Common Chatbot Mistakes and How to Overcome Them: Part 2


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Chatbots were one of the biggest trends of 2018 as customer service leaders jumped to join the latest craze and deploy chabots across popular channels like web chat and Facebook Messenger. Ironically, Gartner predicts that 40% of those deployed in 2018 will be decommissioned (How to Win with AI and Chatbot in Your Customer Service Operation.)

Last month, I shared part 1 of this blog series, which dove into some top chatbot mistakes. There are many, and companies are struggling to get it right. In part 2 of this series, you will learn how to build a chatbot that takes a customer-centric approach, one that will truly amplify the customer experience.

A Customer-Centric Chatbot

Artificial intelligence (AI) is becoming more robust by the second. Innovators are simultaneously becoming more creative and astute in finding the synergy between AI and the self-service experience.

As a result, solution providers are consistently delivering more powerful, functional chatbot solutions. That positive innovation will surely continue in the months and years ahead.

The opportunity for bots to meaningfully impact the customer experience, consequently, continues to grow.

Organizations will squander that opportunity, however, if they continue to fall victim to mistakes like ignoring the impact on the customer, dismissing customer preference, downplaying the omnichannel revolution, forgetting about the agent experience, and missing the mark on data design. Their bots—no matter how promising in theory—will not be customer-centric.

If, however, they transform that list of mistakes into a blueprint for excellence, they will ensure bots live up to their promise. They will justify the relentless hype that they and their peers are currently devoting to the technology.

The Value Test

Technology’s greatness comes not from its features but from its functionality. What is the purpose of the particular solution? What value does it create?

To pass a test for customer centricity, a bot must generate value for customers. There must be a reason—beyond the vanity of the bot technology or the theoretical potential to reduce call volume—for introducing bots into the customer experience journey.

Bots, quite simply, must make the experience better for customers.

When leveraging a bot to create value for customers, organizations will want to prioritize several factors.

Does the bot make sense?

Chatbot technology is robust, but it is not suitable for all issues. There are scenarios in which a conventional website of a self-service platform will prove more than sufficient for customers. There are also scenarios in which support from an agent will be more valuable.

Customer-centric organizations do not insert bots into issues that are better-suited for agents. They instead identify opportunities in which the bot will represent the best possible option for completing a particular task.

Is the conversation natural?

Do not conflate chatbots with the broader idea of self-service.

Self-service is not a new concept. Customers have long had the ability to resolve their own problems (or at least attempt to resolve their own problems) using static FAQ pages or voice menus.

Chatbots fill two notable voids common to the self-service platforms of years’ past. They can engage in natural conversations with customers, and they can adapt based on context and past experiences.

Those two qualities—natural communication and contextual agility—help distinguish customer-centric bots from problematic self-service offerings.

Does it contribute to the FP3 experience?

The best customer experience is frictionless, personalized, predictive, and proactive—what is known as the “FP3” experience. A customer-centric bot helps to drive this.

Ideally, it will use intelligence to create an easy, personalized self-service experience for customers. Cognizant of who the customer is, why the customer is contacting, and what the customer really wants, the bot will provide a fast, valuable resolution to most issues.

In the event that the bot cannot provide a resolution, it will at least help the customer get one. It will direct the customer (and the customer’s data) to the right agent, ensuring a seamless, resolute experience upon transfer.

The Preference Test

Customers of all generations regularly engage in digital channels. They also identify waiting on hold as one of their top complaints.

Clearly, they have a potential interest in chatbots. Fifty-five percent, in fact, are already comfortable with the idea of using chatbots for self-service.

These realities do not, however, amount to proof that organizations should impose bots on all customers, for all issues, in all touch points. There still will be scenarios in which some customers will prefer alternative engagement options. There definitely will be scenarios in which customers will prefer bots that interact in a particular fashion.

Which issues would customers prefer to handle on their own?

By studying volume—as well as the intent behind that volume—the organization can determine when particular customer would prefer to self-serve. Using that data, it can determine when an enhanced self-service tool, such as a chatbot, would lead to a better experience for customers.

Which issues are best-suited for chat or messaging?

Although today’s bots can (and should) exist in a multitude of contact channels, the most common applications involve live chat or messaging. Bots are very well-suited for these environments (hence the specific emphasis on “chatbots”).

It, therefore, makes sense to consider the types of issues customers would prefer to handle in such environments. By helping to enhance and scale the live chat offering, bots ensure organizations can meet this particular customer preference.

Does the customer really have a choice?

The aforementioned tests help an organization understand the scenarios in which a chatbot might be preferable or acceptable. They do not guarantee that every customer will actually like the bot-driven experience.

A truly customer-centric organization recognizes this possibility. It recognizes that customer who are theoretically comfortable with chabots may prefer a live agent in a particular situation, and it gives them the choice to either bypass the bot or easily escalate to a live agent upon hitting a dead end.

For other chatbot tests, including the Omnichannel Test and Agent Empowerment Test, read our complete whitepaper, The State of the Chabot.

Shelby Faris
As the Marketing Manager at Bright Pattern, my main goal is to increase awareness on the growing benefits of cloud-based technologies in the contact center industry.


  1. Hello Shelby, useful article! I would like to append a bit information about why all part of businesses should start using chatbots.

    1. Support availability anytime
    As we all know, customer service is the most important factor to success. Whether your business is in the global or local level, having customer service 24/7 with instant answers has a tremendous impact on your client’s satisfaction and willingness to buy. Most of the clients are always kept on hold while operators try to connect you with customers care centre, while chatbots never get tired by answering to their commands.

    2.Managing possibilities
    You can stay in touch with customers without personally contacting them with real-time assistance like a salesperson in a real store, offering interactive communication. Well built chatbots can simultaneously have conversations with thousands of people answering the questions that they have, offering special coupons, limited time promotions or everything that you want to be shared.

    3. Low maintenance costs
    Implementing a full functioning chatbot is way cheaper and faster than creating a cross-platform app or hiring employees for each task. A single person can only handle one or two people at the same time, more than that – really tough challenge for the employee. Hiring agents for 365 days per year and adding resources to give support to the customers about basic things can be too expensive for the company.

    4. Higher engagement and sales
    It is important to keep your customers engaged with your brand and this is why companies are starting to use chatbots for social media marketing. Engaging customers through social media could help you increase sales by up to 40% while Facebook has the highest success rate for asking present customers to share their positive experiences (According to research, even 29% do that and bring new prospects to your business).

    According to Global Web Index statistics, around 75% of internet users taking over one or more messenger platforms. Although research shows that each user is using an average of 24 apps a month, where 80% of the time would be in just 5-6 apps.

    If you’d like to learn more how this feature would serve to your business, you’re welcome to talk to our chatbot assistant, who will willingly share demo versions and help you to get in touch with us if you need help with getting your own chatbot! You can find it on 🙂


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