chatbot to have some background story. This can include the chatbot’s specialty, some character traits, a name that suits the persona, and so on.

What should be the texting style of my chatbot

Once you have defined the character of your chatbot, it is time to blow some life into it. You do that by engaging the chatbot in dialogue with the customer. This conversation needs to be polite, flowing, natural, and more human-like.

(Source : Google Images)

This includes using the customer’s name in between conversation, saying praises, greeting them, etc. are some of the ways by which the conversation appears a bit humanized.

If you feel a little more creative, you can make your chatbot a bit witty and smart with some empathy. Inserting memes and emojis in between the conversation would do the trick.

How to design the conversation with the chatbot

A chatbot is an engaging feature on your domain. It is necessary that your conversational design be more fluid and inflow. Your chatbot should be able to use prompts so that the customer can stay engaged.

The chatbot should be able to maintain a conversation even if the questions are challenging or off-topic. Design your chatbot to throw in some ques to assist the customer. Sometimes the customer is clueless about what to ask and how to ask. Just pop-up ques will help provide a direction to the conversation.

(Source : Google Images)

This one particular step is quite defining in the entire process. Make sure you spend an ample amount of time on the same. The way you design the conversation flow will work in making the user experience better and clearer.

Should I use visuals in the conversation?

A conversation that is heavy on texts might become boring after a point. Thus, integrating images in between the conversation will help enhance the user experience.

It is a known fact that visuals lay a stronger impact on the individual than words and sentences. A chat containing pictures and visuals will help keep your customer engaged in the conversation and continue further.

For instance, in case the customers ask for a coffee shop nearby, pull out maps to show the directions to the nearest coffee shop. If you are a taxi service domain, maybe send in a picture of the driver with the details.

(Source : Google Images)

Sprinkling the conversation with images every now and then keeps your customers hooked as well as entertained.

Visuals might not work in the case of a voice-based chatbot. In such a scenario, pump-up your chatbot with some witty one-liners or quips that can make the conversation more interesting.

Should I educate the user on bot use?

This step can, indeed, be very helpful. Conversating with a chatbot is not something everyone can do. For people new to the experience, providing some direction of cheats can help in driving the conversation.

Giving some tips and tricks so that the user can get the required information quickly can prove to be very helpful.

This can be initiated by simply throwing in the question “what can I do for you?”. The user might not be very clear about his/her needs. In case there is no engagement for a longer duration, throw in some reminders or cheats that can help them move the conversation.

How to balance the conversation with the chatbots

Just like with humans, you need to know the boundaries of a conversation with a stranger, the same applies to your chatbot. You don’t want the chatbot to be proactive in the conversation. The chatbot needs to be helpful and not pushy.

If a customer lingers around on the website for more than thirty seconds, your chatbot can pop up some suggestions. These suggestions can be about some sale on your website, or some new offers, etc.

There needs to be a balance in the conversation. It should give suggestions and recommendations based on your customer’s question. For instance, if the customer is asking for a laptop recommendation, and the chatbot starts suggesting expensive gaming and graphics card options, the customer might get frustrated.

Recommending the customer about something that is more relevant, like laptop covers, extended warranties, etc., the customer might find it more interesting.

Should there be a switch from bot to human mode?

Of course, there should be a switch from bot to human support. The chatbot cannot provide all the answers. There might come a situation where the chatbot falls short of answers. This is where the customer needs to switch to human support.

Sometimes the customer might not be interested at all to engage in a text conversation with the chatbot. In that case, an easy switch can be encouraging for the customer.

(Source : Google Images)

The design of the chatbot should be such that the transfer from bot to human support is very convenient. A quick analysis of the queries and responding with the appropriate answers and support can help make the user experience better.

Should I prototype the chatbot?

It is advisable to present your bot design to some investor or your employer, or some contractor. Make sure to do the same before bringing life to your bot.

A prototype provides clarity and direction in the process of designing the chatbot. You can troubleshoot the entire design and recognize the pressure points beforehand. This helps in minimizing any technical glitches at the user end. Smooth and friendly user interaction is what makes your bot design successful.

There are a lot of free as well as paid tools available online that can help you design a great prototype with ease. You can even run your prototype on these platforms to see if you are getting the desired result.

Is there a need for test runs and data analysis

Your perfect chatbot would not come to life over-night. It requires a lot of effort and works to bring the design to perfection. There can be a lot of technical glitches and malfunctions on the way. That is precisely why you need to do multiple test runs.

There are several online tools available that can help you in the test process. Since the process cannot involve real humans, you need automated testing tools for your design. You can choose chatbot testing tools like Botium, Qbox, Chatbottest, etc., for the same.

(Source : https://www.botium.ai/getting-started)

With every run, some amount of data is generated. Data is the key to everything today. Analyze this data carefully and with utmost sincerity. You might be able to unravel a lot of information that helps in making the design process simple and easy.

Is creativity essential

Indeed. A creative chatbot can be the highlight of your website. A cute looking chatbot with a delightful and friendly voice can mesmerize your customers and leave them hooked to your website.

Give your chatbot some swag. Highlight its characteristics, make it as humane as possible. For an engaging and prolonged user experience, your chatbot should speak for itself. The more appealing and exciting the chatbot appears, the more likely it is for your customers to engage with it.

Whether you’re designing the flow of a chatbot, or designing an iPhone app, certain elements will carry over across all types of design and creative projects.

To sum it up

After reading this detailed article, one thing might be crystal clear by now that your chatbot needs to be like a virtual human ready to answer queries. It should be engaging, conversational, entertaining, and even witty at times.

Spend quality time in designing your chatbot. Do test runs and analyze the data so that you can eliminate any problems that the user might face. Make an appealing and user-friendly experience for your customers.

Try and make the conversation flow as naturally as possible. Design a bot that can drive the conversation in the right direction when the customer is clueless.

At the end of the design process, you must have the answer to a simple question, “does the chatbot do what I want it to do?” If the answer is yes, you are ready to launch.

Also, have you considered using a subscription service for your design needs? Here’s what the press has to say about us!

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