Medvedev halts military action in Georgia

first_imgJust minutes before French President Nicolas Sarkozy was to touch ground in Moscow this morning (12 August), Russia’s President Dmitry Medvedev announced a halt to military actions in Georgia. Sarkozy was heading to a meeting with the Russian president to negotiate an EU-brokered truce for the fierce conflict over the breakaway region of South Ossetia before flying to Georgia later today to meet the country’s embattled president, Mikheil Saakashvili. The Georgian side signed the EU’s truce yesterday (11 August).“I have taken the decision to end the operation to force Georgian authorities into peace,” said  Medvedev in a statement. He claimed that Russian action has punished Georgia and restored security for civilians and Russian peacekeepers in South Ossetia – the declared goal of Russia’s intervention. At the same time he ordered the military to quell any armed Georgian resistance that may emerge. The framework plan worked out by the EU and the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) involved a truce followed by humanitarian aid and later a withdrawal of troops to the positions prior to fighting. Earlier Tuesday, the chairman of the OSCE, Finnish Foreign Minister Alexander Stubb, said that he was “carefully optimistic” about Russia agreeing to the plan. It is unclear whether the Russian ceasefire also takes up other elements of the EU-OSCE plan.The Polish President Lech Kaczynski will travel to Georgia today (12 August) together with the presidents of Ukraine and the three Baltic states. The mission is supported by the US President George W. Bush and highlights the deep anxiety many countries in Central and Eastern Europe feel about Russia’s resurgent foreign policy. Before his departure, Kaczynski told reporters that the trip was to show “solidarity” with a nation that had “fallen victim to aggression.” He added, “We may say that the Russian state once again has shown its face, its true face.”last_img read more

Government has no economic nous

first_imgThe debate on one of the most contentious Budgets concluded on Friday; and unfortunately, more heat than light was generated from the Government benches about where we are headed. While boasting about its plan to spend over $300 billion, the Budget is a patchwork of short-term quick fixes like plaster to cover erupting sores. In developing economies such as ours, however, the Government should be playing a very active role in promoting economic development; and fiscal policy, as executed through its Budget, is the instrument it must use.From our perspective, the greatest failure of Budget 2019 is that it is not guided by a clear strategy to address the challenges that confront Guyanese society today; and inevitably, it therefore lacks coherence in its proposals and projects. Take, for instance, the PNC-led Government’s stated commitment to deliver reliable electricity at lower costs, to encourage the economy to engage in more value-added production and move us away from being a primary-product- price-taking economy.Entering into the fourth and penultimate year before the 2020 elections, the Government is nowhere closer to fulfilling that promise by investing in new generation equipment – whether “green” or “black” — and yet castigates the business community for not investing more. The much touted 25MW wind farm from 2015 has not materialised, and the solar alternatives to the rejected Amaila Falls Hydro-Electric Project (AFHEP) are as still-born as is the “Green State Development Strategy” (GSDS) — which is not even a pale imitation of the world-recognised Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS) of the predecessor PPPC regime.What we have dangling under our noses is a nebulous plan to build a 200MW gas-fired generation plant even though Exxon, which is supposed to be producing the natural gas by separating it from oil aboard its Floating Production and Storage Offloading vessel, is recommending that the gas be reinjected to bring up more oil. Guyana has no way of countering the study which is being conducted by Exxon, since it does not have access to the data on which it will be based. Furthermore, a 200MW generation plant – with its liquefaction and regassification plants — will conservatively cost US$500 million, and the Government has not even broached the matter of a feasibility plan for this elephant in the room.Another area in which the PNC Government has exposed its total inability to generate growth is on completing the infrastructural projects they inherited from the PPP. The expansion of the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA), for instance, was predicated on promoting Guyana as a regional air hub. Unfortunately, the Government has allowed itself to be bamboozled into accepting a severe truncation of the initial plan – a refurbished rather than a new arrivals building, and four rather than eight elevated boarding gates — while spending millions more. The delays on initiating the East Bank-East Coast bypass road and the Lethem-Linden Highway are just two other instances of infrastructural constipation.Another example of the lack of coherence in the budget can be seen from the Government’s refusal to follow up on its manifesto promise to “prepare a long term National Development Plan with consequential programmes based on consultation with relevant bodies and key stakeholders. The objective would be to take sustainable advantage of the vast potential of Guyana’s resource endowments.”Once again, the aforementioned GSDS was touted by the Finance Minister, but without it being tabled in the National Assembly, it is just “ole talk”. In the absence of such a plan, the budget inevitably becomes manifestly an exercise in “ad hocism”, especially when it comes to the economic development of the country. As the Opposition Leader has pointed out, the GSDS is not geared at producing revenues for Guyana’s development, but focuses on spending from the Consolidated Fund. It is clear the PNC Government believes that a “Green State” means painting everything not moving green, to join our pristine forests which are already green.Budget 2019 was an incoherent, missed opportunity, and betrays the PNC Government’s lack of economic nous.last_img read more

