If you don’t have support from marketing and don’t consider yourself “creative,” you can always do a quick message architecture exercise with your team to help define who your bot is and isn’t.
Journey isn’t just a band; it’s the planned and unplanned path your user may take to engage with your bot. Users frequently complain they get “stuck” interacting with bots, or that a bot is “dumb,” when in reality it’s not the bot’s fault at all — the blame rests on your team’s ability to guide your user through a journey.
Leverage journey mapping and task-flow techniques to ensure each prompt and response option is covered. Mapping out these possible decision trees will help you and your team identify dead ends and anything that strays from the “happy path.”
An easy way to keep users on the happy path is to use leading questions (I know, I know, anyone who does user research is cringing) and provide affirmation when they choose the option you intended.
Outside of journey, the form factor will play a large part in matching or exceeding a user’s expectations. Here are a few guiding questions to consider:
- Will our bot only be used on a mobile device, or do we need to consider desktop users? What about voice?
- What type of inputs are easiest for the user at the time of use (multiple choice, open text, number entry, voice, etc.)?
- How can we mimic any channel-specific (Facebook, Skype, Teams, web, etc.) nuances to help reduce onboarding friction and provide a seamless experience?
With each of these areas covered, don’t forget users still might run into a situation where your bot can’t help and they need an escape hatch. In that case, be sure to give them an option to get help outside the bot experience and reach a real human via phone, email or integrated customer service chat, etc.
It’s not goodbye; it’s see you later. Your bot has done its job, and your users are satisfied. So, now what? This is an often-overlooked opportunity to engage with your users for your benefit (and theirs). A few great ways to sign off or set up future engagements include:
- Check to see if a user is done with the session and explain how to re-engage.
- Ask the user to rate his or her experience.
- Direct the user to your brand’s social media.
- Offer users a discount or incentive in return for simple data mining.
Wrapping up, we hope these tips and tricks will provide a few conversation starters for teams building their first bot and the ways a UX professional can help improve your users' overall bot experience. Just remember: Even though a bot may not include the typical UI design focus other digital products do, several experience considerations can help your bot stand out in a crowd and increase both user adoption and satisfaction.