Chatbots are here to stay. And while we can all see the benefits of using chatbots in our various enterprises, there are some concerns about design issues. Ultimately your main concern should be your customer and how they feel about using your chatbot. So keep your customer experience elevated by avoiding these common pitfalls in design.

3 Common Chatbot Design Issues

Chatbot design requires a skilled team of experts

You may have had one or more of these issues with your current chatbot or one that you’ve used as a consumer. But, if you are just starting out, here are some problems to avoid early on in the design process. 

  1. Broken Script: You may have had the experience of being stuck in the endless loop of dead-ends in an interaction with a chatbot. Even the best chatbots cannot predict the thousands of potential word combinations that customers may put together. But some bots are better than others when it comes to getting conversations right.
  2. Transparency: Many people are leery of interacting with a chatbot for fear of exposing personal information. Some people aren’t comfortable putting things in writing, because they don’t know where that data will end up. How can they be sure that the chatbot is part of the company’s website and not some third-party?
  3. Impersonal Interactions: Now more than ever customers are looking for empathy and connection. Chatbots are designed to increase productivity, but the interaction it has with your customers can sometimes feel robotic (even though it is a bot, we want it to feel like a person).
chatbot design

7 Best Practices For Chatbot Design

To avoid as many pitfalls as possible, here are some helpful tips to keep in mind while you are creating your chatbot (or boosting your current chatbot to the next level):

  1. DO use a suitable chatbot platform. Determine the types of features you want your chatbot to have. Take the time to study the market and the options available for your business. Complexity and quality vary greatly; be aware.
  2. DO leverage deep learning on artificial intelligence. Your goal should be to develop a chatbot that is dynamic, flexible and constantly improving
  3. DO aim for human-like conversation. A strong chatbot should be able to understand small talk and the common slang used in our language. If you already have a chatbot developed, take a look back through your chat logs to see if there are any common phrases that your chatbot is not understanding or responding to improperly. Then re-train your bot to better understand your customers.
  4. DO build trust. Whether you are transparent about using a chatbot or not, you want your customers to feel safe in the conversations they are having. This could involve including a message from your bot that outlines the security measures in place to protect their information.
  5. DON’T make your chatbot too “chatty.” While you want to mimic human conversation, ensure that your chatbot is direct and to the point. The benefit of a chatbot is that it solves the problems your customers are having. But customers don’t want to spend time answering unnecessary questions about how their day is going.
  6. DON’T overwhelm your customers with too much information. While you may be proud of the chatbot you have developed, keep in mind that it doesn’t need every bell and whistle to be effective. Also, remember that most users will be using a smartphone to access your chatbot so they will have minimal screen space.
  7. DON’T set expectations that are too high. You are not going to solve every problem that your customers will ever have. So don’t be discouraged if there are things your chatbot can’t do. Be realistic when you set your use case and accept that even if half of the problems are dealt with, you have done a great job.
group of multiethnic colleagues reading contract details standing on street
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You Need This Advice if You Are Designing a Chatbot

You may feel overwhelmed at the thought of all the things you have to keep in mind while designing a chatbot. In order to avoid the potential pitfalls, consider reaching out to a highly trained Chatbot Consultant. These consultants have tried and true processes in place to ensure quality the first time. 

Chatbot consultants can save you time and money.

If you want to connect with a Chatbot Consultant to avoid problems with your chatbot, reach out. One of our highly trained Chatbot Consultants can answer all of your questions in a discovery call.

Chatbot development is becoming more popular as the demand for smart automation increases. The chatbot market is projected to grow from $2.6 billion in 2019 to $9.4 billion by 2024. There are a variety of benefits that chatbots offer, depending on your company’s specific use case. Chatbots can deliver many different results; they:

The 5 Best Chatbot Companies

  • Are accessible 24/7
  • Allow for work automation
  • Are cost-effective
  • Allow for faster onboarding
  • Are a virtual personal assistant
  • Allow for increased customer satisfaction
  • Are an alternate sales channel
person using a laptop on a table
Photo by Ron Lach on Pexels.com

There are hundreds of chatbot companies, so it can be hard to find the best one for the needs of your business. We’ve highlighted 5 of the best chatbot companies to save you time.

1. BotsCrew

About: BotsCrew is a global leader in chatbot development with offices in London, UK, and Lviv, Ukraine. Founded in 2016, it designs and develops custom AI chatbots to help small and medium enterprises. BotsCrew prides itself on how effectively it brings unparalleled customer experience to the market. The chatbots ensure workplace routine automation, 24/7 customer support, and high user engagement.  

