Machines don’t know what excites human and what don’t, until trained.
A chatbot can be defined as a machine that can answer the queries of the users and assist them in making the right purchase. It can captivate users’ attention and shoot up the user engagement time on your website, that too while fulfilling business goals. But, the true potential of AI chatbots lies in its training. And, when trained thoroughly on the user utterances, they can serve as a tool to boost marketing and sales operations.
There are, if not millions than at least thousands of use cases of chatbots in the business domain. They can be used to automate repeated queries, collect user details, schedule meetings, provide help as a shopping assistant, and what not!. All this, simply through an interactive conversational interface.
Conversational Interface, what does it mean?
Conversations, when added as the element of User Interface can simplify the ways people are using smart devices. With the inception of conversational AI, traditional graphical user Interface may become irrelevant in the future, while performing tedious tasks.
A conversational interface enables users to interact with products and services. It can also assist users in making a purchase with a single text or voice command. Natural Language Processing is powering conversational interfaces like chatbots to understand the context and meaning of user commands via text and voice. With this, machines have advanced to accompany the conversation on an emotional degree.
The Link between Conversational Interface and Chatbots
A chatbot interacts with the users via a conversational user interface; thereby, it gets essential to compose bot dialogues that meet users’ expectations. However, only answering the queries of the is not enough; buyers demand more. So, the bot conversation should be productive, fascinating, resultful, and thoroughly mapped to bring buyers close to the sales funnel as the discussion proceeds forward.
Tip: A conversational chatbot should not be too chatty. Instead, it should only talk when it’s necessary. So buyers can remain on the same projectile.
👉 It’s an art to write winning chatbot scripts. There are a few checkpoints that bot conversations should meet:
- It should be designed to make it effortless for buyers to make a purchase.
- It should be up to the bar of customer experience.
- It should be focused on business goals.
The Basics: How to Walk the Talk with Conversational Interface?
The sole motto of the conversational interface is to bring buyers closer to the business goal. However, it’s not easy to build uncomplicated and compelling conversational flow, because there are thousands of ways a chatbot can begin and end the conversation. Hence, it’s essential to stick to the concept of ‘Deliver value to the users’ while ‘Solving their queries’. In fact, the users should be able to decode ‘The purpose of chatbot’, as it greets them and says ‘Hi, how can I help you!’.
- Make it explicit- The bot purpose should be defined as soon as it greets the website visitors.
- Make it succinct: The bot conversations should be meaningful, easy to understand, short, and to the point.
- Personalize: Interact with users in a one-on-one manner.
- Give it a character: Chatbot is the mouthpiece for your business. Hence it should have a personality and style that resonates with your audience.
- Act and react: Bot should take prompt action on user queries and should also compassionately behave on user response.
- Add little humor: Add humor to the bot conversations, but don’t get overboard.
- Admit failures and ask for feedback: As a machine, it is highly possible that at some point, a chatbot can make a mistake. Therefore, you should admit the slips while asking users for feedback. You can also crack a simple job to make fun of the bot as a backup for the failures.
The Groundwork: Build Exciting and Conducive Conversational Journey for Users
With the above-mentioned basics in mind, you should focus on meeting user expectations, as only creating creative conversations might not be helpful for the end-users. So, before you move forward. You should first understand the requirements of the users landing on your website. Like, what do they want? Define the targets and then move forward to build the conversational flow while meeting them.
Create a framework & connect the dots:
Strategize the beginning and end of the bot conversations for each product and service use cases. The dialogue flow for every component should be connected and composed smartly to take users into the loop of a specific conversational thread. With a clear understanding of how users will interact with the chatbot and how it will carry forward the conversation. You can build a compelling and productive dialogue flow.
However, as there are hundreds of ways to reach a question, you should make a wide entry point for users, then strategize the conversation and keep it narrowing down on a particular instance.
Bot: Hey, how may I help you today? (Wide entry point for users) User: What is the return/refund policy of ‘X’ product? (Bot will understand the user command and divert the conversational flow to the particular product ‘X’)
Offer out of the box conversational experience:
The bot conversations should be composed to proffer users with a seamless conversational experience. For doing so, you require a backstory and a character to connect with the users. A personality-driven chatbot can make it fast forward for users to understand the context of the conversation.
You should find out a character that matches the persona of your organization. Also, research what specific words this character can use as per the domain of the business. Such as, if you are creating a legal chatbot, then it should talk formally with the users (formal character).
Watch the tone:
It may sound a little weird, but people will judge the chatbot by the way it talks to them. So, the tone of the conversation should never get rude towards the buyers. Otherwise, the bot might scare them away.
