Maybe your bot launched last year, maybe you inherited one that was already in production, but chances are you’ve got a hunch that it’s just not performing as well as it could.
Rabbit holes of automation, customer frustration, and escalations that could have been managed by the bot … the struggle is real.
It’s time to take stock of your virtual agent’s performance and put your bot through a well-deserved tune up. As a bot owner, the power is in your hands to face the challenge head on and bring those improvements that will result in greater customer experience and drive business results.
But, the challenge is, where do you begin?
In this article, we’ve compiled a practical list to set yourself on the path to bot success.
Ready? Let’s dig in!
First things first: prioritize
It goes without saying that when it comes to improving chatbot performance, you need a plan. The plan needs to be based on real bot performance data and prioritized according to impact. After all, we can’t do everything at the same time, right?
So, before you jump in and start adjusting bot responses, introducing new content, retraining the AI model, or any other number of changes, you need first to analyze bot performance along a set of key metrics:
- Volume: Very likely, some intents are experiencing a much higher volume than others. This metric will serve as a good starting point to show you how many conversations you are going to impact when you introduce upgrades.
- Containment: Is the bot able to handle the full conversation, or are your customers dropping off midway or escalating to live agent channels?
- Sentiment: There’s an old saying “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. You need to hone in on those moments of customer frustration to identify opportunities for improvement.
Analyzing chatbot performance can be a time-consuming effort, but is a key step in the overall success of your bot program.
Most bot platforms provide chatbot analytics that shows you volume, containment, and sentiment at an intent level, giving you a generalized impression of performance. The real magic happens when you double click on the details and analyze performance at the topic level, based on actual customer conversations. Purpose-built bot analytics tools give you that depth and breadth of insight allow you to understand the details, giving you the insight you need to effectively deliver on your plan.
Now that you’ve got some background on how and where to begin, here are the top tips from our team of conversational AI experts that can have a big impact on bot automation and bot experience, and give you the benefits you are looking for.
1. Put your bot where customers will find it
Placing your chatbot on the ‘Contact Us’ page may make sense, but this limits its usage by customers. Make sure that your chatbot is easy to find and accessible – putting it on the homepage is the best way to make sure users can quickly take advantage of its capabilities. Having it on the homepage will increase adoption, and also ensures that simple navigational tasks can be handled by the bot, making it even more helpful for customers.
2. Address negative feedback
Have your customers provided negative feedback? If so, you need to revisit the chatbot’s response copy, the flow of the conversation, or the inclusion of appropriate links or other resources.
3. Fix conversations with no solution
When your bot can’t provide a solution to the customer, this could be because of two reasons: either the content doesn’t exist or it didn’t get classified correctly because of an NLU issue. If ‘no solution’ occurs because the content doesn’t exist, this is a gap and you would need to create new content to address it. If ‘no solution’ happens because of incorrect classification yet a solution exists, you must fix the intent by adding more utterances to make the bot give that solution.
4. Keep journeys short
When dealing with simple questions, it is important to keep the journey as concise as possible. A journey with too many steps (e.g., 40-50) may lead to increased abandonment and customer frustration. We recommend staying within 10 clicks to help your customer get the information they need quickly.
5. Regularly update your content
Check in with your content providers if any new messaging, branding, or products need to be added to the bot’s responses. Depending on the scope, you may want to consider introducing a new journey. We recommend scheduling a routine touchpoint with key content providers on a monthly or quarterly basis to check in and see if there is anything new. Keeping your content accurate and relevant, ensures your customers have a great experience with your bot.
6. Create training for topics with no response
If customers are asking about a particular topic and the bot does not have a response, it is better to train the bot on that topic and provide a response that acknowledges the lack of information and offers to connect the customer with an agent for further assistance. This can help to prevent false positives or no solutions, which can lead to a negative customer experience.
7. Help your agents with automation
Are there routine tasks that your live agents are performing that could just as easily be automated? If your agents are spending time looking up basic “how to” instructions or are responding to the same questions over and over, these should be the first candidates to be handled by your bot. This frees up your agents to deal with more complex or value-added tasks.
Measuring the impact
In this blog, we’ve compiled a list of 7 recommendations from our seasoned chatbot managers to drive better containment, increase resolution rates, and upgrade the customer experience.
But remember: whatever improvements you prioritize, setting goals and measuring performance changes over time is key. Set time aside each week to measure bot and topic performance, and we have no doubt that with a strong bot management process in place, you’ll see real results that drive business results in the coming year.
With the growing attention to conversational AI, there is no time like the present to show your chatbot some love, and deliver the conversational experience you and the team are hoping for.
PS, need a bit of help to analyze how your bot is performing? We’ve got you – check out our bot analytics software.