According to research from Gartner, around 70% of the global workforce will have interactions with a conversational system on a daily basis by 2022.
As a designer of such a conversational platform, you must think of it as putting a puzzle together. You must consider the technological limitations of your platform and craft what you want users to do within the space.
Bit by bit, use-case by use-case, you put the puzzle together with the end goal of creating conversations that feel natural, user-friendly, and intuitive.
In this article, we will discuss briefly how you can best use the tools available to you within the WhatsApp API to bring the conversation design to life.
1. Understanding your business requirements and audience
The most important step in designing a great conversational flow is defining a clear problem statement that the bot is intended to solve.
For example – “I need to design an automated customer support bot for my online shoe store.”
Once you have identified the overall problem statement, you should start to fill in the details by asking questions like
- What channels are customers currently using for support queries?
- What is the percentage of calls/emails/chat that customers currently use?
- What are the most common complaints?
- How are we generating leads currently?
- How well is our website/social media working for conversions?
2. Building a bot persona (researching your buyer)
To create the persona that the bot will communicate as, you must undertake comprehensive research to understand the practical details of what your customers really want. You should go to internet forums, app store reviews, the comments section on your social media and your reviews to understand what language your customers are using and what their questions are.
If you are already using a CRM, you need to know what the average turnaround time is for currently resolving tickets. How many customer agents do you currently have, and when are they active? Once you collate this information, you can start creating a bot persona.
For example, if you are a fitness brand your average customer might be young, financially independent individuals. To cater to them, your brand persona should be that of a young, enthusiastic fitness guru rather than an old, world-weary advisor.
Use this persona to role-play conversations with your customers. You will see that there is a lot of different conversational situations that could come up and the bot must be able to deal with emotions, technical jargon, and even separate languages. It should be able to speak to the angriest and the shyest customer and guide them towards a conversion.
3. Picking the right words (affirmations, ice breakers, sign off phrases)
To keep the conversation flowing and natural, it is important that you pick the right words and phrases to move the user along their journey.
Broadly speaking, your bot persona will fall into one of these three categories
- Formal (Professional, minimalistic, and helpful tone)
- Casual (Friendly and helpful)
- Quirky (Energetic, funny, and niche-specific)
Conversations are inherently very contextual, so consider these as guidelines and not strict rules when you are designing your bot. Let us consider a few use-cases.