How Behavioral Bot Design Improves User Experience and Increases Conversion Rates

Chatbots and digital assistants, so-called conversational user interfaces, are familiar to almost everyone these days. However, users are often disappointed when using conversational UIs: They experience the dialogues as bumpy and rarely find the support they were hoping for when making a purchase decision. Successful conversational user interfaces take into account users' intuitive decision-making patterns, as a new whitepaper from Elaboratum shows.


Humans are not rational beings. He makes 95 percent of his decisions with his intuitive decision-making system - this also applies to purchasing decisions on the web, whether via websites or conversational user interfaces. "We want to move away from inadequate dialogues with bots that frustrate customers and lead them to abandon, instead of supporting them in their intuitive decision-making," says Anja Linnert, co-author of the new Elaboratum whitepaper "The 10 Must-have Behavior Patterns for Chatbots and Voice Assistants".


Focus on user needs

When designing Conversational User Interfaces, Behavior Patterns - the behavior patterns that determine everyone's actions - should be used in a targeted manner for an optimal user experience. The so-called Behavioral Bot Design is to be understood as a holistic approach: It is important to know the decision context and the user needs as precisely as possible in order to select the appropriate behavior patterns and to place coherent triggers in the bot that trigger the desired behavior: "Only if the triggers actually facilitate the user's decision and address their needs does behavioral bot design achieve its goal - namely, to focus on the user's needs, improve the user experience, and accordingly facilitate decisions," explains Fabian Reinkemeier, co-author of the white paper.


Higher customer satisfaction through the use of patterns

In a pilot test conducted by elaboratum in cooperation with the University of Göttingen, the targeted use of patterns in the design of voice assistants in an AB test made the 347 test subjects more satisfied on average by 42.2 percent during a purchasing process, among other things because a more natural experience is created. Alongside this, the number of people who would use such an optimized assistant to purchase products in the future increased by 81.3 percent. Conversational UIs and PsyConversation have a great effect, especially in more complex and not regular processes, such as the conclusion of a new internet contract, an insurance policy or similar services and products that require explanation.


Top 10 Patterns for Chatbots or Voice Assistants

In the whitepaper, the team of authors names the top 10 behavior patterns made famous by PsyConversion for use with chatbots or voice assistants. This makes customer-centric user guidance a success. Three behavior patterns for use with chatbots and voice assistants are mentioned here as examples:

  1. Primacy Effect: People form an opinion very early on that is difficult to change at later stages. The first impression counts - also in conversational UI. You should place particular emphasis on addressing the target group appropriately as an introduction to the dialogue and briefly explain the functionalities and goals of the bot to avoid disappointment later on.
  2. Trust: Trust is the basis for the use of conversational UI. This is especially true in Germany, where Germans are statistically among the most fearful online users. In a chatbot or voice assistant, you should point out special security standards for data transmission or eavesdropping security. If a certain initial trust is achieved and your users associate their first positive experiences with the technology, then the way automatically opens up for use in more sensitive areas, such as the use of personal data or payment processing. User trust can be triggered especially by familiarity, such as the use of already familiar characters, but also by appealing design, e.g. of the chatbot icon.
  3. Liking: We tend to be convinced more quickly by people we like. You can generate likeability in various ways: similarity, attractiveness/trustworthiness, contact/cooperation, and praise/recognition. In Conversational UIs, the recognition/cooperation variant is particularly suitable. Your user should be praised for their decisions and answers, you should make them feel like they are on the right track. The impression of cooperation can be achieved by setting common goals: "I'm here for you to find your perfect outfit". In the course of this, you should adapt the language to your company values and target group. 



Behavioral Bot Design - Four steps to a user-centric conversational UI

The introduction or optimization of technologies is always associated with an investment. Therefore, it should ideally have a successful impact on the business. In its whitepaper, elaboratum explains which four steps are crucial in the user-centered conception of Conversational UIs with Behavior Patterns.

  1. Use Case Selection: Even when choosing the use case, it is important to think from the user's point of view: Where does a bot represent the greatest added value for the customer? Which tasks can be made easier for the customer? What additional value can a bot generate at which point? Which type of conversational interface is suitable at which point and for which use case? The selection of a meaningful use case lays the foundation; if you decide too hastily here, you endanger the entire business case.
  2. Technology to Use Case: Depending on the use case, there are different requirements for the functionalities of the bot. Although the providers all offer the basic functions, differences can be identified depending on the focus, which should already be taken into account when selecting a provider. A dedicated provider comparison is therefore essential.
  3. User-centered design: PsyConversion for Conversational User Interfaces: The design should be based on the tried and tested PsyConversion® method, which focuses on your user and holistically captures and considers their needs. From the development of the user persona to the selection of suitable behavior patterns to the design of the triggers, the top priority is to make the decision-making process as simple and intuitive as possible for your user.
  4. Testing and optimization: Behavior patterns work - that much is certain. Nevertheless, for a customer-centric approach, testing and subsequent optimization is mandatory to provide the best experience for your customers. First, you need to try to achieve a high user interaction rate with the conversational UI. Finally, the bot needs to be trained so that an appropriate response is delivered as often as possible. It is important that on the content level, the quality of the content is constantly improved. You must therefore actively ask the user for feedback (e.g. through ratings - thumbs up/down) and then make improvements through several iterations.



About the Whitepaper

The whitepaper "The 10 Must-have Behavior Patterns for Chatbots and Voice Assistants" by Elaboratum New Commerce Consulting explains why the consideration of intuitive user decision patterns is crucial for the conception of successful conversational user interfaces: intuitive dialog design improves the user experience. For practical application, the authors present the top 10 behavior patterns for chatbots and voice assistants and show the way to a user-centric conversational UI in four steps. 

The whitepaper can be here free of charge.

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