Want to learn how to train a chatbot your customers will actually want to talk to? We’ve got everything you need right here
Chatbots are exploding. Their growth mirrors the widespread adoption of APIs and apps and new bots are launched almost every day. In fact, odds are you’ve interacted with one already, whether you know it or not.
That said, even with the deserved hype around them, a lot of folks don’t know how to train and improve their chatbots. In fact, some chatbots are little more than search engines, sending customers to help articles and FAQs that don’t really answer their specific questions.
At Figure Eight, we’ve seen a lot of bot projects. We understand how to train a chatbot so it can hold real conversations to help real people solve real problems. We’ve put together some FAQs and all our relevant resources on this page. Here are a few to get you started:
Head to our Data for Everyone library to check out an utterance dataset we created for our chatbot eBook.
Simple! A chatbot is a program that can carry on a conversation with a person. Chatbots, sometimes called conversation interfaces or virtual assistants, are usually powered by rules or AI and generally lives in any major messaging application (think Slack or text messages).
The most common use case for a chatbot is in customer service, answering common questions for real-world users. Other chatbot uses include product recommendations, personal shoppers, giving life advice, or even bots for just talking to or playing games with. Since the most common (and probably the most valuable) use case is customer service, we’re going to spend most of this page talking about them.
For B2C companies, there are a two major benefits to building a chatbot. Namely:
Generally, chatbots are trained with four major kinds of data projects. We can handle them all at CrowdFlower. And while we explain each in depth in our free chatbot ebook, here’s a quick overview:
hatbots often fail because they’re overly ambitious. In other words, they try to solve too many problems.
It’s much smarter to identify the most common issues your customers face and solve those with your bot first. This helps your living, breathing customer service agents handle more nuanced problems and not feel like they’re doing the same thing day in, day out. Not only that, but zeroing in on a few key genres of support means that you can train your chatbot to be super effective clearing up those issues instead of trying to be all things to all customers. If you deal with a lot of shipping issues, for example, start by honing your bot to be an expert in that exact problem. Then, expand to other, less essential (but still important) areas.
Chatbots should mirror your brand persona. If your company is playful, your chatbot should be too. But nobody wants their banking chatbot tossing out “lol”s after a balance inquiry either.
What’s more important is that you understand how a chatbot should converse. Chatbots should be curious. Because conversation is hard. We all say things differently and seemingly identical issues can lead to immensely different chats. Your chatbot should ask just as many–if not more–questions than it answers. It should make sure it fully understands the issue before it attempts to solve it. And asking questions can really help get it there.
First off, don’t think of it as human vs. bot. It’s really about making sure both excel, which they can, in tandem. Maximize each approach by parcelling out the most appropriate issues to the most appropriate agent. People are great at nuanced conversations with a lot of back and forth, especially conversations that evolve or have a tendency to move in unexpected directions. Chatbots, on the other hand are great at speed and simpler conversations that can more easily mapped out.
The added bonus? Your people spend more time using their creativity and expertise while avoiding rote issues easily handled more quickly (and without frustration) by a bot.
If you’re interested in creating or training your own existing chatbot, please don’t hesitate to reach out. We’d be happy to help show you all we know.