What the hell is a chatbot

Thursday, October 22, 2020
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What the hell is a chatbot?

I was just thinking about writing an article about how chatbots can help a certain sector with a pain point, but then I thought, why not take a step back, right to square one, and explain…. well what is it!

Quite often people confuse them with live chat, maybe they misread the word and thought it’s a chatbox, for people to chat to us. Well that is kind of close, although typically a chatbot doesn’t have those barriers to start with, like what is your name, email address etc chatbots allow users to start a frictionless conversation with an organisation.

In a nutshell, Chatbots are used to automate the conversation between you and your customers, providing them with instant responses and delivering an awesome customer service experience, as well as lightening the load on your internal teams, saving them from dealing with the same enquiries over and over.

So how does it do that, well there are several ways, some scrape your site (a bit like a google search), some are purely AI driven, so they learn the right answers along the way – that’s ok in the long run, not so great early doors – Or there is our approach, where we build out all the content for you, teaching your bot everything you want from day 1, then building and optimising that as things change or new things crop up.

Not to be biased, but we feel this provides the best customer experience, helps ensure chatbots are a success within our clients business as well as removing the label that sometimes chatbots get, which is, ‘Well I tried one before and it wasn’t very good or didn’t do anything’.

Well that’s all very good but what can they do and where? Chatbots are typically deployed wherever it makes the most sense for you and your customers, so this would be on your website and social channels like Facebook messenger or even WhatsApp.

Chatbots work 24/7, but its NOT just a case of taking in your FAQs, they are much more than this, chatbots can be used to deliver the journeys that your wish to deliver. So, whether you are a charity looking to drive donor acquisition or a retailer looking to provide inspirational product journeys this can all be achieved and more.

Use your chatbot to help engage the user, provide interesting content or even signpost to the relevant pages on your site, capture information through conversational form fills. None of this needs to look boring, everything can be on brand, with images, gifs, video’s etc. for a fun and innovative browsing experience.

To facilitate these journeys, your chatbot can be integrated into your systems through open API’s to provide additional functionality. Examples of this can be booking systems, CRM’s, product data or parcel tracking service to help with that ever-important retail question; Where is my order?

Through Facebook messenger, your chatbot can even be used to bring customers back online or gain customer feedback. Sending push notifications to your ready-made audience with relevant content is a great way to drive additional sales and secure that valuable brand loyalty.

There is plenty more to write about chatbots but at the risk of going all War and Peace, to summarise, chatbots improve the customer experience and customer engagement turning conversations into customers, save on operational costs, help streamline your processes, improve customer communications and on top of this, consumers are always keen to engage with innovative brands.

So hopefully you can see having a chatbot is win win all round, and there is still a competitive advantage to be gained by being a first mover – so what’s not to love?

If you are keen to innovate, we are always happy to start a conversation, get in touch to find out more and arrange a demo.

Posted by:
Sean Bussell
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