Chatbots 101: 7 steps to get started with an Einstein Bot today
Chatbots have been revolutionizing the way businesses provide services to their customers. It’s no mystery that there has been a shift in the way we are engaging with the brands we love. Customers are shifting from phone channels to the digital channels they use every day and expect to be able to engage with brands when and how they want.
Have you considered adding a Salesforce Einstein Bot to support your sales, service, or internal teams, but in the age of infinite information, don’t know where to start? We’ve got you covered. With our leading chatbots & Salesforce experts, we’ve put together a seven step guide to help.
Before diving in, there are a few definitions that are important for you to understand. If you are already familiar with them skip ahead!
What is a Chatbot?
A Chatbot is an AI powered bot that can automate personalized conversations and allow users to get instant responses to their inquiries while still receiving an experience much like when they are talking to a human. A Salesforce Einstein Bot is a chatbot tool that is natively integrated into salesforce and allows you to not only provide a different channel to your customers but also leverage the full potential of the Salesforce Platform. At first glance, a chatbot may seem like a multi-function engine that can do anything you want it to in just a couple of clicks. However, in order to bring a robust, high-impact chatbot to life, each component needs to be customized with the gathered requirements, all gleaned through hours of discovery.
“An Einstein bot isn’t just a monolithic thing; it’s an ecosystem of ideas that come together to provide an overall experience.”
What’s with the buzzword “Conversational AI”?
Conversational Chatbots is a buzzword that is sweeping through the chatbot ecosystem. But what does it actually mean and how does it play a role with chatbots?
While Conversational Marketing is the art of engaging a customer in a familiar, give-and-take verbal exchange. Conversational AI refers to the manner in which you engage your customers, prospects, or partners through an automated engine leveraging AI. Chatbot designers use natural language and anticipatory design to delight a customer, meet their needs, and keep them engaged.
“In other words, with the dawn of conversational AI, bots finally learned to speak human.”
Why is it important and what is the ROI you could see from a bot?
Einstein Bots leverage conversational AI and enable seamless automated conversations to provide excellent sales and customer service for your customers. Be it in Sales, Ecomm, Service or Internal Communications, leveraging an Einstein Bot on your chat and SMS channels, you are able to move customers off expensive channels all the while providing 24/7 personalized experiences.
Here at NeuraFlash we like to advise our customers that you have one shot. One shot to give your customer an incredible, unique, and personalized chatbot experience that will keep them within the new channel you deployed. A bad experience with a new chatbot channel will discourage a channel shift and prevent you from achieving the very goals you set out to accomplish. To create this as an effective new channel for your business you need to take the time to invest in the team needed, the chatbot mission, and define what success looks like to you and your stakeholders.
As a leading AI and Chatbot Partner of Salesforce, with over 30+ collective years in this space, NeuraFlash has deployed the majority of all Einstein Bots currently live today in the Salesforce ecosystem. Leveraging our team’s expertise and the lessons learned from our 60+ Einstein Bot Customers, we have developed this guide to help you get started on your bot journey.
Here are the SEVEN steps that will help you get started.
- Assemble Your Team
- Define the Mission of Your Bot
- Identify what the bot should know.
- Brand your Bot!
- Build the Dialogue. How will customers interact with your bot?
- Understand your Escalation Strategy
- Go Live. What’s Next?
STEP ONE: Assemble your Team
The Five Essential Roles to your Bot Project
Before you even begin, as with any new project or objective, you’ll need to assemble a team in order to successfully build and manage your chatbot. The five roles we describe below are essential to an intelligently designed Einstein Bot that effectively accomplishes the goals you set for it and provides a clear and personalized customer experience.
The chatbot success manager owns the overall bot experience and comprehends the latest trends in bots and AI. Having this knowledge will allow them to assist you in driving prioritization for greatest impact.
The data scientist has machine learning and analytics experience. They are able to process data to extract insights for training. They understand the performance benchmarks.
The conversational designer has linguistic expertise. They are content & experience specialists that will truly help you drive engaging experiences, and apply best conversational design practices to your chatbot.
The UX/UI designer has a design background who specializes in user experience. They provide guidance on the way to visually display elements in the bot, the icon, the bot frame (also known as the salesforce snap-in).
And finally, the chatbot developer is an experienced developer in the conversational experience realm. The chatbot developer is able to drive testing and deployment processes of AI systems.
One of your first decisions you will need to make is whether you will build your bot in house or leverage a partner. If you decide to take the in- house path, you’ll need to make sure you have full time roles like the above and a team set aside to manage the bot after you go live. For many brands, this approach can be costly and their organizations aren’t set up to manage this type of a project successfully.
The benefits of bringing on a partner who specializes in Einstein Bots, is you get to leverage a fully staffed team that will act as a guide to help you implement a best-in-class bot experience. At NeuraFlash we recommend you vet potential partners against this criteria:
- Has a dedicated team / practice around Einstein Bots.
