Local Chatbots Can Make Your Content Resonate

Jun 27, 2018

Article ImageChatbots are now expected to be part of most digital experiences for local customers and product globalization plans around the world. In a way, chatbots sound like a dream of fully automated communication come true and have been nurtured by the latest big leap forward in artificial intelligence. When designing, developing, localizing, and maintaining chatbots the first and foremost challenge is to make them engaging and immersive in a world of human customers. In other words, the most effective chatbots should be driven by personal resonance while minimizing the feeling of interacting with a robot. More chat, less bot... Like for other content globalization and localization efforts some factors, requirements, and dependencies must be considered upfront to guarantee that chatbots are ready for the world:

  • Internationalize and localize chatbots like any other truly global application. Most design, development, testing, and deployment standards, and best practices that are considered and implemented for applications should be enforced for chatbots too. Doing so secures the right level of flexibility and robustness to localize chatbots in a cost and time effective fashion. As a first step, you should not assume that all chatbots are faster or cheaper to deploy locally. At the very least it is as challenging and requires as much expertise and experience in various fields
  • Implement local chatbots where and when it matters most for your customers. It is quite tempting to incorporate chatbots in a number of content areas within platforms, products, or a variety of digital properties, but it is paramount to prioritize them in order to generate and deliver as many standardized and simple interactions as possible. It helps you focus on questions, answers, and comments that can be anticipated and easy to use across several local markets. Frequently sent messages may be pre-defined, scripted and tested for each market before being ready for use. Professional linguists and language analysts are great partners in enabling your chatbots to sound more human and personal.
  • Ensure that chatbots support the display of local content linguistically, culturally and functionally. Local chatbots are often referred to as multilingual chatbots. While making them available in the mother tongue of your customers is crucial, localizing them culturally and functionally is equally important to turn them into valuable assets. In addition to content in multiple languages you need to consider experience standards and requirements that are applicable to your target markets. For example, language stylistics in general and tones of voice in particular must be tuned to how local customers want or prefer to receive communications. In the same vein, cultural factors driving acceptance and functional dependencies fostering relevance do not have to be underestimated. Replicating the use of chatbots from one market-- even a major one--to other markets does not work by default. Look at countries in Europe, Asia, or Latin America where customers perceive and receive chatbots more or less naturally and positively, regardless of the features and channels that chatbots are tied to. This fragmented picture can be explained by cultural values of individualism or openness to change, as well as by local infrastructures allowing speed of delivery or accessibility
  • Ensure that chatbots support the input of local content linguistically, culturally, and functionally. Keep in mind that chatbots are like two-way streets and your customers should be able to interact according to their preferences. Therefore, local chatbots must work seamlessly with content entered in local languages, including linguistic rules and conventions. Your local customers may convey similar messages but the fact that they do it in German, Spanish, or Japanese has to be taken into account to support all needed character sets or to include enough room for expanded or contracted text for instance. Localizing chatbots to allow local input is subject to the same cultural, and functional, requirements that must be understood and met from the outset
  • Leverage feedback and data to implement, maintain, and improve local chatbots. Localizing chatbots effectively opens the door to a mine of data and information to implement additional bots—and enhance existing ones. Use data, before launching any local chatbot, to tactically determine where it should be best placed, both geographically and content wise. But there is more in store if you create locally engaging chatbots. You can capture and measure how your customer perceive and use them, when they are most impactful and content generating and how they help boost traffic, conversion, and retention in other digital properties. You can also gauge the actual chatbot experiences by collecting feedback on effectiveness such as speed, accuracy and clarity. By combining quantitative and qualitative analytics you should find good opportunities to fine-tune the design and the scope of chatbots.

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