A human brain and a robot brain: how can they understand each other? Clearly it’s not easy. Effective communication between robots and people is an art.

If you want your virtual assistant to address customers’ inquiries successfully, you have to design interactions carefully. And for this, sometimes flows are more effective than you think.

Dialogue Design? Is That Possible?

Of course! Good conversation design is what differentiates an average chatbot from an awesome one. The content depends a lot on the tone you use to communicate. But whether you include jokes or prefer a more formal turn of phrase, conveying emotion in the chatbot’s answers will bring you closer to customers.

One good experience is all you need for them to keep using the virtual assistant (and in turn, keep in touch with your company). To get this, a conversational AI chatbot is the best choice. They not only understand natural and informal language but they let you add flows.

But, what are flows?

When you design an interaction using flows, you’re building a decision tree for the user. There you’ll find a root question, the one that triggers the whole diagram, and different nodes that come from it.

Nodes are questions associated with an answer. In each stage of the process, users have to select one of the nodes based on their preferences. That way, they’ll follow the conversation you’ve uploaded until they get to the information they’re looking for.

Flows for functionality, not as the center of the conversation

Flows are a useful tool when it comes to conversation design. However, it’s important that interactions are not based exclusively on them.

For example, there are chatbots that are 100% flow-based. They offer limited answers, the dialogue is based on static options and the user can’t ask other questions apart from the preset ones.

100% flow-based conversation

How do you think a user will feel when they can’t get an answer to their question? If you want customers to talk to the bot and resolve their problems, this kind of virtual assistant won’t do the job.

That’s why flows and artificial intelligence are the perfect combination. Natural language understanding and good conversation design is all you need to offer the kind of experience your customers are looking for.

By identifying the context and the intentions behind the questions, the user will get an answer no matter how the question is asked. On the other hand, by adding flows you’ll be able to guide them if they aren’t sure about the information they need.

Conversation with flows and artificial intelligence

How to use flows to design great conversations for a chatbot

How to use flows to design great conversations for a chatbot

How to use flows to design great conversations for a chatbot

When flows are necessary

Let’s dig deeper with flows. How can they help your customers? Sometimes users don’t know how to ask questions or maybe they simply aren’t used to virtual assistance.

Make it easier for them and have the chatbot take the first step. A friendly welcome message and buttons with suggested questions is a good strategy. The user will be already halfway there and they’ll only have to pick the option they want.

On the other hand, sometimes an open conversation makes customers stray from their main goal. When you need them to get straight to the point, building a decision tree is the best option.

For example, if you know they want to know how to open an account or ask for a loan, you should build a flow and they’ll get to the answer much faster.

That way, the experience will be much more pleasant. You’ll offer automated and high-quality customer service and you won’t lose sales opportunities in the process.

The perfect combination: natural conversations and flows

My recommendation? Invest in a smart chatbot that has the best of both worlds: natural language interpretation, friendly interactions and conversational flows.

Originally published here.