Customer service has become more direct than ever before. With today’s technology, each business can actually have a basic live chat service installed on their website, for free.
If we look into the most popular live chat solutions and use the support of Similartech, we can easily estimate that there are +1m businesses using live chat software, online.
Most popular live chat technologies grow their installation numbers by 6-7% m/m. That being said, we can easily say that live chat support becomes a growing customer service standard.
But chatting with customers takes time and additional resources. What if you could turn it into an automated (or at least semi-automated) process? With today’s chatbot technology, automation is at every business’s fingertips.
The popularity of chatbots is increasing with more than 47% of online shoppers ready to make a purchase from an automated bot.
So what is a chatbot, how to set it up and why use it at all?
- What is a chatbot?
- Why use a chatbot?
- Types of chatbots
- Examples of chatbots
- Setting up a chatbot
- Saving time with chatbots
What is a chatbot?
According to Techopedia:
Chatbot is an artificial intelligence (AI) program that simulates interactive human conversation by using key pre-calculated user phrases and auditory or text-based signals.
Quite a complex and non-clear definition, isn’t it?
So what is a chatbot in more simple words? Chatbot is an automated way of communication between people or businesses. After all, it’s about substituting a real person with the bot responding automatically.
However, today chatbots are about way more than pure automation. They also offer great opportunities when it comes to e-commerce & marketing features.
Why use a chatbot?
So why would you need a chatbot in your business at all?
Let’s look into a few problems your business might face and how can chatbot help you in every day’s work:
- Responding over and over to the same questions
It’s very likely you keep repeating answers to the same questions, either on chat or via email. You can use quick answers to keep the most common answers at hand but why not automate them fully by setting up a chatbot to respond automatically to the most common questions whenever you’re not available.
- Collecting information about your visitor
You might collect information from your customer by asking or with a survey form. But with a chatbot, you can automate the process, with most information like email or name collected by the bot.
- Directing high-volume conversations to the right person/department
When your business is quite a large one and managing the volume of conversations becomes a problem, you can use a chatbot to automatically direct the conversation to the right person.
- Shortening the sales path
Yes, chatbots can actually shorten the path needed to purchase your product by sending a product offer directly in the chat window. This can mean higher sales and more customers actually buying your product.
- Remarketing via chat
Chatbots let you do remarketing to your previous visitors or customers, e.g. via Messenger. This can help you drive customers back to your website or simply sell them an additional offering.
- Automatically checking order status
Some of the chatbot solution, like Tidio, are natively integrated with e-commerce platforms, like Shopify, letting you check on the order status automatically without the need to engage the real customer support.
These are only a few reasons for using a chatbot. Actually, there might be many more of them, including providing your customers with automated information about special offers for your products or information specific to the particular landing page.
So knowing how can a chatbot actually help you solve some of the problems in your business, what are the types of chatbots which are currently available on the market?
Types of chatbots
There are 2 main types of chatbots you could implement in your business.
- Simple, basic chatbots based on automating some pre-defined answers.
- AI-based chatbots learning new answers on an ongoing basis.
The type you’d rather use in your business can actually depend on the type of your operations and how you’d actually like to use it in your day to day interaction with the customer.
If you’re aiming at automating some of the basic responses, you can easily create one using a solution like Tidio Chat.
If you’re targeting a rather more advanced chatbot solution, you might prefer to use one of the very advanced platforms, like Dialogflow.
But apart from the smart and less-smart chatbots, chatbots can be used via numerous different channels:
- Chatbot on a website
- Messenger chatbot
- Landing page chatbot
- iMessage/SMS/WhatsApp chatbot
- Slack chatbot
You can also use one chatbot via numerous different channels. That’s commonly called as omnichannel chatbot.
Examples of chatbots
So what are the most common companies using a chatbot solution?
Domino’s pizza chatbot
Domino’s Pizza is definitely one of the best out there when it comes to speed and delivery. It’s also my preferred option whenever looking for a quick pizza order.
Domino’s provides its chatbot customer support via 3 main channels:
- Facebook Messenger
- Amazon’s Alexa
- SMS Bot
Using each of the channels, you’ll be able to easily order a pizza, browse through the pizza offering or track the current order’s status.
