April 9, 2024

Chatbot Requirements: How To Build An Ideal Solution

Find the most effective AI chatbot requirements that help tailor well-designed conversational tools.

Written by
Serhii Uspenskyi

Table of Contents

Well-made chatbot products serve as irreplaceable assistants in many business processes. They streamline customer relations, answer frequently asked questions, offer product advice, and perform other tasks. There are many ways and best practices for using chatbots today. Many enterprises know what they want from a chatbot but don’t know how to get there. A lack of clear vision can plunge companies into endless development.

Businesses don’t have the proper AI chatbot requirements documented before programming begins. There are many technical and non-technical aspects and steps to conduct this process. Our comprehensive guide covers all of them and offers tips on making well-thought-out solutions.

Where to Start With Chatbot Requirements?

Large enterprises have the advantage of dedicated developers who spend all the time and money perfecting their conversational solutions. But not every company can afford this, so many startups contact AI and ML consulting firms to find the most cost-effective way to build chatbots. Before moving to various aspects of the chatbot solutions, let’s clarify the following things about your business:

  • What is a significant business problem, and how can a chatbot solve it?
  • How big is the issue, and what is its impact on the enterprise?
  • What are the main goals and objectives of the project?
  • Who’ll work with the chatbot on the outside and the inside?
  • What can be the main problems and failures while developing the chatbot?

This approach helps better identify the need for helpers instead of building them because everybody does so. To answer these questions, business owners must comprehend their current situation. For example, if the HR department has trouble with onboarding or customers can’t find the right items fast enough.

Or, another issue can be that new employees take too much time filling out forms, finding the proper documents, etc. A chat solution will cut onboarding time from several days to a couple of hours. In clients' cases, it will help them find and compare products, leading to a better buying experience.

Critical Steps To Сreating Effective Chatbot Requirements

Modern chatbots offer many external and internal applications. Enterprises must take several critical steps to understand the right type of helper better. They make the documentation process more accessible and productive. It is also crucial to understand that your future chatbot will be used for a certain industry, like healthcare, automotive, or recruiting. So, make sure you understand this domain properly. 

  1. Understand The Issue

First, establish the problem a chatbot must solve and its context. During this step, conduct user research through surveys and observations. This helps better identify employee or customer needs, preferences, and grievances. It also keeps the developer team within the project boundaries.

Perform competitor analysis and market research to see how others use chatbots to address similar needs. This step helps identify the conversational tool's value and objectives and understand how the company and its clients or employees will benefit from it.

  1. Establish The Scope

Once the chatbot's goals and end users have been identified, establish the features this solution will have and won’t. Identify use cases, scenarios, user stories, and tasks people can do with the chatbot. Additionally, establish functional and non-functional requirements.

The first notion relates to the kind of tasks the solution will perform, and the second to the quality attributes and boundaries it will follow. Identifying the scope helps set up chatbot expectations and limitations to avoid adding unnecessary features and expanding the solution’s use outside of intended boundaries. Make sure your AI developers understand the scope properly. 

  1. Work On The Conversation Flow

After establishing the audience and chatbot scope, design the conversation flow between the solution and its users. Flesh out the tool’s personality, tone, and voice. Work on the logic and structure of the assistant’s responses, as well as how it handles different intents and inputs. Companies can use a rule-based approach or turn to NLP technology. 

The latter choice makes these tools more versatile and self-learning without extensive programmer input. Like its features, the chatbot’s interface should be straightforward and easy to use. The result should be accessible and feel like a brand product, so to work on its design elements, we recommend allocating only experienced UI/UX designers.

  1. Validate The Product

Once the primary user interface and features are ready, determine if they meet business goals and client demands. Introduce the test version of the chatbot to potential or actual customers and ask them how it handles. Gather feedback on functions, usability, and satisfaction.

At this point, measuring the chatbot’s performance is essential. There must be a way to evaluate its speed, accuracy, retention, and conversion rates. Information gathered during this process helps polish the chatbot's design and functions and leads to a more well-rounded conversational assistant.

One of the best ways to do it is to make it live on Product Hunt like we did with our IONI chatbot. It helped us a lot to get feedback and our first customers’ reviews. 

