Chatbots are now a key part of social and customer service efforts. As the website and social media landscape continues to evolve, a chatbot is an increasingly common feature when it comes to customer engagement.
A chatbot can be a valuable asset to your digital marketing strategy and online presence – Apple’s recent first effort for their music service is a Facebook Messenger chatbot that offers listening choices based on either an emoji or simple chat.
Chatbots save time and money
While the likes of Apple, Jamie Oliver, Pizza Express and Match.com can play with chatbots, any business can make use of them for material benefit. The chatbot represents a non-threatening point of contact on a website or Facebook page, allowing a customer or client to engage with a company and ask for basic information, without the need to feel they are wasting anyone’s time or go wading through an FAQ or filling in an unfriendly form.
A script-based chatbot can be set up to provide a lot of basic information, saving people having to search for it, and your customer service agents from taking up time with trivial requests. Chatbots can also collect information and send customers in the right direction for a quest they need help with, and now they can take orders in place of apps or web forms to generate sales.
Building that first chatbot
While the world of AI chatbots might sound like a challenge to most businesses, building a script-based chatbot requires minimal technical skill. The starting point for any bot will be deciding how it benefits your business, creating a way to measure its success is essential to seeing how the bot works, and what your future plans could be for one.
Anyone can create and deploy a simple chatbot using a free service like Snatchbot (https://snatchbot.me/) or Botsociety (https://botsociety.io/). These can be deployed to a website or added to a Facebook Messenger feed, tied to your Skype account or other point of contact. Templates are available to suit many business needs, and create a starting point that your business can add to, creating a more personal chatbot.
One point to remember is that a chatbot should have personality, to welcome the customer or user, and make them feel at ease. Millions of people will be having their first interaction with chatbots as we head into 2018 as the technology becomes more widely used, so ensure your chatbot does nothing to put them off, and is well tested to provide a smooth path to providing help, support or information.