Best Ways to Approach Product Management for Chatbots

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As a Product Manager you have finally come to a point where you think your company requires a bot. But you are still struggling to understand what is the best way forward. Afterall, building and implementing effectives bot on your website and various other pages isn’t just a matter of a day. In fact, it takes long strenuous hours in order to chalk out an effective strategy. 

“If or not my company needs a Chatbot? Is this the right time to deploy a Chatbot? How will a Chatbot affect our marketing budget? Which all features are a must have and which ones could be ignored for now? Should my Chatbot have a easy-going personality or a serious one?” 

The questions are endless. However, there is a method to the madness. In this blog, I have tried to help you find answers to questions that often trouble Product Managers regarding chatbots. 

1. What problem your company is facing and how can you solve it? 

Before you set down to build a bot, it is important to have a clear answer for why you want it. You should ensure that you aren’t building one just for the sake of it. Or, because every other company has it. You should build one only when you know there is a problem that only an efficient bot can solve.            

Launching a new product is a journey filled with uncertainties! Simply by having a crisp and clear understating of the kinds of problems your company may face can help you align your focus in the right direction.

As a PM, the most important questions to ask yourself are: 

  • Who is your Target Audience
  • What problems do they face?
  • How frequently do these problems affect them?
  • What solutions do your target audience have to counter these problems?
  • How effective are these other solutions, and if your product is any better? 

Now, that you have laid your hands on the problem, you need an effective solution. At this point, it is important to look at your team, and your product, and find out how you are different as well as better than your competitors. The answer will define your USP! 

It is at this point, you start toying with the idea of building a bot, and you decide it is definitely something that your company needs right now. 

2. Failing to plan a bot is planning to create a failed bot

Even before you actually build a bot, it is important to have the right user flow ready in your hands. Your idea should be to create a bot that can easily and quickly fulfil user intent. A good way to begin is to prepare a list of questions/doubts that users might ask your customer team. Answer them as honestly as possible.

A good way to build a bot is to first have a look at the goal you want to achieve through the entire chain of conversation. Once you know where you want your visitors to reach at the end of the conversation, you can very well figure out a way to drive them there. 

You might also be interested in: Chatbots: 3 Things for PMs to Watch Out For

3. Creating and employing an AI based chatbot 

As a Product Manager, you are expected to design the core structuring of the bot. 

What kind of questions it will ask, how will it respond to the answers, and how quickly can it get users to take the desired action.

While the engineers take care of the backend, it is the product person’s responsibility to ensure the bot works wonders from the business point of view. He or she should have the right understanding of all the features. He or she should be able to chalk out the must have features that create aha! moments for the visitors!  

As a product manager, you are also responsible for defining the personality and tone of the bot. Whether it is casual, or professional, or a combination of both! Here, customer profiling will help you give your bot a personality that your customers can happily relate with. 

Here is something you should know. With technology at its very best, you no more have to rely on engineers for building and employing an effective AI bot. Wondering how to make a Chatbot yourself? Well, now with the help of advance bot builders, you can easily create AI-powered chatbots within 10 minutes. You do not have to have any technical knowledge to create powerful chatbots for your website or your apps. In fact, you can even design them in a way that if or when the Chatbot fails, the conversation is automatically transferred to a human. 

4. Setting up metrics

To understand if or not you have created an effective Chatbot you will have to set up certain metrics that produce measurable results. For example, average engagement rate. If the users are spending too much time with the Chatbot, it implies that the user flow isn’t very effective. And, if, they are spending too little time, without any meaningful action, the Chatbot isn’t engaging enough. Another important metric is response time. It is the amount of time your bot takes to give responses. It is important to track the latency period between command and response. All these metrics are important to track in order to provide customers or visitors a better user experience. 

You might also be interested in: These Are the Metrics Great Product Managers Track

5. Personalize the bot for the human-touch 

It is very important for a product manager to look at things from a marketing perspective. These days, many brands are trying to give their bots human-like characteristics. The bot has a name, has a way of conversing, and aligns in line with the company’s brand guidelines. 

While giving your brand a name, a personality, and a tone, take a cue from your competitors. Usually, B2C bots are more casual in comparison to B2B bots. However, whether your business is customer facing or business facing, one thing to always remember is to add human-touch in each of your conversations. Such conversations are hard to forget, and leaves a huge positive impression in the visitor’s mind. 

Wrapping up

As a product manager, your approach towards solving problems is very important. When it comes to a bot, you should have a unique perspective in order to give it a winning personality. Bots have a proven track record of getting companies more ROI. However, what’s important here is to have the right approach from the first step, which is ideation. Remember, your answers can make a difference only if you were asking the right questions. You have to ask the right questions from the very beginning to have a positive output. 

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