According to a survey, 8 in 10 businesses have plans to use Chatbots in the near future, proving the heat of this new technological application. Along with the increasing popularity of chatbot are higher investments from technology companies, with the hopes to gain from this seemingly potential field. The variety of platforms and bot-building tools, however, lands businesses in quite a problem – how to optimize chatbots?

Following are the most basic tips in building and optimizing Chatbots:

1. Select a suitable bot platform

In order to derive the highest efficiency from Chatbots, platform choice is crucial. There are currently various multi-purpose and easy frameworks on the market, such as Chatfuel, PandoraBots, Chatty People and Microsoft BOT Framework. As for Vietnam, there are FPT.AI,, Harafunnel… These platforms range from free to paid and differ in encryption level and tools, offering various options to users. Chatbot builders, therefore, need to carefully consider which platform to use to match their own bot applications.

Among all, AI-based Chatbots are considered to have overwhelming advantages: these bots can collect data and “learn” from past customer behaviors, and thus are able to generate contextual conversations and easily provide necessary information and contents.

FPT.AI – an AI-based chatbot platform.

2. Avoid open questions

No matter how smart it is, chatbot is not human. It can ‘converse’ with users within a “fixed set of rails”, and when it receives an unexpected question, unsuitable answers may arise. For best interactions of chatbots, queries to users should be clearly phrased, or given alternate response. Examples are “What is your shirt size?” or “Are you looking for this jeans in blue or black?”… You should not allow your chatbot to ask questions where it cannot anticipate the response.

3. Appeal using images/videos/gifs

Long-winded, text-only conversations with a chatbot will only bore customers out. Researches have shown that introducing images or videos may trigger customers’ emotions, thus increase their interest in interacting and conversing. This is especially useful for online shopping portals, where instead of having to search for the right section and category, buyers can check out images and videos of items right inside the chat box.

One prime example of efficient chatbot usage in customer service is FPT Shop. Its chatbot is designed with eye-catching images and links, catered to customers’ demands and as such, helps customers to quickly decide on a suitable product.

Customer service Chatbot on FPT Shop’s Fanpage.

4. Reduce bot downtimes

Unlike a human, chatbots can always be online – a huge advantage to businesses, and can easily replace humans at lower levels/first interaction points with customers. Therefore, while setting up your chatbot on the chosen platform, find out the likely performance and possible downtimes of the bot server.

5. The security factor

By the end of last year, the total volume of financial transactions performed through Google Assistant, Siri, and other mobile digital assistants was nearly $2 billion USD. People are also increasingly providing more personal information – like bank account details, card information, and online orders/purchases – to chatbots. Therefore, developers have to ensure the security factor through proper data encryption, authentication and authorization standards, and use of access tokens… in order to tackle the increasingly malicious attacks from hackers. They should also update their chatbots frequently and integrate AI into them in order to limit the number of possible security vulnerabilities.

6. Chatbots should help in marketing and sales

For big companies and brands, chatbots should serve as diligent members of the marketing and sales teams. Efficiency is only feasible when the chatbots have quality scripts to answer frequently asked questions of buyers, as well as personalize and localize the responses (when the customer asks about the weather, for example). The overall ‘buyer journey’ should happen in a streamlined flow – with the bot handling questions, displaying products/services, motivating users to make the purchase, and ensuring a smooth and secure payment process. Chatbots can also help in the online promotional campaigns of brands, by building traffic levels and engagement in the social media pages of businesses.

FPT.AI Conversation is a chatbot builder platform, which utilizes artificial intelligence, machine learning and advanced natural language processing/understanding (NLP/NLU), allowing bot builders to build different conversational scripts with customers, as well as track chat history, helping your chatbot to understand and converse naturally and intimately. The chatbot will be supported on popular chatting apps, including Facebook Messenger, Zalo, Livechat on website as well as any prevailing chat applications of businesses.

FPT.AI’s chatbot is an efficient marketing and remarketing tool, with a mass notification feature using customer database, while personalizing messages to different targets. Furthermore, the chatbot data processing system also helps bot builders to measure the accuracy of their bots, “train” them to be smarter, as well as analyze garnered data from users. Businesses can thus have a deeper insight in what their customers truly desire.

(To be continued)

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