Congratulations! You built a chatbot for {insert your awesome purpose here}.

But, now what?

Many people think that building the bot is the hardest thing. There are several tough decisions to be made upfront regarding platforms to use, the user experience, and all the conversations. But after all of that is figured out, the next step is releasing it to the world. This is when the hard work starts.

Here are a few pointers to ensure your bot receives a warm welcome.

  1. Identify your key to success

Every product needs to have that one thing that identifies success (or failure). Common metrics of success for chatbots include: number of users, number of returning users, number of messages per session, or number of messages sent and received. Determine what you consider to be success and aim for that.

  1. Make a plan for success

Now that you know what success looks like, make a plan to achieve it. Success doesn’t just happen. People don’t just find you. People don’t just message random Facebook pages hoping there is a cool bot that they can use. Success is achieved through intentional and measurable steps.

Your plan for success should start with your target audience. Find out where they go… then go there and spread the word. Your first bot users will be one of the reasons you will be successful when they start to market your bot for you.

  1. Data. Data. Data

On a regular basis, dive into the data. Start with your key to success, and then study the complementary metrics that follow it. Accumulate this data and look for trends. If your bot metrics are trending downward, first look at why. Are users hitting dead ends in the conversation path? Are they bored with the content? Was there a major event that derailed them from utilizing the bot?

Conversely, if the metrics are trending upward, ask yourself why that is. Do more of that! If it’s a successful ad campaign, replicate it. If it’s a great Reddit thread, try posting it in a new sub-Reddit. Continue to iterate on efforts that help your metrics. Remember that success is a journey, not a destination.

  1. Keep it fresh

Your bot needs to evolve. Continue to add conversation paths that are relevant and in the bot’s voice. Use the fresh content to re-engage bot users.

Remember to keep your natural language processing ahead of the curve. Train your bot to recognize typed-in words and drop the user into the correct path. The easiest way to know which words you need to train your bot on is to go through and manually review user conversations. By going through past conversations you’ll be able to find little tweaks that will improve the overall bot experience.

Word of caution: Don’t fall down the rabbit hole. In this case, if one user is having issues with the bot, but it’s not a trend seen by multiple users, don’t spend your time with it. Don’t compromise your bot’s identify over one lost user.

  1. Analyze. Rinse. Repeat

Keep reviewing user conversations and data points. Continue to track and look for trends. Always strive for improvement. This cycle will continue throughout your bot’s life cycle.

In order for these steps to help your bot achieve ultimate glory in the form of many users and millions of messages, remember that success takes tenacity and time. Be tenacious about your goals and the measured steps to success. Also keep an eye on time. No one is going to sit around for years waiting for your bot to finally achieve something. Now, go forth and build that bot!