Kim Cooper a respected ambassador for agriculture

first_imgKim Cooper grew up in Chatham, never farming a day in his life, but his career of more than four decades in agriculture has taken him to more than 30 countries and earned him the respect of the farm community.The author of the popular Food for Thought column, which has run in The Chatham Daily News for nearly 20 years, is retiring on Aug. 2.Cooper recalled visiting his grandparents’ farm in Jeannette’s Creek as a child but said a career in agriculture wasn’t on his radar.He credits Stu Irving, the former manager of the M.J. Smith Grain Company and fellow church member, for calling to offer him a job in the early 1970s.He took the job stocking shelves and began learning about seeds. He also met several farmers and learned about the chemical trade and fertilizer.“I just fell in love with agriculture, that was the start of it,” Cooper said.During this time, he developed some health problems but wanted to attend Ridgetown’s agriculture college. His employer paid his tuition, and he returned with a diploma and a desire to learn more about agriculture “because I was just eating this up.”Cooper went to the University of Guelph, but had to drop out due to health reasons. Not obtaining that degree is something he’s always regretted.He came back to work at M.J. Smith before landing a job at King Grain in Pain Court in 1985. He spent 10 years there, gaining a lot of knowledge by doing everything from loading fertilizer and making deliveries to formulating fertilizer blends and selling.“Eventually, I got into grain trading, so I bought and sold all the corn, wheat and soybeans out there for a number of years,” Cooper said.He spent another year with the company after it was purchased by Thompsons, working in the soybean export program,From there, he joined the Ontario Soybean Growers’ Association for 10 years, working as their marketing specialist. He later joined Southwest Ag before taking a position with Chatham-Kent’s economic development department nearly 12 years ago to work as an agriculture specialist.Cooper’s career has taken him across the globe, including visits to Japan and China, where he’s met farmers from many different countries along with company presidents and ambassadors.He also became well respected for raising awareness about local agriculture through his weekly newspaper column.He recalled being on the agriculture committee of the then Chatham and District Chamber of Commerce at a time when there was a lot of bad press about farming.“I said, ‘We need to have some good news stories in the media. How about we go to The Chatham Daily News and see if we can submit a monthly article on some of the positive benefits of agriculture.’”Since it was his idea, Cooper was chosen to write the first column.The Daily News agreed to run the piece, but Cooper said it wasn’t long before he was requested to submit a weekly column, which he has done faithfully on a voluntary basis.Cooper said writing that column has helped him learn even more about agriculture over the years.“I know it’s a good article when people come up to me and say, ‘Hey, I read your article, I didn’t know that.’”He said that kind of response is the reason for writing the column, helping bring more awareness to the $3-billion agriculture industry in Chatham-Kent.Cooper has even arranged meetings between readers and farmers because readers wanted to learn more about agriculture.“I see myself as a conduit between the average citizen who doesn’t really understand agriculture and the ag sector.”Cooper has earned the trust and respect of the local agricultural community.Ron Faubert has worked with Cooper both as a farmer and in his capacity as president of the Kent Federation of Agriculture.“Kim was always an ambassador for agriculture,” Faubert said.He credits Cooper for working hard to move agricultural issues forward, saying the columnist “understood our issues.”“(It was) because he was involved in agriculture through the different employment he’s had over the years,” Faubert added.Even though Cooper didn’t grow up on a farm, Faubert said his friend “developed a passion for agriculture and you could tell that in everything he did.”He suggested this passion is unique, noting most people who weren’t raised with farming aren’t that interested in agriculture or share the sector’s concerns.“But, for some reason, Kim had some of that in his blood, and he was very good at it.”Cooper said deciding to retire “was a tough decision because I love what I’m doing.”“I’ve loved all my jobs in agriculture,” he said,  “and the people I’ve worked with.”As readers of his column know, faith is major part of Cooper’s life.“My philosophy on life as Christian is God’s got a plan for my life and he’s got a plan for this next chapter in my life,” he said.Cooper said he’ll miss his job in agriculture, but added he still has his relationships with people and he’ll still stay connected.“But it’s time to move on.”[email protected]last_img read more

