7 Questions to Ask Before Building a Chatbot Platform


Everyone touts the benefits of building or using a chatbot, including the chance to automate repetitive tasks. It seems like these days, there’s a bot for just about everything. And each time a new technology is discovered, every company is in a mad race to create the next best tool or platform. So, how can you keep up? More importantly, how can you ensure you build the best chatbot for your business?

In this guide, we’ll look at seven key questions you’ll want to ask before diving into the building and creation process with your new chatbot platform. The good news is that you don’t have to be tech-savvy to succeed here—the tools available today make it easy for just about anyone to build and implement chatbots and other AI tools. 

#1 – What is the purpose of your chatbot?

You might think this one is obvious: you are creating a chatbot to improve, streamline, or incorporate AI into your customer service. But to what end will this serve your business needs and goals? What will your chatbot do that adds value and provides a better service for your audience?

Are you creating a customer service chatbot to answer common inquiries? Perhaps you’re using a centralized chatbot to support your internal agents. Whatever your needs are, make sure they’re clearly defined. 

When you can do this, you will be able to start developing a strategy for your chatbot project to guide its successful development and implementation. 

#2 – What are your goals for the chatbot?

This is not the same as the first question. In addition to a general purpose, you need specific, measurable goals that outline what you anticipate getting from your new chatbot. Are you trying to drive sales, improve the customer experience, or deliver faster service? Perhaps it’s all of the above. 

List out actionable goals that you have in mind for your chatbot. That will help guide the development process and help you choose the perfect build for your needs. 

#3 – Who will be using your chatbot?

You can’t create a tool without an end user in mind. Have a clear idea of the type of people that will be using your chatbot. Is it a specific demographic? Will they have particular pain points? Perhaps it will be people with certain types of “common inquiries” that you’ve trained your chatbot to answer. 

Knowing who will use your chatbot can help influence its design and even determine whether or not it has a “persona” of its own to relate to your users. 

#4 – Where will you deploy the chatbot?

Typically, most companies assume they will place a chatbot on their website without so much as a second thought to all the other options. However, you should know that you can also put a chatbot on your social media profiles if people are more likely to reach out there. You might choose something like Facebook Messenger for easy social media chatbot access, but develop a custom chatbot for your website, for example. 

Where you will use the chatbot influences how it is built, which technology and tools you use, and other details. It also indicates what types of uses it will have and which audiences will most likely use it. 

#5 – How will you measure your success?

Chatbots aren’t guaranteed to be successful just because they’re created. In fact, Wingstop, a national chain wing brand with a very well-known chatbot, found it wasn’t that successful. Only 17% of sales came from digital ordering through the bot. That might not be enough to warrant such an investment for your business. 

What metrics will you use to gauge the success of your chatbot? Will it be based on feedback? Interactions? Data gathered from conversations that people have with the platform? Include how you will measure your success in your strategy for the best chances of a good outcome. 

#6 – How will the chatbot create value?

A chatbot is a great novelty when it first debuts. However, if it doesn’t continue to serve a purpose or provide value, it’s nothing more than that – a novelty. Ensure you have explicit strategies and plans to explain how the chatbot will create value for its users. 

It may give customers the chance to get quick answers to routine questions, saving their time and your resources. Your chatbot may solve the problem that people have of not being able to reach out during business hours. Figure out how you will create value by doing more than just launching a chatbot. 

#7 – How will people find your chatbot?

As you’ve probably heard before, the whole “if you build it, they will come” concept is outdated in the digital world. The Internet is an endless landscape of builds and bots to explore. How are you going to make sure that people know your chatbot exists? You can’t just create one, launch it, and hope for the best. 

Consider social media advertising, a newsletter to current customers or subscribers, and even notifications on your website to let people know that change is coming. A chatbot is usually a welcome addition, so make sure your plan includes making it known that you have this new feature. 

Partner with Smith.ai for a full-service chat solution and more 

At Smith.ai, we are always looking for new ways to innovate with technology, leading us to create our new AI Voice Assistant, along with our live chat solutions, that can ensure that your customers always have convenient access to the assistance they need. Our virtual receptionists can assist with everything from outreach campaigns and lead intake to serving as your 24/7 answering service.

To learn more, schedule a consultation or reach out to hello@smith.ai


Elizabeth Lockwood is the content marketing associate at Smith.ai. She focuses specifically on writing and editing engaging articles, blog posts, and other forms of publication.

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