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Make Your Site More Interactive: Add a ChatBot!

Perhaps you’ve wanted to add a chat feature to your website, but you’ve held back because you just don’t have the live staff available to manage the response. In that case, a chatbot might be just the thing you need to add an interactive benefit for your visitors. Offering a chatbot feature can make your website more engaging, adding another layer of marketing, sales, and customer service. Your chatbot effectively becomes another tool in your kit for communications.

What Is a Chatbot, and Why Should I Use It?

A chatbot is essentially an artificial intelligence feature that provides automated responses to a live users who are typing messages and/or questions.

By setting up intuitive response triggers that populate based on what the users type, you can funnel your customers through a bot-managed experience. An effectively designed chatbot can save money and improve the customer’s relationship with your brand.

The upshot of this is especially valuable to small businesses; a small business owner making good use of a chatbot can simulate having fully staffed customer service and sales teams.

WARNING: You might be tempted to have your chatbot imitate human behavior so closely that customers won’t be able to tell it’s a bot. Don’t fall for this temptation, though. No one likes to be tricked, and if/when your customers figure it out, that can lead to a negative user experience and resentment — definitely not what you’re aiming to accomplish.

How Do Chatbots Work?

You predict what a customer might type, decide how you want your bot to respond, and program the chatbot with the triggers and responses it will need to manage the conversation and resolve the customer’s demand.

Even if the customer types something you didn’t predict, you can make sure the chatbot is ready with a default response for that unexpected text. Later on, by reviewing chats and the user-entered text that triggered the default response, you can use your findings to further build out your bot and make it even more effective.

What Can Chatbots Do?

Chatbots can do much more than simply answer questions.

  • Automated marketing: Promotions, discounts, limited-time opportunities, and more — the chatbot can communicate whatever marketing message you need to get across. You can even use your chatbot to harvest information, such as requiring a name and email address to start a chat, or asking for permission to send email promotions. (Be sure to have a publicly posted terms of service/privacy policy. Always follow legal regulations and best practices related to email marketing.)
  • Automated sales drivers: Chatbots can help you drive sales by providing product links with short descriptions. The chatbot can even make suggestions about add-on products and services based on items the customer already has in their shopping cart. And if a customer spends a certain amount of time on a page, why not have the chatbot offer a discount to close the deal? Or if a more personal touch is needed, the chatbot can schedule calls or in-person appointments with sales staff.
  • Automated customer service: Customer service is a critical component of the user experience. The chatbot can become a responsive, automated FAQ to help with common problems. And be prepared for escalation: You can set up the chatbot to escalate an issue to either a live customer service agent or to an email contact. Chatbot pro tip: Keep the tone of customer service auto-responses especially neutral and calm.

How Can I Get Help Setting Up a Chatbot?

At BitLoft, we design technical solutions to get you the outcomes you need. We are experienced in setting up AI and would be happy to chat about chatbots with you. (See what we did there?) Contact us!

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