How To Use Chatbots Effectively

How To Use Chatbots

Earlier this year the Chatterbots blog series explored the history of chatbots, what they are, and how chatbots might develop in the future. We’ve also discussed natural language processing and artificial intelligence, which are key technologies for chatbot functionality. Knowing now what chatbots are and how they work, it is important to take a critical look at how they can be used effectively in business. In this article we explore what chatbots are good at, what they’re bad at, and how to make sure the chatbots in your organization are designed right.

Chatbot Success

The potential for chatbots to positively impact an individual or organization is huge. When designed and implemented correctly, chatbots enhance the user experience and help coach people towards meeting their goals. Chatbots have a wide variety of uses. There are simple ones that tell you the weather, like Poncho. Of course, there are also more complex chatbots that can handle customer service requests (1-800-Flowers chatbot for Facebook Messenger is a great example) or even do things like onboard new employees.

The common thread with many successful chatbots is that they do one thing very well. Whether that is telling you the weather or helping you place an order for flowers or pizza, people understand what these chatbots are designed to do. The focus and scope of these chatbots are well defined.

Here are some other examples of good uses for chatbots:

  • Employee Training
  • Weight Loss
  • User Engagement
  • Direct Marketing
  • Customer Service
  • Sales Enablement
Chatbot Struggles

Like any technology, chatbots have their limits. Chatbots struggle when they come across requests that are outside of what they are designed to do. You won’t have much luck asking your weather chatbot to help you track a package. Likewise, Amazon’s well-known chatbot Alexa can’t help you with your credit card questions—you need the American Express chatbot for that. Chatbots cannot improvise like humans can, so they do not do well operating beyond what they are programmed to do. 

Design Tips

The popularity of chatbots has grown tremendously in recent years. We see chatbots all around us, doing all kinds of tasks. With technology like Smart Web Pages, the capabilities of chatbots has grown immensely. When it comes to using chatbots in a professional setting, it is important to clearly define the goals of your chatbot and make sure that the technology is up to the task.

Want to learn more about chatbots? Why not schedule a demo with a chatbot expert from Mobile Coach?

2019-09-10T14:16:16-07:00