- That Team is staffed with the roles we identified above.
- You need a partnership not just an implementation partner. Look for a partner that will help guide you through the process, offer thought leadership and share best practices that will help you deliver the best bot experience for your customers.
- Years of experience and number of successful projects & references are a great indicator of potential success.
- We give points to partners who build products for the Einstein Bot, like NeuraFlash. There are times the Einstein Bot doesn’t have the necessary features that you would like. Someone who is a thought leader in this space will be building product gap fillers so that you can get the most out of your investment.
STEP TWO: Give your Bot a Job
What’s the mission of your bot?
Everyone needs a job focus and a chatbot is not any different. Once you have your team assembled or vetted partner on board, the most important next step is defining the mission of your new virtual teammate. If you are working with a partner, like NeuraFlash they will help walk you through this step via design-led workshops. Write out the goals and mission of your bot as a group and make sure every stakeholder is aligned.
Here are questions to get you started:
- What kind of bot is this?
- What should the bot solve?
- What are the common issues that do not require human interaction?
Here are the four common bot journeys that we see customers take:
Service Chatbot can help customers answer questions related to order status, warranty, return policy, etc. It can inspire self-service, empowering your customer to receive immediate answers, and allowing customer service agents to spend time on complicated questions. Thereby reducing wait times, average agent handling time, case resolution time while increasing case deflection, agent efficiency, and CSAT.
Sales Chatbot is a conversational marketing tool that can help your teams qualify prospects, collect leads 24/7, schedule meetings, capture more website traffic, and provide proactive engagement for your customers ready to buy now. This helps your teams spend less time qualifying and more time selling!
Ecomm Bot or ShopBot can leverage your OMS engine to provide product recommendations and guide your customers through a defined product funnel. It helps foster the customer journey from product discovery to purchase & even abandon cart notifications!
HR Bot can enhance your employee experience handling questions related to tax forms, PTO, policy questions, benefits, application status, and more. An HR bot can boost the productivity of your HR team while helping employees find answers to their simple questions immediately or escalate to a live representative immediately.
STEP THREE: Define What Success Looks Like.
Identify the KPIs that make sense for your business and goals.
Like every business function or campaign, you need to have SMART KPI’s so you can measure not only how the chatbot is performing but also help you understand the impact it has had on your business. Here are questions that you should be thinking about.
What are the key challenges that your organizations are having? Here are some pain point examples from our customer projects:
- For Service: “My agents are dealing with repetitive inquiries and is resulting in long customer wait times.”
- For Sales: “I want to convert more traffic on our website and increase visitor engagement.”
- For Service: “My phone and email channels are resulting in long case resolution time. I need a faster way to manage cases.”
- For Sales: “My lead response time is too high. I want to collect and respond to leads faster.”
What do you want your bot to be able to do at the start??
Define what the pre-state is and the associated definitions and make sure they are in line with how the team/partner is describing them.
The best way to approach this step is data first. Comb through your chat logs, talk with your reps and see where the highest needs are. This is also where a partner, like NeuraFlash, can help. NeuraFlash has what we describe as the “scraper tool”, that will help you comb through your data and chat logs and quickly identify the high impact use cases/FAQs that would be best for the bot to handle. On the fence if a bot can make an impact on your business? Click here to get a free chat log analysis and estimated ROI.
STEP FOUR: Branding Your Bot
Giving your Bot a Personality and an Identity.
Your bot will be one of your public facing images of your company. It’s important to make sure this channel matches and conveys the identity of your brand. This is also where you get to have a little fun!
Here are questions to guide you through this step. We recommend you have someone from your branding/marketing team on the call as the spokesperson for the brand.
- What is your brand’s personality?
- What voice do you want to create? (i.e. serious, witty, curious, educated, etc)
- Name Your Bot. (this can be a play on your brand name, identity, or the process the bot is set to help with)
- How should your bot greet visitors?
It’s also important to consider at this step what the UI of the bot will be. UI/UX designers will work with your branding team to identify the combination of your brand colors that will be the best for text responses, the snap in, the buttons etc.
But another area to consider is what types of interactive features do you want to be on brand in your bot? There are some feature limitations that prevent full customization of the Einstein Bot. One that NeuraFlash recognized early on, so we developed the UI Enhancer for the Einstein Bot. This NeuraFlash product was built to empower brands to add more personality and customization to their bot with video, text color, and many other interactive sections to your bot. Embedding these visual components to your Einstein Bot is really going to allow you to elevate the customer experience, and guide the bot to reach its full potential.
STEP FIVE: Building the Dialogue.
How will your customers interact with your Salesforce Einstein Bot?
Here are our dialogue “golden rules”
- Know how to speak the language of your consumers first, and incorporate how they comprehend your business. Essentially this is exactly how they customers will be speaking to the bot. Think through what customers would be looking for (ie. order status). Conversational AI should always be customized to your targeted consumers.
