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The Team behind a Chatbot Dream: 3 Roles Explained

Chatbots can add lots of value to your organization for customer service, marketing & sales or as a virtual assistant. By now, the hype has passed and we see more and more companies working with bots. That means more success stories but also more bot projects that fail.

One of the main reasons that chatbots today fail is because it lacks the team.

Successful chatbot team

The tool is usually the one aspect that gets most of the attention. Obviously it makes sense that if you want your bot to be active on, let’s say, WhatsApp and Web, your tooling should be able to integrate with these channels. Nevertheless, this is only one of the building blocks of the chatbot dream.

And what about a business case? A bot is all nice and fun but if you’re building a bot just because everyone else is, you might be making a mistake. Read more about creating a chatbot business case. If you’ve been thinking about a vivid business case you’re on the right track, so let’s make sure you have that dream team!

Common mistakes

We’ll cover the different roles in a bit but first, let’s have a look at two common mistakes within a chatbot team.

Chatbot as an IT project

Artificial intelligence, machine learning, and natural language processing… wow. That sounds techy. Let’s assign it to our IT team. But does that make sense? Well on the first hand that may seem like a solution but it’s not really like that. Your bot will interact with your users on different channels and which department is best able to connect with users? That would be customer success. Don’t get me wrong, you will need IT to create APIs and integrate your bot with other services but a bot project as an IT-only project is not recommended.

The bot is finished

This will go something like “we’ve been working on our bot for 4 sprints. We’re happy with the result and the project is now finished”. Is that how you handle your website or app? No, it will only start interacting with your users when it is live. And from that moment on you can track performance and improve your bot. You’ll train your bot to understand user input better and increase the scope to chase the chatbot dream.

Successful chatbot team

3 roles explained

Every bot team consists of a few basic roles. We’ll cover the 3 roles of Bot owner, Flow-designer and Developer. In general, it is better to have a small and dedicated team than a large team where every member has limited time to invest in the bot.

1. Bot owner

Role: The Bot Owner or product owner is responsible for the bot project in terms of strategy, day-to-day progress and interaction within the bot team and other stakeholders. The bot owner focusses on the big picture and leaves details up to the other roles.

Skill: The Bot Owner is the bridge between business and technology and should be able to create structure from a pilot/MVP while handling a team. Project management skills and a network in different departments would be of additional value.

2. Flow-Designer

Role: The Flow-Designer is the one that designs the chatbot and conversation within the platform. The conversational workflow, triggers, and replies will be added by the Flow-designer.

Skill: This role is closely related to having customer interactions. Therefore, a background in customer service is recommended. If you can find someone that works well-structured, is creative and understands customer success, that would be a nice fit for the Flow-designer.

3. Development

Role: The skills of developers that should be involved depends a bit on your case. If you don’t want to integrate any external services you might even create a bot without a developer. If you’re planning to connect with other service it is recommended to have at least someone that is familiar with JavaScript.

Skill: The Developer is able to use the extracted entities to push that data into other systems and the other way around. When you want your bot to be future-proof you will need someone that can work with JavaScript. As most chatbot pilots start small you might want to look for a developer that is able to work in small and flexible teams.

Other roles

The roles of Bot Owner, Flow-Designer and Developer are essential. When working with larger teams you might want to create a few more roles that initially belong to one of the 3 essential roles such as Monitoring, Analytics, AI-Trainer, Conversation designer and Copywriter.

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