Surely you have come across these boxes that usually appear in the lower right corner of a website, ready to answer any questions you might have. Chatbots made their appearance a few years ago and since then we find them on more and more websites. By answering questions and guiding visitors automatically, they can be a very useful digital assistant.
Why invest in a chatbot?
For over a year now we have been spending most of the day at home. We turned online for any kind of need and got out of our usual hours. This has led to website traffic at times when there is no live support.
Whether you offer B2C or B2B services and products, a chatbot can provide support, collect information that may be useful to you, such as phone numbers and email addresses, and even increase your sales.
Sounds too good to be true? Indeed, many times chatbots can’t provide as much information as they should or can even be annoying. So let’s see what are the points you need to pay attention to when it comes to their design.
"We turned online for any kind of need and got out of our usual hours. This has led to website traffic at times when there is no live support."
Knowing what visitors are looking for
Instead of trying to cover a hundred different scenarios, focus on those ten, twenty, thirty that you know occur most often. Chatbots can’t answer every single question, but you certainly know the most common things your website visitors are looking for and their most frequently asked questions.
The World Health Organization knows very well what information visitors are looking for in relation to Covid-19
Talk to the people who manage your sales, your customer service specialists, or anyone who comes in contact with your visitors and gather as much information as you can. That way you can direct the users wherever you want them to go and you can help them find the information that you know you have the ability to provide on the spot.
Human-like, but not a human
A chatbot is an internet robot. And internet users are aware of that. So don’t try to make it sound like a human being thinking that this will make it friendlier. Instead, visitors may consider this as a scam and leave your page.
There are many people who will prefer to look for a solution to any problem on their own, before contacting a real employee. Give them the opportunity to do so by creating a character for your chatbot, making it friendly, casual, serious, or formal depending on your industry and the purpose you want it to serve.
A chatbot we created for the website theartofnature.gr
Design scripts based on your audience
In the same way that a person would communicate in a different style and tone depending on the environment and the audience, a chatbot can also be designed in a different way depending on who it is “talking” to. For example, you may address both individuals and large organizations.
The script, then, can be split so that the chatbot covers these two quite different cases. In the first case, it can use slang, emojis, and more everyday expressions, while in the second case a more professional vocabulary and serious tone.
Don’t keep the user longer than necessary
That is, don’t make the visitors look for human communication directly but don’t make them leave your page frustrated either. When is this likely to happen? When the fact that they are talking to a robot starts to become apparent. When the visitors get answers like “Sorry, I did not understand. Please repeat.” over and over or when the conversation starts going in circles because such an answer wasn’t predicted in the original script.
Adobe here makes the visitor repeat the same information
This is where we could say that chatbots are lagging behind, as they don’t have the human intelligence to read between the lines and provide an answer. That’s why the original design is so important. Make the script so that there is no room for such cases. Instead of free-text fields, provide specific answers from which the visitor can choose. Making the capabilities of the chatbot clear from the beginning does not create expectations that it cannot meet. If the discussion comes to a standstill, do not keep replaying the same automatic answers but refer the user to a real agent.
"Making the capabilities of the chatbot clear from the beginning does not create expectations that it cannot meet."
Identify your needs and what purpose you would like your chatbot to serve. Like all elements of a site, this one should also offer a good user experience to the visitor. So put yourself in the user’s shoes and think about what you liked and did not like in examples you came across on other websites. If you don’t know where to start, we will be happy to guide you to build the most effective digital assistant for your website.
At MDesigners we believe in open communication between prospect clients and designers, aiming at creating visual identities and experiences that will move and inspire their audience.