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A quick guide to setting up your first chatbot



As the need to provide better customer experience rises, the foremost step will be to build a chatbot. Regardless of the type of chatbot you opt for, how can you ensure that your chatbot project meets your business requirements? Here is a comprehensive guide to building your first chatbot.

  1. Define the purpose of your chatbot

Chatbots have received wide acclaim. It has been touted to be a must-have technology for the modern-day business but you still need to identify the reason why a bot would be good for your business. Start by looking internally. Are there operations that you can scale rapidly using a chatbot? Are there jobs that bots are better equipped to handle? Are there certain efficiencies that can be achieved by implementing a chatbot?

Next, research how other businesses in your industry are using chatbots. This will give you an idea of the use cases common in your field and gives you an idea of the problems a chatbot can solve.

The table below shows different chatbots’ use cases across 5 industries:

Chatbot use cases across 5 industries

2. Give your chatbot a personality

After defining the use case for your chatbot, you need to determine the right personality your bot needs to perform its duties. Although chatbots are robots equipped to handle human interaction, they do not have to sound like machines.

Assigning a personality to your bots helps it stand out among a sea of other chatbots. It makes it memorable, and customers will be willing to engage with it repeatedly. It is often assumed that in chatbots, personality means chatty, witty or even sarcastic. This isn’t the case. In fact, in some industries, a witty chatbot will be highly inappropriate.

When giving your bot a personality, consider how you want it to sound when interacting with customers. The primary considerations are who your customers are and the purpose of the chatbot. Your customers determine the level of formality and the choice of language, while the purpose of the bot determines the appropriate tone. For instance, based on the profile of an insurance company’s customers, a witty personality may be inappropriate. Let’s say the purpose of an insurance chatbot is to process claims. Filing a claim is serious business, so a playful tone will be out of place.

3. Write the conversation flow for your chatbot

A chatbot flow is the documentation of the likely conversations between your customers and your chatbot. This conversation leads to the completion of predefined actions. Conversation flow is important because it expresses the personality of the bot. The tone and other attributes of a chatbot are captured in the flow.

So how can you write a flow that takes into account all the likely conversations your customer might have with your chatbot, and at the same time, displays the distinct personality of your bot?

  • Identify and exhaust all possible keywords necessary to initiate and complete each action your bot is equipped to perform. For example, for funds transfer, keywords include send money, transfer, move money, etc., and include them in your flow.
  • Pay attention to your bot’s greeting and opening sentence. It is an opportunity to display its personality, establish rapport and set the tone for the rest of the conversation.

4. Choose the messaging platform(s) for your bot

The choice for a messaging platform to place your chatbot should not be driven by popularity alone. While popularity is important, what matters is the percentage of your customers using the said platform.

To illustrate the importance of considering your core audience when choosing a platform, consider the beauty brand Sephora. When Sephora targeted specific products on U.S teenagers, they launched a chatbot on Kik. About a third of U.S teens use Kik, making it the ideal platform for brands focused on the U.S teen market.

Source: Statista

To choose the right messaging platform for your chatbot, find out the percentage of your customers that use each messaging platform. This is important because the platform with the highest use doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s ideal for your business. For instance, platform X has one billion users but only a third of your customers use the platform; whereas Platform Y has only five hundred million users, but half of your customers use the platform. Platform Y is best for your business even though Platform X has higher global usage.

5. Choose a bot platform

There are lots of bot-building platforms. Some are designed to aid non-technical people to design an instant bot for their business. Your business and the complexity of the operations to be carried out by the bot determines the service you will opt for.

If your goal is to build a highly intelligent chatbot with advanced capabilities, then it’s best to partner with a chatbot company like eBanqo. eBanqo helps you build and deploy highly intelligent chatbots across various messaging platforms. These bots are equipped to carry out complex tasks such as self-service, customer support, issue resolution and live chat as well as other tasks defined by you.

At eBanqo, we build custom chatbots that address your business needs. Supported by Natural Language Processing, your customers can converse naturally with the bot while resolving issues and performing self-service. If you need a consultation on the next steps, please contact us.

Remember that the success of any chatbot depends on clearly defining its purpose and creating a script which fulfils these purpose. Also, a chatbot isn’t a one-off assignment. You have to monitor and evaluate its performance against your goals and make changes where necessary.

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