Best Practices for Enterprise Bot Design: 5 Experts Weigh In

The first panel of Botness Enterprise kicked the day off talking about designing enterprise bots – what’s worked for them, what hasn’t, and where they think bot design is headed.

Dan Reich, CEO of Troops, says enterprise bots need the 3 Ps: personality, personalization, and permissions.

An example of personality: your bot sometimes needs to notify the user or team when there’s an important change, right? Use Giphy (for example) to inject some personality into your notification.

For personalization, each company and team is different and unique – it’s important to customize info and datasets based on personas and use cases.

And finally, with permissions, assign user roles with features (Troops uses badges.)

Meanwhile, Rob May, CEO of Talla, offers 3 lessons his team has learned:

Let’s go down the list!

  1. Own your stack! Build cross platform.
  2. A/B test your onboarding! With Talla, Rob said they started conversational and moved to web – they built their own testing to see what experiences people preferred.
  3. Sell top down, not bottom up! Talla has moved to a sales-driven model – calling people, targeting leads. Rob recommends hiring a sales team early and using that sales process to collect feedback.

Next up – Paolo Perazzo, CEO of Kyber, took some time to dive into different types of bots, and how they deliver different experiences.

It’s important to remember that when you’re creating a bot, it needs to enhance or replace existing connections, not necessarily start from scratch.

There are a lot of human-human or human-machine interactions in the enterprise space that can be replaced with a bot, and a bot can even listen in on contextual conversations between two users to pull events that need to be worked into a workflow.

Justin Vandehey, CEO of Growbot, gave some insight into Growbot’s success. Some of the highlights include:

  • Configuration. As Growbot has gone to more channels, there are more requests for configurations. The team has enabled admins to make these changes for their teams. The bot should be easy to configure.
  • Be respectful. Each notification requires an opt-in for Growbot to re-engage – it’s important to get an opt-in before you start the relationship. And opt-outs are just as important!
  • Channels. Initiate a specific channel for your bot.

Lastly, Luis Borges, CEO of Ottspott, had some great ideas for enterprise bot design, including:

  • Use your entire team. Use your bot in your daily work, and involve your entire team in building and improving it.
  • Understand your bot’s audience.
  • Define usage and benefits. Not all of your users have the same motivation.
  • Measure and refine constantly. A lot of features their team liked weren’t used – it’s important to monitor what people are actually using.
  • Use your bot as a customer loyalty channel. 

The Q&A session covered even more ground – everyone weighed in on what they’re seeing customers adopt frequently, how cross platform will work in the next 12 months, how bot discovery works, and how security contracting works when working with enterprise companies.

We covered the bot ecosystem at SXSW 2017 – catch up on our posts here, or follow us on Twitter for more Botness Enterprise goodness!


About Cassie Bannister

Director of Marketing for I edit all the things for (and sometimes write them, too.)