Here Are 6 Do’s and Don’ts for Creating Effective Chatbots

Focus on functionality and providing a human touch

Understanding what works where bots are concerned is still a work in progress.
Sources: Getty Images. Carlos Monteiro

Smart devices have transformed the way we live our life, and therefore digital transformation is more than an upgrade from one technology to the other. It has made possible to effectively visualize and analyze data that would otherwise be untapped in the clutter of information. This has allowed businesses to achieve more besides changing the basic dynamics of an enterprise organization.

More generally, marketing has evolved with changing technology. One of the byproducts of this digital technology is the chatbot. Facebook Messenger alone now has more than 100,000 bots. Since it is imperative for a chief marketing officer to stay abreast of this emerging development, here are six do’s and don’ts for creating effective chatbots.

1. Do offer payments
Adding payments to the chat experience is a digital innovation that gives businesses an edge over their competition. Successful chatbots can also process payments without taking users away from the application. China’s WeChat platform has a form of payment integrated in the chatbot. If a customer needs to make a payment, the chatbot can handle the transaction in just a few clicks.

2. Don’t lack precision
Before a business begins developing a chatbot, it becomes imperative that the organization is sure about the functionalities of the bot. The better the precision in defining the applications of a bot, the better the output will be. If insufficient time is spent planning which sectors the bot will handle, designers will waste time and resources revising and reworking the bot.

3. Do leverage insights
Analyzing customer behavior and pitching solutions and services according to their needs is the key to any business. Chatbots can map purchase patterns. They analyze habits better than humans by using big data and predictive analysis to gain insights and engage customers better.

4. Don’t add too many functions
While the entire purpose of a chatbot revolves around integrating multiple utilities into a single platform to provide the ease of access, giving a bot too many functions can render a bot expensive and increases the chances of bugs disrupting the performance of the chatbot. Hence, it is advisable not to go overboard with the functionalities of the bot.

5. Do give them a human touch
Chinese search engine giant Baidu has a medical chatbot ‘Melody’ to help Chinese doctors diagnose patients. By providing a human-like interaction, chatbots are slowly replacing humans. Whenever a customer visits your company’s website, chatbots can address your customers’ needs with their names. By using information about a customer, they create personal messaging that guides the customer along the buying journey.

6. Don’t spam users
Bots are developed to achieve the same level of personalization in any conversation that any human would have. But, when a bot sends too many messages or goes overboard with marketing, it elevates the chances of the chatbot getting blocked or banned. Hence, a bot should not spam too much and only respond to any user with the required amount of knowledge.

Lastly, while it is clear that even though the use of chatbot has a very promising future, jumping onto the bandwagon without much clarity in thoughts and precision when executing the creation and development of a bot will not help any marketer much.

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