The key to a successful bot is thorough planning and thought. The team at The Bot Platform are spearheading the way for bots on Teams and have learnt a lot so far. We've compiled a list of our top tips to make your bot planning and launch a little bit easier.
This doc is split into three sections - planning, building and promoting.
Planning your bot flow
Planning your bot is crucial to its success. A well planned bot will also save you a lot of time when it comes to the build of it too. We recommend using flowchart software such as LucidChart to map out your bot journey(s). You can find out more about using flow charts to plan your bot here.
Branding your bot
Successful branding will make your bot memorable and easy to find (and therefore use). We recommend using a simple but bold logo as the bot avatar. You can make up a character (ie Val the values bot) or keep it general (ie a simple clipboard logo for a survey). Your bot branding is made up of a bot logo, name and description. Please note the name and description need to be fewer than 30 characters and the icon must be a square 192x192 pixel PNG file. You can find out more about updating your bot logo, name and description here.
Tone of voice
Establishing a tone of voice is incredibly important when planning a bot, as it makes the conversation engaging and inviting. A suitable tone of voice sets the scene for the user and makes the bot more engaging for them. You can read more about how to plan for the best tone of voice here.
Resizing bot icons
Make sure you have a square 192 x 192 PNG logo organised before the connect to Teams. We recommend using image websites such as https://resizeimage.net/ to easily resize icons.
Triggers words and how to begin your bot
To start triggering your bot messages, first allocate a keyword to the Welcome Message in the keyword section of the platform. We recommend terms such as "start" or "hello". Once you've done that, push your changes live and use this trigger word in your bot in Teams to launch your Welcome Message. You can find out more about keywords here.
We'd also recommend adding in a Default Reply, so you can instruct users how to use the bot if they don't know the trigger word. To create a default reply, first create the message you want to show the user - this could be a set of instructions on how to use the bot, or a simple text box and button to launch the Welcome Message. Then head on over the Default Reply section in the left hand column of the platform and choose this message from the dropdown list. Push your changes live, and the Default Reply should be ready to go.
Square images and GIFS
An image message part can consist of either a jpg, gif or png. Images must not exceed 1024 ×1024 px or 1 MB.
Push and Pull Adoption
There are two key principles to understand with regards to driving adoption - these are push and pull adoption. Push adoption is where you send a message out to a user by using broadcasts or drip campaigns. This means that the user will receive a message in the Microsoft Teams Chat inbox without triggering it. Pull adoption is where the user finds and triggers the bot message themselves - usually by searching for the bot or by being linked to it. Here is a bit more information about each form of adoption.
Pinning your bot
Customize Teams to highlight the apps that are most important for your users. You choose the apps to pin and set the order that they appear. Pinning apps lets you showcase apps that users in your organization need, including apps built by third parties or by developers in your organization.
Control whether users can pin apps to Teams
Install apps on behalf of users (in preview). You choose which apps are installed by default for users when they start Teams. Keep in mind that users can still install apps themselves if the app permission policy that's assigned to them allows it.
Apps are pinned to the app bar, which is the bar on the side of the Teams desktop client and at the bottom of the Teams mobile clients (iOS and Android).
Linking to the bot
Linking a user to the bot is the easiest way to get them to use it. You can find a link to the bot in the dashboard, and simply copy it into an internal comms in order to share the bot.