Specialty: BotsCrew specializes in developing custom conversational AI chatbots for startups and Fortune 500 companies.

Recognitions: 

  • Top chatbot development company by Clutch in 2017 & 2018.
  • Top 30 Artificial Intelligence Companies in 2019 by Techreviewer.
  • Top 50 Chatbot Development Companies in 2019 by Manifest
  • Listed amongst 15 of the Best Whatsapp Chatbot Tools to Use in 2020 by InfluencerMarketingHub

2. Chatbots.Studio

About: Chatbots.Studio is a leading conversational design and UiPath company. It helps to automate businesses and build new communication channels in messenger apps (e.g. Viber, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, etc.).
Specialty: Chatbots.Studio specializes in Robotic Process Automation, which delivers high-performance business tasks and processes. Custom AI chatbots help businesses to move their customer experience to the next level.

Recognitions: 

  • #1 Chatbot development company according to Recovendor
  • #2 Chatbot development company according to Clutch 
  • #1 AI developer in Lviv
  • Visa partner
  • Viber partner
  • PrivatBank partner

3. Masters of Code

About: Founded in 2004, Masters of Code combines technology, people and partners to help organizations transform their customer experience to create a competitive edge. They make customer interaction easy and deliver a great customer experience, which translates into their clients achieving their business goals. 
Speciality: Masters of Code specializes in AI-powered chatbots, as well as conversational solutions. 

4. MobiDev

About: Founded in 2009, MobiDev helps businesses create new software products so they can focus on their business and clients.
Specialty: Web development, mobile development (iOS/Android and cross-platform)
and machine learning/AI applications.
Recognitions:

  • MobiDev was awarded #1 place in the spheres of Web, Mobile & Software Development for 4 years in a row.

5. PixelPlex

About: Founded 2007, PixelPlex is a company that transforms cherished ideas into products that perform well, inspire, and win international recognition.
Specialty: IT consulting, customer engagement via UI/UX, and enterprise application development, including customized AI chatbots on multiple platforms.
Recognitions:

  • 350 successful projects
  • $500m raised via solutions they’ve built
  • 2 unicorns captured (Projects valued over $1 billion)
  • 150M end users engaged
  • 100+ qualified specialists
  • 120 countries using our products
best chatbot companies

Chatbots Can Transform Your Business

There are a variety of chatbot developers that can help your company improve customer service and streamline processes. But to fully capitalize on your investment, you need to ensure that the specialty of the developer matches your business’s use case. The fastest way to source the correct development team is by partnering with an experienced chatbot consultant. 

Are you interested in learning how to outsource your chatbot development and project management to save yourself time and money? Get in touch with a Chatbot Consultant today to have your questions answered!

Chatbots are finally growing in popularity in North America. They’ve been popular in Europe for a long time, but they’re just starting to gain traction on this side of the pond. 

Chatbots have transformed customer service in many ways. They’ve helped customers get the answers they need at the exact moment they need it because they operate 24/7. They’ve also helped better organize and streamline customer feedback. On top of that, they’ve improved the quality of leads delivered to sales teams. 

But, like any other technology, they’ve experienced a few growing pains which may have caused some distrust in the technology. Unfortunately, studies show that many people who interact with poorly designed chatbots become frustrated and turned off from the brand. On the flip side though, some brands have done chatbots amazingly well, and the bots are helping to build customer trust and loyalty, while delivering warm leads.

How can you embrace all the benefits of a chatbot (save customer service time, sort inquiries to the right customer service agent for better service, build warm leads for better sales, etc.) while still building that critical trust factor with potential clients? 

