Chatbots are the obvious trend for 2017, experts concurrently predict its high rise in the near future. Such AI programs are not just a big profit for companies to launch a chatbot instead of hiring more reps (sorry humans!), but also a great benefit for customers and prospects, who wouldn’t have to wait (
sometimes usually long) for human assistance. The bot can service plenty of customers simultaneously, handling orders and simple questions right away.
Basically, a business must QA test its chatbot well, so it can bring real profit. Though such a toy in your service arsenal may be a thoughtful marketing coup to attract IT-interested people, the interest will inevitably fade away if your bot wouldn’t be able to handle what a customer really needs from your company.
Since AI chatbot becomes recently rather smarter, more and more companies adopt these personalized programs in their business. Nevertheless, “smarter” means more complicated coding, therefore more bugs, errors and other head-breaking messes. You don’t want a crazy Tay bot who posts something like “kill all humans”, right? Or do you?..
How to cope with the task?
Give Up Treating Your Chatbot like a Human
Last year summer there were many speculations that chatbots are rather stupid because they don’t deal well with Turing test. WTF, man? Chatbots are not a toy for lonely kidults, they are functional instruments to achieve a certain programmatic goal. Chatbots don’t need to act a real human but reply with the right answers and in the right time.
Sure thing, that would be nice (and highly recommended) to add some humanization features. For example, a bot may reply with the heart emoji, once a caller says “I love you”. Things like that would be a pretty bonus for customers because they create a personal connection with your company, and their amusement will probably grow in more sympathy for your business. Your customer and your company will have a common history: it would be rather difficult for her or him to turn her/his eyes to your competitors. The real emotional factors rule in life, hence in business.
Use Suitable Tools for Your Chatbot
Before the start, we must choose the instruments we will work with. Bots are not usual software, and its QA testing definitely requires specific tools. How exactly should they work?
The main task for chatbot is to understand the context of the conversation flow and deal properly with an issue a user needs to resolve. So, the adequate tool must examine these features as detailed as possible (especially it concerns some routine controlling) and provide with a clear review, better converted in numbers that push to valuable insights.
Keyul, a creator of Bot Stash, recommends three top tools for automation testing. What are they?
Bot Flair should be considered the best due to its capability to control unexpected inputs like slang words, colloquialisms, and other stuff like that. However, it’s totally paid. And if you just want to know how your bot generally behaves in different channels, you can simply go along with the Bot Testing, which is completely free of charge. Dimon would be something middle between those two since it offers both free and paid subscriptions with the different outreach. It provides with the basic functions but also gives options of the premium features.
The testing tools would surely ease the whole process if being implemented by skillful hands. However you can’t rely totally on testing automation – robots would never dismiss humans in controlling robots (sounds ironically, isn’t it?).
Basic Chatbot QA: a Bot Should Do Its Bot Job
So, what should you start from? It’s obvious you ought to check what the chatbot is specifically created for. That is the common logic of your servant. You don’t want your botty to answer with right answers but to the wrong questions, right?
Let him/her handle the expected inputs, and see the result. If something goes wrong, you know what to do, since you or your coders have coded the reactions on those inputs directly.
This stage can be compared with such usual process as proofreading and editing your post on Facebook before you click or tap the “Post” button. The same thing with your bot: make sure it’s functioning well on the basic interactions before you show up your AI child to more people. Note that it’s obligatory to test your bot on all channels it’s been implemented for, to avoid any issues with integration compatibility.
You may involve professional QA testers on this very stage. The whole analysis would be even more efficient if the testing team starts with you from the very beginning and grasp more basic details of your project.