Live from Button: Sorry, I can’t help with that

Sorry, I can’t help with that: Content strategy for chatbots, by Michael J. Metts

“People love AI”. No they don’t! People love doing more meaningful things than managing their utilities through an app.

Business people love being able to say that they work on AI. So where do these requests come from?

Will a chatbot help?

First, figure out: what are our goals? Writing and design decisions are inseparable from business goals.

Second, ask: will it be useful? There are many types of chatbots:

  • Customer service
    • Related goal: speed up customer service
    • Related goal: reduce customer service goals
  • Routing and sales
    • Related goal: lead gen and retention
    • Related goal: revenue targets

If the goal supports a chatbot, and you have a specific chatbot in mind, then it’s a good call. If your chatbot doesn’t support usable, useful content then you shouldn’t have it.

Next, consider: how does it fit into other channels? A content strategy isn’t about one thing.

Lastly, ask your team: what could go wrong?

  • What algorithms do you have in place? Or who will be creating them?
  • How will you scale?
  • How will you eliminate bias?
  • How could the algorithm be misused?

What to do if your team is building a chatbot

If your team has already decided to build a chatbot, you can make it better.

What do people need? How are they describing it? Find out through:

  • Chat logs
  • Call recordings
  • Support emails
  • Social media messages
  • Forums, reviews, and blog posts
  • Help content analytics

Then think through which features to include. Just because people need to do it doesn’t mean they should do it with chat. Build an evaluator to help your team decide. Rate each feature – some won’t fit. Some are a great fit.

With all the useful features, you can then evaluate them on a matrix, looking at difficulty (Y axis) and impact (X axis). This then turns into quadrants:

  • Nice to have: low impact, high difficulty
  • Short term: low impact, low difficulty
  • High value: high impact, low difficulty
  • Strategic: high impact, high difficulty

This helps to get started.

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