how to design a chatbot
Photo by Tim Samuel on Pexels.com

21 Tips on How To Design a Chatbot To Build Trust

  1. Provide site visitors with relevant information in a friendly manner without sales pressure.
  2. Add humour and personality to your chatbot to make your brand more relatable and help users connect emotionally.
  3. A chatbot written in your brand voice will reinforce brand recognition. Be sure to share your style guide with developers.
  4. Design chatbots to quickly connect your customers to the right person on your team based on their input, so your customers don’t have to go through five levels of a call center.
  5. A chatbot means your customers can get help precisely when they need it. So have your chatbot always online, not just during regular business hours.
  6. Identify repetitive tasks that the chatbot could easily automate. That way customer service agents have more time to do their job well and take care of customers. 
  7. Implementing a chatbot with conversational AI allows for seamless question and answer interchanges. These chatbots respond fast, while your customer is still thinking about your product, not hours later when they’ve forgotten about it.
  8. Ensure your chatbot can respond to all questions along the customer journey. Chatbots are less intimidating for customers who just want a little info but aren’t ready to talk to a salesperson yet.
  9. Make sure your chatbot is trained on human intent. Chatbots with powerful conversational AI platforms can offer a personalized human touch with responses that take into account the tone of a person’s message, without needing to assign a specific agent to every inquiry.
  10. Ensure your solution is scalable. Chatbots can handle an unlimited number of customers at once. Your customers won’t have to wait on hold for hours on end.
  11. Build customer service tracking into the bot’s backend to save your team time. Chatbots will help you track, investigate, and respond to customer complaints quickly so you can resolve situations and improve your products. 
  12. Your chatbot needs to focus on the needs of your customers, so provide them with valuable information as the main goal.
  13. Use a headshot and the name of the person who actually handles your chatbot messages after initial contact, instead of something generic to make it more personal and relatable.
  14. Get your whole customer service team involved to detail all common questions to send to the development team. Your chatbot should be able to answer questions about your products knowledgeably. 
  15. You need to review your customers’ conversations with the chatbots and revise, adjust, and improve what your chatbot says based on these conversations. The AI will improve the conversations, but human intervention is also required.
  16. Don’t make your chatbot send a wall of text. It’s overwhelming. Short paragraphs, easy questions, and concise statements help your customers get what they need.
  17. Your chatbot’s intro message should clarify to the customer what the chatbot can help them do so that realistic expectations are set upfront. 
  18. If your chatbot makes promises (a customer service rep will call you in 2 hours), make sure you follow through so customers know they can trust you. And if there is a delay for some reason, build in an update message that lets clients know.
  19. When writing dialogue for your chatbot, focus on what your customers might ask your chatbot. This is not the place to try to cleverly insert how fantastic your product is. Make this about the customer.
  20. Use words and phrases that are similar to what your customers use. Drop the jargon. Make it familiar.
  21. Embrace anthropomorphism. Make your chatbot as human as possible, so it’s easy to relate to.

RELATED: How To Build A Chatbot: The Development Process

Customized Chatbot Solutions Are the Key to Building Trust

Just tossing a generic chatbot up on your website won’t have the results you’re after. If you want to reap all the benefits of chatbots, you need to lay the development groundwork to make sure your chatbot: 

  • reflects your brand voice
  • feels personal
  • focuses on your customers’ needs
  • gives customers value
  • builds trust

If you’re unsure about how to put any of these trust-building tips into practice, book a discovery call with one of our experts. We love to talk tech, chatbots and your business needs.

Amazon’s Alexa is a popular piece of technology in the homes of many North Americans. Today, 16% of all Americans own a smart speaker, with 11% preferring the Amazon Alexa, but do you know how to incorporate Alexa skill development into your business?

While there is a current spotlight on all the cool things that an Alexa can do in your home (set a timer, pick a song, settle an argument with your spouse), there are also exciting things Alexa can do for your start-up.

How to Use Alexa for Business

Alexa is also helping businesses, particularly startups, to enhance their daily operations, collect early feedback, and deliver next-level customer service. Before we look at how an Amazon Alexa Skill could help your potential customers, let’s look at two main ways you can use this tool in your day-to-day operations.

  1. As a Shared Device

In the office as a shared device, Alexa can be used to save time by doing the following:

  • Begin conferences through audio commands by making use of a meeting room assistant
  • Ask for directions to your next pitch
  • Report a tech problem for one of your new tools or platforms
  • Order new equipment
  • Control your work environment without getting up from your desk (turn on lights, etc.)
  • Report issues to your own internal IT department
  1. As a Virtual Personal Assistant

In the office as a personal assistant, Alexa can be used to do the following:

  • Search for information or files
  • Manage to-do lists and set reminders 
  • Link corporate calendars to Alexa for Business, integrating with Office 365, Microsoft Exchange, and Google G-Suite calendars.

How to Use Alexa Skill Development to Drive Your Start-up Forward

Alexa Skills are like smartphone apps. They are created by developers from third-party companies. Some skills work entirely on their own, while others use Alexa to interact with something else, such as an online service like Spotify, or a smart home product like a Roomba vacuum. 

Perfect for startups, Amazon has made it easy to create your own Alexa skill. The system, which is called Alexa Blueprints, gives users the chance to build an Alexa skill without understanding the behind-the-scenes coding. By the end of 2018, there were over 70,000 skills available from the Alexa Skills Store and other third-party developers.

