Top 2 Questions From Customers Answered – What Topics Should My Bot Know and How Much Training Data Do I Need?

The content and structure will largely determine the value for your virtual customer assistant. It stems from the use case that you give to your bot. Hence, before starting to build the bot it is important to really understand what you need the bot to do and how.

Once, that is determined, then you need to figure out the content that goes into the bot. Some important points to keep in mind about the content for the bot that we get asked quite a lot.

We advise to select around 50-60 (max 100) topics for your bot. These topics should reflect the most commonly asked things from your customer service team and as such you should focus on them. Of course you can select more topics but the risk in that case is that the topics will be rather similar in most cases and bot will start referring questions to topics that is not intended. Also it helps to keep in mind the bots are all about volume and frequency – the 80/20 rule applies. 80% of automatable chats in customer service come from ~20% of topics.

For the size of the training data – if you have around 2000 conversations then that is good enough to start. By conversation I mean chat session with a customer. For most part the important aspect from the conversation is the first one or two questions that the customer asks. This gives you information on how customers ask questions which, in turn, is valuable information to your bot as you can train the bot to understand the different ways how customers ask questions.

Videos, images, GIFs and emojis all make the content more enjoyably. Especially if you are targeting a younger demographic. Screenshots with usability information (about apps, instructions for the self-service portal) are helpful in many cases and can help users better than instructional text.

Keep the answers to the point. Usually 2-3 sentences is enough. Use language that is clear, much like if you were to explain things to your friend who does not know much about your company. Also it is good practice to include links for further reference in the answers so that people can find more details if they wish.

Have additional questions about training your bot? Shoot me an email indrek (at) alphablues (dot) com, I’ll be happy to help.

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