10 questions to ask before hiring a bot developer
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10 Questions to ask before you hire a bot developer

Messenger Chat bots are popping up everywhere – for good reason. It is one of the few platforms where you can realistically expect to have an intimate, one-on-one conversation with your customer at any scale.

But everyone is hopping on the Messenger Chat bot bandwagon – and hiring a developer can feel like buying blind.

Ideally, you can find a developer who not only understands the programming, but has the mindset of a marketer.

Here are 10 questions to ask before you hire a Messenger chat bot developer:

1. Do they have bots that they built that they can share with you?

This will immediately separate the wanna-be developers from the people who have done the work. While it’s still early in the development game, a developer should be able to share bots that they built for a client or a proof-of-concept / demo bot that they developed to show what is possible for your industry.

2. Are they using logic sequences?

This is a big stumbling block of a lot of developers. Too often, they create separate streams of conversations that don’t link up.

A good bot developer will have branching and linking sequences that take advantage of both the medium and the basic AI that is part of the platform.

3. Do they know how to write for bot conversations?

It’s not just about short sentences. It’s also about crafting a story line a few words at at time AND connecting those stories together over a period of days or weeks.

It’s a fine balancing act between too much and not enough information.

4. Do they know how to use engagement tools?

Chat bots are not just straight text. You need to understand how to create a give-and-take flow by using engagement tools that not only make the conversation more natural-feeling but also take advantage of the unique tools available to chat bots.

5. Do they understand the long game of chat bots?

Chatbot conversations typically take place over weeks or months. Just like an email campaign, you need to get past the know-like-trust phase before you begin the selling phase.

6. Do they understand the immediate engagement phase?

Just like there is a long game, there is also an immediate engagement phase that marketers can seize.

7. Are they gathering and using data to assist in marketing and re-targeting?

There are many ways to track engagement through chat bots. Is your developer maximizing the data and parsing it in ways that enhance your marketing efforts?

Users should be tagged so that their behavior can be tracked. This brings down your cost of future marketing – so it’s critical do do this from the beginning.

8. Are they using data to personalize the user experience?

Not only is data crucial to your long-term cost and success, understanding your data means that you can create a much more personalized experience for the user.

By analyzing data and adding users to a sequence that makes sense for their needs, you create a more engaged, loyal customer and follower.

9. Do they understand how to work cross-platform?

Your marketing platforms do not exist apart from one another. Your emails promote events on Facebook. Your Facebook ads send customers to landing pages on your website. You Tweet out blog posts and reminders to sign up for your email list. Your chat bot engagements go over to an email list.

You need a developer who understands how all the pieces fit together. How do you make a seamless experience across platforms that takes advantage of each platform’s strengths and audience reach.

10. Do they understand how to iterate?

Creating a chat bot is not a one-and-done experience. You are constantly tweaking the sequences to increase your conversions and engagement.

If they are handing you a chat bot with no plan to test, look at the data, and make creative changes on the fly, then they are not providing a chat bot that will succeed and grow your business.

It’s not just about developing – it’s about using this as a smart marketing tool.

Take time to ask questions and see their work. Ask them about how they see chat bots fitting into your larger goals – and how they plan to not only measure success but track user engagement.

What are your concerns around hiring a bot developer?

 

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