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What you really need to know about bots before you start

October 17, 2018

What are chatbots? These four points will guide you for a smooth conversation about bots with friends & colleagues.

  • Smart digital assistants.
  • Developed to solve problems or fill the needs of their users.
  • Communicates via text and/or voice.
  • Based on artificial intelligence.

But what if you are thinking about the future of your digital marketing and about a bot for your brand or company? Here we provide a few, essential tips you’ll need before you start. 

  1. State of mind: Whatever chatbot you think your brand or company needs, it will be a time-consuming project. We advise you to think about building bots more as building complete, conversational strategies. A chatbot is just the packaging of what you want to deliver to your clients: the best customer experience you can ever think of.

  2. Start with who & why: If you want to deliver the best possible service, you need to start with who you want it delivered to. Who are you creating for and what are their daily challenges? Make sure this is crystal clear. If you don’t know who you do the work for, you don’t know what problems you are solving. This results in a bot that’s not serving your target the way you expect it to.


  3. Personality: Your bot is a digital assistant with a fitting personality. Think about your buyer persona’s and what kind of person they like to talk and chat to. Then, describe the tone of voice. Is it more formal or is the user in for a joke or two? Name and gender aren’t unimportant either. Chatting with Mr. Spencer is a completely different thing than having Sarah help you out. Next to that, don’t make your bot too much of a human. Real humans forgive machines faster than humans.

  4. Where: Bots are smart, but still need a place to be active in. Most of the time these are messenger tools such as Slack, Messenger, WhatsApp, Kik or voice-controlled systems such as Alexa etc. Based on the below data, Messenger and WhatsApp are the best choices. But at the end, please just make sure you are where your consumers are.

    Mobile messaging appsMobile messaging apps graph

  5. First paper then code: As this is conversational marketing, you might need to write down the conversations between your users and the bot. Literally, write it down. Pen and paper folks! Do not start coding before you know the conversations you want your bot to manage.

    This is a tip from Purna Virji I will never forget: first paper, then code.

  6. Think small: Conversational strategies and bots are such a huge job, you might want to start small. Pick a segment from your company or your brand to grow with.

  7. Do not focus on transaction: When writing your conversations, avoid to make it transactional. Focus on the conversation. If you want to sell, you need to offer help. When you truly help your users with the bot, magic will happen. Your brand will not only be top of mind, it will be top of heart. And then; sales are around the corner. 

  8. Think about your data: Your bot will provide you with a huge amount of data. Data on consumer behavior, feedback on what you offer, what your consumers struggle with and how your company can solve it. Before you develop your bot, you need to know how you will handle all the data. Get your company flow ready for all the feedback and use it to your advantage.

  9. Multichannel approach: Find a place for your bot. Make sure your bot supports the other channels you communicate on and the other way around. E.g. If you have email campaigns your bot might be an interesting, new way to build upon your list. (Keeping opt-ins in mind of course)

  10. Testing: Last resort: test the s**t out of your bot! Set up a focus group to test your bot inside out. And award the group for their valuable feedback. Then, implement it and go live. After really thorough testing sessions, don’t hesitate to go live. Users will reward you with feedback that you didn’t expect. 

In short, bots are fairly new in the market so make sure you know where to start. Ask yourself: ‘would an expert advise be recommended in this?’ If yes, get in touch!  We are here to share our expertise with you. 


Hungry for more? Read "Will (chat)bots replace email marketing?".

Lien Brouillard Lien Brouillard
Co-founder | digital & social strategist

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