Chatbots are a revolution. They improve customer experience and communications for businesses whilst allowing them to scale. With chatbots, companies can provide more sophisticated customer care and even push sales.
Today, chatbots are accessible tools and you don’t need to be a tech-savvy company to implement a chatbot in your business strategy. However, you need to know how to ask the right questions and how to implement it in order to build a chatbot that fits perfectly with your business needs.
This article will explore the potentials of chatbots, and what do you need to build a successful one.
A chatbot is a functional tool that allows you to have more natural and engaging conversations with your customers. It is an effective way to welcome new customers, ask and answer questions, sell a product or service, send information or even complete a task.
So what can you do with chatbots? There are multiple utilities and benefits of using chatbots, such as:
- Welcome your customers: Chatbots are an excellent way to welcome both new and existing customers. It provides a friendly and helpful approach, guiding customers and helping them with their needs.
- Managing payments: With chatbots you can easily request and receive payments via your chatbox.
- Live Chat: Chatbots allow you to automate a part of the customer service process. They collect all customer’s relevant information and can offer human assistance when requested.
- Pre-filter leads: With chatbots, you can pre-filter customer data via your chat box, which can improve your leads and help you better tailor your responses.
- Availability: Chatbots are available 24h so you can communicate and engage with your customers any time.
- Entertainment: Chatbots are also a tool that can provide light-hearted entertainment to your customers. Bots can also be fun and have personality! You can even align your bot’s tone of voice and personality to strengthen your brand positioning. Providing more human interaction can help you build more genuine relationships with your audience.
- Sales: Chatbots can proactively broadcast to your customers the right information and push potential customers to acquire your product or service. A survey by Intercom stated that chatbots help companies to increase their sales by 67%.
Chatbots can be used in any industry and the possibilities are endless. Chatbots are a powerful tool to improve workflow, build relationships and brand awareness, increase lead generation, expand your audience and more.
Building the perfect chatbot
Step 1 – Why do you need a chatbot?
The first step of the process of building the perfect chatbot is to ask the right questions and be able to answer them.
First, you need to clarify: why do you need a chatbot?
Even though chatbots offer multiple possibilities, this is crucial because it helps you identify what your business needs are and what you want to achieve with this tool. Do you want your chatbot to ask and answer questions? Or is it your priority to take payments? Or maybe both?
You need to be clear of your purpose because it will lead to all the following steps. This is vital to identify what your objective is, what your customer needs and how chatbots can help you.
At this stage, it is also important to define which platforms you want to use. The best way is to focus on where your customers are and where they prefer to communicate, for example, websites, Whatsapp, Telegram, Facebook Messenger, etc.
Great chatbot platforms such as FlowXO support the creation of chatbots on multiple channels such as Facebook Messenger, Slack, Telegram, Twilio SMS or as a stand-alone messenger that you can embed on your webpage. You can either connect to a single platform or have your chatbot work across multiple platforms.
Step 2 – Building your chatbot
Now is time for the building phase of your chatbot, after defining your goals and analysing your customer behaviour and preference in stage 1. At this stage of the process, you also need to be clear on what budget you have to build your chatbot and by when you need to have your chatbot ready to go.
Then, you also must decide if you will build your chatbot yourself or use a chatbot platform that understands your business needs and goals, such as FlowXO. Building a chatbot from zero is something that is easier for people who are highly tech-savvy and have some kind of experience. Using an accessible platform such as FlowXO is the easiest, fastest and most effective way to design your chatbot.
The process of building your chatbot with FlowXO is very simple: all you need to do is create the conversation flow for your bot and connect FlowXO to your chosen platform, the interface will guide you through the process of authentication.
With FlowXO, you can create flows that control what happens when a user interacts with your bot and automate your communications. The flows define the conversation logic between bot and customer, so they must be created before your chatbot goes live. To facilitate the process, FlowXO offers many pre-configured flows for the most common conversations, such as providing product information or making a reservation.
Step 3 – Testing your chatbot
Once your chatbot is ready to go, you need to test and train it before it goes live. The type of test is based on your chatbot’s content and intelligence. There are three main types of testing: question and answer, usability or guerrilla.
Question and Answer Testing – Question and Answer is a simple test that aims to check if the chatbot is answering questions properly. If your chatbot is not giving the correct answer, you need to go back and double-check your Building phase.
Usability Testing – Usability testing helps you to evaluate your chatbot performance with representative customers. The test can be as simple as allowing a customer to interact with your chatbot, or more advanced, which can include the use of a Usability Lab.
Guerrilla Testing – Guerrilla testing focuses on the overall usability and experience of the chatbot. It is a fast and low-cost method to capture customers’ feedback. You can conduct a survey online or even go out on the streets to ask people about their opinions.
FlowXO Sandbox Text Testing – Before connecting your own accounts, you can connect to FlowXO’s available channels instantly and test your own workflows and chatbots on FlowXO Sandbox accounts. Once you are satisfied with how your bot works on a particular channel, you can then follow the instructions appropriate to the specific channel to take your bot live on your own account. Check the video below:
Step 4 – Launching your chatbot
Once you’ve completed the design and the test stages, it is finally time to launch your chatbot on your chosen channels. Your customers can now interact with your chatbot and you have a platform that can scale your business and improve your workflow.
However, it does not end there. It is extremely important for you to monitor the analytics of your chatbot. It helps you to oversee how customers are interacting with your bot and identify areas for improvement. User input and retention, open and click rate, conversation rate, fall back rate is important measures to monitor.
Top Tips for your Chatbot
When building and launching your chatbot, you need to make sure that it is functional for your business and unique for customers. Here we will list some tips to keep in mind that will help you create a bot that engages with your audience and scale your business:
- Make your chatbot unique: Build a chatbot that stands out. As previously mentioned, authentic chatbots with a human approach have higher chances to be remembered and found online. When building your chatbot, make sure it is authentic. Even though we are talking about bots, your customers can still enjoy talking and engaging with your bot.
- Create a natural conversation: Make your chatbot conversational. Approach your customers with a nice and effective greeting message to create a positive first impression. Conversational chatbots make the overall interaction more flowing and helpful for customers.
- Simplicity is key: Be clear and assertive of the functionalities of your chatbot. Building an over sophisticated chatbot can be confusing for your customers. As your business grows and develops, you can slowly scale your chatbot but remember to keep your communications concise and understandable. It can be overwhelming for customers to have too much information at once. If you have multiple features in your chatbot, make sure to unravel them one at a time, according to the conversation and customer’s requests.
Launching an efficient chatbot is one of the best ways to scale your business and improve your customer experience. Especially today, in an increasingly remote and digital world, you need to improve your online presence and make sure to have the right chatbot for your business to reap the benefits and scale. According to Intercom, 35% of business leaders said chatbots helped them close sales deals.
Flow XO is a powerful chatbot automation system that can make a difference for your business. It allows you to integrate cross platforms, provide intelligent responses, in addition to being accessible and easy to implement. With Flow XO you can create your bots and workflows for FREE.
To find out more about how Flow XO could help your business. Sign up for free today.