Chatbots have taken the tech world by storm, allowing companies to automate a huge variety of their day-to-day activities. Aside from acting as self-serving customer care tools, bots can help with all your marketing and sales efforts. They can also reduce your workload and the amount of time you spend emailing by acting as virtual assistants that link to other applications you use to complete your work, such as Outlook, CRM, and project management software.

These internal-facing chatbots can be integrated into team communication channels like Slack and are often referred to as “Slackbots“. If you’ve decided you might benefit from implementing a chatbot into your Slack channels, there are few things to keep in mind. To help you, I’ve highlighted some tips you need to learn if you want to create a successful Slackbot.

1- Use a Chatbot-Building Platform

The easiest and best way to create a Slackbot is to use a chatbot-building platform. Many are completely free to get started with, which means you can test different versions of your chatbot before going live with it.

Not only this, the platform doesn’t require you to have any coding or programming knowledge, thanks to its easy to use drag-and-drop interface.

2- Focus on Conversational Design

With mobile apps, websites, and other tools, the visual interface is very important; with chatbots, it’s all about the flow of the conversation. Whether you choose to create an AI-powered or rule-based chatbot, it’s important to program or train your Slackbot to have the appropriate conversations with the correct tone and focus.

Every sentence your Slackbot knows and uses should be carefully crafted to suit the end user. A Slackbot should also:

  • Avoid gender-specific pronouns
  • Avoid open-ended questions
  • Have a diverse set of answers for it to meet the needs of all involved users
  • Give the option to speak to a human representative whenever the user requests it

3- Give Your Bot Some Personality

A Slackbot is normally an internal tool that’s used among teams. As a result, it’s okay for a level of personality to shine through. While you must ensure it’s never offensive or rude, your Slackbot can be fun and personable. If you’re designing a Slackbot to boost company morale, personality should be a key trait to keep in mind when creating it.

4- Make Your Chatbot Proactive

Because chatbots are relatively new to Slack, your team members may not even know that there’s one readily available to help them with their day-to-day tasks. It’s essential that you make your chatbot proactive with the right onboarding. In its early stages, you could reintroduce your chatbot with prompts to remind users of its existence and capabilities.

5- Think About Your Welcome Message

Your welcome message should be short, concise, and above all, friendly. It should make expectations clear by sharing its key functionalities and purpose. Your Slackbot should also make it clear to the user they’re speaking with a robot, not a human. While the welcome message may seem like a minute section of the Slackbot’s design process, keep in mind that it’s what will initially engage users.

6- Give Your Slackbot a Clear and Concise Purpose

Before you develop a chatbot, it’s important to outline your goals. Usually, a Slackbot is designed to help team members with some of their everyday tasks. That said, these bots can undertake a huge variety of tasks, some of which include, but are not limited to:

  • Sending out polls
  • Checking up on each team member’s mood or state of mind
  • Sending alerts and notifications regarding events and meetings
  • Gathering and analyzing data
  • Telling users the weather
  • Giving news updates

Identifying your aims and objectives is key to creating a Slackbot that’s focused on the task at hand. A Slackbot without focus does a poor job on numerous tasks rather than performing one task perfectly. Choose these goals with the end user in mind to offer solutions to their pain points.

7- Release Features One at a Time

While you may want to design your Slackbot to have more than one feature, it’s important to release these features one after the other. This will ensure that every feature is perfectly tuned when released and also prevents users from feeling confused or overwhelmed. A Slackbot with too many features is difficult to design and challenging to navigate.

8- Launch Your Chatbot to the World

Slackbots learn with every interaction; therefore, they need to be used regularly in order to grow and improve. One of the best ways to improve your Slackbot’s functionalities is to release it to the world. Instead of limiting it to your company, you could launch your Slackbot on bot directories. While there are a variety of bot directories to choose from, Slack has its own. In it, Slackbots are organized based on their functionalities.

9- Optimize Your Chatbot Regularly

It’s important that you know how your Slackbot is functioning. To monitor its performance, you must choose the right analytical tool. Chattypeople has a built-in analytics tool that allows you to keep an eye on the way users converse with your chatbot. An analytical tool allows you to:

  • Adjust your Slackbot’s script
  • Identify areas of increased and decreased engagement
  • Track when your Slackbot is used the most
  • Analyze positive and failed responses

10- Keep Your Competitors in Mind

Before and after your Slackbot is launched, you must be aware of your competitors. Analyzing your competitive landscape will help you identify features that offer the most value to users. From there, you’ll be able to focus on offering your team members a Slackbot that can perform tasks better than others currently on the market.

Finally…

It’s important to keep all of your aims and objectives in mind when creating a Slackbot for your teams. You must also ensure that you monitor your competitors and the overall performance of your Slackbot to identify and offer value to users where other Slackbots do not. By following the tips I’ve outlined above, you’ll be able to create an engaging Slackbot that can help all your team members complete a long list of tasks.