What is a Chatbot? Why should I integrate it into my website/blog? How do I build one? Is it expensive being a new buzz-word around? You must be a business owner. I had the same questions during my startup journey.
It was often frustrating for my team to answer the same queries of the customers coming through the chat platform integrated on our website. In fact, it was also expensive for me to hire a new chat support agent every time the number of my website visitors were growing. Did I forget to tell you about the missed opportunities when my support agents were away? Considering the scenario of the same queries along with the increasing visitors, I needed a low-cost solution along with the capability to serve me 24/7 irrespective of traffic flow.
We cannot expect that from humans. That was only possible through a robot. I fired up my Macbook and started searching about the Chatbots. I read around 100 articles tried many chatbot service providers. So, in this article, I will be sharing my learnings.
What is a Chatbot, Exactly?
A chatbot is a software/application service, that interacts with your visitors on your behalf. It is powered by rules (which are set by a human) and sometimes, artificial intelligence. Currently, chatbots are being widely used in Customer Service industries to automate the response of the same kind of queries.
As per Gartner, by 2020 the average person will have more interaction with Chatbots than his/her spouse.
But do you need a computer science degree or a software engineer to build a chatbot?
That chatbot you just interacted with was built by myself on Collect Chat without a single line of code. No matter if you come at 2 AM at night or 5 AM early morning, it will still talk to you.
Apart from Collect Chat, Livechat (now their product is called ChatBot), Tidio, and Freshchat is my personal favorite.
Why you need it on your Website?
My story is a perfect example of why every website needs a Chatbot. Great conversations are part of a healthy customer relationship, but having one with each and every customer is tough when you are running an online business. As far as lead generation is concerned, you may have already tried a number of things perhaps you added contact forms that no one ever filled in. Or you tried adding pop-ups and all they did was annoy your users and drive them away. Or maybe you added a live chat widget then you realized you don’t have the budget to hire additional staff to sit 24/7. Also, you can’t let your existing team be distracted by repeating customer queries.
Once you integrate a chatbot on your website, next time you have visitors the bot will engage with all of them it will ask simple questions like what they need and who they are. You get instant notifications and the same conversation can be sent to any tool you use in your workflow. You can book meetings with your visitors. The best part – it works round-the-clock.
What Value Chatbots will bring to your Business
In short, it helps in boosting your business operational efficiency and saves on human-resource costs. It works round the clock for you at a lot lesser price than the salary of a human resource. It works as a Tier 1 of your customer support and resolves common queries without any human effort.
However, a few complex queries may need human intervention. Livechat (now their product is called ChatBot) and Freshchat have a feature where complex chats can be transferred to humans.
I truly believe that messaging is the future. People already overwhelmingly prefer messaging for communication, but yet businesses haven’t figured this out. – Larry Kim, CEO at MobileMonkey
Consumer research shows that messaging option has become their preferred mode of connecting with business. Here are the top industries profiting from the chatbots:
Not only it is helping businesses, but even visitors are also delighted by using chatbots. Here’s how:
- No waiting time: Nobody likes to wait. I remember waiting for 30 minutes on a chat for a simple query. Well, this never happens in the case of chatbots.
- Straight forward answers: Visitors see exactly what they want to see.
- Clarity while giving the details: While the forms can be frustrating, people actually enjoy giving out information to the chatbot as it is more personalized.
Chatbot for Bloggers
Bloggers often rely on two things – Organic Traffic and Subscribers. More subscribers bring a lot of traffic to new content and it is easier to sell the service/product to subscribers as they already know the blogger.
Bloggers have been ignoring the chatbots thinking that they don’t need any lead to sell something or they don’t have to give any kind of customer support. But, chatbots can be a great tool to gain subscribers.
Famous blogger Sourav Jain received 39,000+ Subscribers just by integrating a bot to his blog. You can offer your new e-book through chatbots rather than pop-ups (which can’t be retrieved if closed) or a sidebar which is shown way below the page in mobile sites.
For bloggers, I strongly recommend using Collect Chat
Chatbots – Future of Lead Generation
Who doesn’t want fool-proof lead generation flow? It is a dream of every business owner and growth hacker out there. They spend a lot of money on Google Ads, Facebook Ads, and other paid media to bring traffic to their website. If the campaign is good enough, they land on your website. But a lot of people may bounce off without buying your product or enter their details and later forgetting about you.
There could be many reasons for not completing the purchase. What if they had a doubt which your landing page couldn’t answer and people don’t like filling up the forms. They look spammy. All you need is a lead-magnet.
What if there was a small widget on your website that would have collected visitor’s data by making things more interactive? That’s where bots come in. A lot of website owners report 30% of the increase in lead generation when they integrate the chatbot.
Here are some of the industries with examples of how they can generate leads effectively:
- Travel & Tourism: What are some important details you want to ask visitors to the Travel Site? I’m believing name, email, and phone number for sure, but also the number of people, date, budget expectations, and a lot of other things. But, experts say lead forms should be as small as possible. But with Chatbots you can create conversational forms and ask these questions. See an example here.
