Chatbot Testing | What it is, Why & How to Perform?
Did you know that according to a research survey by Drift, chatbot usage has increased by more than 92% since 2019? With such widespread adoption, ensuring your chatbots are error-free and deliver accurate information is paramount. And as businesses embrace the power of AI-driven chatbots to enhance customer interactions, the significance of rigorous testing cannot be overstated. So chatbot Testing is a crucial process that ensures your virtual assistants are functioning seamlessly.
In this post, we’ll dive into the what, why, and how of chatbot testing, shedding light on its pivotal role in delivering exceptional user experiences and bolstering customer trust.
The source of the above survey data is this.
Table Of Contents
- 1 What is a Chatbot?
- 2 Evolution of Chatbots
- 3 What is Chatbot Testing?
- 4 Why is Chatbot Testing Important?
- 5 When to Perform Chatbot Testing?
- 6 How to Test Your Chatbot the Right Way?
- 7 When to Automate Chatbot Testing?
- 8 How to Find the Right Tool to Automate Chatbot Testing?
- 9 How to Perform Chatbot Automation Testing using Testsigma?
- 10 Chatbot Testing Checklist
- 11 How do Businesses Benefit from Chatbots?
- 12 Final Words
- 13 Frequently Asked Questions
What is a Chatbot?
A chatbot is an AI-powered program that makes use of natural language to interact with a user through messages. For example, the chatbot on the Testsigma website can help you with sales queries, scheduling a demo, and contacting customer service within a few clicks and minutes.
Every business relies on chatbots to provide instant, 24/7 support to their customers. What were previously impossible or highly demanding activities have now become easy, thanks to chatbots. Companies can resolve customer issues without human intervention, manage multiple user queries simultaneously, and offer the best and rightly updates to their customers around the clock.
There are multiple other benefits of chatbots, such as:
- High customer satisfaction
- Reduced cost
- Improved time to delivery
- Decreased human-borne errors
- Automation of some crucial tasks
Evolution of Chatbots
The evolution of chatbots has been a remarkable journey, dating back to their inception in the late 1960s at MIT with Eliza. We’ve witnessed a fascinating progression since then. As of 2023, the landscape has transformed significantly. All of us have witnessed the scripting of ALICE’s AIML, marveled at Siri’s introduction on iPhones in 2011, and observed the rise of AI chatbots like Xiaoice in China. This evolution has taken chatbots from basic rule-based scripts to the complex neural networks of today. Along the way, they have become essential tools in diverse fields such as customer service and healthcare, revolutionizing the way we interact with technology.
What is Chatbot Testing?
Chatbot testing refers to the systematic process of evaluating and verifying the functionality, performance, and effectiveness of a chatbot. Just like any software or application, chatbots need to undergo thorough testing to ensure they work as per the specifications. It’s the process of rigorously examining every nook and cranny of your chatbot’s functionality to make sure it’s delivering accurate responses, understanding various customer intents, and creating seamless conversations. This process involves simulating real-world interactions and scenarios to identify and rectify any errors, inconsistencies, or limitations in the chatbot’s performance.
Why is Chatbot Testing Important?
A few months ago, Google’s launched its AI-powered chatbot, Bard, which made huge waves in every industry. However, it did not necessarily have a promising start. In its first demo, Bard responds to the query, “What new discoveries from the James Webb Space Telescope can I tell my 9-year-old about?” with three key points. One of these highlights included that the telescope has successfully captured images of a planet located beyond our own solar system. But this is not actually true. The first image was done by Chauvin et al. (2004) with the VLT/NACO using adaptive optics.
While Bard is a very impressive AI bot that is continuously getting better, its very fist demo had a factual error, which shows exactly why chatbot testing is crucial. Additionally, bot testing ensures that businesses and customers are getting what they are looking for, free of errors and faults.
When to Perform Chatbot Testing?
