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Having a conversational AI chatbot is an increasingly popular way to provide better customer service. Automated conversational journeys offer a personalized, responsive, instant experience that makes a difference.
If you are considering implementing a solution with artificial intelligence for customer service, or if you have already done so but would like to improve the experience it offers, in this article, you will find the advice that we always give our clients when starting to work with a chatbot with conversational AI.
1. Identify who will move the project forward
In our experience, we suggest differentiating between two key roles:
• Project leader
The one with decision-making power. They must be available to participate in weekly project follow-up meetings.
• Knowledge specialist
The one in charge of consolidating the conversational AI chatbot content. That's why this person must have great writing skills to create questions and answers that are empathetic, solve customers' needs, and are in line with the company's tone and voice.
They should be available part-time for this task. Technological knowledge and customer service experience are a nice-to-have, but they aren't essential requirements to implement a bot.
2. Determine your knowledge base
In this step, you identify frequently asked questions, come up with the best answers, and organize them.
• You can start with 20 questions. Choose the ones you get every day from customers. Don’t worry if you don’t reach that amount. Over time you'll be able to expand your bot's knowledge.
• Organize the questions on a spreadsheet. As a guide, here is the spreadsheet template we use with all our customers.
• Define the tags for your questions. You should include them in the knowledge spreadsheet. They'll help organize your content by topic.
• You should also include the answers to these questions on the spreadsheet. Creating the best answers isn't rocket science, but there are definitely some things to consider. The next part of this article specifically addresses this issue.
3. Design the experience
Now it's time to create the answers that the conversational AI chatbot will give to your customers. Here are some key tips:
• Choose the tone and voice of your bot. Figure out how your bot will speak; if it'll be colloquial and casual, a little sassy or sarcastic, or if it'll use more formal and reserved language.
A word of advice? Think about your customer service agents, their age, gender, personality, how they speak, and any other relevant trait to characterize the bot. With this in mind, create the answers as if this person were the one responding.
• Think about how complex the answers need to be. This will depend on the audience interacting with the bot: will the answers be technical or addressed to the average user? Will your customers be the main audience or will it be targeted at internal teams?
• Create short, clear, and specific answers. Remember that writing answers for a chat won't be the same as writing an email or web page. Avoid cutting and pasting information without adapting it to a conversational format. This is important because it'll make the customer experience more conversational and natural.
If your answers are long, we suggest dividing them into different shorter topics and recommending related answers using complements to complete the information.
• Don't forget the greeting, goodbye, and thank you messages. They're crucial in providing a personalized and natural experience. You also have to think about the answers the bot will give when it doesn't understand questions or when it doesn't have information to answer them (at Aivo we call these "evasive" answers).
Related Article: What are automated conversational journeys?
It's also really important to consider what the bot will say when it gets insulted. Even though we'd love for it not to happen, the bot may receive the occasional unfriendly message. Make sure to have some witty answers on hand for these situations.
• Upload more than one answer per question. This step is key to "personality" messages, just like the ones we were discussing above. Having several options for a greeting or a thank you message, for example, will make the bot sound more natural.
• Avoid answers that start with “Yes” or “No”. These answers won't sound right when the query isn't a question.
• Answer customers' questions on the channel they used to contact you. The idea is that the virtual agent is the first resolution channel and its goal is to solve the problem. If most answers only transfer the client to other channels, this becomes an annoying step before getting to customer service, which impacts customer satisfaction and customer service cost for the company.
Your conversational AI chatbot is waiting for you
In a nutshell, to start offering automated conversational tours you do not need to be a specialist in systems or programming. With some basic knowledge of technology and customer service, any company team can get great results from their conversational AI chatbot.