How Conversation Design Improves Your Bottom Line

Jasper Klimbie
April 2023
3 min

In the world of Conversational AI, the current buzz is all ChatGPT, integrations, and optimization. However, the art of conversation design is still key to unlocking the value of your conversational AI solution. Most people know it improves the overall customer experience, but did you know it also impacts your bottom line?

Good – even great – design can make all the difference. Let’s look at a few examples that have made chatbots much more effective. Ranging from almost glaringly obvious… to more surprising.


Can you rephrase that?

Yes, it still happens: your NLU doesn’t understand what your customer is asking. So, your chatbot asks for a rephrase. And then, the conversation can unexpectedly go off the rails. Even when customers aren’t being funny! There’s an easy fix, though.

Being ready for unexpected behavior gets you a long way. This design solution will stop unnecessary handovers from happening, increasing containment and raising the value of your conversational AI.

Hot topics

Sometimes your business will know in advance what customers will be asking at a specific time of the year. If so, you can help customers by adding a ‘hot topic’ button in your initial greeting.

You may even want to highlight it using a different color for example. It’s all about getting your customers where they want to be, quickly. This approach will lead to higher containment and higher customer satisfaction, which at the end of the day, improve your bottom line.

One small caveat: we believe that the hot topic button should only be used to push content that you know your customers are interested in. You should hesitate to use the hot topic as a marketing tool, as this may undermine your customers faith in the chatbot as a help tool. Always put your customers first!

Increasing customer satisfaction

Continuing on, and perhaps revealing a common thread: give your customers what they want. To demonstrate, another example. With a seemingly simple redesign, we increased a global sports brand’s chatbot NPS by 20 points!?

How did we manage to do that? In this case, more than 80% of the brand’s chatbot traffic is about customers’ order status. Customers are logged in when chatting, so the bot knows whether they have a current order active, and can even check the status itself. Here’s what we changed:

This pro-active design change instantly improved NPS by around 20 points in one fell swoop. As we see time and time again, proactively offering real-time information you can safely assume customers are looking for leads to higher satisfaction and containment. It increases the value of the conversational solution, sometimes dramatically.

Take it step-by-step

Finally – and seemingly at odds with the last two examples – is when we apply turn taking. This looks like a shift in focus, but it’s not really. Our focus is still on customer ease. But now we are focussed on getting the customer what they want, not as quickly as possible, but with the least amount of effort.

When user testing this redesign, the step-by-step flow was rated much higher by all testers. Tellingly, none of them were able to accurately report how many steps the conversation took: instead, they all reported that it was easier.

Ease-of-use is a proxy for being quick. Therefore, it is important to remember that giving users what they want, quickly, doesn’t not mean in the least amount or turns. Breaking down information is much more effective than giving all information at once.

Knowing this, as a conversation designer, will allow you to design dialogues that will doubtlessly lead to higher containment as a higher percentage of customers understand the answer that they are given.

Improve your bottom line

As you can see, even in this age of magical tech, good conversation design can make a world of difference. It’s all about remembering that we’re dealing with actual customers, who want what they want quickly, with as little effort as possible.

Better design helps you, as a business, to extract more value from your conversational AI solutions. Do you feel there’s room for improvement in your chatbot, but don’t know where to begin? A great start is an Expert Review by one of our conversational AI consultants, feel free to reach out for more information.

Jasper Klimbie
Conversational AI Consultant
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