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Article : Common Chatbot Development Mistakes & How to Avoid Them

#contactcenterworld, @diradtech

Author: John Michne, Vice President, DiRAD Technologies Inc.

Today chatbots are being leveraged by companies for lead generation, customer service, placing orders, and so much more. Chatbots are an effective tool, but they are not magic. They are only as good as you make them. Unfortunately, not all chatbots are a success.

If you are considering developing a chatbot for your business, it is important to learn from past mistakes! Luckily for you we have compiled our top chatbot implementation mistakes along with tips for how to avoid them.

Not Telling Customers It is a Bot

People are not interested in being misled. A recent experiment from Goldsmiths University and Mindshare concluded that most consumers did not mind communicating with a chatbot, but thought it would be creepy if a chatbot pretended to be human. Also, there are certain instances where people might prefer to talk to a human over a chatbot, or vice versa. For instance, if you need your password reset, interacting with a chatbot is sufficient. However, if you have a complicated issue and are concerned that a chatbot will misinterpret your unique situation then you would want to opt to talk to a real person.

The point is people want to know when they are talking to a real person and when they are not. Identifying your chatbot as a bot is pretty simple. You can take one of two routes:

  • Add "Bot" or "Assistant" to the bot name
  • Have the bot identify itself and its role when starting a conversation with users

Either method allows customers to easily decide if they would like to continue the conversation with the bot, or connect with a human.

Requiring Too Much Contact Information Upfront

The attraction to chatbots is the ability to easily interact with a company at any time. Customers don’t want to provide their full name, email address, phone number, home address, birthday, and favorite color (ok I am exaggerating, but you get the idea) before the conversation even starts.

Rather than having the customer fill out a lengthy contact form at the beginning, ask for the bare minimum to get things started. Once the chat is initiated you can ask for additional information in a more conversational way. Just be sure your chatbot is identifying why they need this information. For instance, "can I have your phone number in case we become disconnected?" or "please provide your phone number so I can look up your account information".

Dead-End Error Handling

No one is perfect, and your chatbots aren’t either. At some point, someone is going to say something your chatbot doesn’t understand. Let’s consider this example:

Someone asks your chatbot "Do you have the shoes Jennifer Aniston wore on the red carpet in stock?"

Your chatbot has no idea what shoes Jennifer wore so it responds with, "Sorry I didn’t get that. Please try again."

The user then rephrases the question: "Do you have the heels Jennifer Aniston wore to the Grammys in stock?"

Your chatbot still doesn’t understand and responds with, "Sorry I didn’t get that. Please try again."

After three or four rounds of the user trying to rephrase the question to get an answer, they are officially deep inside the chatbot abyss with no way out but one- exit the chat. This is why it is so important when developing your chatbot to prepare for those inevitable, unknown answers so you avoid the oh so frustrating dead-ends.

How should you handle these errors?

First, it is ideal to have some variations of your error handling messages. No one wants to get the same error message over and over again.

Secondly, make sure your chatbot clarifies the issue. What specifically isn’t it understanding? What information does it need? In the example above the chatbot could have said, "Sorry, I am not sure, could you tell me the brand you are looking for?" and continue the conversation that way.

Finally, if all else fails, you should give the user an out. If your chatbot cannot answer the question or handle the request, just say so and give them the option to connect with someone who can help.

Not Testing & Fine-Tuning the Bot

Before going live with your chatbot it is important to run testing that simulates live customers. However, testing and fine-tuning should really be an on-going effort well after the chatbot goes live. Leverage chatbot analytics and user testing to improve the chatbot experience. Make a note of unanticipated statements and add them to the response engine. It is important to continuously monitor users interact with the bot, which lines are well-received, which ones did not, and where people got stuck.

There are no shortcuts when it comes to developing a chatbot– you’re basically creating and training an "entity" to interact with your customers. Every possible iteration of that interaction needs to be considered. Bots might be smart, but the creator has to put in the work to make them that way. There is no magic in the backend, even with "artificial intelligence".

Using Outdated Chatbot Technology

The way chatbots are developed has evolved in a short period of time. These advancements allow for chatbots to better understand natural language and be utilized for more advanced functions. If you are relying on old technology, you are living in the past and will not keep up with current customer expectations. Plus, you will severely limit your chatbot’s future capabilities.

It is important to stay up to date on chatbot trends and use emerging standards from companies like Google and Microsoft. The chatbot technology you choose should allow you to use artificial intelligence on the backend and recognize natural language for the best results.

Does How A Chatbot is Developed Matter?

Of course, it does! There are so many chatbot options out there, and not all are created equal. Remember, a poorly designed chatbot is not an asset, it’s a liability. And a rather expensive one at that. Interested in talking with a chatbot development expert?

