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My question is about the UX for chatbots when there are multiple bots within a website or digital ecosystem. This must be an increasing problem these days in very large companies for example, when you may have one employee bot that handles tech questions about passwords and another that handles HR questions about holidays.

I was wondering if anyone is aware of any UX research or best practice guides for these kinds of scenarios?

I imagine some people may be annoyed by an explicit bot-to-bot handover, while others may feel this experience is more tailored. I'd be keen to hear people's thoughts!

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I'd say this is a case where you want to reduce complexity for the user. The goal of you chatbots is to help them find answers to their questions in a 'human' way: they can talk to the system as if it were a human and it replies in more or less the same way.

Now, what you're doing with those multiple chatbots is breaking that illusion: you make it very clear that those chatbots aren't 'human', because you're being transferred to another system more capable of solving your questions when the question falls outside of the knowledge of that chatbot. Even with real interpersonal interactions people get frustrated when they're being sent from pillar to post.

SO, instead of tackling bot-to-bot handover, I think you should look into a way to have multiple chatbots in the back-end, but in the UI have the user interact with just one. The user's perception is that they then have a SPOC where they can go for any and all of their questions.

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Not based on research, but based on experience working as a service designer for the financial industry: customer service in B2B banking.

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I am not aware of any UX research based on this exact scenario, but I would imagine this system to be designed very similar to a regular chat system if there are more than around four bots.

For quick inspiration, this article showcases different designs: https://medium.com/inspiration-supply/chat-uis-interaction-design-7b62523f3dc4?

Anything less than four, would not necessarily need that complex of a system and something like stacked buttons that expand out to give more details when hovered or even just a menu when clicked would suffice.

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