The two new bills in Congress that should be on every employer’s radar

first_imgYou say overtime; I say comp time.Under the Fair Labor Standards Act, when a non-exempt employee works more than 40 hours in a workweek, that employee gets paid overtime at time-and-a-half the regular rate of pay. Under the FLSA, a private-sector employer cannot provide that employee with comp time in lieu of overtime — even if the employee agrees.To the few of you who are now furiously clutching your pearls, I’m sorry. I didn’t make the rules. Indeed, a few years ago, House Republicans proposed and passed a bill that would have changed the rules and allowed private-sector employees to swap overtime for comp time. However, that never made it to President Obama for his signature.Well, guess what’s back, yo! It’s the Working Families Flexibility Act of 2017. It just sounds so warm and fuzzy. I mean, the only thing that could top it would be to rename it the Working Families Warm and Fuzzy Flexibility Act of 2017.Actually, that just sounds creepy.But, the less creepy version that is now pending in both the House and Senate would permit a worker in the private sector to elect to receive compensatory time off at a rate not less than one and one-half hours for each hour of employment for which overtime compensation would otherwise be owed.SHRM supports it. Since it’s the employee who gets to say yay or nay to comp time in lieu of overtime, I like it too. I like it a lot.A federal Ban the Box law.Many states and cities, Philadelphia for example, have made it unlawful for employers to ask about criminal backgrounds during the job application process.Last week, a small bipartisan group in Washington introduced the Fair Chance Act, which would prohibit Federal agencies and Federal contractors from requesting that an applicant for employment disclose criminal history record information before the applicant has received a conditional offer, and for other purposes. There’s more in this press release from the Committee on Oversight & Government Reform.While the purpose of ban the box legislation is to reduce the barriers to employment for minorities, there is research that shows that these laws may have the reverse effect. For more on 2017 Employment Screening Trends, check out this SHRM article.Whatever screen policies you may have, make sure:They comply with FCRA;They comply with state and local law;You have good business reason for screening; andThey are applied consistently and evenly across the board.Originally published on Employer Handbook blog.last_img read more

CIOs: Focus is Increasingly on Business rather than Technology

first_imgCIOs are saying that increasingly their job is less IT-focused and more focused on the business. Gartner found that CIOs at top-performing organizations say that 56 percent of their time focuses on business outcomes and the remaining 44 percent is allocated to IT delivery. Compared to three years ago, CIOs now dedicate two extra days per month towards business-related and executive-leadership activities.“Digitalization” is part of the reason for changes that are happening to CIO roles in many, especially larger, companies.  Gartner says that CIOs need to become “change leaders” and that they can expect that they will have increased and broader responsibilities in the future. CIOs can be expected to have a bigger role in areas like innovation management and talent development.Within the realm of technology, in the near term, CIOs say that cybersecurity and AI will take up the majority of their time.Andy Rowsell-Jones, VP at Gartner, said that “the CIO’s role must grow and develop as digital business spreads, and disruptive technologies, including intelligent machines and advanced analytics, reach the masses. While delivery is still a part of the job, much greater emphasis is being placed on attaining a far broader set of business objectives.”last_img read more

