It’s settled: you’re going to deploy a chatbot! This virtual assistant will be instrumental in changing the way you interact with clients. But to be effective, it still must be accepted by your entire staff, while also fulfilling precise strategic and commercial objectives. That’s what it takes for your virtual assistant to realize its full potential. To make that happen, it’s no secret that you’ll need to guide and support your teams throughout the implementation process. To inspire you, here are our three best practices!
1. Make the chatbot a true company mission
Forget about the technical aspect: if you’ve chosen the right provider and the appropriate technology, everything will run like clockwork. On the other hand, getting your teams fully on board is a matter that you’ll need to address personally. After all, a good chatbot is the result of teamwork.
Read also: Your Customer Service Needs a New Face for the Millennial Generation
The key is to make sure that the conversational agent is perceived as the embodiment of your company’s digital transformation. You must gain the support of your entire staff, at all levels and in all departments. That’s the exact route your chatbot project must take in order to be:
- Used by every department
- Supported by every manager
- Available internally (to personnel), externally (to prospects and clients) or both
- Accessible to end users
- Easy to assimilate (through demonstrations, training sessions, etc.)
In other words, the deployment of your chatbot must take the form of a true company-wide collaborative mission involving every team, and it must be supported by a clear-cut game-plan for effective change management.
2. Manage the transition effectively
Change management is one of the most important criteria for the success of your chatbot project. A virtual assistant is only effective if everyone uses it. So the question to ask yourself is: how can you manage the transition in such a way as to make users eager to use this new tool and thereby achieve results?
- The project team must fully embrace your chatbot. They play a dual role, ensuring the proper configuration of the tool (under the leadership of the Chatbot Manager) and selling the rest of the staff on the idea of the virtual assistant. To do this, the project team must portray a positive image and highlight the advantages of the bot.
- The conversational agent must be adopted by all personnel, starting with those who will be affected first (marketing & communications, customer service, purchasing department, logistics, etc.). For everything to run smoothly, your long-term objectives—as well as the way in which your bot will meet them—must be clearly established.
- The end-users must be on board with the project. This is the real challenge, as it entails modifying deeply rooted habits and reassuring people who are often very uncomfortable with any kind of change. Regardless of the users, change management is accomplished through the implementation of a precise action plan, combining teaching, training and promotion.
3. Involve your personnel through an action plan
To ensure the maximum involvement of your staff, you must implement communication actions at each stage of deployment.
- Before: by raising employee and end-user awareness of the usefulness of your bot. Spark their interest and pique their curiosity!
- During: by helping users become acclimated to the virtual assistant. Show them exactly how it works and the extent to which it can create traffic, answer questions, guide and support visitors, etc.
- After: by offering feedback to show the results achieved by the virtual assistant and demonstrate its evolution.
The action plan was rolled out in two key phases: the release of a teaser video similar in style to a movie trailer to introduce the project to users, accompanied by actions aimed at familiarizing users with the smart avatar through tutorials on its personality, its features, its possibilities, etc.
The chatbot’s integration into the user journey must happen naturally, but strictly! If you want it to have a significant impact on your business, you have to make sure that people use it. At Toshiba France and Toshiba Europe, the bot has become a mandatory step for users, who are required to interact with it before reaching the hotline.
These three best practices are indispensable milestones in your chatbot project. By adopting the appropriate change management method, you’ll ensure that your virtual assistant spearheads the digital transformation of your company. And by incorporating it naturally into the customer journey, you’ll ensure that the user experience and chatbot’s ROI are in perfect harmony. To make this happen, you can rely on the expert services of Living Actor. We will guide and support you every step of the way to ensure that your bot is used effectively by all!