Solid planning is key to the success of your bot.
This section will help you to understand its purpose, who the visitors are and what would make it a success. This will let you move on to the design stages with a clear vision.
There are a few main issues to consider when planning your bot:
- Focus – a good bot does one thing well.
- Simplify entry – buttons are a lot easier to press than typing, especially when on mobile
- It’s a conversation – structure it like a conversation
- Broadcasts re-engage – A user never quite stops talking to a bot
- No dead-ends – make sure the conversation doesn’t end
- Automated response – “Set and forget” the basic reader journey.
Pretend to be people?
Users don’t mind talking to bots, but they’re offended when a “person” turns out to be a bot.
But plan to have the user ask the bot personal questions. Users invariably ask: “who are you?”, “what’s your name?”
Use emojis and slang?
Even serious brands today can speak colloquially.
Don’t underestimate emojis: they’re great contextualisation for responses – “happy/yes”, “sad/no”.
Respond to Facebook stickers as well – many users try them on bots.
Have personality and tell jokes?
Users come to bots for information, not chat.
An editorial edge helps make a bot memorable. A personality is great.
But jokes become problematic quickly – they’re just not funny the twelfth time.