How can you gauge the success of a conversation with a chatbot? By evaluating the bot’s capacity to respond to the questions it’s asked and by examining the quality of the user experience it provides. In this article, discover the three criteria to follow closely when evaluating the performance of a virtual assistant.
Criterion #1: a good chatbot is an efficient chatbot
From the company’s point of view, the chatbot is a machine—an intelligent one, yes, but a machine all the same. And its role is clearly defined: to provide relevant responses to the questions commonly asked by clients and users and to automate the performance of certain tasks or requests (time off, orders, helpdesk tickets, etc.). Whether these inquiries are basic or more complex, whether they have to do with finding the right webpage, accessing information or configuring a client account, the chatbot must be capable of addressing them. But it must also be capable of forwarding them to a human consultant when necessary!
To evaluate the quality of a virtual assistant, the first thing you need to ask yourself is if it correctly fulfils its role. After having “fed” it a certain amount of indispensable information (the nature of its audience, needs and expectations, browsing behaviors, questions asked, etc.), evaluate its response times, study the cases of misunderstanding, make sure that it’s capable of deciphering the inquiries, even when they’re overly ornate or full of misspellings and, at the end of conversations, ask users if they received a satisfactory answer to their question.
Criterion #2: without emotion, efficiency is meaningless
Efficiency is one thing, but it doesn’t enable your chatbot (or your company) to really differentiate itself. Today’s internet users are looking for true value added in their interactions with brands. This added value relies on the mechanisms of emotion, empathy and rapport—in short, on human qualities.
An overly mechanical dialogue leads to a form of frustration: why use a chatbot when you could just as easily push buttons on your phone? When there’s no difference between a chatbot and a standard automated system that asks you to press the pound key, all interest disappears and satisfaction rates plummet.
Instead, emotions must be generated by the conversation, whether the chatbot sends a congenial image or engages with the user in a playful way, so that the response seems almost natural. Behind the interface, users will have the sensation of conversing with a representative of the brand, itself, while still being aware that they’re interacting with an automated system and that it isn’t the only possible level of interaction.
Emotion and sensitivity are, in fact, good company. In the collective imagination, robots experience human emotions or, at least, know how to fake them. Think about the robot TARS, who accompanies the heroes of Interstellar on their extraordinary journey, with his adjustable levels of humor and sincerity. Remember the androids in Blade Runner, who were sensitive to the beauties of the cosmos? Or R2-D2, who, in Star Wars, manages to arouse emotion, even though he only expresses himself with beeps!
In short, the bot’s utilitarian dimension isn’t all there is to it. An emotional dimension must be added to the “wow” effect of the technological prowess (“I’m talking to an intelligent interface!”). This is all the more reason why the conversational robot should reflect your brand values, relying in part on the emotion that is elicited.
Criterion #3: the chatbot exhibits the values of the brand
As an extension of your brand, the chatbot reflects its moral and human values. There’s a simple reason for this: it becomes a preferred contact point between users and the company. Think about the impact that one bad server can have on a restaurant’s whole reputation!
To satisfy your visitors, you must know them well, master their language habits and learn from the interactions that have resulted in a high satisfaction rate. The chatbot will be enriched by the successful conversations in the same way that a chess-playing automaton learns the best possible strategies for winning.
Because your brand values attract a certain clientele, it’s in your best interests to ensure that your bot is capable of adapting to this target audience in particular. Young workers will appreciate a touch of humor and quirky exchanges, while clients confronted with paralyzing problems, on the other hand, will seek a resolution that’s both quick and empathic. Give your bot the means to be the ambassador of your brand from every point of view!
Finally, the quality of the user experience depends on the accessibility of the bot. According to a Nielsen study, 53 percent of consumers are more tempted to purchase the products and services of a brand when they can interact with it in real time,¹ which explains why a number of companies have integrated instant messaging applications into their communications strategy.
If the criteria for assessing a conversation with a chatbot are somewhat subjective, some of them have universal value: efficiency, emotion and representation of the brand in the eyes of users. It’s up to you to adapt them to your objectives and the habits of your users. Living Actor allows you not only to configure an efficient bot, but also to emphasize its personalization and its empathy, with the goal of providing a unique client experience. Don’t hesitate to contact our teams to discuss your needs!
(1) « 3 raisons pour lesquelles l’expérience client ne fonctionne pas sans émotion », iAdvize, 27 juin 2017.