Chatbot Mistakes: Common Pitfalls and How to Avoid Them

12 min read
May 14, 2024
common chatbot mistakes

Chatbots are advancing, offering businesses and consumers a new way to handle customer questions. While 90% of businesses report that complaint resolution improves with chatbots, one variable that can derail your progress is chatbot mistakes.

Businesses are operating at a point in time where consumers want:

If you integrate a chatbot into your business to improve customer support or resolve pre-purchase questions, you need to know the common mistakes companies make that can make the bot less helpful.

13 chatbot mistakes to avoid

Chatbot and AI technology should alleviate the resources your business spends on support channels while improving the customer experience. A simple issue with your user interface or chatbot messages will impact the results you achieve.

I recommend that your business avoids these common mistakes, which can turn a promising chatbot into one that misses the mark.

1. Your chatbot's personality is off 

One of the chatbot mistakes that is easy to overlook is that the bot doesn’t have a personality. Imagine using one of the voice assistants in your home, such as Alexa. She might recognize your voice, but she’s a poor virtual assistant.

She is too robotic, and she doesn’t even know your name.

If you want a chatbot that doesn’t feel “off,” you need to give it a personality by:

You can then work on your introductory message. “How can I help you?” is a far less inviting message than, “Hi, I’m Wilson, an AI-powered chatbot trained to answer all your questions.”

Chatbots should be fun and offer robust features that help answer questions sufficiently.

An appealing personality is one of the best ways a business can transform the chatbot experience. Fun scripts can be added that change the welcome message and responses.

Tailor your chatbot replies based on user data and the criteria of your choice.

Personalize chats

2. You didn’t test your bot enough before launch

Virtual assistants, such as chatbots, must be thoroughly tested. Rigorous testing before launch or deploying new features is an easy way to avoid critical mistakes with your chatbot.

You can hire in-house or work with a third-party quality assurance team that will handle much of the testing for you, including:

In real-world scenarios, users will do things that “break” your bot. If you slowly introduce the bot and limit its usage to certain users or regions, you can work through the logs to find odd behavior and correct it before a full rollout.

Releasing customer-facing AI chatbots without robust testing can have undesirable consequences.

Allot the time and resources to thoroughly test your bot and make necessary changes before it’s released to the public. You’ll want to continue monitoring the bot after launch, too, as new features are added or old ones are updated.

3. You didn’t have a plan

If you review our chatbot examples, you’ll notice many solutions with a nice user interface, lead generation elements, and well-tested chatbot scripts. Each of these successful chatbots has one thing in common: a plan.

As the saying goes, “Fail to plan and plan to fail.”

You want to plan for your chatbot by doing the following:

For example, let’s assume that you have an abundance of support tickets that your customer service agents cannot work through quickly enough. Your support queue for live chat is 30 – 40 minutes long, and you’re confident that you’re losing customers as a result.

Your chatbot’s purpose may be to reduce wait times to 1 minute and free up your team so that they can focus on email or phone support.

If you don’t know your bot’s purpose, aside from adding artificial intelligence into your business, you only need to sit down with your:

Ask your teams where they’re struggling, what can be improved upon, and how introducing a chatbot can help you better reach your goals.

4. You don’t offer users an easy exit option

Here’s one of the chatbot mistakes that even the world’s largest businesses have made: making it difficult to exit the chatbot. You'll see options where the bot has no “x” button on the top right or left of the interface.

These are the areas users typically navigate to so that they can exit a bot or app.

If you don’t offer users an easy exit option, it will do a few things:

You never want your users to feel helpless and have to click off your site because they can’t figure out how to exit the chatbot and return to your products.

So, what should you do?

  1. Make it as easy as possible to leave the conversation loop.
  2. Place large “X” buttons on the top right or bottom right of the bot.
  3. Be mindful of your color options so that the exit is easy for users to find.

Adding this small precaution to the list of chatbot mistakes to avoid can make a world of difference in your customer satisfaction.

5. You’re not escalating complex issues to support agents

Chatbots are a knowledge base your support team uses to minimize some of the questions they receive while improving the customer experience. If your bot doesn’t resolve issues, many companies mistakenly allow the customer to get stuck in a “bot loop.”

What do I mean by this?

Businesses are putting all of their customer service and support into the hands of chatbots. Once a customer gets frustrated, they may even go to a competitor because you didn’t adequately address their questions or concerns.

Companies need to offer a way for chatbots to escalate complex issues out of their control to a support agent who can help resolve the problem. You can set options for:

Chatbot adoption rates are high, and it’s evident that many people prefer them. But that doesn’t mean everyone wants to talk to a bot, nor can you completely eliminate your customer service team.

Instead, chatbots should augment your customer support channels.

When issues arise or questions are asked that the bot cannot answer, it should escalate to:

Chatbots, when they have the appropriate support channels behind them, should automatically route questions for the user. Rapid routing without the customer even noticing or asking for it can greatly improve customer service and satisfaction.

6. Your chatbot technology is too limited

Chatbots are often too complex, and if you’re just starting to use them, the complexity can make the setup and usage too difficult. You can also choose a simplistic chatbot, but it may not meet the needs of advanced users.