Effective chatbot testing is crucial to ensure seamless user interactions and optimal performance. To achieve this, testers should conduct chatbot testing in the following scenarios:
- Before introducing the chatbot to users, thorough testing is essential. Ensure that it understands user queries, provides accurate responses, and handles various scenarios.
- Whenever there are updates or enhancements to the chatbot, retesting is necessary.
- Test the chatbot with a diverse set of user scenarios, including common queries, complex inquiries, and edge cases, to identify any vulnerabilities.
- When you integrate the chatbot into your software, website, or application.
How to Test Your Chatbot the Right Way?
Every chatbot functions according to certain rules. And following a list of simple yet effective ways to test such bots may guide you to test them properly as per their specifications.
Make Use of Testing Tools
One of the most efficient ways to ensure that your chatbot is addressing customer queries accurately is by using AI-based tools. Such platforms are equipped with the right features to check the in and out of a bot under various conditions. Select the tools that help you collaborate throughout the testing process and follow your bot’s story from the first to the last point for a single interaction.
Integrate the Bot with the Page
You can check your chatbot independently. But that is not how you are going to use it. So, you have to add the bot to the webpage or application where customers will interact with it once it becomes live. This way, any functional, non-functional, and integration issues will come to the surface, and you can focus on their resolution.
Run A/B Tests
Finally, another way to validate a chatbot is to run A/B tests with multiple scenarios, including varying conversations, queries, sales pitch text, message formats, tones, and more. Make a list of important metrics that you wish to measure before starting with A/B testing and begin with testing multiple chatbot versions to compare the results.
When to Automate Chatbot Testing?
You know when to perform chatbot testing, but how do you decide when to automate those tests? Despite having the right set of test cases and a proficient team of testers, businesses struggle with automating chatbot testing when the time is right for them. Follow the below list to know when the time is right for you:
- Once you have stabilized and refined your chatbot through manual testing, you can consider transitioning to automation.
- If there are certain repetitive test cases that require significant time for manual execution, automation can help streamline these tasks, saving time and effort.
- Go for automation if your chatbot undergoes frequent updates or new feature releases.
- As your chatbot’s complexity grows and it serves a larger user base, manual testing might become impractical. Automation can handle the increased workload efficiently.
- On the business side, if your team has skilled automation testers who can create and maintain automated scripts effectively, it’s a good indication that you’re ready for automation.
- Although automation requires an initial investment of time and resources to create scripts and set up frameworks, it proves to be more valuable over an extended period.
- Before moving to automation, evaluate its benefits, such as time saved, increased test coverage, and faster feedback, to see if the move outweighs the costs involved in creating and maintaining automated tests.
How to Find the Right Tool to Automate Chatbot Testing?
And once you have a clear understanding of when to automate chatbot test cases comes the real struggle: select a tool that assists all your testing endeavors. There are many out there, but not every one of them can support your business requirements. Take the help of these points to effortlessly choose the right automation tools for chatbot testing.
- Check for compatibility to ensure the tool supports the programming languages and frameworks used in your chatbot’s development.
- Choose a tool with an intuitive interface and user-friendly features to facilitate easy adoption. You can go for a tool like Testsigma that is highly customizable and offers minimal maintenance.
- Evaluate the tool’s scripting capabilities for creating complex test scenarios and handling dynamic chatbot interactions.
- Check if the tool can seamlessly integrate with your existing testing and development tools.
- Go for an automated tool that offers cross-platform support across various platforms, including web, mobile, and messaging apps.
- Consider tools that provide detailed reports and analytics to track test results and identify areas for improvement.
- Don’t forget about your budget; always look for tools that are financially within your project cost.
Looking for all these features in one tool? Here’s Testsigma: a unified, fully customizable platform that works out of the box. Consider the below-working example to see the tool in action.
How to Perform Chatbot Automation Testing using Testsigma?
Chatbot testing is easy when you are following the right way. With Testsigma, you can easily automate your chatbot tests. Let’s take an example where you have to test if the chatbot is capable of understanding user queries.
Start with the basics; create a test case, and navigate to the Testsigma website.
