Chatbots have been massively hyped up over the past couple of years. Some people have suggested the technology will eradicate the use of apps, while others have claimed they will entirely eliminate customer service jobs.
But what does the average user really think of brand bots?
As someone who has reviewed quite a few in my time, I’ve noticed a regular pattern of frustrating niggles. So, with this in mind, here are eight things I think your chatbot should never do. Feel free to add your own to the list in the comments section.
1. Pretend to be human
While the whole point of chatbots is that they’re supposed to mimic human interaction, that’s not to say that they should pretend to be human.
In a study by CEB, transparency was ranked as the number one most important factor for consumers when it comes to brand service. This means that – regardless of whether you want your bot to sound like a real person – it should always make it clear that it is not.
If a bot fails to disclose this, it could lead to users feeling like they’re being lied to, and a potentially disastrous lack of trust.
This example from TFL lets users know the score from the get-go.
2. Lack focus
AI technology has huge potential, meaning that many brands get overly excited about what they might be able to achieve. However, this can lead to bots trying to do too many things at once, with an apparent lack of understanding about what the user might actually need.
The technology’s limitations also play a big part, with many platforms having little or no natural language processing capabilities, and bots failing to understand basic user responses.
In contrast to bots that lack focus, the best ones tend to narrow things down to one area and do it well. The Whole Foods chatbot, which gives you recipes from specific ingredients, is one particularly good example of this.
3. Carry on talking (when I’ve abandoned the conversation)
One of the most frustrating bot-related experiences is when you’ve left a chat, only to find the bot continues to bother you with follow-up messages.
While this might sound like good practice in marketing terms – an ideal chance to bring users back into the conversation – it can be pretty annoying if you’ve already got what…