Of more importance to start-ups, smart assistants are making inroads through voice search. In fact, by the end of 2020, it is expected that voice searches will make up 50% of all digital searches

In 2018, 46% of consumers used smart voice assistants daily. Voice search is easy-to-use and effective. Alexa is a leader in smart assistants both in homes and businesses, so planning on how your start-up will use one as part of its strategy is key. This strategy can be to assist in the technology you are developing or to be first-to-market in voice search results when it comes to advertising for your product or service.

Alexa Skill development can introduce any of these skills to your startup: 

  • Email management
  • Website monitoring
  • Managing schedules
  • Making calls easily
  • Finding services
  • Managing invoices
  • Providing reminders
  • Tracking packages
  • Keeping track of business travel
  • Editing documents
  • Staying in touch with your team
  • Tracking your time
  • Managing HR
  • Tracking your fleet
  • Calculating business taxes
  • Sending SMS texts

Let’s say your start-up is an e-commerce brand. Consider what questions your customers might like to ask Alexa about their order. Things like:

  • Hey Alexa, when will my TechCompany order arrive?
  • Hey Alexa, do these TechCompany blueberry shoes come in another colour?
  • Hey Alexa, order me more TechCompany refills.

The last possible question also presents some interesting opportunities for marketing innovation in your startup. Building brand is going to be very important, because on top of the Alexa Skill development you invest in for current customers, you need to think about how you will acquire new customers through voice search. 

READ MORE: Internal Chatbots Can Help Employees

You will want customers to ask for your specific solution, because otherwise Alexa will provide the top-paying brand with the sale. Consider what happens when you ask Alexa to buy you more toothpaste. You didn’t specify the brand, so Alexa will send you toothpaste from the highest bidder. But, if instead you were clever in your marketing efforts on other channels and promoted your brand and its Alexa skill, you could have people asking:

  • Hey Alexa, order me more ABC toothpaste
  • Hey Alexa, what’s the best brand of toothpaste for sensitive teeth?
  • Hey Alexa, what’s the best tasting vegan toothpaste?

Really consider your audience and create a Skill with answers on your specific brand that can provide value to your potential customers, and then work on having your brand work for you, in order for people to ask for your product or service by name. 

Alexa Skill Development

Alexa Skills development not only frees you up to get to work on the really important tasks in your business, but by developing Skills for your customers and marketing efforts, you’ll be setting yourself leaps and bounds ahead of your competition. 

The Future of Alexa Skill Development Looks Bright

If the list of all the different Alexa Skills your start-up can use hasn’t convinced you yet, take a look at some of the things in development for this technology:

  1. Move meetings for you: In the future, Alexa may be able to move meetings on a user’s behalf if there is a potential conflict. Alexa will be able to determine which task or meeting is the most important. 
  2. Actually enjoy your commute: Soon you will have features added to your new vehicle to use Alexa while you are driving. If you are stuck in traffic, Alexa can let your colleagues know you are late and also reschedule any meetings automatically. 

Just think how many other things will become automated on Alexa in the near future. Start to project a few years into the future and think about the value-added Skills you can create for your internal and external facing efforts. 

Have you thought about integrating Alexa Skill development into your start-up? Consider the benefits you can offer your customers who are already familiar with Alexa and add it to your suite of value-added features.

A WhatsApp chatbot is a software program which runs on an encrypted WhatsApp platform. Users can communicate with a chatbot through the interface as if they were talking to a real person. 

Why is the WhatsApp platform so lucrative? Well, with 1.5 billion users in 180 countries, it’s the largest messaging app in the entire world. There’s actually 200 million more people using WhatsApp than Facebook Messenger. Facebook Messenger may have the market covered in the United States, but WhatsApp leads the charge in countries like India, Spain, Brazil and Italy. 

In 2014, Facebook bought WhatsApp for a mind-blowing $19 billion. Although the rest of the tech world found it shocking, clearly Facebook had the foresight to understand where WhatsApp was headed and just how valuable it was.

Let’s be honest, most of the interactions we are having daily are through some sort of social network. And, as with most other social networking, what starts out as fun for individuals, typically transitions into the business world. With 1.5 billion users sending an average of 55 billion messages a day, there is a huge potential audience for small businesses to tap into.

What is WhatsApp Business and How Can You Get On Board?

Before we dive into the chatbot angle, WhatsApp Business is the first step that you can take to connect with your clients through the instant messaging app they are already comfortable with. Businesses can use WhatsApp to provide customers with updates about timing, confirmations, and other information they need to know. 

