We’ve all had our fair share of poor chatbot experiences. Thankfully, over the past year a few players in the industry have undertaken a fundamental change in how ‘chatbots’ are implemented into businesses.
To understand what the fundamental changes in implementing successful chats are, we’ve had a look at what was done to give people those frustrating experiences, and we’ll shed some light on what can be done to do it properly.
So why do so many businesses fail to implement chatbots that return significant value to their customers and employees?
Chatbots fail when you focus on the technology, not the experience.
If you want your chatbot to fail, then view it as a technology and roll it out like so. Don’t worry too much about the experience - as long as you get rid of the bugs and minimise maintenance, it should be right, right? Wrong.
Creating a digital employee has to begin with employee or customer experience. Once you know what your ideal experience is and what needs you are trying to meet, you’ll discover the best way forward - including whether or not the digital employee is even the right option for your business in the first place.
Chatbots fail when you roll them out where it suits you, not the customer.
Back in the day when your grandpa was young, he would walk five miles in the snow to go to school. We’ve heard the stories and normally always roll our eyes. Astonishingly, this still happens to some degree. Businesses still make customers, or worse prospects, metaphorically walk through snow to engage with them. If you’ve been around a while, you’ll know that giving your prospects is not a great strategy for winning their custom.
Instead, businesses need to ensure their digital employees are everywhere their customers are (or at least in one of those places). For this, it typically means social media channels. Effective digital employees can be reached anywhere and action things through conversation. It’s a beautiful thing when properly invested in and running smoothly.
Chatbots fail when you buy them off the shelf to reduce costs.
There are plenty of chatbots you can buy off the metaphorical shelf - new ones pop up every day. Yes, they will serve a purpose but almost all will fail to deliver on customer experience. Why is this? Because they’re implemented to tick a tech stack box and save on budget.
These off the shelf chatbots also often leave very little thought for conversation design. This means people are likely to get really frustrated and may even be put off from using that brand again. Unfortunately this cost is not easily measured, as it’s more of a lost opportunity cost hidden in failed lead conversion or churned customer statistics.
Chatbots fail when you go straight to market rather than prototyping and testing.
It looks like it’s the finished product, so it’s good enough, right? Wrong. Without prototyping and testing your digital employee, you might have a working solution, but how well is it actually working? And will people use it in the first place? Just because you assume they will doesn’t mean they will. And just because you believe they’ll use it for certain things, doesn’t mean they’ll use it for those purposes.
Asking hard questions like and more asked throughout a user experience workshop can help you de-risk the entire project - plus give you a great business case to sell back into the business.
Chatbots fail when they’re driven by IT, not the departments they work for.
We love IT departments (we actually do, as most of us live and breath tech every day). But that doesn’t mean they should be the ones driving the implementation of a digital employee. Yes, there’s a lot of technical work that needs to go into them, but there’s so much more that needs to happen, and if it’s driven by technical people, often the relational side of things will be neglected. And when this happens, you’ll be left with a chatbot solution that simply doesn’t work.
Have you been struggling with these issues too? Or do you want to avoid them first time?
Eduard Liebenberger, Director of Technology, Jade will be speaking at CEBIT Australia on The blurred lines of successfully leveraging conversational technology (Chatbots) - How the physical and digital worlds are merging to free us from physical devices.
For more info about the program visit: https://www.cebit.com.au/full-schedule/
The NSW Government is proud to be the Official Partner of CEBIT Australia 2019.