Symptomate bot to diagnose your health issues
Symptomate bot was created by Infermedica to diagnose health issues based on an automated conversation with the user. It is a more advanced one, based on advanced dependencies and algorithms.
- Perform a medical interview with you
- Provide a diagnosis for your illness/problem
- Recommend next steps/lab tests based on the diagnosis
Duolingo language training bot
Talking to a human might be a smarter way to learn new languages, however, a real person might not always be available to chat. Instead, Duolingo lets you practice your language skills with the help of the automated bots.
Your Duolingo app-based bots will:
- Do some real-life conversations with you, in a selected language
- Suggest answers whenever stuck
- Learn in real-time about your language level and try to adjust the conversation, accordingly
Chatbots are becoming more present in our daily life, no matter, whether it’s food/products’ ordering, health issues or learning new languages.
But modern cloud technology lets every business out there set up and actually have a chatbot. So how to make it live in your business as well?
Setting up a chatbot in your business
Let’s look into the ways of setting up a chatbot in your business and providing customer support in a more automated way.
To make it work, you can consider 3 main options:
- Setting up a basic chatbot using one of the live chat software solutions
- Setting up a chatbot using one of the more advanced chatbot builders
- Outsourcing setting up a chatbot to the 3rd party
Let me show you how to set up a chatbot using Tidio Chat’s live chat solution.
After setting up the account, the main area of the software you’ll be using will be “Automation + bots” feature.
Here, you will easily browse through pre-defined examples of bots, like:
- Lead generation bot – suggesting more information about the offer
- Callback bot – suggesting a callback
- Discount bot – offering a discount to the visitors
- Return bot – bot handling return queries
To set up your own customized bot from scratch, you need to select the last option which is:
- Create a new bot from scratch
So let’s look into how to create your own basic bot.
Select the triggers
The first thing you’d need to do in setting up a chatbot will be to set up the triggers (reasons) for specific messages sent by the chatbot.
This can be:
- A message sent or selected by the visitor, e.g. a visitor asks for a specific product
- Specific on-site action, e.g. a visitor opens particular sub-page
- No response from your agent, e.g. when a support agent fails to respond to the visitor’s question
E.g. You want to set an automated bot message once your visitor asks for your offer’s pricing.
Select the actions
Once you select the trigger, now it’s the time to select the action which is going to be triggered accordingly.
These can be sending
- A chat message
- An email message
- More options to be added (in the form of suggested questions/buttons)
E.g. So let’s say you’d like your bot to offer more details regarding the question, e.g. propose information about the specific product. You can set the action to send proposed quick replies after the customer asks for the pricing.
As the next step, you can set up the message to be sent to your visitor with the pricing of specific product.
Ask your visitor about email & send an automated follow-up
Once you learn that your visitor is interested in some kind of product, you can encourage him to leave an email address to get a special offer for the product.
You can easily set up a chatbot to ask for the visitor’s email information with an automated message.
You can then use the email to send an automated follow-up message after some time period.
E.g. Let’s say your customer has asked a chatbot about the pricing of specific product offering. You can encourage him to leave the email address to get notified about any discount for the product. Afterward, you can set up the automation sending him the follow-up message 2 days after the chat.
Notify your operators about important actions
If your chatbot detects or ends a specific conversation, he can notify your operators.
This can be pretty helpful when you want to notify your team about more important actions performed by your chatbot, e.g. to make sure they’re able to react and approach large leads directly. Alternatively, your operators can be notified about any issues with the chatbot handling the conversations.
Saving your and your team’s time
Will chatbots take over this world’s customer communication? That seems to be quite likely. Even though we like to make human interactions in our every day’s life, we’d rather have our business queries answered quickly and precisely.
With the chatbot technology becoming more advanced and precise, each business can now have the chatbot for its business working and ready, within a few weeks or even days. That provides huge opportunities when it comes to automating our manual daily work.
Save time, go home early and help your customers faster. Start using chatbots in your business, today!
This article was supported by Tidio Chat, one of the live chat software providers.
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