If you are here, you have succumbed to the allure of conversational marketing.
Good for you!
There is hardly a more natural way to provide a personalized experience on the web 24/7.
Though, before you dive into crafting your first conversational bot, let me share a chatbot checklist every maker should follow when building a chatbot.
1. Who is it for? (Define your audience)
Naturally, in order to market, you need to know your audience.
Doing so for your bot will help you set the overall tone and structure of the conversation you want to unfold and connect with the audience more effectively.
Focus on targeting a specific demographic and consider some or all of the following factors:
- Geographic location
- Income level
- Education level
- Family status
After that, be sure also to create a psychographic profile of your target audience. Consider aspects such as their:
Defining the chatbot’s target audience will help you with further steps in the creation process, like the bot’s language patterns and personality.
2. Why? (Set a Clear Goal)
The second item on our chatbot checklist is no groundbreaking news. Yet, it’s a step that will save you a lot of time in the long run. Before you start dragging, dropping, and connecting, determine the goal of the conversation.
What do you want to achieve?
What problem are you trying to solve?
While there is an endless array of conversational chatbots you can create, they generally fall under one of the two models below:
- 👩🏫 Information bot: designed to provide the audience with a more user-friendly way of getting information.
- 👨🏻🔧 Utility bot: intended to fulfill an action or solve a problem such as completing signup or filing a complaint.
So, do you want people to register for an event, apply for a job, sign up for service, learn more about you, or complete a survey?
Your goal will fundamentally affect the flow of the conversation and chatbot design. If you fail to clarify your intention at the beginning, you can tangle yourself in a web of constant fixes and replacements 😱.
3. Make a List of the Information You Want to Collect
If one of your objectives is to collect information, make a list of the data essential to completing your goal.
It can be:
- factual information (name, age, address, email, position, company...)
- descriptive information in the form of answers to more complex questions (multiple-choice or open-ended).
4. Create Bot Persona & Personality
At first glance, it might not seem so, but creating a humanized chatbot persona is a crucial step in creating a believable conversational experience.
While you should never conceal that your customers/users are speaking to a bot, creating a persona with human characteristics will help you create an enjoyable, interactive experience with a personal touch.
So, before you start to make your own chatbot attribute it some of these elements:
- form (human, animal, fantastic creature, superhero, machine… )
- key characteristics (good and bad)
- maybe a perk to spice things up?
It might seem silly, but this simple exercise will help you choose the language and phrases that seem more personal and ultimately more fun. This is the time to unleash your creativity.
To whom would your target audience like to chat?
5. Introduce Yourself
Ok. You have your audience, your goal, the list of data you need to extract, and a chatbot persona… let’s chat then!
Conversational marketing is all about presenting the information as part of a flowing conversation. Hence, you can’t just pop out of nowhere demanding people to share their personal information.
Imagine going to a sports equipment store. Now imagine somebody asking to see your ID before they even say Hello or invite you in. Rude and unacceptable, no? In essence, don’t do and ask anything that you wouldn’t do or ask interacting with the customer face to face.
Start the conversation with Hello👋 and a short introduction! It’s also a great opportunity to ask for a person’s name!
6. State Your Purpose
Explain to your visitors what you can and cannot do. E.g., they can ask you for product information but can’t submit complaints, they can make a reservation but not order food, or just complete a fun quiz, etc.
In other words, make sure customer expectations are in line with the capability of your bot.
7. Keep the Messages Short
Have you ever received one of those rambling, dissertation-like messages from one of your friends on WhatsApp or Messenger 📝🙄? How excited were you about reading it?
How to build a chatbot that converts? Don't make the same mistake. Keep your information blurbs short and sweet. If you have more to say, divide it into 2-3 shorter messages.
8. Don’t Slip into a Monologue
If people wanted to read long strips of information, they would read your blog or product descriptions.
They are talking to your bot because they want the information to be quick and straightforward. So, when you split the information into multiple messages, don’t send more than three in a row!
Avoid monologuing at all costs!
There are always more ways to make bots sound more conversational.
9. Leverage GIFs, Emoji & Videos 🤩
Engage and reward customers using GIFs, Emoji, and/or video.
Once upon a time, GIFs and emojis didn’t belong in conversational business dictionaries, but that has changed. Significantly!
GIFs and Emojis serve as a handy substitute for facial expressions and hand gestures. Subtle use of these graphic elements will make the chat seem more natural as well as more entertaining, when it comes to online chat.
On the other hand, a video is a great way to share a big chunk of information without bombarding your customers with essay-worthy messages.
10. Ask Straightforward Questions
Always ask straightforward questions that only have one possible answer (especially if you use a text box).
You might think “Duh! Everyone knows that!”
However, you would be surprised how easy it is to slip off track when making a chatbot. For instance, just trying to be extra polite can cause you little trouble:
Bot: Would you mind typing your email?
User: Yes, of course! | Sure… It’s …. | No, I don’t mind… | firstname.lastname@example.org
As you can see, a simple question can result in a lot of clutter as only one of these would be recognized as a correct answer.
So, make sure your questions ask for a clear answer.
Bot: What’s your email?
Bot: Please share your email address below👇
11. Hide Textbox when Possible
On some occasions (e.g., asking for an opinion), giving people the freedom to type their answers freely is essential.
However, most of the time, you can avoid this by introducing an interactive choice. This way, the information you are collecting can stay straightforward & structured.
Also, using an interactive choice to keep the conversational flow going is faster and more user-friendly (especially when chatting on a mobile).
12. Let Humans be Humans (Allow Field Changes)
It’s absolutely natural for people to make typos. So, give them a chance to check and correct the information they submit.
It’s a small extra step that can pay off BIG time.
13. Capitalize on KEY Features
Landbot is loaded with incredible features designed to make your life easier. That will be true of any decent chatbot builder on the market.
So, simply put, use them!
For instance, if you want potential clients to call you, don’t just use Landbot to give them your phone number. They would have looked up the number directly had that been their intention.
Don’t take me wrong, there is nothing wrong with your goal being connecting customers with on-call support representatives. But be smart about it!
To throw in a simple example, you can use the conversational bot as a “filter” to narrow down the customer’s query. Once you find out what the customer wants, you can send this information into a spreadsheet, calendar, or any other web app to either schedule a meeting, arrange a phone call or follow the lead by email.
The possibilities are endless!
Connect your Landbot with apps, web apps, spreadsheets, email, or any other tool you are using, and ensure you follow up your leads! Whether you have a free, starter or professional plan, there are great features to choose from!
Before you go live, don’t forget to add the secret ingredient of every worthy “How to build a Chatbot” tutorial: Test your chat before, on desktop as well as mobile!
- Are you using correct spelling?
- Does the flow feel natural?
- Are there any dead ends?
- Does the written text feel overwhelming at any point?
15. Observe & Analyze
Your bot is alive and kicking!
But the work doesn’t stop here. Landbot offers great analytics that allows you to see how many people engage with your conversational chatbot and lets you follow the customer journey.
You can see which conversation options are doing the best, which are being ignored and cause trouble.
To create a chatbot that converts, you need to analyze your data and improve your bot as you go.
Chatbot development is no longer about struggling through the marshes of artificial intelligence and untangling the dysfunctional tangle of natural language processing and machine learning.
The magic of frictionless user experience is attainable. People like you can build conversational interfaces in minutes!
Download our checklist and get started now!