Stars Help BGC Charity Day Raise Over 12 Million

first_imgBGC Partners, Inc. (NASDAQ: BGCP) (“BGC Partners” or “BGC”), a leading global brokerage company servicing the financial and real estate markets, announced today that BGC, together with its affiliate Cantor Fitzgerald, raised approximately $12 million for charities around the world, at the companies’ 12th annual Charity Day on Monday, September 12, 2016.Donald Trump at BGC Charity DayEach year, BGC and Cantor Fitzgerald donate 100% of the global revenues generated on Charity Day to the Cantor Fitzgerald Relief Fund and dozens of charities around the world.“Since first established 12 years ago, Charity Day has symbolized the importance our company places on making a difference in the world and paying tribute in a positive way to the loved ones we lost on this anniversary of a day that is forever in our memory,” said Howard W. Lutnick, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of BGC Partners. “We are honored to be able to support a multitude of worthy charities and causes around the world, and I am deeply grateful for the generosity that our clients, partners and employees have continued to demonstrate for our philanthropic efforts on Charity Day and throughout the year.”Charity Day has raised approximately $137 million globally since its inception. Held in commemoration of the 658 Cantor employees and 61 Eurobrokers employees lost in the 9/11 World Trade Center attacks, Charity Day, in conjunction with the Cantor Fitzgerald Relief Fund, has expanded its mission to assist charitable causes worldwide.BGC President Shaun D. Lynn, said: “We are proud to be connected to such impactful charities around the world and inspired by our clients and employees’ continued dedication to Charity Day’s mission of helping others in need. It is because of these valued partners and our celebrity guests who come to BGC Partners trading floors and help raise funds on that day, that we can truly make a meaningful contribution and offer financial assistance to so many outstanding organizations globally.”BGC Charity Day was held in BGC offices across the globe including: London, New York, Paris, Hong Kong, São Paulo, Singapore, Sydney, and other locations.Robert De Niro At BGC Charity DayDistinguished guests representing participating charities joined licensed brokers on the trading floors to conduct transactions with clients. In London, BGC’s affiliated charities and guest ambassadors included: actors and musicians Tom Hardy, Lindsay Lohan; comedians John Bishop, Al Murray; sports stars Anthony Joshua, Andy Carroll, Mark Cavendish, David Haye, Chris Eubank Sr. and Chris Eubank Jr. Also attending were English socialite Pippa Middleton and model Jodie Kidd.At BGC’s New York offices, affiliated charities and ambassador guests included: Donald Trump, actors and musicians Robert De Niro, Steve Buscemi, Bridget Moynahan, Carla Gugino, Malin Ackerman, Edie Falco, Jackson, Darryl McDaniels, Vinny Pastore, AnnaSophia Robb, Juliana Margulies, Rosie Perez, Uzo Aduba, Tony Danza, John Slattery, Jessie James Decker, Zachary Quinto, Theo Rossi, Vincent Piazza; media personalities Pamela Anderson, Boomer Esiason, Dr Ruth Westheimer, Gayle King, Bill Cowher, Mike Golic, Jenny McCarthy, Rosanna Scotto; sports stars Peyton & Eli Manning, Walt Frazier, Chris Snee, Dikembe Mutombo, Dwight “Doc” Gooden, Jason Pierre-Paul, Justin Pugh, Maria Sharapova, Matt Harvey, Shaquille O’Neal, Shaun O’Hara, Steve Weatherford, Dellin Betances, Terrell Owens, Coach Tom Coughlin, Venus Williams, Victor Cruz, Willis Reed, Gerry Cooney, Joe Namath, Allan Houston, Eric Decker, Goose Gossage, Jeremy Lin, Woody Johnson, CC Sabathia, and Bobby Valentine. Also attending were models Constance Jablonski, Lily Aldridge, Damaris Lewis, Coco Rocha; beauty queens Nana Meriwether, Paulina Vega, Olivia Jordan, Pia Wurtzbach as well as former NASA astronaut Michael Massimino, Daniel Nigro, FDNY Commissioner, and Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York.To make a donation to the Cantor Fitzgerald Relief Fund, please call (212) 829-4770 or visit www.cantorrelief.org.last_img read more

