Chatbots are software applications that use natural language processing and artificial intelligence to understand humans’ requirements and provide results that end-users actually desire from a particular service. A well-designed chatbot is the one that uses existing conversion data to understand the questions which people ask, investigate correct answers to those questions through a training period, and uses both NLP & machine learning to learn context and give answers consistently what humans want for their questions.
The adoption of chatbots increased in 2016 when Facebook introduced its developer platform and proved to the world what activities one could do with its Facebook Messenger Bot. Google also got its chatbot, named ‘Google Assistant’ to perform various tasks and handle some home automation devices. Whether it is the matter of getting a greeting, scheduling a meeting, talking to sales, giving medication reminders, finding a doctor, or booking an appointment, chatbots are becoming a vital software day-by-day to get the repetitive business tasks to customer communication done by 80%.
If you are assuming that if everything is perfect in chatbots, what is the need for testing, or why is it needed to perform chatbot testing? You must know that the chatbot is a technology and is also designed and developed by a team of designers and developers using programming languages like Python, Ruby, Java, PHP, Clojure, etc.
“Anything that is developed but not tested is flawed” because who knows the syntax which is used by developers is correct and who knows whether it will work or not when users ask any questions from it over the website or software application.
Getting the right chatbot test is necessary as it is based on conversations and works as per the pre-defined conversational flow. For example – you start chatting with a bot, and suddenly you decide to get a doctor appointment through the chatbot. At one time, you ask about the services from the chatbot, and suddenly you ask it to book an appointment. Now, if the chatbot is fully-tested, then it provides you relevant replies. Otherwise, if it fails to make that kind of response, there is no benefit of creating a conversation flow in it. This type of scenario always requires chatbot testing and helps users make the right decision.
How to Successfully Test a Chatbot?
Understanding the Intent in a Chatbot
In a chatbot, the intent is defined as the goal that customers make in their minds while typing any question or comment. In other words, the intent suggests what the customer is looking for. There is a difference between entity and intent, and both are critical factors of chatbots that you need to understand for providing remarkable customer service through bots. An entity is known as the modifier that the customer uses to describe its issue. However, the intent is what they really need.
For example, any customer visits an e-commerce site. Instead of typing ‘shoes’, he may type, “do you have gum bots?” Now the bot recognizes these terms from its product database and tries to land him/her on the entity gum in the shoe library. If the chatbot precisely delivers what the customer wants from the website, the intent is satisfied with the entity he types.
In order to run the chatbot’s functions, such as intent, one should consider intent-based testing with security testing that can help users meet their needs safely and accurately. One should take advantage of machine learning, involve a lot of training data with a useful model, and code well to improve the customer service via chatbots.
Use the Right Software Testing Tools for Chatbot
One of the crucial tasks for a chatbot is to analyze the context of the conversation flow and carefully address the issues that users face every day. There are various tools that you can use to test your chatbots.
For instance – Selenium WebDriver and Selenium IDE are widely used for chatbot testing. Similarly, Chatbottest is another open-source guide or tool that can help you identify the chatbot’s design issues within seven distinct categories from personality, onboarding, understanding, navigation, answering, error management to intelligence. Whatever the feature you provide in your chatbot software, it doesn’t make any sense until you don’t get its testing done.
Some more tools you can see below for performing the beta testing on your chatbot:
Gupshup Proxy Bot
If you are the person who builds your chatbot using the Gupshup bot-building platform, you need to get the testing done with its proxy bot. Like, the Gupshup Proxy Bot is suitable to test the bots on various channels such as Facebook Messenger, SMS, Slack, and Twitter. The good thing is there is no need to publish it on such channels; you can run the beta test without any hassle.
With Beta Family, you can select from the industry’s “family” of beta testers or invite them to test your bot. The service allows you to find the tester with demographic information, such as nationality, age, and type of device that you need to create tests for chatbots and complete the testing tasks.
Once the testing is done by the Beta family or beta testers, you may receive a report in which the information is given what changes are done, what defects are fixed, what challenges are met, etc. Remember that it is possible to test the chatbot with Beta Family for free, and some companies may have monthly charges for accessing the whole pool of testers.
