Design process behind a great chatbot

Jemmi Laaninen February 21, 2020

If you have ever thought about how to create a chatbot that interacts naturally with your website visitors, you are in the right place! It does not require coding skills or PhD in AI. The only thing you need is the Leadoo platform and a strong will to create unforgettable interactions for your site visitors.

(Oh, and something to keep in mind is that you do not need to be an expert yourself since we at Leadoo MT have a team of expert interaction designers ready to help your business grow and thrive. 💡Expert help is included in our packages.)

So how to do it, the topnotch chatbot interaction??

Ask all the questions

When we start to create bot dialogues, we need to take a deep dive into the mind of the person who will be interacting with it. 

Good questions to consider are for example;

  • Who are they 
  • what are they looking for (for example a quicker way of contacting you or finding additional information)
  • where are they on their customer journey
  • what makes them tick and what turns them off
  • how educated buyers they are (how easy it is for them to purchase your service or product)

If you don’t have all the answers just yet I want to make a Public Service Announcement: it is totally okay.

With bots you can also gain a ton of that needed information, but that’s then a whole other topic we’ll cover in another article.

Okay, you’ve thought about the person you are creating the bot for. What then?

Bots serve a purpose in two dimensions; towards the end-user but also towards the company utilizing bots.

For the bot to serve also business goals, there’s another set of questions to cover. Those are often for example the following:

  • What is the business objective or objectives that the bot needs to achieve
  • How do current processes work and how bot can add to those
  • What are the current conversion percentages to compare the bot to
  • Where can the bot add most value

Again, questions are coming from left and right.

But that’s the thing; to design and execute a top-notch bot you need to ask a lot of questions.

Okay but what then, when all the questions are already asked?

B-bomb on the way

Put yourself into the shoes of your website visitor. What kind of interaction are they looking for? What kind of interaction is also aligned with your brand? Oh yes, I just dropped the B-bomb. That’s also one thing to consider – your brand. 

All companies have a tone of voice of some sort, some more distinctive than others. Bot should be aligned with your brand but you can keep calm and read the following: it is okay for the bot to be more humane and approachable.

How does the bot fit to your websites layout by the way? Oh yes, one more thing to take into account. Best solutions are non-intrusive and not annoying, but made just for your page, being inviting and easy to approach. Colors, fonts, logos, pictures, the whole pie.

I already hear you huffing and puffing that this is hard and time-consuming and maybe we just stick with the good ol’ forms. There’s nothing wrong with those.

But don’t you worry, this is where we as interaction designers play a huge part and are here to bring salvation, better UX (user experience) and unforgettable CX (customer experience) to your website visitors. And yes, we love our acronyms. 

Everything above are things we as interaction designers and CX professionals help you with. We are here to help and provide you with all the help you may need, but also want to let you peek behind the curtains of bot design processes.

Now, let’s start from the very scratch to get that bot built!

Context

What do you want to achieve? Define what kind of purpose does the bot serve. It is important to know what is the job that the bot needs to get done, for it to do it gracefully. Knowing the context and the goal for the bot, it’s easier to narrow down to the right questions to think about regarding your business objectives and about the person interacting with the bot.

What information do you really need

If I was to interact with your bot, what kind of information you would want me to fill-in? This, of course, depends a lot on the bot’s objective, but there are some general things to ask for, like contact details.

At this point is rather beneficial to stop staring at the current form with ten mandatory fields it can push straightforwardly to your CRM. If you ever have thought why your ten-step-form is not working and converting as much as you’d like, the answer is that it is too hard. It is time-consuming and as a client I feel like it’s my job to fill in your CRM.

Oh naw.

Bot should be a quick, simple and conversational way of interacting with a company. Anything other than that could very well be a form instead.

Let’s turn this around and hop into the sneakers of your website visitor: how many questions you would be ready to answer, possibly not even knowing what is the reason for all of those? Wouldn’t you like a quick way to express your interest in a certain thing, maybe have little additional information and then having someone contact you in no time to serve you personally?

Bots can really put back the capital S to Service.

Framing the questions to attain the information

So, how would you then get the person to answer your questions and provide the much-needed information?

Provide them with a sense of personal contact at this very point already. Your bot can make the visitor feel welcome and noticed and let them know that you have already considered what they might be looking for. Give it a personal touch, show that you care for your visitor. This is easy to put into bot dialogue text when you know what your visitors are like and what they are looking for.

Then, in a conversational manner, you can start asking for more detailed information. You can scope their need, building a rapport with them by doing that. Then, when you feel like it comes naturally, you can ask for their contact details. Keep it conversational and ask for the details in a way you would as if you were to meet them face to face. You wouldn’t be blunt or trying to force out the answers, would you?

A fun way to go about this is to think it as dating; when you are going on that first date, would you be taken aback if your date started asking immediately how you are going to name your future kids and what would be the best venue for your wedding where you vow to live together for the rest of your lives? Like chill mate, let’s just get to know each other first. And that’s exactly what your clients are looking for as well, to have an easy way of getting to know you and build that rapport.

Even though there’s a screen between us I can see you smiling understandingly. 😊

When the discussion ends

We need to tell the person in the chat that the discussion ends here. Then, we need to do some expectation management. Do not promise to be in touch within 24 hours if that is not going to happen with 110% certainty. You do not want to start damaging the just-built rapport by not keeping your end of the promises.

Ending the discussion is a great opportunity to provide the visitor an opportunity and call-to-action to spend some time on your site’s quality content, like blogs or videos. Provide them with a link and a reason why you think that content would be interesting and relevant for them. Give them a reason to get to know you even better and there you are, building an even stronger base for a customer relationship and building up that trust.

And hey, best advocates for your business are the clients that have a solid experience from you from the very first interaction with you.

Design with care, design with ❤️

AboutJemmi Laaninen
Designing digital interactions that increase conversions 🤖
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