The 3 key ingredients required to build a great chatbot

What is a chatbot ?

Simply put, a chatbot is an intelligent computer program that can have text based conversations with humans. The idea that software can communicate and talk to humans sounds like something from the future, but the reality of the matter is that most messaging platforms already host tens of thousands of chatbots that are interacting and conversing with humans everyday. Chatbots are available on platforms such as Slack, Messenger, Skype and Telegram. Now that we know what a chatbot is, we can explore what makes a great chatbot.

Purpose

Before going on to create your chatbot there are some fundamental questions that you will need to ask yourself. Why are you building a chatbot and who is the chatbot for ? What value are you creating for the person that you’re targeting ? What will the chatbot do ?

The answer to these questions need to be clear before going on to build a chatbot. Chatbots offer exciting possibilities, but they’re only good when the purpose of the chatbot is clear. For instance, is the chatbot you’re trying to build hoping to inform users about the weather or is it trying to inform users about the latest news in tech ? It is important to identify a specific use case for the chatbot. Ideally, the focus should be on getting the chatbot to be as good as possible to fulfill a very specific task.

Personality

Aside from having a unique and memorable name, your chatbot needs to have a personality that sets it apart from other chatbots that have similar functionality. The chatbots characteristics and qualities should form an individual distinctive character. It is important to note that the chatbot’s personality must be a reflection of the brand it represents. For instance, if Bloomberg or CNN were to have a Chatbot, it would probably be best if the Chatbot responded to users in a formal and serious way, to reflect the brand it represents. That is not to say that the Chatbot cannot be friendly, a friendly and enthusiastic chatbot can feel like a personal friend, it can facilitate sales and help brands grow their audience and reach.

Functionality

Ultimately, the most important thing to consider when creating a chatbot is its functionality. After all, the chatbot’s personality and purpose simply mean nothing if the chatbot is unable to hold a two way conversation. Chatbots are unique in the way they are made, but one thing that should be standard across all chatbots is their ability to not only reply to users, but to give meaningful replies that are human like and natural. Instead of following a strict pattern of question and answer, your chatbot should be flexible in the way that it interacts with humans.


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