WhatsApp Business lets you set up a profile with an image, description, location, URL, and contact details. It also enables companies to answer questions and keep in touch in real-time. You can have shortcut answers to respond to frequently asked questions and you can even automate an out-of-office-type reply to signal you aren’t around to chat just now.

WhatsApp Chatbots

The Benefits of Using WhatsApp for Your Business

There are a variety of benefits to using WhatsApp chatbots for your business, which include:

  • Assisting customers on their preferred platform
  • Answering customers questions instantly
  • Enhancing the customer experience on an advanced app
  • Leading customers down the sales funnel by enabling them to take fast action
  • Build loyalty and trust with customers through conversations
  • Personalize the customer experience by infusing the script WhatsApp uses with your brand voice and values
  • Data security with end-to-end encryption in WhatsApp

How to Use WhatsApp Chatbots for E-commerce

E-commerce continues to be on the rise: Amazon just reached a $1 trillion evaluation, and global e-commerce sales are expected to hit $4.5 trillion by 2021. Although in North America, e-commerce is a big market, it pales in comparison to Asia. In fact, Asia’s e-commerce market is worth $831.7 billion, compared to North America’s $552.6 billion. 

Why such a difference between the two? In order to be as successful as Asia, North American businesses can improve by adjusting their websites so they properly optimize for several customer-oriented metrics, including CAC, CLV, AOV, Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) revenue by traffic source and shopping cart abandonment rates.

Now, that might sound like a lot of tech mumbo jumbo, but it all boils down to employing the following solutions to ensure that customers aren’t choosing your competitor over you:

  • Automate support and customer service queries to decrease ticket volumes
  • Generate, qualify and convert leads automatically
  • Ensure you are visible on a variety of channels (messenger apps, website, social media, etc.)
  • Boost agent efficiency and productivity (through training and virtual assistants)

READ MORE: How Your COVID-19 Response Can Be Supported By Chatbots

The above requirements are difficult to implement if you are relying on employees to keep up with them; however, using WhatsApp chatbot technology can ensure improvement. There are many development firms and platforms that make use of WhatsApp’s powerful platform, and a trust chatbot consultant can help you to navigate this growing vendor landscape. But, to give you a look at some of the options, here are a few developers elevating the customer experience. 

WhatsApp Chatbots

Check Out These WhatsApp Chatbot Tools For Your Business

If you are looking for chatbot technology that takes your customers’ experience to the next level, there are many available bot platforms that take advantage of the massive WhatsApp market.

  1. BotsCrew: A stellar team of developers and project managers at BotsCrew have experience across platforms, including WhatsApp. With an agnostic approach to the platform, they can provide customized conversational AI bots for any industry worldwide. 
  2. Agentbot: With the help of AI, Agentbot offers brands the chance to build conversation flows. Its clean and easy-to-use interface allows you to build an effective flow of conversation. 
  3. MessengerPeople: With the help of MessengerPeople, you’re able to easily build conversation flows to make customer communication more professional and natural. It also allows you to gather user characteristics. BMW has started to use MessengerPeople to automate customer service in their workshops.
  4. Botsociety: Botsociety gives you the opportunity to try out your WhatsApp chatbot prototype before you commit to it. The ability to test your bot with real users speeds up enhancements, helping you design more effective conversation flows. 
  5. Raphiwa: To use a chatbot designed for mass communication, Raphiwha pairs you with your WhatsApp business account, and sends and receives chats.  
  6. Yalo: Yalo uses an AI-powered CRM to develop customer relationships and help businesses engage. Results of their enhanced experiences are very successful, with over 700,000 users weekly. 

How WhatsApp Chatbots Can Improve Customer Experience

There are many WhatsApp chatbots vendors, and like smartphone apps, there are some that are better suited to your business’s needs than others. Look for chatbot developers and platforms that offer detailed business intelligence features. You want to be able to tap into the data collected, understand your customers, and use the insights to drive your business forward.

Determine exactly what your business needs before approaching a chatbot vendor. Ask yourself and your team the following questions to start: 

  • Are you looking for a simple question-and-answer based chatbot?
  • Do you want to build complex conversation flows?
  • What business goals do you want the chatbot to accomplish?
  • What platforms do you wish the chatbot to be on (i.e. Facebook Messenger, website, text, or WhatsApp)?

Do you want to incorporate a WhatsApp Chatbot into your digital business plan? Get in touch with one of our consultants today, who can help you navigate the sea of vendor options.