Mohawk chiefs blast Toews over suggestion vigilante gun violence legitimate against smugglers

first_imgAPTN National NewsOTTAWA-Public Safety Minister Vic Toews’ suggestion that citizens living near the Canada-U.S. border around Akwesasne could use armed, vigilante justice if they encounter smugglers has drawn rebuke from Mohawk chiefs.Earlier this month, Toews told property owners along the St. Lawrence River in south-western Quebec that his government was planning to change laws to bolster the right of people to use self-defence to protect their property, according to a report.He suggested they could use a gun if there was a “legitimate” reason, according to the Ottawa Citizen.The Mohawk Council of Akwesasne issued a statement Tuesday saying Toews’ comments were “disturbing.”Akwesasne Grand Chief  Mike Mitchell said the Conservative government should be promoting peace, not vigilante gun violence.“Guns are not the answer,” Mitchell said, in the statement.  “As we have learned in past years, we should be promoting peaceful resolution at all cost.”During the meeting with property owners, Toews heard stories of smugglers burning or vandalizing the property of residents who refused to cooperate, cottages being invaded and smugglers offering large sums of cash to residents to keep quiet, according to the newspaper report.Toews suggested they could use guns on the smugglers if there was a “legitimate” reason.“We’re changing the laws on self-defence and your right to protect your property,” Toews told the gathering. “I’m not advocating that people use (guns) but if there’s a legitimate….”Organize crime groups attempt to exploit the jurisdictional tangle around Akwesasne to move illicit goods north and south across the river.The area is also the epicentre for the black market tobacco trade which carves smuggling routes for drugs, guns and illegal immigrant smuggling.The Canada-U.S. border cuts through the Mohawk community. Some parts of Akwesasne that are in Canada can only be accessed by crossing into the U.S. The Ontario and Quebec border also slices through the territory.Toews, however, has refused to meet with the Akwesasne chiefs who believe they can help control smuggling through their territory, Mitchell said.“Akwesasne has been asking for a meeting with Minister Toews since the beginning of his term, and the answer has been a consistent ‘no,” said Mitchell.  “He has refused, and yet was photographed making statements about Akwesasne for this article just a few miles from our territory.”Toews, however, told the Citizen that Prime Minister Stephen Harper was “personally aware” of the border situation and wanted it “dealt with.”Toews also confirmed that the federal government had decided to move the Canadian port of entry currently in Cornwall, Ont., to Massena, NY.He said the government was in talks with the U.S. on the issue.A U.S. State Department cable released by WikiLeaks revealed that the federal government had asked the U.S. to allow Canada to place its border post on American soil.Canada Border Services Agency shut down the original border post in Akwesasne in 2009 after Mohawks said they would not allow armed border guards on their territory.The border crossing was temporarily shut down for several weeks, severely impacting the economies of Cornwall and northern New York State.The border post is currently operating at a temporary location at the foot of the bridge linking Cornwall to Cornwall Island, which is Akwesasne Mohawk territory.Toews’ office could not be immediately reached for comment.last_img read more

