Developing your own chatbot? Make sure you have a strong team with the right skills
The summer holidays have started! It’s time to look back to see where we stand, so that 2019 will be a good year. In the article Chatbots in 2019: 5 trends, I took you through the trends of this year. In this article I will discuss how you can keep a grip on technology and chatbots by setting up the right requirements and collecting the right skills within the team. So what exactly do you need to develop chatbots yourself successfully?
Chatbots are being used more often and more widely. Digital assistants in particular have great added value within the domain of webcare. The shift we now see, is that technology is increasingly in the hands of the organisations themselves. Within organisations project teams are set up that have the right knowledge and expertise to develop and train bots. But what exactly do you need to achieve this?
Staying scalable with chatbots
An increasing amount of organisations want to get started with chatbots, but how this should be done is unclear to many of them. Do you want to develop chatbots? Do not settle for a simple chatbot that can provide standard answers to questions, but invest in a platform that ensures that your chatbot will be able to do its work in the future as well. Scalability is of great importance here. Make sure that the chatbot is able to grow alongside your organisation. One option for this is to make a list with requirements that your chatbots need to fulfill. The following is an example of the requirements a list could contain:
- A chatbot is easy to assemble via a handy User Interface. For this you don’t need specific programming knowledge, but it does offer the flexibility to program more advanced features.
- A chatbot is more than a question-answer-bot. It can also answer questions at a transactional level, such as scheduling an appointment.
Because the world of technology is changing so quickly, more and more possibilities are becoming available. Look for a platform that suits your organisation and that can also be used with other platforms, such as Google and Genesys, the so-called middleware solutions.
A strong chatbot team with the right skills
The requirements for the platform have been made clear. In addition to a good platform that meets the above-mentioned requirements, it is important to equip your team with the right skills. As a result of the increased use of chatbots within organisations, we see more and more new job titles. It all begins with a good foundation of skills, which combined ensure the best results:
The Business Analist is the person who knows everything about the processes within the organisation and who can apply this knowledge to the chatbot. This employee doesn’t necessarily need a technical background, although it is important that there’s someone on the team who understands how to make chatbots and who is familiar with the technique and platform that are needed.
A Product Owner guards the chatbot and is responsible for the implementation and continued development of the bot. This person represents the interests of the customer and the features of the chatbot that go with this. Together with the team, the Product Owner determines what needs to be done and who will carry out these tasks. The development process is closely monitored by this person and adjusted where necessary.
A Conversational Copywriter needs to be able to write texts for a chatbot. The way a text is perceived is essential here: What kind of emotion do you put in it and how is this perceived by the target group? What tone of voice does the chatbot use to contact the customer? The Conversational Chatbot is capable of translating the tone of voice of your organisation into conversations that the chatbot has with customers. If your company doesn’t have a Conversational Copywriter, there are other companies, such as Robocopy and Entopic, who specialise in this and who are happy to take this task off your hands.
Depending on the channel you want to integrate your chatbot in, you may need the services of a Frontend Developer. In many cases, the platforms in which you can develop chatbots provide their own frontend. However, if you still need tailor-made frontends, it is good to have an in-house specialist. This person is, for example, capable of creating the front view of the chatbot when you want to implement the chatbot on your website. For this also goes: outsourcing is possible. Companies like Conversationals are specialised in building UI elements for chatbots.
For more technical platforms, it is necessary to have a Developer who can actually develop the chatbot. As described above, there are also plenty of platforms where it is easy to assemble a chatbot without programming knowledge. For this, you don’t always need a technical Developer. The choice for this is therefore largely dependent on the platform you choose for the development of the bot and the desire to be able to develop advanced features yourself.
A chatbot is never finished
The development process of a chatbot doesn’t stop after it has been launched. This is when the real work starts! Expand your chatbot and make sure that it delivers flawless work by training it with sufficient data. For this, the Business Anal, the Product Owner and the Conversational Copywriter need to work closely together. Do you mainly use your chatbot for service? Then it is good to have someone from the customer service department on board as well.
“In an organisation there are people who know a lot about processes. These people often train others to be a service agent. But why wouldn’t you use these trainers to also train the chatbots?”, says Chief Innovation Officer, Frank Smit.
You now know what it takes to successfully start developing chatbots. Are we going to see your chatbots online soon? Or are you already working on the development of a chatbot? Let us know what your approach to this is and share your tips!