Web Development

It’s Time To Start Engaging Your Audience Further With Chatbots

October 5, 2018
Does your company already use Facebook Messenger to communicate with customers? It could be time that you considered using a chatbot to further engage your audience. Companies are using chatbots that are integrated with Facebook Messenger on their websites.
Chatbot Says Hi -Illustration

  Source: Vectorstock

So why should you consider using chatbots in your business? Well, they are proving to be great front line agents who assist customers with basic queries. Chatbots can help customers with their purchase decision by recommending products. This simplifies the customers purchasing process.

This initial and light customer interaction is usually taken care of by a human sales consultant. Now, even this stage of the sales process can be fully automated using chatbots. Chatbots can also serve customers at any given time of the day, even after hours. They can assist, recommend, and collect information from your customers. Let's take a closer look at chatbots.

What Are Chatbots?

A chatbot is a software program that can initiate an engaging conversation with people who visit a particular website. Chatbots are able to provide information as well as answer questions in a conversational format.

Chatbots can be programmed to provide information based on the website or brand that it is being hosted on. It is possible to create a chatbot that can recommend products and services to customers as well as assist them in making their purchase decision.

Chatbots aren’t only found in product and sales industries. Many companies are integrating chatbots into their aftersales and support departments. Chatbots are being used online to assist human support agents by starting an initial conversation with customers while they wait for an available operator.

This speeds up the process of gathering customer information whilst keeping customers busy when on hold. It is possible to program as much troubleshooting information into a bot who can then use the info to try and solve issues a customer may have with a product. In cases with minor issues, a chatbot can actually solve the problem completely before it even reaches a human agent.

Command-based chatbots are simple programs that rely on a database of information. The info is made up of a bank of replies that best matches any query that is submitted to the chatbot. However, the chatbot will not be able to answer queries that are outside of its bank of replies.

AI (Artificial Intelligence) based chatbots employ machine learning technology for smarter results. These chatbots learn over time and can craft responses from scratch. These chatbots are costly to create as they have the ability to learn on the go.

Getting Started With Chatbots

When creating a chatbot, it is best to understand your target audience and their needs. This is crucial in regards to programming your chatbot with the right information. Every word your chatbot speaks must be relevant to your company’s brand.

You will also have to decide which chat platform suits you and your audience best. You will need to design a chatbot that is compatible with a particular service such as Twitter, Instagram or Facebook Messenger. Some third-party chatbot hosts such as Chatfuel make the process of creating a chatbot extra simple, especially for the Facebook Messenger platform.

Social messaging platforms are constantly changing the way they handle chatbots. Twitter has been known to make drastic changes in regards to chatbots. Snapchat is still working on introducing chatbots to their platform. It’s best to research properly before you make your decision.

Finding the Right Chatbot

Your next step will be to determine what you would want your chatbot to do. Do you want them to simply provide information, entertain, or generate leads? It is important to understand the specific purpose of creating a chatbot. A general chatbot can be misleading and not engaging to its customers.

Chatbot Website collection

   Source: Chatfuel/ChattyPeople/Flow XO/Botsify/Beep Boop/Bottr

You can create a chatbot by using third-party chatbot software. These programs are designed to create bots that can be integrated into platforms such as Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, WeChat, and Instagram.

Here are some excellent chatbot platforms that can create chatbots for you quick and easy:-

  • Chatfuel
  • ChattyPeople
  • Flow XO
  • Botsify
  • Beep Boop
  • Bottr

Create an Engaging Script

The most successful chatbots out there make use of carefully constructed messages that are engaging and clever enough to administer a response from a human recipient. Your script should be as relevant as possible to your brand.

Your bots personality should be enjoyable enough to draw people into conversations. Try to make your chatbots feel as human as possible by producing a dialogue that is as natural as possible. It is much harder than it sounds to create a bot that can give off a human vibe. This is something that you will need to spend a lot of time on.

The Challenge behind Creating a Chatbot

One of the biggest challenges when creating a chatbot is to understand your customer's language. Every business, every target audience speaks and communicates in a different way. Language has many influencing factors such as pop culture, politics, and new product releases. Geographics, demographics, weather, and mood also play a crucial role in language.

At the moment, people are focused on Marvel movies like Black Panther and Avengers: Infinity War. The way they speak has a lot to do with referencing those movies. Sometimes, a reference that is related to a movie or an event can be so vague that even we cannot understand that.

This is something that chatbots do struggle with. Try to program chatbots accordingly to deal with certain references or events that are related to your business.

Chatbot technology may still be in its infancy stage, but businesses are making good use of chatbots at the moment as customers are reacting positively. Because of this, we are beginning to see a rise in popularity for the chatbots. This means that there will be further developed for chatbots in the near future. Now is certainly the time to get into chatbot messaging.

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