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Craft an Effective Onboarding Sequence

The right chatbot onboarding sequence gets users into a productive, honest, and benefiticial conversation. Build an honest relationship with your users from the first message.

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The three rules of chatbot onboarding

Tell the user it's a chatbot

Set expectations from the start. The technology isn't advanced enough to fool people into thinking they're talking to another human. If you try to trick them and they realise it's a machine, you've lost them.

Tell the user what it can do

The user needs to know what it can and can't do with the chatbot. It helps the chatbot stay in context and informs the user they may not be able to solve their problem through this channel.

Tell the user how to get to a human

Some people don't want to talk to a computer, and sometimes the chatbot hasn't been trained how to deal with the user's request. It's essential to explain how the user can contact another human for help.

The benefits of a proper chatbot onboarding sequence

An excellent onboarding example

On your right, an excellent example of the first messages a chatbot should send its users. The chatbot introduces itself, offers some usability tips, and explains how to reach a human.

Once you have the basics covered, you can focus on more advanced features. For example, use autocompletion and suggestions to help users find FAQs or sentiment analysis to tailor tone and responses.

Educated users will also be more receptive to branding and quirkiness. With a proper onboarding sequence in place, you can think of adding personality and matching your chatbot to your brand.

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Make a powerful first impression

The onboarding sequence is the first experience your users have with your chatbot. It is vital to get it right. This means testing, optimising and listening to what users are saying and doing.

In a few words, your chatbot must teach its users how to use it while at the same time demonstrate why it's worth using.

If you don't get onboarding right, your users are likely to give up on your chatbot before they've have a chance to experience its true value -- and your chatbot will never get the chance to satisfy its purpose.