User Testing platform allows you to create a group of testers for getting the video reviews of your app, chatbot, or website. The purpose of the User Testing solution is to give you real-time feedback from real customers wherever you work. User testing software is tested by the most innovative brands all over the world. If you face any issues with your chatbot, you can request a free trial or test by yourself.
It is the chatbot testing tool that allows you to detect the issues that are faced by your bot’s conversation flow and ensure to provide you the best user experience. Integration with major platforms like WeChat, Slack, Facebook Messenger, and Telegram is effortless with this tool.
Chatbot Performance Testing
Speed is the biggest issue that you need to take care of chatbots. If it takes a long time to reply to users, what is the need for a chatbot for this particular purpose? Make sure the internet is full of companies which give a variety of products and services to customers. Whether we talk about the food business, healthcare, education, or e-commerce sites, competition is high in every industry. Therefore, the performance of the chatbot or speed of the bot should be tested by testers during development. You can also consider beta users to avoid performance issues.
There may be cases in which users need help on different topics from a chatbot. For instance, an individual wants to know the weather condition and make a booking for a meal. In this case, a single bot should be capable of switching to a different domain. Basically, chatbots are developed and designed for a specific domain. To provide the best service to customers, one must give importance to domain-specific testing and its components. Moreover, it should be customized and properly built to resolve customer queries before buying any product or service.
Chatbot A/B Testing
To perform the chatbot A/B testing, you need to follow the given simple steps.
- Select the platform where you want to conduct the A/B testing.
- Understand the chatbot funnel and create a list of visual factors before starting your test.
- Analyze the different algorithms, different structures, and conversational factors.
- Gather the data as much as possible and have the testing checklist in your hand for chatbot testing.
- Decide the test methods that you need to use.
- Compare other factors that you want to include in your testing process.
- Follow the dynamic process, but you can also use the manual approach to deliver higher performance.
- Improvement is the key to the success of chatbots.
Real Users Reporting
After improving the chatbot according to the beta testing reviews and your testing strategies, it’s time to launch. Don’t forget to give an opportunity to users for the report. If they think something is wrong with it, don’t make faces or don’t feel bad. If the user is concerned about the chatbot and gives you suggestions on usability, you should immediately send the information to your QA specialists to fix them. Your AI customer assistant becomes better when you take the initiative for its testing.
Some Points to be Noted before Building the Testing Strategy for Chatbots:
- Identify the use cases for the chatbot. Make a list of questions with potential answers for every testing scenario and prioritize them based on the testing needs.
- Two factors are essential from a testing standpoint – the degree of the intelligence that the customer expects from it and the conversation ability of the chatbot. If your chatbot produces a wide array of data that should be carefully examined and documented. The key performance indicator and the testable requirement should be clearly specified for each use case.
- After defining the testable requirement, you should get a detailed understanding of the technology and architecture that your chatbot will use for each use case.
- Voice testing should be carried out because the chatbot is popular. After all, it can interpret non-verbal cues and recognize speech patterns. Thus, you can design the test scenarios with various variations of the same input.
- The non-functional testing, like the speed at which the chatbot responds, and the security testing, including authorization, authentication, encryption of conversations, and compliance testing, are factors that you can remember if you want to get the chatbot test in the right way.
Well, every business is different and has different needs. Therefore, test scenarios can vary as per the different domain, technology, and bot. Still, the common thing you need to understand is that it should work well while making the replies and responses. The chatbot should be quickly loaded on the webpage. You should design & develop the chatbot as per the target audience.
Lastly, we are teaching chatbots about how to communicate with people. Your customer doesn’t know anything about the chatbot, whether it’s you who is answering or the technology. If you’ve decided to build a great chatbot, you need to get the right software testing and quality assurance service because that can help you ensure that it meets all your specifications and requirements.
Kanika Vatsyayan is VP of Strategies at BugRaptors who oversees all the quality control and assurance strategies for client engagements. She loves to share her knowledge with others through blogging. Being a voracious blogger, she published countless informative blogs to educate the audience.
about automation and manual testing.