Make sure you are building the right chatbot – before you build the bot right

I’m going to start off saying something daring: Building a chatbot the correct way is easy. Figuring out what the right type of bot for your business is can be hard and it is therefore essential, that you know how to scope your bot before you start building it.

This saying is nothing new to any Digital Designer, as the likes of Bill Buxton and Alberto Savoia have been huge advocates for this type of approach for many years.

What’s the difference?

If you have a hard time distinguishing the difference between building the right bot and building the bot right, let me explain:

Building the right bot concerns that you have a clear scope for the bot and that the scope benefits your business. Building the bot right concerns the practicalities of creating the bot’s messages and connections.

Building the right bot is something that can be overlooked easily in integrating a chatbot, as the focus often is to learn how to operate a chatbot – a skill, which is equally important, but can’t add value to your business by itself. It is therefore important to avoid building the wrong bot the right way from the beginning of the process. In the worst-case scenario, it can result in having to start from scratch, and none of us want you to waste your most valuable resource – time – so let’s get started.

Why who and where

Let’s be fair; it is exciting to integrate a chatbot and to be able to work with a brand-new technology, however, if that technology does not have a clear purpose then the results will often reflect this. Imagine building a marvelous building – the aesthetics are pleasing, and there is not a single flaw in the craftsmanship. Sounds great, right?

You are therefore ready to get people to make use of this marvelous building only to realize that you can’t communicate why it’s there or why people should want to use it, furthermore, you have also placed it in a desolate area with poor opportunities to transport to it. Building a bot is therefore not only a question of having the skills to do it but also being able to communicate why you built it, understanding how it can add value to the users and placing it where users can find it.

Knowing why you want a chatbot

It is also the reason why one of the first questions I ask a customer is, “Why do you want a chatbot?”.

Awareness of why you want a bot and awareness of how it can create value for your business is a great foundation to find the right scope.

For example, maybe you want a bot because you want it to be easier for your co-workers to find information about business travels in your intranet.

In this example, you have identified an area to improve, as you want the content to be easier to find. It can also be considered an expression of the information on the intranet being hard to find for co-workers, and perhaps much time goes into helping co-workers finding this information. This part, therefore, answers the “why,” as you want a chatbot to make the process easier.

Knowing who your users are

In the example, there is also an identified target group, your co-workers, which means you might have an idea of how to communicate with them and what their goal with searching the intranet is. Knowing who your users are is quite important, as you need to keep them in mind in every single step of building your bot. It also means that if you have shallow knowledge about them, you have to contact someone in your organization, who are in contact with them every day, e.g., customer support, as they often have precious information about them. It answers the “who” and helps you figure out how to build the right chatbot.

Knowing where to reach your users

In the example, there is also an identified channel – the intranet. Knowing where to reach your users and in what part of their user journey, they need help is crucial. You can have the right bot and build it right but placed in the wrong place – a place where users do not frequent in their journey; you will not succeed in integrating your chatbot.

By focusing on these areas in the early stages of creating your chatbot, will help you get off to a good start building the right bot.

If you want to know more about building the right bot, see our article about how to improve the customer relationship with a chatbot.

If you are interested in hearing more about how to get started, please contact us at – or give us a ring if you need more customer cases +45 26 71 58 45 .

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