  1. Document The Project

Once the details have been ironed out, document the implementation and maintenance details of the chatbot. Businesses need to make technical blueprints detailing the technical aspects of the chatbot: architecture, platform, tools, code, and integrations.

The document must also describe further work, such as analytics, security, updates, and backups. Having a file detailing these aspects helps maintain communications between developers and users. It also ensures that the chatbot launches and works successfully.

Have a question?

Most Important Regular And AI Chatbot Requirements

The development of modern AI chatbots involves several technical and non-technical factors. While the technical aspects of chatbot building are essential, so are their opposites. They add a refined touch to the overall performance and user satisfaction. Identifying both from the start helps speed up the development process and keep it on track.

Technical Aspects

  • Platform. Modern enterprises use various communication channels to talk to clients and employees. Depending on their preferences and industry practices, these solutions can be developed for mobile apps, messengers, and websites.
  • Integration. It’s possible to integrate chatbots into existing systems and solutions, such as CRMs, ERPs, payment, and customer management tools. A sales chatbot can be hooked to the customer database to offer tailored product recommendations and solve customer care problems
  • Technologies. Modern AI components give these tools human-like text generation capabilities. But, if the solution doesn’t require a lot of sophistication, it's possible to stick to good-old conversation flows. You need to choose a proper AI programming language to build the AI chatbot that will fit your business.
  • Scalability. Think about the number of people that will use the chatbot. The higher it is, the more computational power the tool will require to handle large volumes of requests. They should also be scalable from the start to handle a bigger audience. 
  • Variety of outputs. With the right approach, chatbots produce more than text. Depending on enterprise wants, they deliver product images, links, PDF files, and videos.
  • Data hosting. A company can store chatbot user data locally or in the cloud. If there isn’t enough space on local servers, take the time to choose the right cloud service provider.

Feel free to book a free technical consultation with our experts if you have any doubts about the choice of the technology stack, platform, or hosting for your future solution.

Non-Technical Aspects

  • Market research. Carefully explore the chatbot’s target audience, needs, and preferences. The solution must address a particular problem they have.
  • The tone of voice. Chatbots can use formal or informal language based on the end user. There are several things to consider, such as demographics and current industry trends.
  • KPIs. When working on the documentation, specify the key performance indicators and metrics. They help accurately establish if the chatbot works as intended.
  • Supported languages. Depending on a business's location and client base, it benefits from a solution that supports one or several languages. Modern close and open-source large language models make this easier to achieve.
  • Feedback gathering. Find a way to gather user feedback and analyze chatbot performance and customer satisfaction. Establish how this data will be collected and stored.
  • Access to analytics. An enterprise may want to know how well its chatbot performs. Develop a dashboard with access to usage statistics, user feedback, and other metrics.

Top Tips For Making Chatbot Requirements

Companies can get carried away when working on chatbot documentation or understanding the real necessity of AI custom Chatbot. Several tips keep this process focused.

  1. Know your limits. Establish your capacity regarding development capabilities, time, and budget constraints. Awareness of these limitations helps establish optimal technical and non-technical chatbot needs.
  1. Ensure easy access. Everybody involved in the chatbot development, including testers, developers, and company executives, must have access to the documented requirements. This ensures that everybody is on the same page during the programming process and minimizes the risks of misunderstanding.
  1. Establish responsibility. Include lists of people responsible for the different stages of the development process. Whether a company wishes to make a solution using its own or hire software engineers, everybody’s roles and responsibilities must be established and documented.
  1. Stay within the scope. Writing chatbot requirements often becomes hectic as a company wants to add more and more features that have nothing to do with the problem or a customer need it wants to address. Remember that a chatbot should help solve particular issues, not replace the entire staff.
  1. Get outside help. Sometimes, businesses lack the technical expertise and experience to pull off chatbot development. This is especially true if they want to find a solution using AI technology. In these cases, it’s always possible to check the market for readily available vendors or contact a professional developer team.


The development of a virtual AI chatbot starts with defying its goals and objectives. We hope that our article helps you get on the right track and deliver solutions your employees or customers will find irreplaceable.

Customer retention is the key

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What are the most relevant factors to consider?

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Don’t overspend on growth marketing without good retention rates

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What’s the ideal customer retention rate?

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Next steps to increase your customer retention

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