Imagine implementing a bot that cannot answer the complex questions that your users have.

What can you do?

If you start with a bot that is too basic from the start, it may be a gaffe that you cannot overcome. Ecommerce solutions need a customer service agent (a bot in this case) that can help answer complex questions on:

Hybrid chatbot models offer robust support to meet the demands of many customers without being so simplistic that they cannot answer complex questions.

You'll also want to consider everything your bot offers.

Perhaps your bot will be able to:

Your bot may need advanced security measures if you plan to have it authenticate users or share information between other platforms.

7. You’re not using analytics to improve

You may have a lot of ideas for your chatbot. Some will be right, and some will be wrong. Analytics can help you further test and refine your chatbot over time, but you must analyze and use them appropriately in your business.

What metrics and data should you be analyzing?

Error messages, customer satisfaction scores, bounce rate, and other statistics should be analyzed to better help you improve the chatbot experience for users.

8. Your chatbot message is too scripted

It’s natural to want to make your chatbot script more restrictive to maintain control of the conversation and avoid exposing chatbot weaknesses.

Scripted bots allow users to navigate topics of interest, and bots can serve the experience in bite-sized chunks. But it’s important not to go overboard.

Conversational AI allows your chatbot more flexibility. Users can ask questions and get the help they need in a more natural way. And when your AI model is only fed data from your business, not external sources, you still maintain control over the conversation. You also ensure that your customers get relevant and accurate information that’s free of hallucinations.

9. Your user interface is too simplistic

Another big mistake businesses make is their chatbot user interface (UI) is too simplistic. Users then become disinterested, disengaged, or frustrated and leave. 

A basic chat interface may seem like the right idea because it’s familiar, but you need to ensure that your UI is:

Whenever possible, add buttons to make it quick and easy for users to start and continue the conversation. Buttons take the guesswork out of the conversation and help guide the user experience. 

Study other successful UI examples to get a better feel for what works and doesn’t work.

The fastest way to create AI chatbots on your own terms and without coding.

10. You’re using proactive chat improperly

Proactive chat has benefits, but it must be set up properly to avoid frustrating users and damaging your brand.

You risk losing a customer if your proactive messages appear without asking any qualifying questions or confirming the user’s interests.

To avoid making this mistake, make sure you have clearly defined invitation criteria for your proactive chat. 

The key is to reach users at the right time when they need your assistance. For example, if a visitor is spending more than a few minutes on a page, you may send a chat invitation with a customized message based on their browsing behavior. 

11. Your bot doesn’t understand conversational context

Users can easily become frustrated and leave if your chatbot doesn’t understand conversational context. Users shouldn’t have to frame their queries a certain way or jump through hoops to get the help they need.

Offering pre-defined responses and questions can help keep users on the right track, but if you really want to improve the experience, your bot has to get conversational. 

Conversational AI can recognize all kinds of speech and text input, understand queries, and mimic human interactions in a wide range of languages. It uses natural language processing, natural language understanding, and natural language generation to:

With conversational AI, users have more freedom and flexibility to ask questions and receive intelligent responses.

12. You built the chatbot from scratch

Far too many businesses make the mistake of building their AI chatbots from scratch. They invest valuable time and resources into working with developers, designers, and other professionals only to reinvent the wheel.

It may be tempting to build your chatbot from scratch, but it’s not worth the time, effort, and cost when there are already frameworks that provide all the features you’ll need.

Existing frameworks also have built-in integrations right out of the box, saving you even more time.

In most cases, you can customize the framework to meet your needs.

13. You expect too much from your chatbot

Another mistake businesses make with their chatbots is setting their expectations too high. They create and launch their AI chatbot, expecting it to handle all of their customer service needs.

Conversational AI has grown by leaps and bounds, but it cannot replace the human element of customer service.

In other words, it cannot be the sole provider of your customer support.

Some problems require a real person's help, and that’s where live chat can shine. 

Using a combination of AI-powered chatbots, live chat software, and even phone support will ensure your customers’ needs are met.

Pro tip: Make sure your customers also understand what your chatbot can and cannot do. Being transparent about the questions and issues your bot can help with can foster trust and manage user expectations. An estimated 96% of customers will leave a business if they have a bad customer service experience, so make user experience your top priority.

What use cases are chatbot weaknesses?

There are many use cases for AI chatbots. Some are more advantageous than others. Let’s look at some of the advantages and disadvantages of chatbots.


As long as you avoid making the mistakes above, chatbots can benefit your business in many ways. They can:

Chatbots provide speedy support and resolution for simple and quick issues.


While chatbots have many advantages, they also have their limitations.

In the grand scheme of things, these disadvantages are minor and can easily be overcome by ensuring you have a hybrid customer support system and periodically optimizing your bot.

Do site visitors prefer chatbots or live support?

The future of chatbots looks promising. Research shows that more than half of customers prefer chatbots over live chat. 

Chatbots can generally answer questions more quickly and precisely – if they are designed and set up properly.

Offering the option for live chat or chatbot assistance is ideal because it ensures that you appeal to everyone. However, it’s crucial to avoid making the common chatbot mistakes above to give users a positive experience when interacting with your chatbot.

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