Are you still wondering if your business needs a chatbot? As an online marketer, you can’t afford to be complacent in the digital world. You should be willing to try new trends, especially if it can give you a major advantage over other competitors.

There’s a buzzword that’s been referenced more frequently than ever – chatbots. Marketers are anxious to jump in on this new trend. You have surely come across many of them in your own web browsing. According to a study, 80% of businesses will use chatbot to increase their revenue.

The idea behind chatbots is simple. It is configured to start a conversation with every website visitor. Most chatbots dispense answers to anticipated questions from potential customers. Other bots may forward you to a real person.

Bots can range from functional to fun, with endless possibilities. You can build a bot that sells shoes, tells the weather, helps pick out groceries, gives life advice, sets schedules and more! In this guide, we will provide some insights on how to leverage chatbots for the incredible tool that they are.

The Value of Chatbots

So why should you get on the chatbot bandwagon? In theory, chatbots should be a great tool to engage visitors to your website. You see, customers don’t always know the information they are interested in. By having a bot ask a series of qualifying questions, you get to identify more quality leads.

Bots also save an organization time and money. Instead of hiring reps to be available 24/7, automating conversations allow you to allocate resources on other operational aspects of your business. Another benefit is it can be incorporated directly to your social media efforts.

Chatbots will allow you to:

  • Improve open rates – With chatbots, visitors get the information they need in real-time, which means they don’t have to wait. Unlike email, bots offer an interactive and immediate response.
  • Better engagement – Chatbots allow businesses to be present on social media to engage and interact with consumers. Bots can also offer visual content like videos and images to keep them enticed.
  • Analyse customer data – A chatbot is programmed to understand human behavior and collect customer insights. Then, provide analysis on the gathered data.  
  • Nurture leads – Because bots can predict a customer’s buying journey, they help ensure that leads stay connected after the initial contact. For instance, offering a deal that’s customized to their needs.
  • Make payments easier – Chatbots can now be used to receive payments. Most brands use the Messenger platform to support this feature.
  • Offer quick response time – Bots reduce wait times for customers and solve issues faster. It also lets a business handle more customers than before.

 

Setting Up the Chatbot

Setting up a chatbot is not that difficult but making one that is functional and unique can be challenging. Using a chatbot building platform will make the job a lot easier, especially for entrepreneurs with no programming background. Each platform offers unique features and usually has a particular niche.

Manychat, for example, is a great platform for people with limited to no coding skill capacity. It’s very user-friendly, offers a free plan and useful marketing tools. However, it’s not for businesses that want flexible Ai apps.

For big companies, Conversable is the preferred platform. It distributes AI-enhanced messaging and voice experiences to Facebook Messenger, Twitter, SMS, Amazon Echo, Google Home, and many others. But it offers no solution to small and medium businesses.

That is why, the first thing you need to do is choose the right platform that will work for your business. It usually comes with a number of basic questions and pre-loaded if/then options. But don’t just settle with generic responses. Engage visitors through personalized dialogue and base it on your buyer personas.

Another effective way of setting up your chatbot is to focus on quality. Don’t overload your chatbot with features and information. Instead, master one task one at a time. Put yourself in the shoes of visitors and identify the kinds of questions they might ask while browsing your site. The goal is to design a natural conversation flow. This will take time and a good amount of trial and error.

Make good use of your platform’s preview tool. Test out your bot script many times until it sounds natural. Once you feel that it’s ready, that’s the time you should try it out in a live environment.

Are There Drawbacks?

When you’re using a chatbot for your website, you should expect a lot of notifications, which can be a bit overwhelming at first. Every time someone engages with your chatbot, there will be a corresponding message sent to your email address. So for the first few days, you should prepare for a massive number of alerts in your Inbox.

This can be a good thing because it allows you to start several conversations with website visitors. However, you’ll find that conversion rates are much lower compared to traditional sales funnel offerings (guide, checklist, video training, ebooks, worksheets, etc.) More serious prospects may still choose to contact you through your contact form or phone number.

Another drawback was that visitors could become frustrated. Bots work from a limited data base so they can’t improvise. If a bot gets confused, the conversation could run in a circle. Visitors may not get the response they need. Some customers would also become irate if they are not handed off to a human quickly enough.

Nevertheless, many of the problems you could encounter will likely stem from not carefully scripting chatbot interactions. A chatbot is a tool, so it’s just a matter of implementing it correctly. With the proper use, chatbots have the power to enhance both the consumer and agent experience.

Auto-Bot to the Rescue

Overall, a chatbot is a very promising and desirable technology. For now, it is not a one-size-fits-all solution and not all kinds of businesses can benefit from using it. However, in this ever-changing digital world, bots will go through upgrades with their capabilities expanded. If you were going to try using one, consider the following tips:

  1. Treat bot conversations the same way you would phone calls. Talk like a real person to make it sound more natural. Create an effective greetings message.
  2. Make sure to do research when it comes to writing the script. Learn how to create an engaging dialogue. Don’t use jargon to communicate. Test it many times before making your bot go live.
  3. If you’re managing several different sites or landing pages, a chatbot can help you keep tabs on all of them at once.
  4. Your bot needs to be regularly evaluated and optimized. Keep trying new ideas. Fill in gaps that occur during a conversation. Create new and improved versions of it.
  5. Unveil one feature at a time. Rather than launching all of your features in one go, it would be best to perfect each one first.  

Chatbots can be very valuable for businesses providing services as hotel rooms booking, taxi, tickets selling, food delivery, etc. customer requests are predictable and templated. In these settings, a chatbot assistance can instantly ask about sizes, colour choices, dates, or food orders.

Launching a chatbot is the most innovative way to reach your target audience today. But it is too early to let it take over human presence. Developers will, for sure, continue working on improvements. So for now, use it to complement your brand’s communication strategy in order to achieve superior customer experience.