It seems like everyone has a chatbot these days, and many chatbot development platforms have cropped up to help everyday users and sophisticated bot makers alike build the bot of their dreams. Are you itching to build a Kik chatbot of your own? There’s no better time to than now.
Popular messaging platform Kik is especially enticing for amateur bot makers. This is thanks to Botsworth, its bot-building assistant (who, appropriately enough, is a chatbot himself). All it takes is just a few minutes to get a chatbot up and running on Kik.
Still, you might be wondering: where do I even begin? Whether you need help with onboarding, designing a personality, analyzing metrics and more, here are some tips for building a bot for Kik. With this short guide, you should be confident enough to start building your first Kik chatbot!
Before Building a Kik Chatbot, Take Time to Plan
Before rushing into things, take a moment to plan out your bot and what it should achieve. What is your bot’s main goal? Who is it designed to help? What will make it unique? These are all questions you must ask yourself before building a Kik chatbot.
Keep Things Simple
The best bots focus on one task—and doing it well. While it might be tempting to add a bunch of features to your Kik chatbot, offering too many can be confusing for the user (and difficult for you to perfect). Simplification is your friend here, so focus on how you can best accomplish one task or use case for your bot.
Give it a Personality
A personality makes a bot more fun! Without a personality, the experience of using a chatbot would offer little more than navigating a menu. A personable chatbot also encourages users to form a connection or bond with it, and users are more likely to trust it with their data over a bot that feels too cold and corporate.
Designing a personality for a Kik chatbot is easy. Begin with a name, then match a personality type with whatever the bot’s focus is. For example, a fashion bot might be bubbly, encouraging and talkative. Chatbots that help people order food might be more laid-back, casual and relaxed.
Have a Social Focus
It’s really easy to invite a Kik bot into a conversation. In fact, bots that thrive in group conversations (like ones that offer games, polls, etc.) grow quickly and do well on the platform. If your bot can help people collaborate or have fun together, capitalize on that feature to make your bot more shareable.
Don’t Neglect Onboarding
Most users will decide very quickly whether a chatbot is worth their time. Because users can churn on the first or second step, one of the most essential tips for building a bot is to make a good first impression.
Let users know immediately what they can expect to do with the chatbot, then gradually introduce features one at a time. By managing expectations and teaching your users how to use the bot, you ensure they don’t get overwhelmed or frustrated early in the conversation.
When designing chatbot responses, consider ways to keep the conversation going. This can be as simple as suggesting things for the user to ask. For example, if someone asks the bot for today’s weather, present the answer—but then let them know you can find tomorrow’s forecast, too.
When your bot asks questions about the user, stick to specific questions over open-ended ones. Answers to open-ended or rhetorical questions can easily confuse a bot—or a user!
Organize Conversation Trees
It can be difficult keeping track of queries and responses for the first-time bot maker. If you’re struggling to organize keywords, responses, conversations and the like, organize them into flow charts and mind maps. These tools help you easily follow the flow of conversations and their forking paths. You might also share them with colleagues so they can see at a glance what your bot is capable of doing.
Be Punchy and Direct
Be snappy and be direct. Keep things shot and sweet.
Chances are, users are chatting with a bot to get something done quickly. They often don’t want to waste time in small talk or reading walls of text. While fun dialogue and personality is a plus, it’s important that your chatbot’s responses are succinct. You should also avoid jargon—terms only known to niche audiences or those in certain industries—to avoid confusion.
Find Your Audience
To prepare for your Kik chatbot launch, get started now finding an audience for it. Set up a landing page explaining what it can do and how users can get in touch. This can help you find your early adopters—perhaps by collecting email addresses of interested users whom you can contact upon launch. You should also submit profiles for the chatbot on bot directories. This further helps you lay the groundwork for when you’re ready to launch.
Why do you want to find and cultivate early adopters before launch? Because by having as many people chat with the bot as possible on day one, you can work faster to collect and analyze usage metrics. Which brings us to our final tip…
Pay Attention to Chatbot Analytics
It’s never too early to focus on chatbot analytics. From the moment people begin using your Kik chatbot, you should be looking for ways to improve it. By watching engagement and retention rates, you can get an idea of how many people consistently use your bot.
Those metrics will give you a good idea on your bot’s adoption and use, but there’s more than just those that you should be paying attention to. By regularly analyzing your Kik bot usage and using that data to iterate the bot, you can work to make it more engaging and enjoyable to use.