Government says review of how CFS system handled Tina Fontaine will be

first_imgThe Canadian PressThe Manitoba government committed late Monday to releasing a report into how child welfare workers dealt with Tina Fontaine before the teenager disappeared, died and was dumped in the Red River.A law that forbids the provincial children’s advocate from publicly releasing special investigation reviews into child deaths will be changed very soon, Families Minister Scott Fielding’s office said.“The minister commits to releasing it and says proclamation (of a new law) is imminent,” Fielding’s press secretary, Andrea Slobodian, wrote in an email.Tina Fontaine ran away from a Winnipeg hotel where she was being housed in August 2014. She was 15 years old.The Indigenous girl’s body was found nine days later in the water, wrapped in a duvet cover and weighed down by rocks. The man accused of killing her, Raymond Cormier, was found not guilty last week.Daphne Penrose, the province’s children’s advocate, said her office has reviewed files and looked at what services were provided to Tina.“The investigation is almost complete. We do have a little bit more work to do on it,” Penrose said Monday.But under current Manitoba law, Penrose cannot release her findings publicly. A bill passed in the legislature last year would allow her to do so, but the provincial government has yet to enact it.Earlier Monday, the Progressive Conservative government would not commit to a time frame for enacting the law.Cormier’s second-degree murder trial heard details of the final weeks of Tina’s life, but did not delve into the way social workers handled her case.Tina was raised in a stable home with her great-aunt, Thelma Favel, on the Sagkeeng First Nation, 120 kilometres northeast of Winnipeg. She left to visit her mother in Winnipeg at the end of June 2014 and became an exploited youth.Favel called Child and Family Services with concerns about Tina, and Tina ran away repeatedly from a youth shelter and hotels where she was placed.She was last seen leaving a downtown hotel, where she told the private contract worker employed by child welfare that she was going to a shopping centre to meet friends.In a brief written statement, Manitoba’s family services department would only say a review of the case by the regional Southern Child and Family Services Authority “found that standards and protocols were met.”The children’s advocate’s office, an independent body of the legislature, is expected to delve into more detail in its report.Some Indigenous leaders and opposition politicians are demanding a full public inquiry into the case – a broad, systemic hearing open to the public and media with witnesses testifying under oath.“I think we need to look at … why this little girl was failed on so many levels and how do we prevent this from happening in the future,” said Opposition NDP families critic Bernadette Smith.“I think we need a public inquiry … because it would highlight the services that were meant to keep (Tina) safe, where they failed, and how things could be different going from here on,” said Sheila North, grand chief of Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak, which represents First Nations in the northern part of the province.The idea of releasing children’s advocate reports was recommended by the last public inquiry into the province’s child welfare system _ a 2013 report on Phoenix Sinclair, a five-year-old girl who was beaten to death by her mother and her mother’s boyfriend after social workers closed her file.The inquiry report by retired Justice Ted Hughes urged Manitoba to follow British Columbia in allowing the release of special reports into children’s deaths by the advocate.last_img read more

