Answering real-time questions across the Atlantic

Project: Kahoot!

The Kahoot! project group: Anette Berge and Maja Olsen from Convertelligence and Evelien Jacobs and Espen Thoresen from Kahoot!

Written by Maja Olsen.

The Norwegian game-based learning platform, Kahoot!, has seen massive growth over the last few years, and has more than 2 billion participating players since launch. In addition to their free version, Kahoot! also offers premium subscriptions for teachers and businesses, where users can power up in-class training or add fun quizzes to presentations and meetings, among other things.

Kahoot! is now used worldwide and is particularly popular in the USA, but its massive popularity also presents a challenge. With most of its users living in a different time zone, how can Kahoot! answer user inquiries in real time?

The answer is simple: employ a chatbot.

In December 2018, Kahoot! and Convertelligence met to plan the foundation for what would become three different chatbots, all living on Kahoot!’s webpages. Two UX writers from Convertelligence joined Espen Thoresen, Community & Customer Care Director, and Evelien Jacobs, Social Media & Community Specialist, from Kahoot! in creating and tailoring the chatbots. From the onset, it was clear that this was a good match. As Espen emphasizes, the two companies have very similar working cultures.

“We’re both growth companies,” Espen says. “Some of our core values are being curious and playful, and we find Convertelligence curious and playful, too.”

The first English-speaking chatbots

Being curious and playful became important traits when embarking on the chatbot project. The aim was to make the chatbot answer questions about the different features and price plans and to increase conversions, all in Kahoot!’s playful tone of voice.

Kahoot! initially wanted two different chatbots, one for Kahoot! for schools and one for Kahoot! for businesses. Because the chatbots were to cover similar topics, but provide different answers, the project team decided to create a skill with content and then implement it in two different chatbots. This became the basis for Convertelligence’s first English-speaking chatbots.

The project team worked together for two weeks. In the first, they created the skill, and in the second they tailored the two chatbots. Two weeks might seem like a long time, but Espen ascertains that it’s worthwhile.

“If people feel that they’re investing or spending too much time in those weeks, with the start of the project, it will pay off,” Espen says.

Be open and flexible

Espen and Evelien have plenty of advice for future chatbot builders. They emphasize that it’s important to plan beforehand and set targets for what you want the chatbot to achieve, but at the same time, you don’t want to limit yourself to only one target. You might be surprised that the chatbot is doing something you were not intending it to do, but that doesn’t have to be a bad thing.

“Perhaps the bot is more a support bot, but not a sales supporting bot,” Espen says. “Perhaps it’s for engagement and not for sales or support. You have to have an open mind.”

A chatbot is an ongoing project and constantly needs to be monitored and altered to fit the users’ needs. Evelien points out that it’s okay for the chatbot to make mistakes.

“People are so different in how they ask questions that you can never really anticipate everything. I keep going through all the conversations and just adding new samples if needed. Then it’ll be better next time.”

It’s also smart to consider what information you think is the most beneficial to the user.

“The question that gets asked the most is the first button in the welcome message,” says Evelien. “So when you decide on what you want the bot to do primarily, put that in the first question, so that people can click on it.”

The road ahead

Since the initial chatbot project, Kahoot! has also created another chatbot for their new subscription plan, and because the skill had already been created, the new chatbot was quick and easy to build. Evelien tailored the chatbot by herself in only one day.

“I used the skills and I just tweaked the answers and implemented new links and all of it,” she says.

The project team is happy with how user-friendly Kindly is, and have found the tool very easy to learn. They’re also happy with how quickly Convertelligence is able to adapt to new suggestions.

“Since Convertelligence is a startup, they’re very open and flexible about everything,” Evelien says. “That’s a very good plus point. When you look at other companies that are bigger chatbot companies, I don’t think they would be this flexible.”

Kahoot! continues adjusting and updating the chatbot to make it more visible and user-friendly for their customers. Among other things, they’ve tested activating the chatbot bubble on scroll and altering the answers based on customer interactions.

“We’re just tweaking,” Evelien says. “And if this doesn’t work, then we can go back to other things. Just trying everything to see what works best.”

With three chatbots already on their webpages, it seems that the Kahoot! users all over the world, even the ones across the Atlantic, are getting all the help they can get.