Starbucks Chatbot

A Chabot to help Starbucks customers

Timeline: One Week

Project Goals: Create a chatbot for an existing brand using Bot-Society

What is a Chatbot? How Are They Used?

A chatbot is an AI that can stimulate a conversation, creating an interaction between humans and technology. There are two steps a chatbot works. First, the chatbot does an analysis of the conversation to see what the person needs from it. The second is to respond accurately. As states, “The ability to identify the user’s intent and extract data and relevant entities contained in the user’s request is the first condition and the most relevant step at the core of a chatbot: If you are not able to correctly understand the user’s request, you won’t be able to provide the correct answer” (Para.4). I liked how they explained the importance of the functionality. If the chatbot cannot asses the conversation correctly, it becomes useless. 

Starbucks Chatbot

I created a chatbot to help customers with questions regarding Starbucks. Starbucks has a mobile app that allows customers to see what ingredients go into their drinks, mobile orders, and to earn stars in the rewards program. Other than the Q&A’s on the website and mobile app, there are no other resources to help costumers. To save both barista’s and customer’s time, a chatbot would help answer questions more quickly.


My main focus when creating this chatbot for Starbucks was to have the conversation be personal, youthful, and helpful. In my experience with chatbot conversations, I did not like how formal and flat the conversations would be. The Starbuck’s target audience is very broad – there is a mix of everything between young and older age groups. I think the sassy and youthful Siren may not work with older audiences but I figured they may not be the ones using the chatbot. Many struggle with the app alone and are more likely to call the store than to use the app.

The main focus of this conversation was about the rewards system for Starbucks. It is very confusing and as a former employee myself, even I get confused! I learned a lot through this chatbot because I had to make sure I knew the answers to each question. When training to work at Starbucks, they do not tell you a lot about the app or rewards system. When customers have a question, it is easiest to tell them to contact customer support. As I realized the lack of resources and information, I created the chatbot.

Design Process

This competitive analysis was kind of useless because all of these Coffee chains are very similar. They all had a rewards program and email/newsletter but none had a chatbot. I chose to go with Starbucks because I am most familiar with that company as I used to work there.

To start off, I had to figure out what the conversation would be about. I chose to talk about the rewards program because it can be confusing! There are a lot of rules about the rewards program that make things very unclear for customers. Above is a note I wrote as I was planning.

To create a chatbot that talked about the Starbucks rewards program, I needed to find the most asked questions and their answers. Though I work at Starbucks, I did not know the answers to some of the questions. As “partners” employees are not trained to know the app, how it works, and the rewards program. After seeing the answers to most questions, I was able to create a conversation that provided accurate answers.

I wanted to see what kind of customer would be using it to fit the voice design. I decided to compare the target audiences that Starbucks has. This allowed me to see what I needed when creating my chatbot. Knowing my audience set the tone of the chatbot.

Most Challenging?

I found that creating a seamless conversation was hard. I did not want the conversation to sound like it was the same two people! At first I was overthinking it and kept trying to make responses realistic but then there was no personality. I decided to text as myself, and only focus on Siren’s personality. This made it easier for me to focus on the conversation and the chatbot. I also found it was hard to have a long conversation (about 30 responses). Once I had a nice flow, it was easy! I am surprised by how much I enjoyed this assignment.

Most Proud of?

I am most proud about the overall flow and usefulness of the chatbot. By talking about a real topic and questions, anyone who comes across my video will be able to learn about the rewards program. I am also proud of how Siren responds. I feel she has personality without being too much. If you notice, I added my gender when introducing myself to Siren. I did this so that she would know how to interact with me better (how to refer to me). I want to edit this though to add my pronouns. I believe this would make the chatbot more interactive and inclusive!


Creating this chatbot encouraged me to learn more about the importance of chatbots within large companies. Though it is a large investments, companies should incorporate a chatbot into their resources. Not only would this keep companies up-to-date with technology, it would also help their customers/clients.

I also learned a lot about how to utilize voice design within the Starbucks chatbot. As we incorporate artificial intelligence more and more, voice design and VUI (voice user interface) are becoming just as important to create comfortable and realistic interactions.

Sources Team. (2020 March). Chatbot: What is a Chatbot? Why are Chatbots Important? Retrieved from, (Links to an external site.)