Teneo enables you to create great conversational experiences that can help you realize business goals and improve the customer experience. However, the way to get from an idea to a successful chatbot is a relatively new journey for many.
We will present you some bot design principles that will help you on this journey. We will give you some insights in best practices we have collected over the years and show you how small changes can make a big difference in how your bot will be experienced by its users.
The key to a successful chatbot is a positive user experience. No matter how smart the underlying technology is, if your bot is not helpful and pleasant to talk to, no one will want to use it.
With Teneo, you can aim higher. You can build a bot that is not only helpful, but also efficient, and not only pleasant, but also easy to use and available via multiple channels. Depending on your application domain, you can also think of giving your bot some personality traits that make the conversation a memorable experience that the user would wish to repeat.
So, when creating your bot, always bear in mind how you want your bot to be experienced by its users.
|What users expect a bot to be:||What users do not want a bot to be:|
|- efficient: helps users to achieve something, without too many deviations.||- forgetful: forgets important information, remembers irrrelevant facts.|
|- intuitive: can communicate (almost) like a human does.||- stubborn: keeps asking the same questions, seems to be stuck.|
|- available: is available on different channels and devices.||- scattered: has no clear purpose, leaves user puzzled what they can ask about.|
|- easy: has a clean, straightforward interface that is easy to use.||- FAQ only: is restricted to answer a certain set of questions and nothing else.|
Let's have a closer look at some key concepts that bring you closer to the positive user experience that you want to achieve:
First you have to make sure to set the right expectations for the users:
You can summarize both of these points in a well designed greeting message.
Naturally, you design your bot to deal with requests within a certain domain. At this point, you may not have thought about what happens if your bot is confronted with requests that do not fit into this domain and the scope that you have designed it for. However, for a good user experience, it is important that your bot has a suitable answer for out-of-scope requests. That does not mean that your bot should be able to answer each possible question. It's more about pushing the limits of your bot by letting it listen to a bit to the left and right of what it has been designed for and thereby trying to lead the user back to a path where your bot has more knowledge and can offer help.
Sometimes the user enters a very short or partial input which is insufficient to understand what the user wants. For example the input "current account" could mean the user wishes to find a balance, open a new account, has a problem with an account, etc. There are two ways to handle the situation. In both cases, you build some lower ranking flows that trigger on certain keywords, showing that your bot understood the request was about a certain keyword and then let your bot:
Unless there is an obvious interpretation of the keywords recognized, we recommend letting your bot ask for clarification. This will ensure that the bot fully understands the request before proceeding with its processing.
User requests falling into this category are close to the scope of your bot, for example, they may concern a different product of your company for which the bot has not been implemented (yet). Whenever you can anticipate such questions that are outside of what the bot has been designed to do, you should consider building some low-ranking flows that recognize these.
Some requests may even be completely outside the domain that your bot has been designed for, but the bot will still have to provide an answer. Teneo comes with a prebuilt safetynet flow which is ranked lowest of all flows and provides answers to requests that have not matched any other trigger of any other flow. However, there is more you can do to catch such requests before they end up in this safetynet:
Keep in mind that the flows of the Teneo Dialogue Resources already take care of many out of scope and small talk inputs. You don't have to worry about these!
Well written responses have a significant impact on how end users experience their conversation with a bot. Here are a few tips to take into account when writing the answer texts for your bot:
Ideally, your bot should have a tone of voice that fits the company or product and keeps this same tone of voice throughout all parts of all conversations. Here are a few tips on how to proceed:
Using a chatbot instead of human agents will naturally reduce costs. It also means means that since the bot handles the more mundane questions, skilled live agents can focus on higher-value activities. Nevertheless, there may be situations in which handing over from the chatbot to a human agent can be a positive action to take. Here are some examples of when a hand-over may be appropriate:
Whether or not you should equip your bot with functionality to handover to a human depends very much on the domain and scope of your bot. It is not always necessary to include this functionality in order to achieve a good user experience.
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