Chatbot Best Practices

eGain Virtual Assistants are AI-powered chatbots that increase brand equity, cut costs, and help your business “wow” customers with distinctive self-service.

eGain’s award-winning Virtual Assistant chatbot software is multilingual and, unlike other alternatives, the platform integrates with human-assisted interaction channels for a seamless customer journey. As a pioneer in this domain, eGain has compiled years of experience in chabot deployment and a list of our top 10 chatbot best practices are shown below:

10 best practices to make an effective chatbot

Trick question
Who work 24×7, engage customers and answer questions in a smart and fun way, give website tours, show relevant web pages, and never call in sick?

Answer
Virtual assistants (VAs).


Create a chatbot that engages customers

Deploy the chabot virtual assistant not only on your website, but also on mobile and social channels. Chatbots are perfect as personal attendants. They can greet customers, chat with them (good chatbots can discuss the weather, too!), show customers around, and answer questions.

Don’t bury your chatbot in the Help section

Lead with the chatbot. Make the chatbot available on every page. Better still, make it proactively offer help and tours of your website. On your mobile app, you could even use the chatbot to start and guide all customer interactions.

Make the chatbot virtual assistant your brand ambassador

Chatbots are meant to represent your brand. Best-in-class chatbot solutions include off-the-shelf avatars, letting you choose from cartoon or realistic characters, and static or animated options. You could choose to design your own chatbot virtual assistant , even model it on your spokesperson if you have one for the brand. Good solutions also let you easily create a conversation style and tone that is unique to your VA.

Improve chatbot speed

One of the main reasons consumers like chatbots is their speed. Pick a solution whose infrastructure will allow performance to scale with system load.

Be understanding

Chatbots are capable of understanding natural language queries. Make sure yours is tolerant of bad spelling and grammar. Enable various modes of conversation: modern chatbots support text to text, speech to text, text to speech, and speech to speech communication modes.

Be polite

In particular, when the chatbot is unable to understand the question. The following real-life example borders on rudeness: “Please, one idea at a time.” Instead, say, “I’m sorry, but that is a rather complicated request. It will be easier for me to help, if you could break it up into a series of simple questions.

Show rather than talk

Keep chatbot answers short—this is especially important for mobile and speech interactions. Instead, push relevant pages. Many customers don’t know their way around; in fact, that may be the reason they summoned help!

Be consistent

The chatbot should “talk the same talk” as your other agents and self-service options. Make sure your chatbot assistant does not run off a siloed, inconsistent knowledge base—it should be based on a unified platform for multichannel customer engagement and knowledge management. Provide longer knowledge base articles as links to keep the chatbot ’s answers short.

Be connected

For complex questions, make sure that the chatbot “knows its limitations” and can escalate seamlessly to live agents. The customer should not have to repeat context in escalations. The chatbot should also be able to direct the customer to more advanced self-service methods such as guided help.

Personalize

Good chatbots can remember a detail such as the customer’s name, once it is given to them, and use it through the conversation. In authenticated portions of your website, you could integrate the chatbot with other systems to provide account information such as details of the customer’s phone plan if you are a telecom company. The next step would be to make targeted offers to the customer through the chatbot .

Chatbot Best Practice Summary

A good chatbot is like P. G. Wodehouse’s famous butler, Jeeves: Always present yet never in the way. It is knowledgeable, capable of keeping up with the workload, and able to summon additional help when needed. Top-rated VAs provide all this and more, and are an integral part of a unified multichannel customer engagement hub. Isn’t it time your site’s valet added quick value to the customer experience and your business?

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