It seems that for every new technology, there’s a new profession. The rise of the conversational agent has led to the development of a brand-new position: that of the Chatbot Project Manager. Do you know the ins and outs of this profession that’s essential for effective chatbot implementation? Here, Living Actor Chatbot Manager Justine Plessier tells you all about it!
Hi, Justine. First of all, how did you become a Chatbot Manager?
After studying Management at the Sorbonne Law School, I worked in the field of multimedia for five years in a dual role as Project Manager of Content and Media. After that, I joined the Living Actor team as a Project Manager. That was 18 years ago, and the new Chatbot Manager profession was still in its infancy.
Can you explain the role of a Chatbot Project Manager to us?
Once a contract has been signed, the Chatbot Project Manager is in charge of overseeing every aspect of the client’s chatbot deployment, from A to Z. This means that I’m responsible for:
- Managing the client relationship
- Managing the configuration and deployment of the solution within the established time-frame
- Mobilizing all of the experts that are necessary for the success of the project: web designers, marketing experts, technical experts, web developers, R&D personnel, etc.
- Coordinating the technical personnel to integrate the chatbot into the client’s information system
But beyond the operational aspects of implementing the project, a Chatbot Manager plays the role of a genuine strategist vis-à-vis the client, ensuring that the chatbot is a relevant, effective channel of contact that is utilized by its target audience.
I have to make sure that the choice of content responds adequately to the users’ actual expectations. A chatbot full of useless information serves no purpose… And neither does a chatbot that isn’t easily accessible at the moment when the user asks a question!
Specifically, what are the major phases of a project?
Projects are carried out in three phases:
A strategic planning phase takes place upstream, analyzing the challenges faced by the client, as well as the needs of the prospective users. The objective of this phase is to define the most suitable strategy in terms of ROI, according to the client’s specific needs, and to develop a long-term vision in order to then focus on a short-term pilot project.
This is followed by the build phase. This is where my missions are the most diversified, as I have to coordinate not only the project scheduling, but also the numerous experts (content providers, technicians, web designers, etc.) that are necessary for developing each facet of the bot. During this phase, I also work to ensure that, moving forward, the client has the necessary skills to manage the bot independently.
Finally, there’s the implementation phase. This is the moment of truth, when the chatbot is introduced to its end users and begins receiving their questions. During the initial months of activity, it’s essential to pay close attention to the numerous reports and scorecards that are generated by the chatbot. I play a role there, too, in helping the client wade through the mass of big data and indicators in order to identify which information is most relevant for analyzing and optimizing the chatbot’s performance.
What’s your favorite part of your profession?
The thing I like most is the dynamic environment I work in. At Living Actor, innovation is a constant. Not a week goes by without some new feature or other being proposed by a colleague, by a client or by me! Our goal is to make every chatbot more effective each day, endowing them with new skills.
Because of that, my role as a Chatbot Manager is varied and rewarding. I never get bored!
Last of all, what are the most important attributes of a good Chatbot Manager?
If I had to define the ideal Chatbot Manager profile, I would say, first and foremost, that you have to be curious and attentive to your clients. You have to know how to quickly assess their needs, whether it means understanding their profession or evaluating their expectations in terms of ROI. Sometimes, you might even have to be creative and anticipate them so you can suggest enhancements and new ideas.
A good place to start would be a four-year college degree providing you with a solid foundation, as well as some basic experience in digital projects!
Beyond that, since a successful project requires coordinating numerous internal and external participants, rigor, organization and persuasiveness are all key assets.
Finally, at Living Actor, nearly half of the projects are piloted in English by our international clients, so speaking English is a must!
Discover our checklist for successfully deploying a chatbot!
The Chatbot Manager profession is multifaceted. It involves being in contact with clients and technical teams in order to respond to every need. In short, a Chatbot Manager is the person who makes it possible for a virtual assistant to be available in the right place, to be properly trained and to evolve in the right direction. Underestimating the importance of this job is one of the mistakes to avoid during the implementation of a chatbot!
Our sincere thanks to Justine Plessier for agreeing to this interview.