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Digital Engagement Blog

10 Chatbot Best Practices

How do you make customer service effortless, fast and efficient?  It's not by talking to a live person!

CEB research shows that a customer's first stop when they need service is increasingly the company's web self-service platforms, and that these customers actually rarely find additional value in talking with a live person.As a company whose mission is to provide the best possible self-service, we understand the good, the bad and where the industry is going. And we’ve also seen that most customers will self-serve over talk to an agent.  Even Dave Pell avoids agents.

Dave Pell doesn't want to talk to an agent

But the customer service world is changing and now the hype is that Chatbots will be the self-service Holy Grail.  Too good to be true?

10 Chatbot Best Practices

Here are 10 Chatbot best practices to help you start smart in your own learning:

  1. Don’t buy into the hype.  Most implementations of Chatbot today don’t really solve a problem and don't take less effort.  Per my conversation with a Gartner analyst, the hype is due to marketing buzz not new technology. 

  2. Start now. We are still 2-5 years away from mainstream adoption (per Gartner).  But this is a time to start experimenting and learning.  Simple Chatbots can work well (we’ve proven this with our work).

  3. Focus on a job to be done. What will the Chatbot do…exactly.  Focus on small, well-defined tasks that yield results.

  4. Understand the business case.  How will the Chatbot deliver meaningful business value and ROI. Don’t forget to factor in the complexity, management and maintenance of your solution.

  5. Plan for significant enhancements.  Chatbots will change over time. Technology is moving very fast.  They will need constant updates and tuning.

  6. Start simple and then grow into smart technologies. Start in square 1 of the diagram in this Chatbot Conversation Framework blog.

  7. Make sure you’re addressing the broader solution. Gartner says Chatbot issues include: interfaces, vetting, management, governance, personal bots, and more. 

  8. Provide insurance.  Always provide easy access to a human to assist the customer when the Chatbot fails or cannot answer the question.

  9. Big picture.  Smart machines are part of a broader value chain of customer engagement and customer service.  Don't stick Chatbots into another silo!

  10. Hire a data scientist or 2 or 3 or more. We did.  You’ll get a new perspective on data and algorithms that can move you well ahead of the competition.

chatbot best practices

The Chatbot is the cool new kid on the block.  (Remember when mobile was the cool kid!)  Use our list of best practices to a start meaningful dialog about where customer service is going and the role Chatbots might have in the future state.  Better yet, get going with a simple pilot to get hands on experience with this new technology.

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Topics: Customer Engagement Customer Care Mobile Engagement