Adventures in Setting Up Chatbots

Posted: March 19, 2018

Chatbots are all the rage in the world of live chat at the moment. They’re expected to enable cost-savings of billions of dollars a year in various sectors, and conversational commerce is becoming bigger as standard marketing and customer service processes see a shift towards personalization and ‘warmer’ customer approaches. My own company, Comm100, has a really exciting bot build on the go that I’m expecting to take the market by storm soon due to its awesome NLP capabilities in v2.

And I’m writing this post because I’ve also launched my own chatbot. This little guy will tell you a bit more about my philosophies on CX and L&D, and he’ll even tell you a few jokes. I wanted to create my own bot to learn more about the building process, provide a novel way to sign up to my mailing list, and to hopefully create a more fun way of interacting with my website.

Here are some things I learned through making my bot:

  • It really helps to do ‘journey mapping’ beforehand to work out what you want to help your website visitors with, and how you’ll move them through each conversational path/loop. I used the formula in this blog post, which one of our amazing writers came up with, to create my map.
  • Go for a fixed-response approach if you’re not sure what questions your customer base will ask. I experimented with NLP settings for my bot before I realized that sets of fixed responses delivered through buttons came a lot closer to getting me where I wanted to achieve, and quickly. If I already had a list of real-life FAQs and a lot more time, though, the NLP approach is one I’d definitely take.
  • Don’t be afraid to give your bot some personality. I found it a lot harder when I started making my bot without its own sense of humor and conversational style. Once your bot has a personality, it’s a lot easier to come up with responses, and makes it much more fun to engage with too. My bot turned into my dad-joking alter ego who I keep locked up tight for the most part, so I genuinely found the whole process of bringing him to life quite liberating!

I’d love to know what you think of my bot! Hoping he’s as fun as he is useful.


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