Chatbots Can Do Much More Than Read the Weather

Any brand or business using chatbots in their most basic form isn’t using the talkative form of artificial intelligence to its fullest or most effective potential. Chatbots can do a lot more than send a text or read an email aloud. They are more than local weather reports or convenient news updates. They have come very far in recent years and can now offer the user an immersive and personalized experience that has the potential to guide the consumer throughout the purchase process for a variety of products and services.
Businesses and brands with a clear vision of the needs of their customers and users can get creative with the build of their chatbot assistants and develop them to be a real help to the users they serve. When considering how to make a bot as effective as possible it’s important to know the incredible ways digital assistant chatbot technology is being implemented today.

Assisting through listening

The capabilities of digital assistants are at an all-time high. Bots that were once limited to very simple voice activated tasks are now equipped to provide personalized help to users on new and very user specific levels. Virtual assistants are no longer just capable of running basic web searches and reading off the results or listening to and logging appointment details into a calendar. Now these bots can immerse themselves into the details of our lives via stored information from previous queries and conversations as well as location information they receive from the devices location services. They can then take this data to give more accurate, detailed, and helpful responses to the tasks we ask of them. The more an assistant chatbot is able to learn from its user the more it will be able to aid the user and the less effort the user will have to put forth to get the bot’s help. It will be able to anticipate many of the users’ needs and requests automatically by assessing patterns in the data it collects.

Putting information to action

Though many users only see their digital assistance as a way to use their devices handsfree, soon it will be clear how much more this technology can do beyond weather forecasts and flight schedules. Today’s digital assistants can open music apps and go to specific stations, songs, or genres. They can keep users on schedule by suggesting departure times based on daily routines and their assessment of traffic conditions on regularly taken routes. They can also update users who search for specific flights on flight delays, departure times, expected weather conditions, and other trends in travel at the time of a trip. The digital assistant is quickly becoming the digital personal assistant, learning user preferences and assisting user needs on an individual level.

Begin Your Bot Build with Design Principles

Chatbots are equally useful to a variety of businesses because of their versatility and the ease of creating them. With all the programs and resources available – many free of charge – for bot building anyone with or without programming knowledge can make a chatbot to fulfill whatever task their site or profile needs. Still, even with the aid of expert software, the process can be daunting and knowing where to start can be difficult. The easiest thing to do to begin is to establish the design principles of the project and go from there.

What basic principles should be considered?

Design principles are a set of rules that developers put in place at the start of their build which they adhere to throughout the project to guide and focus their objectives. Knowing the design principles of a project is a great way to keep track of goals and make sure they’re met.
Beginners and professionals can follow these project specific rules to successfully create a well-developed and efficient chatbot user interface. Design principles can also be brand or business specific to help make sure the project’s end result reflects the brand’s image well.

Design principles help to clarify the goal of the project and in turn make those goals easier to achieve. If the design principles are considered throughout the design process they can make any dilemmas or decisions that arise during the build easier to navigate. The following are some basic design principles that can be helpful when developing a chatbot:

Keep it simple – Users usually don’t want too much interaction, just enough to get the help or clarification they need.

Remember it’s a chatbotYour bot should have a personality but it shouldn’t try or be expected to mimic human behavior. People know they’re interfacing with AI and will appreciate the experience more if they know they’re dealing with a bot but that human support is needed if necessary.

Keep the platform in mind – Design your chatbot to be compatible with and take advantage of the most popular assets of whatever platform it’s built for. If it’s a messaging platform be sure to include the use of pictures, videos, gifs, and emojis. Social media bots should be programmed to post content that users will find engaging. Whatever use your chatbot is put to its important to maximize its effectiveness by incorporating relatable features.

Streamline the experience – A bot should be programmed to deal with a variety of user queries, but at the core of its design should be a streamlined and efficient approach to all interactions. Having a basic set of principles in place makes the bot’s behavior more reliable and also benefits the information it gives and gathers.