4 Big Don’ts for Better Chatbots

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Posted by luke on

Chatbots are getting more and more popular as businesses employ them to help their customers with service issues.  

With this in mind, it’s important to make sure that your bot is optimised for your audience. That’s why today we’re going to talk about the big don’ts when it comes to designing a bot.

1.     Don’t Make Them Pretend to be Human

Wait, aren’t chatbots supposed to mimic human interaction?

Yes, but the key word is mimic, not impersonate.

When people interact with chatbots, they want to have a human-like interaction, as long as the chatbot doesn’t try to pretend that it is actually a person. If this happens, it can leave the customer feeling that they were lied to, which breeds a feeling of distrust. Not cool. 

All a chatbot needs to do is not say it’s a person. Even something as simple as “Hi, I’m HelperBot, what do you need help with today?” is enough. 

2.     Don’t Leave Your Users Hanging

You know the feeling of calling customer service, waiting for ages, only to be left on hold? Yeah, I hate that. Most other people do too. The issue is, many bots do exactly the same thing.

Bots are not perfect, and they can only be programmed to handle certain tasks. With more complicated enquiries, a human customer service rep will need to be take over the request. 

This is why bots need to be able to point you in the direction of getting in contact with a real human when they can no longer help you. Real people is key. Providing a contact number is a great way to point your customers in the right direction.

3.     Don’t try to Make Your bot do too Many Things

When businesses first learn about chatbots, they get very excited about all the possibilities they can bring. The issue is that they can get a bit too excited, and end up trying to make the bot do too many things.

This is counterintuitive. You would imagine that the best bot is one that can do the most things. However, it’s rarely the case that a bot that can “do it all” is even possible to build. Well, for now at least.

This is due to the fact that the best bots are the ones that do one thing very well. They narrow things down to a single area and don’t give any false promises about what they can do for the customer. 

4.     Don’t let Your bot Dodge Questions

Not all bots have NLP capabilities (natural language processing), which means that there are going to be questions that it cannot answer.

What a lot of dodgy bots do when asked a question they cannot answer, is they try to direct the customer into another question. They never address the fact that they do not have the answer and try to distract them instead. This is frustrating to the user and will not fool them.

In these situations, the correct thing to do is to make the bot admit that it doesn’t understand and then offer solutions to help the customer. For example, directing them to a contact number or email of a human who can help them with this matter. 

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