Blog | 12 Dec 2019

How do you, as a user, communicate with a chatbot?

Do you find it difficult chatting with chatbots? Or have you received an unexpected answer?

Vincent Lenngren is one of Softronic’s analysts for chatlogs and in this post he gives his tips on what you as a user need to do to get the best answers to your questions.

I thought I would share some of my personal experiences and insights as a chatlog analyst.

I have supported the solutions of different suppliers in order to help their end customers. My telephone and IT supplier is great at offering support on their website and I am quickly guided to the right pages. When I get there, I can choose to speak to a chatbot to get additional help. This is where my expectations of how their solution works quickly changed. Luckily I was easily able to find a person who I could chat to.

Their solution requires me to enter the correct spelling and all the words in a link, or I have to click the link. The chatbot does not understand that I want to access the link that it has just presented me with. It cannot handle the context of the words that I have written. The chatbot cannot analyse any emotions in the text either.

As part of my work I analyse the chatlogs for one of our customers’ chatbots. This is part of their quality work to continually improve the chances of your question getting the correct answer. For example: If you write ‘ID card’ you will get a general answer that asks you to choose between various options. If you then write ‘processing’ the chatbot understands that you mean the processing time for the ID card. It cannot analyse feelings in the text, so there is no point writing angry words.

If I, as a user, come with the expectation that a chatbot can deal with emotions or that it can analyse a text as well as a person can, I will be disappointed.

This is why I am sharing my best tips for what you, as a user, should write:

  • Avoid writing too much text in your first question.
    This is an algorithm that is trying to get key words to send you ONE subject at a time.
  • Avoid putting numbers in the question.
    Numbers are not understood or are misinterpreted. It might think that you want to know something that is different either above or below a specific age.
  • Do not view the chatbot in the same way as My Pages.
    You are not logged into a personal page with information about you or your account.
  • Spell correctly and do not insert any emojis.
    The chatbot will be confused if you use words that are spelt the same, but mean different things.

If you use the chatbot in the right way, you will get a much better answer. Remember that the chatbot only has the knowledge that it has been trained with. It is just like when you are having a conversation with a person; you cannot expect them to know everything about a topic. If you studied economics, you probably will not be able to answer a specialist question about .Net.

So to summarise, remember that the chatbot does not know everything, just like us. But it can offer you a high level of efficiency and support you, as a user, in the questions that it has been trained in. It is important for you, as a user, to have the right expectations of a chatbot. If you do, you will get a lot more value out of it.

Note:
After this blog post had been written, the customer in question received valuable input from Softronic’s AI team, which resulted in their start page being redesigned in the project. By doing this some of the problem areas were resolved, and we could immediately see a statistically reliable increase in successful conversations.

Afterwards the chatbot (Virtual Assistant) also had a technical add-on, which meant that it did not have to choose one selection in its response but could handle several different topics in one answer. So Softronic and the AI team were able to support their customer and succeeded in delivering a more effective chatbot solution.

Contact

If you would like to know more about how Softronic can help you implement ‘Conversational AI’/a chatbot solution, contact:

Dan Milestad (Head of Sales and Delivery for AI)
Tel. no.: +46(0)70-691 44 97
Email: dan.milestad@softronic.se

Our AI team has together more than 30 years’ experience of introducing ‘Conversational AI’ /chatbots into different sectors. Our project deliveries quickly result in huge benefits to the operations and a better customer experience:

  • 80% of all users receive the help they need through the chat
  • 92% think they are dealt with in a friendly way
  • 98% accuracy in the answers