Creating conversations, building ai-powered chatbots, being able to learn and adapt enables you to make meaningful progress on your digital journey without the need for a 6-figure budget, or the all too familiar battle competing for scarce tech resource.
In my last post Designing Difficult Digital Debt Collection Conversations, I looked at how you can get started in designing chatbot conversations for debt collections, looking at picking channels to failing gracefully. All very important elements of conversation design.
So moving on to this post, you've designed your conversations and are now ready to move onto the next project. What if I told you that you now need to stop, and change what you’ve just done? That would probably be met with some resistance, but that is exactly what you must do – change. I have worked with many clients, from the chatbot design process to going live with their ‘baby’, right through to reviewing and enhancing those bots. Nothing is ever so good that it can’t stand a little revision.
If I could give just only one piece of advice for setting yourself up for success it would be to pay attention to the ability to change, both in the initial stages of the process and more importantly, as an ongoing critical requirement.
Pay attention to how configurable your solution is. When choosing how you want to move forward with your digital conversations, consider how easy it is to build and change your solution. You may have an internal resource to build what you want today but will that resource still be available for you in 3 months’ time when you want to change or expand. What you go live with today won’t or at least it shouldn’t be, what you will want to be live within 12 months’ time. You need to learn from real conversations. Your chatbot and conversation design needs to evolve with the data.
This is liberating. Go live sooner with a simpler solution and then learn and layer the capabilities as you move forward. You don’t need to wait for perfection, by the time you get there the world will have moved on. Limit the number of individuals that have input into the later stages of the design. Everyone you ask will have an opinion and this can add weeks if not months to your project. With a chatbot, the best decisions are made from the conversation data and to get this you need to have it live.
Ensure that whichever route you take, it is iteration enabled from the start. As a minimum, you should alter the wording of your messages without a time delay or cost hurdle. The language of your bot will change, often these may be small tweaks but make sure you have the flexibility to do this on-demand.
When it comes to the bigger, structural changes these will need more planning, that’s inevitable. But once you have designed these changes then updating your chatbot to handle them should be within your control. As soon as you need a developer or a third party to do the building, you are going to be restricted.
Being able to monitor your performance before and after any changes will let you truly understand what is happening and importantly also allow you to tell your conversation’s story to the wider organisation. This is especially important once the initial buzz quietens down.
I cannot stress enough the importance of having an iterative mindset. It is central to having successful customer conversations and can be enjoyable. Tweaking and improving chatbot and conversation design and seeing the impact on customer engagement results is very satisfying.
Designing Difficult Digital Debt Collection Conversations