Have you ever wanted to run your businesses 24*7 and grow your businesses without a break? What if you could do that with a machine instead of employees, more simply software that helps you to achieve these goals?
That’s where chatbots come into play. Chatbots can work without breaks and handle as many customers as possible and improve various KPIs like conversion, improvement, or process automation. Chatbots also don’t compromise on the quality of service either. But the chatbot has to be impeccable in terms of the type and quality of service that it aims to provide.
So, what are the chatbot best practices that you can leverage while creating one?
Don’t worry. I have scouted through years of marketing tactics and have written this article to help both novices and experts to get the most out of your chatbots! This article will give you the best practices to succeed in your chatbot creation and objectives. Read more to find out!
What's in here?
Know the whys first
To start anything, the first thing we need is a plan. A well-thought-out plan trumps all odds and has the most chances to succeed. It is the same for chatbot best practices too! You should know “why you need a chatbot” before even considering chatbots. This ensures that you list out the use-cases for your chatbots. And this also helps you to know the limitations of chatbots.
For example, a chatbot is one of the best interfaces there is for customer lead generation. It obtains crucial details from the customers on your behalf. You start the sales with pre-qualified data, so your pitch is prepared. Also, as you save time delegating pre-qualification to your chatbot, you have more time to close. All this improves the odds of converting visitors to customers.
Chatbots can also be used for operational process automation. You can use them to create an e-learning chatbot that will teach some knowledge to users, evaluate them and deliver a certification. you can automate the material rendering process and many other use cases possible.
There are various KPIs that a chatbot can help to improve in your business. Some of the important ones are listed below!
The second important thing to plan before starting with chatbots is to restrict the chatbot to performing one task. Chatbots can not meet their optimal performance when you create them to be “jack of all trades”. Make sure your goals are realistic. You can create many chatbots with each one laser-focused on one Key Performance Indicator (KPI). This helps your company to improve specific KPIs with the dedicated effort put into them. This also makes the chatbots less cluttered for the customers. For example, if you have a FAQ chatbot, you have to restrict the chatbot to that functionality only. It must not contain any lead generation part in it. The same with an e-commerce chatbot, where you can not insert feedback part as customers might be distracted from what they are looking for and what they are asked to do by the chatbot.
So the first step in the chatbot best practices is to have a concrete, well-focused, and simple use case for your chatbot.
Give your chatbot a personality
Chatbots fail in their targets mainly because people don’t like the way the chatbots reply to them. The major disadvantage with computer-generated conversations used to be the way the conversations are simulated.
So, the best interest for your chatbot best practices is, while you plan for your first chatbot, to make the chatbots more approachable, give your bot a name, a personality, and an avatar.
People are more persuasive if the chatbot has a personality than being monotonous and robotic. Keep in mind who the users of the chatbot are and devise your conversation tone accordingly.
Chatbots can deliver replies instantly. This is one of the advantages of automation. But when it comes to conversations, faster doesn’t always mean better. Give it a couple of seconds between replies to give the natural conversation feel to the user. This adds flavor to the personality of the chatbot too.
Make sure the color scheme, the chatbot appearance, and everything else align with your brand image. Use the color palette that suits your existing properties. This makes the user perceive the chatbot as one of the included entities instead of an outside tool.
The next thing to consider is the construction of the conversational interface. In short, a conversational interface is when the computer simulates a conversation with the users. This method has proven to be more successful with customers as it simulates interactions with the users. You can find more about the conversational interfaces and their uses here.
The major requirement of the conversational interface is the tone of the chatbot. This heavily depends on how your brand image is – How you converse with your clients, what image you want to portray to the customers, and what image you want to create at the customer’s side. The type of use-cases that you are creating the chatbot for also matters for this. If it is for customer feedback, the chatbot should sound empathetic, friendly, and helpful. If it is for lead generation or sales, the chatbot should be confident, assertive, and energetic. There are various tones that the chatbots could take. You can find some of the most prevalent ones below:
It is one of the chatbot best practices to use three-five tones to throw in some spice and variety in your chatbot creation. But, make sure it aligns with the conversation goal that you try to attain. Being professional can be a goal, but emotions determine how people perceive the chatbot. Ultimately, it depends on the use-cases of the businesses that you create the chatbot for. In the following sections, You’ll encounter Amy and Joony, two different chatbots with two different conversation tones.
Once the conversation tone is nailed, the next thing to care about is the flow of the chatbot. There should always be a flow between the previous conversation reply and the next. The conversation should be hierarchical, where one reply can redirect to the next.
