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In our research for this article, we came across dozens of innovative, problem-solving and empathetic virtual assistants; in short, conversational chatbots truly designed for customers.
But as you know, first impressions count for a lot. What do we think about some of those bots? It doesn’t matter how good the content or the complements are, if customers can’t find the bot, it can't do what it's supposed to do. This has a direct impact on customer experience, and therefore your business.
Whether your goal is to offer support, increase conversions on your site, or sell more, the chatbot has to be visible. If not, your customers won’t contact you.
What can you do about it?
The answer is in the bot’s start button.
Make it stand out!
One thing that can destroy the effectiveness of a smart virtual assistant is its placement on your website.
Since you've already created good content for your customers, you have to make sure the bot’s start button is visible. Websites can have a lot of images, menus and ads, so you should give a lot of thought to where it will be located on the page.
What’s the best location?
If we stick to the famous Gutenberg Diagram, developed by Edmund C. Arnold, people in the Western world share similar reading patterns.
Edmund discovered that the eye scans a page from the upper left corner and ends at the bottom right corner. We tend to pay more attention to these two spots.
If we apply this principle to a website, the best place for the start button will be at the end of the path: the bottom right. This will make sure your customers don’t miss the chatbot.
Besides this pattern, the start button needs to have free space around it and not overlap with text and images.
Finally, if you decide to place the bot on only one page of your site (for example, the support section), you should announce this on the home page. You can do this with a button or small banner so your customers are aware there's a virtual assistant ready to help them.
Revamp the look
If you want to change the bot’s appearance or if you’re in the middle of creating one, here are some best practices:
1. Color, color and more color
Designers will agree that colors convey a roller coaster of emotions. They can entice us and drive a purchase decision, or provoke negative feelings that push us away from a brand.
What should you keep in mind?
⮞ Not everyone reacts to colors the same way. It’s important to consider the associated emotions, but don’t feel locked in. Make sure the colors reflect your company’s values and identity.
⮞The bot’s start button doesn't just have to work with the design and esthetics of your website. More than anything, it has to stand out. Otherwise, it'll get lost in the background and your customers will have a hard time finding it.
2. Create a personality
Sometimes an abstract icon is too generic for your audience. Want to make your start button more interesting? Check out these tips:
⮞ Does your business have a distinctive character? Great! Use it.
⮞ If you don’t have one, this is your chance to be creative and design your own. Before bringing it to life, think about your audience, their profile and what they'll use the bot for. This will be useful when coming up with a character that'll engage your customers the most.
⮞ You can change its outfit, posture or expression depending on different occasions or times of the year.
3. Add complements
While a picture is worth a thousand words, in this case words do take some of the credit, too.
⮞ Be one step ahead of your customers’ questions and add complements to your bot’s start button, like a message or some buttons.
⮞ You can use the message to greet your customers or ask them something you know will capture their attention.
⮞ Buttons will motivate your customers to click and start chatting. You can choose to place the FAQs there, or topics related to a specific campaign.
⮞ If you want to add these additional buttons as complements to your bot’s start button, the ideal number is three. You can add more, but that runs the risk of looking overloaded. The last thing you want is customers to feel more like closing the bot than interacting with it.
⮞ When creating this content, keep your bot's objectives in mind. Will you use it to offer technical support? Do you want to increase sales and get more leads? Will the virtual assistant carry out some sort of management, like collections or checking balances?
⮞ Write short, clear and action-oriented text.
4. Make it fun!
Animation and interactivity will liven up the start button even more.
For example, you can make it change colors or move when the cursor's over it.
These effects will be another reason customers will interact with it and set it apart from the static ones.
Related article: Personalization and chatbots: tips for creating the best experience
Optimized for mobile
Year after year, mobile navigation is gaining ground over desktop browsing. According to the latest studies, mobile devices represented 51.53% of total web traffic during the first quarter of 2020.
In a mobile-first world, it’s practically required then to consider how the start button looks on a mobile device.
This is why you should consider the space limitations on a cell phone screen. The character, animation, text and additional buttons must be designed to offer the best user experience.
All in all, the start button is key for your virtual assistant to achieve its objectives. If you got to here after reading (or scanning) this article, remember these three takeaways:
- Turn your the start button into your bot's protagonist. Don’t hide it.
- Personalize it and use complements to capture your customers’ attention.
- Think about that 51.53% of customers who browse on mobile devices. Maximize it to offer the best experience.