What are practical tips for using chat bots?

Both from our experiences with the Amac pilot chat bot and project experience from a number of expert group members, we detailed several practical tips for using conversational commerce with the help of a chat bot:


Manage expectations


  • Manage the expectation: clearly state what the domain of the chat bot is and tell the consumer that it’s talking to a chat bot;
  • Don’t make the chat bot domain too big, rather split up (one separate chat bots for searching shops and one for requesting product details are much easier and more robust to realize than if both functionalities are combined);
  • Make the chat bot easily accessible within your website: a chat bot on the homepage increases the consumer’s knowledge expectations of the bot when compared to a chat bot on the sub-page 'affiliates';


Be nice


  • Understand that the error tolerance from the user is low;
  • Always answer, even if the question wasn’t properly understood: “Could you rephrase the question?”;
  • The first interaction is very decisive, so ensure a neat and 'robust' opening of the chat that builds trust;
  • Responding too quickly may appear to be implausible or unresponsive; however, the test did not show that this led to irritation as long as one knew that it was a chat bot; when working with both employees and a chat bot, this is a point of attention;
  • Score with emoji and humor;
  • Be prepared for standard questions ("Are you real or a robot?", "Can I order pizza?"), by having a (humorous) answer in store ("Beep beep, I am a real robot" or "Unfortunately, the kitchen has just been closed, how can I be of service? ");


Keep it stupid simple


  • Offer choice options (buttons, numbers) where possible, which reduces the chance of errors and speeds up the ease of use;
  • Use a maximum of 3 text balloons after each other and a maximum of 3 lines of text per text bubble; long sentences and difficult terms lead to irritation and (choice) stress;


Better be safe than sorry


  • Avoid having to enter privacy-sensitive data;
  • Make references to external sources ("According to the KNMI (Dutch weather institute), this afternoon there will be rain in Amsterdam");
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