A chatbot’s tone should be consistent while greeting users, helping them with queries and products. You can send messages on an emotional note by making use of emojis. But, you should not get carried away with it.
Insert relevant media:
With the help of well designed conversational flow, you can gain traction. But when you mix the text with relevant images, gifs, and videos, it can make users journey entertaining and worth returning.
It’s true, a picture is worth more than a thousand words. But, while inserting a media in the conversational flow, make sure that it should not divert users’ attention from a product. Instead, it should prompt them to make a purchase.
The Game Plan: What makes Chatbot Conversations Perfect?
With basics and groundwork done, a bot will be able to connect with the users and keep them in the conversational loop. But, to make sure that it’s serving the business purpose to the end-users, it’s necessary to stay focused on the same.
The chatbot’s dialogue flow should be natural in the user’s perception.
The conversation should be like they are talking with a friend, which is assisting them with the purchase, bill payments, food orders, etc. However, the bot should not get carried away while suggesting additional services to the users. Here are 5 things that can help you perfect the interaction with the buyers.
Begin the Conversation with Problem and End with Solution
When deployed as a tool to assist website visitors, a chatbot should stick to its core functioning. It should start the interaction with the users while offering them help with the products, new launches, offers, and services. And, when a user selects a query, then the conversational flow should meet the expectations of the users and end with a solution.
Don’t make the bot look like SUPERHUMAN
A chatbot can take user input as a free text and process it with the help of Natural Language Processing to understand it. This power advances chatbots to listen and respond like a smart virtual agent. Hence, you should define the scope of the bot, and to what extent it can serve users. Make it clear in the minds of the buyers, so their expectations remain earthed with the bot.
Like, when asking users about their query, a chatbot should suggest to them a list of things with which it can help. With defined boundaries, you can make sure that conversations remain in the domain of bot’s functioning while delivering value to the users.
Ask user details when required
Conversations are the medium by which you can involve people in following a business goal. It can be user data collection, product registration, event signup, etc. Before you push the users to one of these phases, make sure that users are ready to submit the asked details. Because many people may close the chat window right away after seeing the bot is asking for their email address. Here you can either choose to end the conversation with the users or can also keep up with the product promotion while skipping the user details.
Make sure to validate user response
After asking users about their name, contact info, product choice, etc. wouldn’t it be weird not to validate the response? Because when you don’t, then users will feel like their input doesn’t matter. Contrary to this, when you confirm the user input, it gives users a sense of recognization.
From a business viewpoint, validation helps you link user response to the existing data. It can also help in personalizing the conversational flow as per user responses.
The art of exiting
A user should be able to start and end the conversation voluntarily. While communicating, a user should be provided with some sort of value in the conversation. And, when a user gets done with a particular goal, then bot should offer to ‘End the conversation’ or ‘Continue exploring other products’. The bot goodbyes should be memorable. It should excite users to feel worthy to chat again with it. You can make use of funny or relevant gifs to make it fun for users. By perfecting the end of the conversation, you can provide users with complete user experience.
How to know if Chatbot's Conversational Flow is best?
There are thousands of ways to build an engaging conversational flow for the same use case. But, there’s only one way to know which one is more suitable for your business. And, that’s ‘Drop-offs’, you can make use of Goal Tracker or A/B Split Test to catch such points.
You should insert Goal Tracker at critical conversational turns, such as when asking for user details, product choice, or while displaying offers, products, relevant items, etc.
Decode Goal Tracker data
- When users are leaving the conversation in the mid, then it’s highly likely that chatbot is not able to assist correctly at that given point.
- When a user left the conversation as bot asks for email, product, etc, then it implies that the user is not interested in the product.
Decode A/B Test data
Build two or more different conversational flow aimed towards following the same goals. You can choose to run all the flows at the same time for a varied user base. The conversational flow which gets most of the user responses and witnesses fewer drop-offs than others is more user-friendly. Including this, you should test these elements in the conversational flow:
- Bot sentences and emotions.
- Length of answers.
- Images, gifs, and videos.
- Bot typing delay time.
The conversational user interface is the future of e-commerce. Many leading e-commerce enterprises like Amazon and Walmart have already begun the sales of products and services via conversational interfaces.
To build an effective conversational user interface, it’s important to understand what makes the conversational experience perfect. It may require a little effort to humanize the bot conversations, but it can help in making the bot a classic business mouthpiece. By grasping the idea of conversational UI from this guide, you can write engaging and winning bot dialogues.