6 Tips for Creating an Intelligent Chatbot for Your Online Store

6 Tips for Creating an Intelligent Chatbot for Your Online Store

6 Tips for Creating an Intelligent Chatbot for Your Online Store

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The global market makes online stores attractive to sellers. The process seems simple enough: create a website, take orders, receive payment and send product are the three major steps, but what happens when users have questions? You could stay up day and night. You could hire someone else to answer questions while you’re sleeping, or you could have a chatbot developed to handle simple user questions while they shop. Here are some tips for a better chatbot that can help improve customer service and increase sales.

Make a List of Common User Questions

Although there is some artificial intelligence (AI) baked into some chatbots, you still need to “train” your bot to understand common questions asked by your customers. The best way to train and test a chatbot is to feed it common questions.

If you don’t know common questions, it’s time to start tracking the questions you get from users. Even better, track the questions you get on each site page, and then track the answers for these questions. For instance, if you sell clothing, customers might ask what colors are sold for a specific shirt or if the shirt comes in a certain size. These simple questions can be tracked and answered by your chatbot.

The goal of a chatbot is to answer customer questions, but they are also useful to make site browsing more convenient. When you track answers to common questions, point users to the page that has answers or the product that they’re looking for.

Get Confirmation That Users Receive the Right Answers

Even the best testing can miss bugs. You can identify if your customers are receiving the right answers by asking for confirmation once they’re sent to a new page or after they ask a question. Asking the question, “Did you find this answer useful?” will provide you with feedback directly from customers.

Not every customer will give you feedback. Some of them will just take the information provided and move on. Others won’t find the feedback useful. But some will provide the right kind of feedback that helps you improve a chatbot.

Create a Conversation Flowchart

Creating a flowchart of conversations is the most difficult part of chatbot design. You must be able to anticipate questions and then follow-up responses. With multiple choice responses, you must design a chatbot to provide multiple answers and then responses to any follow-up questions.

AI will help with misspellings and typos, but you need a design that anticipates these small errors. With a dictionary of typos, you can identify the correct spelling of a word. Chatbot AI hasn’t perfected typos like search engines. Even complex search engines, such as Google, have a team to help with synonyms and typos, so for you to keep a dictionary of correctly spelled words will be a large project. Start with common misspellings and log others to add to your dictionary database.

Keep the Bot Visible and Easily Found

Some online stores open a small chatbot window in the lower corner of a site page. This makes the chatbot easily found when a visitor doesn’t know where to find information. Usually, these bots open with an introduction and a question asking users if they need help.

If you don’t want to automatically open a new window, provide a link that persists across pages. The link can be on a sidebar to the left or right where it’s easily visible. The user should also be able to minimize the window to make browsing easier. You don’t want a chatbot to obstruct the user’s view of products.

Keep Answers Short and Grammatically Correct

With email and voice communication, you can go into detail and give the customer a lot of information to digest. With a chatbot, you don’t want to overwhelm the reader with too much information. Chatbots are great replacements for simple questions normally handled by customer service support. These simple questions should be the primary focus of a chatbot design.

In addition to keeping answers simple and concise, you should also proofread and ensure that they are grammatically correct with no typos. Poorly written answers make your online store look unprofessional and can scare away potential customers.

Don’t Be Afraid to Add Personality

Your chatbot doesn’t have to be dry and humorless. You can give it a personality, a name, and even an avatar. Be careful not to lie to pretend that the visitor is speaking to a real human, or it could lead to frustration. Should the visitor get frustrated, you can always provide a voice contact number to call.

Chatbots can be your own robot personality to bring information to visitors. They can save you money by eliminating the need for a human to answer low-level questions, and they can help a store owner that has no money to hire additional resources. There are plenty of chatbot providers on the web, so you don’t have to create them yourself. However, you need to work with the packaged AI. Other options include hiring a developer to personalize a chatbot for your site.

About the author:

Justin Soenke is a trend-based serial entrepreneur and thought leader in the areas of cyber-security, web design, SEO, social media, eCommerce and managed IT. Justin has overseen the creation and success of over a dozen companies in the technology, security and media sectors, and is the contributing source for his SB Design Blog, SB Tech Blog and SB SEO Blog among regular contributions to many outside blogs and websites, all for our clients.

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