- Real Estate: From the above infographics, you must have seen that the real estate industry has gained the most profit due to the chatbots. Wouldn’t it be great if your sales agent knows a lot of things before calling the lead? See an example here.
- Medical & Hospitality: You can take bookings, get feedback, and a pre-medical assessment of the patient for your clinic. See an example here.
- Consultancy Services: This is the industry that runs on leads. Due to the very high competition, it is really important to stand out. Bots can be used here to understand the requirements and guide the lead accordingly. See an example here.
- Any Lead Driven Business: As you would have seen from the above examples, chatbots are an excellent way to generate leads.
Conversations Forms (Chatbots) Vs. Web Forms:
Future of Chatbots
This field is continuously evolving. Businesses are become user-focused to make themselves more comfortable with the potential customers. Customer Service Representative may fear that their job is at stake, truth to be told, chatbots are here to make their life easier by reducing their work-load. As per current reports, there are already 3 Billion people on chat messaging apps. Which makes it clear that people love chatting rather than calls or emails. So the businesses soon acquire one of these are going to thrive in their sales.
This infographic would help in understanding the future:
As you can see, Gartner’s report says that 85% of user interactions would be handled without human agents. I believe we are already experiencing this.
From the business point of view, 8 Billion Dollars cost saving would be done by 2023 as per Juniper’s Report. All thanks to chatbots.
Where to Start? How to Create Chatbot?
As I mentioned earlier, the good thing is you don’t have to be a hard-core programmer to build a chatbot. Now, things are as easy as drag and drop. Before starting, you need to define your goals what you exactly wish to achieve with your bot. Here are my top 3 recommendations along with what would suit them best.
1. Collect Chat
Collect Chat is the best tool for lead generation or Pre-Sales Support. In fact, all the example I showed you above was from Collect Chat. But, when it comes to post-sales support or Customer Service, it can be used only with common queries. It doesn’t have a feature of transferring the chat to humans. But, if you need anything for Pre-sales, this is perfect. It can be easily integrated with any kind of website without much effort.
2. ChatBot (By Livechat)
ChatBot provides the best bot platform for designing, building and deploying conversational chatbots to talk to customers and to provide information to users. With support for one-click integrations with Facebook Messenger and a range of other services, you can run powerful and intelligent bots in no time. ChatBot allows using entities, creating conversational scenarios, and it leverages both Natural Learning Processing and Machine Learning to develop a human-like experience for customers. If you wish your bot to transfer complex chats to a human, this is just the tool. However, creating your bot here may take some time. But, great things come through great work.
Sign up for a free, 14-day trial to test out all the features!
I’ve used Tidio for a couple of clients of mine and I’ve really used it. I still run a few small businesses and I use Tidio due to its lovely User interface. It would work both in pre-sales as well as post-sales support. Chats can be transferred and in fact, monitored while your bot is taking care of the conversation.
If you already use Freshsales or Freshdesk as your lead management and ticketing platform, what would be more perfect than Freshchat itself? This is just like a Livechat where you can use the bot for sales as well as customer support. The great thing about Freshchat is it can integrate with a lot of apps and it also provides the accessibility of using bot over the WhatsApp.
This platform is loved by the influencers. They have various platforms for every purpose. In the above 4 platforms, visitors connect with you when they come to your platform, but with MobileMonkey, you can reach them back through Facebook Messenger or SMS. They also provide consultation in case you need any help in unleashing the power of your chatbot and lead generation strategy.
Conclusion – What is a Chatbot?
No doubt, chatbots are the most powerful tool in 2020 which every business must-have. The world has become more competitive. Due to the internet, we are over-connected but have a life full of opportunities and demands. Today’s customers have a lot of options and alternatives. They are not bothered to call and ask you if you’re in a competitive business. The world has become time-sensitive. If you want success you need to be a move to a quicker way of prospecting the visitors and identifying their problems or requirements.
Chatbots are the latest breakthrough in the Customer Experience domain. It is giving an awesome potential for growth for all the businesses. We can already see a lot of places that chatbots are working as front-line support.
Also, we have become attuned to Casual Computing. When you buy a new phone, you don’t even look at the User Manual. You already know what to do. Your website visitors expect the same when they visit your website. Since every person is different, some may dislike your website no matter how awesome is your UI/UX is, at the same time Chatbots can work as a savior.
To sum up, here are the things we learned today about chatbots:
- They cut down your operational costs: There are more than 256 Billion Customer Queries reported per year and $1.3 trillion is spent in serving them. Chatbots can save that by 30%.
- It’s effortless to make a Chatbot: Just a few drag and drop and your bot is ready.
- New Generation (Millenials) love chatbots: As they are very concerned about the time, they love the communication speed.
Considering all, we know that consumers are getting obsessed with chatbots and now is the time.
If you want to know how visitors interact with your website, check my Heyflow Review.
Do you think Chatbots are a perfect tool for your business? Let me know in the comments.