First, sketch your flow and decide how your chatbot is going to behave. With this flow, you can start deciding the next aspects of the chatbot.
For example, if yours is an e-commerce chatbot, you can start by suggesting “what’s hot”, “discount section” and “All collections” to sell and this decides how the further conversation goes. With each option that the customer chooses, the chatbot takes different flows. Each branched conversation must focus only on the initial conversation subject. You can also use the information gathered from the customer at the beginning of the chatbot like their names along the way to simulate a more natural flow of conversation. To structure your flow, you can use tools like or that help you to create and easily visualize your flows.
The first impression is everything
Once you have nailed the use-cases and tone of your chatbots, you’re ready to proceed to the next steps. The next in chatbot best practices is to determine how to welcome the user to your chatbot. Let me give you two examples for you to consider. Imagine that you are entering an e-commerce website and you encounter a chatbot:
If you’re given those two introductions, which one are you most likely to continue talking to? 9 out of 10 would feel comfortable to continue with Ana. The first impression matters the most. This determines how the customers perceive the entire chatbot experience. So, concentrate on how you design the first few messages and transactions between the customer and the chatbot. This helps to keep the users and helps in the experience of the chatbot.
But there are a few important things for you to remember while creating a chatbot.
One is to let the users know that they are talking with a chatbot. This eliminates most of the misunderstandings that come in the conversations.
This also curbs any expectations that the user might have that are outside the scope of the chatbot that they are conversing with. Also, don’t pretend to be a human. Chatbots are best at what they do mainly because of their nature – bots. Embrace that nature and wear it like armor.
Keep it simple - User Experience is the money maker!
When it comes to the best practices for chatbots, nothing has more weight than the user experience.
At the end of the day, a chatbot is another tool for your users to experience the services of the businesses. In that perspective, chatbots are the ambassadors of your businesses. They represent the values of your businesses to the users.
So, to make the experience pleasant, it has to be more user-friendly. The more users feel at ease to converse with the chatbots, the more conversations are completed. This increases the conversion rate, bringing more users to your chatbots.
To make the user experience simple, there are a few tips and hacks that you can leverage:
- Keep the logic of the chatbot as simple as possible.The texts from the chatbot should be crystal clear without ambiguity.
- Make use of the various input methods available in the chatbot ecosystem – give prompts for users to click and reply with buttons and redirections. All these help the user to cruise through the chatbot conversation.
- Use videos, images, gifs, and emojis to make the conversation more lively.
- If your conversation has more than 15 passes, it is time to simplify it (unless it is absolutely necessary). Consider a store employee who rants continuously without caring about the customer’s situation. The customer would want to leave the shop as soon as possible. This is in no way different for chatbots. In chatbots, the responses are preprogrammed. so you can determine how many inputs that you receive from the user. While designing the chatbots, make sure the conversations are crisp and to the point. Also, make sure the user experience is pleasant and… usable!
Using these UX tricks can help you provide a better experience to the user, which goes miles in customer retention and ultimately improves your business or any other venture that you use your chatbot for!
Have creative fallbacks and human representatives if necessary
A chatbot is a tool to gather customer information and answer customer queries. That doesn’t mean chatbots can answer all questions of the user. And that is actually fine because a half-baked or insufficient answer is far worse than no answer at all. When the chatbots couldn’t service a particular question, let them know that the chatbot has forwarded the question to a human agent. The human agent could help them with the same issue more effectively. This makes the customer understand the limitations of the chatbot. This also ensures that the customer gets their needs answered.
The second thing to consider for the chatbot best practices under this segment is creative fallbacks. Nobody likes to hear that they are wrong. It is human nature. Imagine someone telling you that the information you’ve provided is incorrect and asking you to provide the right set of ones again. Though it is the fact, subconsciously we tend to dislike the scenario. If it is the case for human interactions, how could a chatbot handle it? One good strategy is to program the chatbots to say something quirky. The data collection error mostly happens with collecting phone numbers and emails. But you can apply this to any scenario. They all depend on the way you construct the chatbot. The creative fallbacks and human backup ensure that appropriate input is gathered every time.
Redirect and get feedbacks
What would a storefront employee do when he is done selling you one product? They will try to redirect to giving you more options to increase the sales. This is one of the nuances to improve the business. Similarly, it is advisable to redirect to the first menu where the users were given the options when they entered the bot. In this way, customers with more than one query can get them serviced in the same conversation. This way of redirection ensures that the customer service is always prioritized to solve as many questions that the users might have.
