Having a chatbot isn’t enough anymore. Most people are used to having extensive and human conversations with digital assistants such as Alexa and Sire. Still, not everyone has the resources or the budget to create such great chatbot. And that’s where conversational chatbots come into play. Conversational chatbots are fast, personal, helpful, and human, even when they’re robots. But how to get started? That’s what you’ll learn in this blog!
Live Chat & Chatbot
Nowadays, already 45% of organizations implemented a robot in their marketing1. Consumers have, therefore, more choice on how they want to receive support. They no longer have to schedule a time to call an organization for help; instead, they can quickly send a message to a live chat or chatbot to get an answer.
Chat opens up a whole new world of possibilities. Where chatbots can help you get to the right information 24/7, and in an instance, live chat helps out on those questions a chatbot can’t answer (yet). And that’s how you always give the support your visitors deserve.
Get Started with Chatbot
Adding live chat to your website isn’t that difficult. Even Facebook Messenger offers the possibility to add live chat to your web platform. Several software packages let you add a chatbot to your digital platform. We use, for instance, HubSpot for this. A chatbot does, however, need some more brainpower.
Aa chatbot needs to help every unique visitor in the best way possible, and 24/7. It can only do that when it’s set up correctly, so any frequently asked questions can be answered. And with the nowadays expectations, you need to create a chatbot that’s fast and helpful, but also personal and human.
To make your chatbot to a success, you need to follow these steps:
1. What’s the purpose?
It’s important to know what the chatbot’s purpose is. Is it going to help your customer with shopping, check the shipping status of packages, or schedule appointments at a hair salon? And how actively involved is the chatbot: does it send reminders, or is it waiting for someone to ask for help?
2. Give it a persona
By giving your chatbot a persona, you give it a character, a personality. This makes your chatbot - as you might’ve guessed - more personal. A persona defines the tone and writing style, and it’s important to align these with your brand. A chatbot that uses emoji-heavy texting might not be the right fit for a law firm. You need to look at a chatbot as if it’s a member of your team, the person you wouldn’t think twice about recruiting.
3. Create a conversation diagram
To see how a conversation is structured, it might come in handy to create a conversation diagram that shows every step of the conversation. How is your chatbot going to greet your visitors? Which questions does it ask, and which issues can you expect? What do you answer?
When you’re already using live chat, it’s essential to take a look at the conversations that already happened. Which questions are asked? Process these questions in your chatbot.
Keep in mind that a chatbot can’t always understand what someone is saying. What will happen then? Prepare an error message, and decide when you want to assign the conversation to a human colleague. All these steps are inside your conversation diagram.
4. Expand the diagram
When you’ve defined which steps your chatbot has, you can fill every block with text. Keep in mind that chat messages are brief, even when they come from a chatbot. Imagine you texting with your friends to create a fruitful chatbot conversation. Besides that, keep in mind that your users aren’t all-knowing. They have questions. So put yourself in your user’s shoes: what issues and challenges do they have?
Don’t forget about your chatbot’s persona! Keep improving your texts, add emoji and GIFs to improve the chatbot’s personality and make the conversation more human.
When checking your texts, it’s a good idea to read the texts out loud. That’s when you’ll notice the smallest of errors in your writing, or where the conversation becomes awkward or robotic. In HubSpot, you can test your chatbot, so you can change the last little details before setting it live.
5. Ready to go go!
After extensively testing your chatbot, it’s time to set it live! This is where all the action happens, and where you can check how your audience is responding to your chatbot. Are they using it? Are there still some changes to make? Keeping a good eye on how your chatbot is performing is always a good idea, especially if you’ve just set it live.
You can always start small and place the chatbot on one of your most important pages, before showing it on your whole digital platform. When the chatbot seems to successful, you can confidently display it anywhere on your platform. That’s your cue to pick up your other activities.
6. Keep Experimenting and Optimizing
We all know that the online world is continuously changing, and with it, consumers’ needs and expectations. It is possible that your chatbot isn’t sufficient anymore, your website has been changed, or you offer new services. That’s why you need to keep updating your chatbot, so it can always help your visitors in the best way possible. Check regularly if the conversations with your chatbot are flawless, and if it helps your customers the way it should. Keep optimizing your chatbot, and test the new additions you make are helpful.
7. Personalizing your chatbot
To help your customers in every step of the journey, it’s essential to get started with personalization. You can personalize your chatbot int two different ways:
- Based on the page it is displayed
- Based on the user
When personalizing your chatbot based on the page displayed, you can change the conversation based on the page. Show, for example, other questions when a user is on the product-page then when it’s on the home-page. Or greet the visitor based on the subject of the page. To give you an example, we would greet users on the MODX-page with ‘Do you have any questions about MODX? I would love to help!’, while the greeting on the home-page might be more generic: ‘How can I help?’.
Personalizing, based on the user, takes it a step further. You could greet users by using their surname, or ask them if your previous solution helped them. You can also show another chatbot to every segment of your target group.
You can do everything to personalize your chatbot, as long as it improves the chatbot: it helps your visitors better or makes the conversation more human.
Conversational chatbot Isn’t Your Next Alexa
Keep in mind that your chatbot isn’t going to be the next Alexa. To do this, you need to put years of experience, great AI techniques, and the latest technologies in it. The most crucial challenge you need to achieve is helping your visitors get the help they deserve, and that’s what a conversational chatbot can help you with!