Identify the bot element on the page and click on it. On Testsigma site, the chatbot has two pre-filled options. You can either choose from them or start a conversation of your own.
For this test case, we have selected one of the available options and clicked on it. Next, you need to verify if the bot’s response is in accordance with your query.
Most of the time, the chatbot is programmed to follow a certain set of instructions and ask for your name, email, or any other detail to continue the conversation. You can add those steps to the test as well and continue.
Next, we sent out the statement to help us navigate to the API testing webpage, and the bot asked for the email address for confirmation. If this is the apt response you want your chatbot to send upon such user requests, the status of the test case should be passed. Otherwise, you should make the status fail.
In the same way, you can use Testsigma to write tests to check if the bot response is accurate, timely, and as per your specifications.
Not only this, Testsigma also offers:
- Mobile and API testing
- No code testing
- 70% more test coverage
- End-to-end tests at 5x operational speed
- And stress-free customer support around the clock
Chatbot Testing Checklist
A well-defined checklist saves you a lot of time and helps move ahead with your testing. So, instead of letting you do the work of compiling a long list of items to tick off, we have done it for you. Follow this checklist for bot testing and deliver an exceptionally interactive chatbot experience to your customers:
- Conversational abilities: Start with testing if your bot can handle polite greetings, simple user questions, and accurate responses promptly. Keep the tests for this feature realistic and far from complex.
- Navigational flow: Your chatbot should navigate the user to the right blog or page. All of this is again based on correctly understanding the user statements and queries and giving the right path to navigate. It will save you from losing potential wins.
- Error-handling capabilities: Not every customer interaction might make sense to the bot, or it can crash due to overload. Whatever the case, check your bot to ensure that any of such errors or more are promptly and rightly handled by the system.
- Response time: No user has more than a minute or two to wait for a bot to respond to their questions. Make sure that your bot has a high response time with accurate results.
- Integrations: We are sure you have multiple applications to support your software, and it is clear that your chatbot must integrate seamlessly with each one of them.
- Test more than just texts: This may not be for every bot, but some businesses might need to verify if their chatbots are capable of handling statements or queries that may not be simple texts. Some users might send images or voice recordings, which are equally important for bots to understand and respond to.
How do Businesses Benefit from Chatbots?
We have outlined a few benefits for businesses to adopt chatbots on top, but here are more to completely convince you how much power (and leads) they bring to the table:
- Chatbots provide round-the-clock customer support.
- Chatbots provide immediate responses to customer inquiries, enhancing user experience and reducing customer wait times.
- As customer queries increase, chatbots can easily scale up to handle the load.
- They deliver consistent responses, eliminating the variability that occurs when different human agents handle customer interactions.
- Chatbots can automate various tasks, such as appointment scheduling, order tracking, and bill payments.
- They can assist customers in finding products, making purchases, and providing order status updates.
- You can use bots to interact with potential leads, ask qualifying questions, and direct qualified leads to the appropriate sales representatives.
- Chatbots can deliver personalized marketing messages, product recommendations, and promotional offers to users.
Chatbots are evidently a part of every business and users’ online journey, giving rise to a testing scenario specifically for them. Testing bots that engage and retain customers definitely looks like the right step to take. And here, we have covered all the starting points for you to focus on when starting with chatbot testing. From all the tools and test cases to examples and possible challenges, you will be an expert on all such topics by the end here.
Also, check out the real-life example of chatbot testing using Testsigma and see how you can automate your bot test cases using the tool. Here is a demo link for you to get started.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you write a test case for a chatbot?
You can consider the same flow for writing test cases for bot testing as any other testing: including test steps, actual results, expected results, and pass/fail status. Under test cases, you would need to add points, such as checking the response time, testing accurate and relevant replies, user engagement techniques for the bot, and the ability to understand user queries.
What are the testing tools for a chatbot?
There are various tools for chatbot testing. Some of them you can assess for your business are Testsigma, Botium, Botpress, Qbox, and Chatbottest.