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Top 5 Tips for Optimizing Your Chatbot

Brianna Reedy

Getting ready to launch a chatbot, or maybe refresh the one you have, and not sure where to start? Here are some tips and tricks that are sure to drive efficiency, increase engagement, and encourage ongoing deflection: 

  1. Set the tone & introduce your new team member

The first step to creating a successful bot is ensuring that it’s one your customers are encouraged to engage with. Most bots are customizable in a variety of ways, ranging from giving it a name and profile photo, to company colors, even supporting gifs and emojis! Just as you work hard to maintain tone in your human support channels, curating a friendly personality can go a long way. Using colors and an informative icon is also key to making sure customers can spot your bot on your website or app. 

  1. Start out with flows you know 

Now that your customers have a new way to contact the team, you can start building flows. There are some workflows that every customer will ask about, such as support hours, or how to speak with an agent. In addition, there are some great go-to’s for each industry. 

For example, in ecommerce folks are going to ask about how to cancel an order or want to know about the refund policy. In a fintech, customers may ask about a timeline for receiving a new card or assistance with a declined transaction. These are great workflows to start with because these FAQ topics will likely start you off with a great deflection rate.

  1. Analyze customer contact reasons to discover new flows

Once you have your first set of workflows, it’s time to dive deeper. In order to increase your deflection, you’ll need to start identifying what else your customers are contacting you about. You can use data from other channels, such as email and phone, to get an idea of what kinds of topics might be popular. In addition, you can use analytics tools, like Lang, to uncover new topics that are specific to your chat data. For every new topic you discover, a new workflow can be built to assist your customers!

  1. Allocate resources towards maintenance 

After launching your bot with your new workflows, you may be tempted to “set it and forget it”, but remember that language is evolving every day. Some bots provide opportunities for ongoing training, which can require anything from marking an answer correct, to providing additional phrases to assist the bot with identifying the correct topic. Even if your bot has built in auto training, it’s always good to have a pair of human eyes available to oversee. 

Not sure who is best for the role? Lead agents or a tool manager are often the best option as they will be familiar with the language used day to day with your agents, whether it’s from first hand conversations, or from reviewing data in tools like Lang. Once you have the right person selected, work with your chatbot provider to understand the time and energy that should be invested in maintenance. Oftentimes they can even connect you with other customers to discuss best practices for continued success.

  1. Be proactive about adding new flows

Keep in touch with your product and marketing team! If new features or products are being deployed and advertised, customers will likely turn to the support team for answers. As it will take time to train your agents on these new topics, building out bot flows for initial deflection will not only help out your agents as they ramp up, but will also give your customer the quickest answer. 

In short, customizing your chatbot for the experience that’s right for your customer and support team might seem like a daunting task, but if you add these tips to your checklist, you’ll be deflecting tickets in no time!

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