Bad Bots (And What Happens To Them)

Bad Bots - It's not just a cool name for a cover band! On the show today we're talking about bots that bug you constantly, don't answer your questions, or are copy/pasted from someone else. Today we'll talk about what makes a bad bot, and the consequences of creating them.

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0:05: Welcome to The Bot Signal. Your home for news and views about Messenger Chatbots. Usually on this show we talk about how to make your Messenger Bots as awesome as possible. Today, let's flip to the other side of the spectrum and talk about bad bots. Now, why is it important to talk about bad bots? Why focus on this? Why not just focus on what you want it to be? The answer is this, bad examples are sometimes the very best teachers. When I started investigating bots, about a year ago is when I got into this. I signed up for a whole bunch of bots. I had good experiences and I had bad experiences, and sometimes the bad experiences taught me even more than the good experiences did. So today I'm going to go over four types of bots: four types of bad bots. These are signs that you can look out for in your own bots and write a better one.

01:19: First bad bot we're going to talk about today. It's the one note bot my friends. Me, me, me, me, me, me, me. Yes. We don't need any more of this in the world. This is a bot that every single time it wishes to contact you, it, the bot is telling you about what that company is doing now or a new offer that is going on or pay attention to me, pay attention to me. Pay attention to me. This is another one of those conversations you would just leave at a party. This is another one of those conversations that's just not engaging enough for people to be able to join and this is that the kind of- it works for a little bit, but I will say that this is not a bot that people generally want to listen to for a long time. Remember, people look at that messenger icon and they, they open that message expecting to talk to someone they care about. If someone you care about, all they ever did was talk about themselves. You would. You would transition into a different friendship and so I urge you to look at the messages that you have going out. Look at your broadcast and make sure that at least every three, four times, it is not a conversation starter about what you're doing now, what your company is doing next. That it is a question that will engage the people that are subscribed to your bot or a question or a conversation starter of some kind that is not just an offer.

02:56: Next up, black hole bots. This is where there is no response to subscribers, attempts at questions or conversations and there's no talk to human button. Basically these bots are another variation of the me, me, me bot, the one note bot. It's just that it's a little bit more cleverly hidden. There's just no opportunity opening a conversation with anybody. You write something in the bot, you ask a question and four days later uh there's still no response to that. That is a. that is really difficult from the, the subscribers end of things and for me it's a real turn-off because me, I want to have a conversation. I want to make a connection in messenger and I don't just want to find a new way to buy things. Listen, we all have plenty of ways to buy things. I'm not interested in necessarily getting into a transaction relationship with every single messenger bot that I subscribe to. What I want to get is connection what I want to have is a conversation. Allow your people to start conversations and ask questions, put a talk to human button in there. Do not become a black hole bot.

04:01: Another bad bot, the copy pasta bot. Yes. This is where someone has copied and pasted a different form of communication into a bot and sent it out into the world. For instance, bots that read like someone is sending you an email in your messenger, um, as, as tempting as it may be when you are writing a bot, write a bot. Write something that is specific to the platform that you're on. It is like wearing a parka in the middle of summer in Nebraska. It just doesn't work out when you copy paste from other platforms such as email directly into a bot. A bot platform, there's a lot to understand. There's a lot to get right. It absolutely can be done and anyone can do it with enough effort, but do make that effort. Another thing that people do with copy pasta bots is they copy something from someone else and send it out there and don't personalize anything. It doesn't sound enough like them to warrant a conversation. It sounds these are usually quite generic, uh, sometimes, or they're completely off on the personality that, that the person who's sending them. Don't copy, paste anyone else. Listen, the more of your personality you put in this, the better off you're going to be. Don't do a copy pasta bot my friends, write this yourself and you will see the return on investment.

05:59: Last up for today in the bad bot lineup, the jeeves bot my friends. This is a bot that is written, you know, way too formal manner, way too formal, way too impersonal. Sounds exactly like something somebody would have grabbed off of a website. Sounds exactly like your company's answering machine. These jeeves bots are a real turnoff as well. And again, it's because of the platform you're writing for. People see the messenger icon, they expect to talk to somebody they care about. They expect to maybe laugh a little bit. They expect to let their hair down and relax a little bit. If the bot talks to them like they're addressing somebody in Congress than uh, that is a definite and deep turn off to people and it's pretty immediate, you'll see a lot of unsubscribes if you're write a jeeves bot. So again, put yourself in there and make sure there's no formal language. Comb that stuff right out your, your bot subscribers will absolutely appreciate that, if you do.

07:00 And let's also talk about the consequences here. What are the consequences of writing these four bad bots? The one note, the black hole, the copy pasta, and the jeeves. Consequences are first going to show up in the return on investment. There you're, you're absolutely going to get a small one. If you write one of these bots, people get turned off over it, on it over time, and here's the thing, when folks un, unsubscribe, there's no asking them if there's a reason that there unsubscribing, people just unsubscribe. They don't owe you an explanation, and a lot of times is because people fail to engage, fail to engage your subscribers. So first of all, it's going to show up in your return on investment. You're going to, you know, you're going to look at your bot in two, three months and you're gonna say to yourself, this isn't, this isn't as cool as everybody says it is, and you're going to stop making an effort in there, uh, so a little more effort upfront in each of these situations will absolutely prevent this on the backside.

08:18: Second consequence of writing these four bots. In extreme cases, when you write a bad bot, uh facebook is going to mitigate that circumstance. You bet they're watching. You bet they're watching bots and they are uh if they get enough complaints then they do go, they do check accounts and then they do they will yank your, worst consequence, they yank your Messenger account for your business page. Nobody wants this. Nobody wants this circumstance. Uh, and usually at this point, that's reserved for the worst offenders, but you don't, you don't want to get on Zucky’s bad side. None of us do. And it is just as easy to make a little bit more effort on the front end, have a wildly successful bot, have some great conversations and make some great connections out there. So avoid these four bots and we'll talk to you again soon.

09:23 Thanks for listening. Today. You can find full episodes of The Bot Signal on your favorite podcast player, and if you have the Anchor app stop in, ask me a question, leave me a voice message and I'll include it on my next show. If you're completely new to bots and you don't know what's going on there visit me at Start a conversation with me. Take my free mini course. It's all available. Thanks a lot and I'll see you in a bot.

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RJ Redden