- Establish a greeting strategy for the start of a chat which greets the user and provides the user with the top 3 or 4 intents that you have set up. This allows the consumer to understand that they are speaking to a bot and what the bot can help them accomplish. These are just a few of the inquiries that the bot can handle.
When establishing the framework for your dialogues there are several factors that you need to keep in mind. These include, but are not limited to:
- Creating the user journey.
- Understanding how to solve the users problem without the need for an escalation
- Bot is exposed to service APIs which provide self-service content, ie. order information or return statuses.
- Bot also comes equipped with knowledge base articles which help answer high volume questions.
- Evaluating what information is needed by the agents upon escalation, which the user can rightfully provide.
Don’t feel like you have to strategize the entire conversational design of the bot on your own! That is what our team of conversational designers here at NeuraFlash are ready to help with! We come equipped with the knowledge and expertise that will help you easily transfer your thoughts on paper to a digital bot format and we will also provide you with best practices and data-driven recommendations regarding the design and the story. We will provide the essential guidance that will facilitate that seamless interactive strategy between your brand and your customers.
STEP SIX: Define the Escalation Strategy.
Your bot is not a stand alone tool.
An Einstein Bot or chatbot’s goal is to help you handle high volumes of traffic. It helps you deflect simple tasks from a customer service perspective, or qualify leads prior to escalating to a sales rep. However it’s important to understand that although a bot acts very human like, it requires human skills to support it.
One of the biggest questions we get asked all the time is:
“Why does my bot need training, doesn’t it learn on it’s own”
MYTH: A chatbot will not be able to know everything.
MYTH: A chatbot cannot learn solely on it’s own.
FACT: Humans are integral to your Bot and AI strategy. Your bot needs supervised learning to continue to grow and support customers.
FACT: A Chatbot is not a stand alone tool, it’s best when combined with human support
Automation, AI and chatbots are transforming the way we can provide unique experiences and services to customers in an age of infinite content and options. However, we can’t take away the “human” aspect of providing experiences. AI and chatbots empower us to work faster, more efficiently and meet customers where they are but the real power is being able to provide personalized experiences to your customers.
There will always be a time where your bot won’t be able to answer a question, or the question is too complex for it to handle. In these cases, you need to understand how your bot will respond and when will the conversation transfer to a live agent or create a case.
A good chatbot is not a stand alone tool. The real power of a chatbot is the ability to escalate to a live agent when necessary right from the chat window.
Here are two questions to help you guide you through this step:
- What happens if my bot can’t answer the customer’s question?
- If a case or lead is created, where should it be routed to? Are there specific reps who should get questions over others?
This step is a complex but crucial for a successful bot. At this stage, it is important to work with a partner or expert who can help you navigate the escalation process that will provide the best solution for your agents and customers.
STEP SEVEN: Define the Post-Launch Strategy.
Once you go live you’re not done!
After your bot is live, it is just the beginning of your journey. For a bot to continue to be successful it needs:
- Constant training
- The necessary human support to continue to learn.
- Help to understand how to handle changes due, Seasonal (i.e taxes & holidays), Business (i.e Covid-19 or New Products), or Technology (i.e: New browsers or browser versions)
As eager as you may be to get started right away, the bot will require constant support! Once the bot is launched, reports and analytics are leveraged to measure a clear before and after picture of the bot’s impact. Analytics will surface relevant insights and help you target where the bot needs optimization. It may be new use cases, a new conversational flow, or even increasing the accuracy of the NLP model by optimizing the utterances.
This is precisely why we at NeuraFlash built the Onward Program. They are smaller concentrated teams staffed with many of the roles we talked through in step one. This can be an overwhelming but integral to your Einstein chatbot’s overall progress and continued success.
You made it through the Seven Steps. Feeling Overwhelmed?
That's totally normal! There is a common misconception that a good robust chatbot can be put together in just a few clicks. You can of course, stand up a simpler button based bot in a shorter time period. However, the real value of adding an Einstein Bot is the ability for it to qualify prospects, field customer service questions and provide personalization to your customers. This level of complexity takes a bit more than just a couple clicks.
Believe it or not, customers expect to interact with companies the same way they interact with their friends and family. Customers are expecting brands to answer their questions without needing to talk to a person, know who they are and if they connect to an agent, understand why they are calling. In an age of infinite distractions, content and competitors establishing that immediate connection and creating unique experience for your customers is very important. Meeting customers on their terms should be made a priority. This encompasses, but is not limited to, being quicker and more responsive, more personalized, and available everywhere and anytime.
All of those initiatives can be supported with a 24/7 Conversational Einstein Bot. Optimize your agent time, get rid of tedious agent tasks, collect more qualified leads, and see a great ROI as a result of implementing the Einstein bot in your business.
Need help identifying if an Einstein Bot is right for your business? Want to better understand the ROI that could come from Bot? Let us help!