10 Chatbot ConversationBuilder Tips

first_img 7 min read Free Workshop | August 28: Get Better Engagement and Build Trust With Customers Now Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. This hands-on workshop will give you the tools to authentically connect with an increasingly skeptical online audience. December 1, 2017 Chatbots have taken the world by storm. These robots act as personal assistants, customer support representatives, marketing executives, and more. They’re either powered by artificial intelligence (AI), meaning that they learn from every interaction, or rule-based, meaning they’ve been pre-programmed by a human to know how to answer specific questions regarding specific scenarios.Whether you opt for an AI-powered bot or rule-based one, it’s important that it receives the adequate amount of attention with regards to conversational design. While chatbots can help make an online conversation between a brand and a consumer seem highly personal, these machines need to be trained similarly to a human representative.Below, I’ve highlighted 10 chatbot conversation-building tips to ensure your customers have a seamless experience when communicating with your company.1. Define User GoalsBefore you can design a perfect chatbot, you need to establish your bot’s purpose for both your brand and your audience. There’s a number of ways a chatbot could benefit your business, such as:Learning more about your audienceProvidubg customer support through social mediaDrivingtraffic to your websiteIncreasing salesAdditionally, chatbots can help consumers by:Offering easy access to information regarding services and productsProviding quick online supportEntertaining customers while they speak to a human representative of your brandSolving a variety of problems regarding accounts and ordersWhatever your reason for creating a chatbot, make sure it’s clear in order to not lose focus when designing its conversation flow.Related: Top 10 Best Chatbot Platform Tools to Build Chatbots for Your Business2. Make Your Chatbot ProactiveYour audience will not use your chatbot if they don’t know it exists or are unaware of how it could help them. It’s important that you make your chatbot proactive by telling your audience how they can start a conversation. Begin by creating an engaging welcome message that introduces your chatbot to your audience and explains how it can help them.Related: How to Create a Facebook Messenger Chatbot For Free Without Coding3. Design Your Conversation Flow CarefullyDesigning a conversation flow is extremely challenging due to the language we use; therefore, the conversations we have can be unpredictable, and that’s not to mention the fact that we are prone to typos…something that some chatbots aren’t yet designed to understand.You need to design your bot to be able to ask and answer specific types of questions, some of which include:Alternative choice questionsWho, what, where, when, why questionsYes or no questionsTag questions that help the conversation flow naturally; for example, “California is beautiful, isn’t it?”Try to avoid rhetorical questions at all costs. Aside from the fact that they may come across as rude, humans have a tendency to answer them anyway, meaning that your bot may become confused and won’t fulfill its purpose.Related: Pretty Soon, Chatbots Will Be Able to Understand How You’re Feeling4. Offer Help Where PossibleWhile your chatbot will have a level of control over the conversations it has because it will be able to ask questions itself, humans can type whatever they want, whenever they want. With this in mind, design your chatbot to lead the conversation in a way that will keep it on track.When asking the user a question, design your chatbot to offer hints. For example, “What type of holiday would you like to book? We offer cruises, all-inclusive jungle adventures, and villa rentals.” Remember, your hints can come in a visual format like buttons to make them easier to differentiate.Related: 10 Social-Media Marketing Strategies for Companies5. Confirm Valid AnswersA simple way to ensure conversations don’t go off on tangents is to always confirm the information the user inputs. Once a user answers a question, ask them for confirmation before moving onto the next question. Alternatively, you could tell your audience why you can’t help them with a request and point them in the right direction, whether it be talking to a human representative or forwarding them a relevant email address.Related: Enterprise Chatbots Platforms and the Future of Work6. Use ButtonsWhile buttons may be known to reduce an audience’s engagement when communicating with your chatbot, these may improve the conversation flow and help them to quickly receive answers to their questions. Use pre-suggested text in the form of buttons when you need or want to offer essential information, such as:Yes or no answersContact Us buttonsFeedback buttonsButtons that forward customers to a relevant webpageRelated: Enterprise Chatbots and the Conversational Commerce Revolutionizing Business7. Think About the MicrocopyWhile you should never lie to your audience and trick them into thinking they’re talking with a human representative, it’s important to follow a natural conversation flow…one that represents your brand image. Consider designing your micro-copy in a way that reflects that of a normal conversation. Additionally, you should:Avoid complicated grammarKeep conversations short and conciseStay away from gender-specific pronounsAdd a level of humor or character to your chatbotRelated: Make Chats With Chatbots Work8. Don’t Overwhelm the UserWhile you may feel like a complex chatbot with loads of features is what your customers want, it’s highly possible that it won’t have the capabilities to perfectly undertake multiple tasks. As a result, you’re better off keeping things simple to avoid overwhelming your audience.Start slowly by gradually revealing features over time. Set expectations by telling your audience what they can achieve by conversing with your bot. Later, unlock additional features as users grow more comfortable and confident in your chatbot’s ability to complete tasks.Related: The How-To: Using Chatbots As A Tool For Customer Service9. Give Your Chatbot PersonalityThanks to AI, you no longer have to launch a chatbot that’s limited to specific sentences. Instead, try and launch a bot that has a little personality. While you must be careful to not make your chatbot seem obnoxious or rude, giving it some personality could increase engagement, and in turn, sales.Related: #4 Chatbots Took Full Advantage Of India’s Demonetization10. Back Your Chatbot With a HumanLast but not least, the technology that powers chatbots isn’t perfect, meaning you should back your chatbot with a human representative in order to avoid losing leads. Offer your audience the chance to speak with a human throughout the conversation to decrease the possibility of having an unsatisfied customer.Finally …I asked the expert AI developer Fernando Rivero from XenioAI about recipes for success in bot world.”Focusing on specific domain knowledge when creating your chatbot is extremely important to increase the success rate and usability,” he said. “If you truly understand the business aims of the chatbot and have a great data set you can make an AI with specific domain knowledge which will greatly improve the user’s chatbot experience. I have created AI driven chatbots and virtual assistants for companies such as CHAD and Momentum Events and I have learned that the more training / understanding you can give your AI the better.”By following most or all of the tips outlined above, you’ll create a chatbot that increases brand awareness, and in turn, sales. Enroll Now for Freelast_img read more