#contactcenterworld, @diradtech


About DiRAD Technologies:
Company LogoDiRAD implements technology solutions including call center software, outsourced customer care, Interactive Voice Response (IVR), mass messaging, and AI-based, omnichannel chatbot & voicebot technology.
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Today's Tip of the Day - Make Self Service A Breeze

Read today's tip or listen to it on podcast.

Published: Monday, July 5, 2021

Printer Friendly Version Printer friendly version

2021 Buyers Guide Computer Telephony Integration

 
1.) 
AMC Technology

DaVinci
DaVinci provides Computer Telephony Integration (CTI) to a library of pre-built applications + UXiPaaS (User Experience Integration Platform as a Service) built specifically for contact centers. As contact center needs evolve, organizations need to have access to extend or create new functionality, without waiting to be a part of a software roadmap. Get the benefits of CTI within your CRM like screen pop, click-to-dial, screen transfer, speed dial and more, but future-proof your contact center so you can expand and integrate how and when you want.

2.) 
Call Center Studio

Call Center Studio
Call Center Studio is the world’s first call center built on Google and is one of the most secure and stable systems with some of the industry’s best reporting. It is one of the most full-featured enterprise grade systems (with the most calling features, one of the best call distribution, outbound dialing features and integrations—including IVR, AI Speech Recognition, blended inbound/outbound calling and includes Google’s new Dialogflow and Speech API. Call Center Studio is the absolute easiest to use (with a 10 minute setup), and is the price performance leader with lower equipment cost and less setup time.

3.) 
ComSys S.A.

CLink for CRM and Call Center Integration
CLink by Comsys is a middleware that connects in real-time the CRM and the contact center applications. CLink enhances the CRM with interaction management capabilities from the contact center that allow agents to work more productively across all communication channels.
Comsys is a provider of οmnichannel customer engagement solutions that assist companies around the world in delivering unique customer experiences. For the last 15 years, Comsys designs and implements complex projects for clients from the outsourcing, financial services, telecommunications, and retail sectors. Comsys enjoys strategic partnerships with technology vendors like Cisco®, Aspect Software®, and Microsoft® for the delivery of innovative interaction management and contact center optimization solutions.

4.) 
Consilium Software

Consilium UniAgent™
Today’s call centers need their agents to work more naturally, and respond better and faster. Here, we talk about the innovations Consilium has made with the latest desktop and mobile agent releases of the UniAgent™ CRM connector. From small enterprises to Fortune 500 companies and governments across 110 countries, UniAgent™ comes into action right at the moment of reckoning, making every contact center experience engaging and personalized, powered by simplified customer identification and anticipating customer needs.
UniAgent™ provides CRM integrations between all the Cisco contact center solutions (UCCX, PCCE, UCCE and HCS-CC) and over 20 CRMs, such as Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics 365...
(read more)

5.) 
IntraNext Systems

IntraNext Systems develops agent efficiency tools and data security software solutions for medium-to-large contact centers. Our Event Intelligence® Platform solutions include SmartCTI™, iGuard®, and SmartSIP™. SmartSIP is based on our patented SIP layer technology and provides a DTMF masking solution for VoIP environments.

6.) 
Megacall

CRM integration
CRM
We know how important it is for a business to obtain data from its customers and to manage them effectively, so we help small to large companies by integrating their CRM with the Virtual Switchboard.

This type of integration will simplify the work of your team and improve the management performance of the contact list and its information.

7.) 
NovelVox

NovelVox CTI Connector
NextGen Cisco Finesse, Genesys & Avaya Embedded CTI Connectors for Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics, ServiceNow, Zendesk & more.

8.) 
PhoneIQ

PhoneIQ
What is PhoneIQ?
PhoneIQ is the modern cloud phone system and contact center platform built exclusively for companies on Salesforce. Our all-in-one cloud communications platform brings together power dialing, local presence, voicemail drop, Salesforce call routing, call recording and a complete PBX replacement that lives within your CRM. With support for desktop, mobile, and desk phones, PhoneIQ works seamlessly at the office or remote, logging all interactions in Salesforce and generating reports in real-time.

Best For
Companies using Salesforce and looking for a phone system, dialer, or contact center software that provides deep integration capabilities with their CRM and expert Salesforce support.

9.) 
Teckinfo Solutions Pvt. Ltd.

InterDialog UCCS
InterDialog UCCS - a robust contact/ call center software that helps organizations provide a seamless customer experience across all channels in the customer service journey. All interactions from various channels come to a single unified queue on the InterDialog platform. With unified view agents get to see all historical interactions , enabling him to give a resolution quickly. InterDialog UCCS is a comprehensive Contact/Call Center Software with robust CTI, Unified Q ( ACD), Reporting, Unified Agent Management, Administrator, Supervisor - Monitoring (Pmonitor)
 

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