Does your marketing plan include using a chatbot? These tools can be powerful additions to marketing, but you have to ensure you’re using them correctly. Like any marketing tool, chatbots can be more or less effective depending on several factors.
If you aren’t familiar with what a chatbot is, that’s the first place to start. This app is a type of very basic artificial intelligence that can have conversations with customers on your website. Some of these bots are extremely advanced and have a long list of different rules that govern their responses. They’ve actually fooled some people into believing that they’re talking to a real person. Other chatbots are much more basic, and customers realize they’re interacting with a computer program.
So what does it take to implement a successful chatbot that helps improve your bottom line? Here are some of the key strategies that can help you build one of these platforms.
Analyze Your Market?
Before you can build a successful chatbot, you have to know what market you’re entering and how to address the problems that exist in that market. If you can identify a major customer need that isn’t being met, you can create a business that addresses that need. Your chatbot can then be created to provide relevant, effective, and personal responses to questions and statements about that particular need. If done correctly, these responses will turn a potential customer into a loyal, long-term buyer.
Know Your “Why” Questions
- Why are you doing what you’re doing?
- Why are you offering X products/services, but not Y products/services?
- Why are you building a chatbot at all?
The answers to these and other important “why” questions will give you insight into what’s driving your business. With these insights, you’ll be able to make your chatbot more interactive and useful to customers within your specific industry. The more targeted your chatbot is, the more effective it will be.
These questions will also show you what your chatbot should not do. With the answers from your “Why” questions in hand, you’ll see what your chatbot should avoid doing. That’s just as useful as determining what it needs to do.
Bring Your Team Together
Working with a chatbot platform is just as much about communication internally as it is externally. By bringing your team together and letting them freely share ideas, you’ll gain a unique insight into what people expect from a chatbot. People think differently, and getting as many points of view on a chatbot will help you cover as many different expected responses as possible. While you may not be able to make every potential customer believe they’re talking to a real person, you can make your chatbot as helpful as possible by taking honest feedback from your team and incorporating it into your platform.
Know what Features Your Chatbot Needs
Before you can create a successful chatbot, you need to know what a great chatbot needs to have beyond what content it should offer. There are four main things your chatbot platform needs to incorporate:
- It needs to be proactive – Your chatbot should begin interacting with visitors once they begin the chat. It also needs to continue its interaction with as little downtime as possible. Visitors may give up if the chatbot doesn’t seem to respond quickly and with accurate answers.
- It should be a strong tool for customer service – Your chatbot needs to provide customer care in addition to helping provide your customers with the ability to handle issues themselves. Some want to do as much as they can without dealing with an actual person simply because they see it as faster and easier.
- It needs to be integrated with your e-commerce platform – This way, your chatbot will be able to process payments and take customer orders through posts, messages, and even comments. Your chatbot should also be able to access inventory to let customers know when something is out of stock. If you plan on having your chatbot handle e-commerce sales, there are some additional tools you may need to incorporate into it.
- Your chatbot should have some kind of measurement tool – This is so you can evaluate its performance regularly. You can use this information to modify your chatbot as needed to optimize its performance.
Start Your Chatbot Platform Today
While a great chatbot idea is a place to start, you need to make sure that idea is tightly wound around your business goals and objectives. A chatbot that’s not helpful won’t help you grow your business or serve your clients in any way. Building your chatbot by following the three concepts is an excellent place to start. Once you’ve determined your market, your “whys,” and have solidified your team, you’ll have the foundation needed to build a great platform. Then all you have to do is make certain that platform incorporates the four features listed above.