Tips on How to Train an AI Chatbot: A Guide

Tips on How to Train an AI Chatbot

Leverage AI for improved business performance. Here are five tips to elevate your bot’s performance.

Artificial intelligence (AI) chatbots have proven to be a very effective tool in raising conversion rates and helping businesses address customer service problems without hiring more executives. But even outside their application in customer service, AI chatbots today are helping people fill out job applications and write college assignments. 

Given the popularity of ChatGPT, the market is ripe for more chatbots. The global chatbot market is projected to increase at a compound annual growth rate of 30.29% from 2022 to 2027. If you want to be a part of this ever-growing market, here is everything you need to be mindful of when training your own AI chatbot. 

What will this bot be used for?

As we just discussed, chatbots can do a wide variety of things. Therefore, the first thing to be mindful of is what the AI bot would be used for. Based on this, you can define the “intent” of the chatbot. The intent here refers to the user’s intentions when they type a message into the chatbot. 

For example, if you are creating a chatbot that will be used to answer frequently asked questions (FAQs) about your business, then you need to anticipate all those questions in advance and train your chatbot on how to address them. So, if a user asks, “When is the shop open?” Your chatbot needs to answer with, “Our business hours are from X AM to Y PM”, and so on. 

Understanding user questions 

The task of anticipating questions isn’t complete after defining intent. The chatbot also needs to understand various utterances (anything a user says). Users don’t always word questions strictly as the creator of the chatbot intended. Instead of asking, “When is the shop open?”, they could very well ask, “What are your operating hours” or some other iteration of the same question.

The chatbot needs to be prepared to handle different versions of the same questions. 

These utterances are made up of a set of keywords. For instance, in the examples mentioned above, the keywords are “operating hours” and “open”. The more of these keywords you feed into your chatbot, the better it will be at understanding utterances and intent and in turn, at answering questions. 

You need to continually update your chatbot so that it can understand the various utterances made by the users. The bot also needs to be capable of directing unknown queries to the help center so that the user’s questions are not left unanswered. 

Researching your customer base 

You can build a better conversational flow in your AI chatbot by creating a persona for your target customer. This persona would be based on information about the customer base, including their age, location, purchase behavior and interests. Having this information base would give the chatbot the right conversational tone and vocabulary needed to interact with the customers. 

Infuse personality 

Just like your business, your chatbot also needs its unique personality. This personality is typically reflected in the very first greeting that the chatbot gives to the customer. Based on the customer base you are engaging with, this greeting needs to vary. For an older audience looking strictly for information, as would be the case with Wall Street Journal, the chatbot should be formal and straight to the point with how it conveys information. If your business is more laid back, then you can use a wittier and laid-back conversation style. 

Study the underperforming answers

The process of improving your chatbot never really ends. To improve your customer’s experience, you need to constantly go back and check the feedback you receive about the chatbot’s answers. For example, let’s say a customer asks, “When will my refund be processed?” and the chatbot answers, “Your refund will be processed within 5-7 working days”. If multiple customers are negatively rating this interaction, chances are you need to go back to the drawing board and think about what sort of response they expect. They could want an exact date for when the refund would be completed or a breakdown of the refund process which you can incorporate into newer updates of the chatbot. 

All of this should tell you that creating an AI chatbot isn’t a one-and-done process. It requires constant effort to maintain the bot and get it to engage with your customers in meaningful ways. It is also important to question whether your business is even ready for a chatbot. Some businesses might simply lack the customer data needed to effectively train an AI chatbot. 

Thus, you should always assess your company’s needs and resources to see whether you can train and maintain a chatbot. With the right approach, an AI chatbot can become a valuable addition to your business’s customer service arsenal, helping to enhance the overall customer experience and drive success.

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Header image courtesy of Envato. 

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