The next in line in chatbot best practices is to get feedback from the users. This is usually done at the end of the conversations to measure the pulse of the users. The feedbacks help you to better upgrade the flow of the chatbot too. This improves the user experience for the customers.
Analytics - data, Data, and more DATA!
The major advantage of this technological era for businesses is the sheer volume of data that is generated. Data is generated during any digital action. Businesses are leveraging this data for their own benefits! Finding patterns in this data while analyzing them helps the businesses to find defects, areas to improve, and areas of strength to concentrate more on. So, the next chatbot best practice is to leverage the data generated from chatbots.
The analytics data can also be used to assess the drop-off rates. Drop-off rate is the metric that shows how far customers reach in the conversation before leaving the chatbot without completing the conversation. Customers can leave the conversation at any part of the chat, be it the first text, or halfway through. There can be various reasons for this. To improve the chatbot conversion rates, you can use these drop-off rates and modify the chatbot such that the drop-off rate is minimal.
Chatbots are another best digital tool for businesses that generate heaps and heaps of data from how long does a user converse with a chatbot to where the conversation drops. Use analytics tools like Google Analytics, Tableau, and others for this purpose. Integrate them with your chatbot performance tracking. With this information, you can fine-tune the flow of the chatbot to make it more user-friendly and more approachable. Doing this ensures customers are served adequately and precisely.
Take a step back - Regroup and brainstorm
Chatbots have the ability to handle multiple users at the same time without any degradation in quality. This we already know. But how do you find the right formula to converse with the customers? The perk of using a chatbot is the ability to program various introduction messages and flows before deployment. With these variations, businesses can do various testings. The A/B test option allows businesses to trial and test various flows, messages, and conversations. These tests help you to find the “right recipe” that just clicks with the customers. This comes as an indirect benefit of the automation and digitalization options of chatbots.
The best practice for chatbots is to use the feedback data, the results of the A/B tests and the analytics data to constantly improve the chatbot throughout its entire lifetime.
A chatbot is like a well-oiled engine. It runs at 100% when it is well oiled and serviced regularly. The maintenance ensures that the engine is in its impeccable condition and also helps to make the engine more efficient too. Chatbots are no different. If you maintain and upgrade them, they provide the best help for your businesses.
Know your limits
So far I’ve helped you to know the “Whys” and guidelines for how and how not your chatbots should be. Assuming that you’ve read through all the chatbot best practices, I’m going to make a bold prediction here – You want to build your own chatbot! Well, in that case, it is time to introspect with the information you’ve gained from all the above chatbot best practices. Then it is time to make one of two decisions – Either to build it on your own or go with a chatbot service provider. Let me help you in deciding the actual “Hows”.
Deciding to build your own chatbot can be a time-consuming process. You might have the resources to hire programmers, spend time to develop a system customized for your own business, and create a new team in your organization just for your chatbots. Though you could do it on your own, my question is why should you?
There are various chatbot service providers who do chatbot creation and maintenance as full-time jobs. These businesses have the expertise in the chatbot field and they give you one less thing to worry about. These businesses even help you with streamlining your use-cases, chatbot flows, and maintenance of your chatbots.
When it comes to chatbot service providers, again you’re left with various options:
If your use cases are complex and need technology like artificial intelligence, service providers like and can provide you with solutions that match your requirements. But remember, implementing AI into chatbots adds a layer of complexity. It requires constant allocation of resources in terms of both time and money.
If you don’t want the complexity of AI Chatbots, there are rule-based chatbots available. There is no intelligence as per se, but rule-based chatbots can answer more than 80% of all customer serviceable questions. For the rest, you can always use your customer service software to redirect the queries to a human agent. is one of the best examples of a rule-based chatbot that requires no-code to develop, and you can create your own chatbot in minutes.
There are also some chatbot vendors available who let you leverage the existing chat platforms like Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp and create chatbots for them. This can be another way to leverage chatbot potential for your business. Service providers like Manychat and Chatfuel help you to build your own messenger bots.
To summarise, here are certain do’s and don’ts that you can concentrate on in your chatbot-building practice.
When you are building your chatbot, the key thing to remember is User Experience is everything. When users have the best UX, they tend to have the best engagement with your brand, and it ultimately leads to the best conversions for your businesses. Our chatbot best practices advice is all UX-oriented, follow them and you’ll get the best ROI on your chatbots.
Want to know more? Check these out: