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what-is-a-chatbot-playbook-blog

What is a chatbot playbook?

2 min read

If your college is considering chatbot technology, one of the first things you should know about is a playbook. Playbooks are the roadmap of a chatbot conversation, steering website visitors to their desired destination.

Chatbots are so much more than search engines

Chatbot playbooks help site visitors accomplish a task, such as registering for an event or requesting a transcript. Playbooks also guide site visitors through complex processes, such as applying for scholarships, or registering for classes. Playbooks need to be carefully crafted to reach these goals.

The result is not just a Q&A - it's a conversation that flows. It's intelligent, flexible, and purposeful. Playbooks are mutually beneficial to students and staff alike.

A lot goes into building a playbook

The first step in building a playbook is determining where you want it to go on your website and what you want it to do. For example, if your school’s website is experiencing a lot of traffic on general admissions pages, but low RFI form completion rate, you would need a playbook to assist with capturing contact information for prospective students early in their college search.

Once you know what a playbook needs to do, then you craft the conversation flow and add in the information and the exchange of data that helps the visitor get the task done. Plus, you need to include safeguards to respond quickly and easily to any visitors who might require extra help. Playbooks are living, breathing content - they need to be maintained, analyzed, and optimized on a regular basis to ensure goals are being met.

An RFI form replacer is just one example of a playbook. Playbooks can be broad, covering a lot of topics at a shallow level, or they can be very deep, mining a specific topic or use case.

chatbot conversation flowchart

Do you need a playbook for every page on your college’s website?

A single playbook can live on any number of URLs on your institution’s website, although it is not recommended that you have one playbook for your entire website. For Harmony, our team will help you define your playbooks, providing your school with a list of specific URLs on which it would be useful to have each playbook fire, then your staff would help determine the desired outcomes.

The goal is to make it as easy as possible for a website visitor to reach their intended destination. For example, a playbook dedicated to walking a student through the financial aid process should be programmed to fire on any pages that are related to the FAFSA, Financial Aid forms, loans, grants, scholarships, the tuition calculator, etc. You wouldn’t include a playbook where a chatbot asks questions about Financial Aid on a website page dedicated to academic programs.

Your institution can add new playbooks at any time to increase your chatbot’s presence, respond to student pain points, or accomplish new tasks.

Partnering with the higher ed experts of Harmony on playbooks

Because playbooks are complex and powerful, it’s important to build and craft conversation flows carefully. With Harmony, you get a dedicated specialist with higher ed experience to help assess your playbook needs, define your playbooks, craft them (with your staff’s input and review), maintain them, and ensure their success. If desired, the Harmony team can support you and your staff in building your own playbooks utilizing our expert guidance and best practices.

Want to learn more about chatbots? This article explains the difference between chatbots, artificial intelligence, and live chat. 

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