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How to Optimise a Chatbot

You may already be using a chatbot within your marketing mix (or you may just be getting started). Take a look at these valuable tips to take your chatbot to the next level.

July 29, 2022

Many businesses that use a chatbot don’t realise the detail and nuance it takes to get the best results. 

They also don’t realise that using a chatbot without the proper setup will do more harm than good. This often causes site visitors to work harder to complete a task and damages customer trust. 

Chatbots are not just widgets you install to solve a problem on your site. They’re a complex, powerful tool that can change how your company interacts with customers daily. 

A properly optimised chatbot makes curious visitors become customers, helps existing customers with their issues, and can seriously improve your revenue and reputation. 

This blog will look at some practical nuts and bolts strategies to optimise your chatbot to surprise and delight your site’s visitors. Let’s get started.

(By the way, this topic is covered in-depth in our Ultimate Guide for Improving Your Chat Performance, which you can access here. Or feel free to continue with this helpful article.)

Optimising Your Chatbot for Success

It’s a common misconception that chatbots automatically come “out of the box” ready to work with their website. This isn’t the case and can create a user experience that would be better without a chatbot.

We have all heard others complain about a poor chatbot experience or experienced it ourselves. Users express frustration due to going around in circles or simply not understanding some basic commands, creating a negative experience with your brand. So how can you set yourself up for success?

In the first section of our Ultimate guide, we shared how important it is to keep your goals in mind when deciding how to handle your live chat, and chatbots are no different. Decide what you want your customers to experience and your goals, and work backward from there.

You may be looking for ideas on how a chatbot is most commonly used to gain some inspiration. As you consider your goals, here are some popular functions that chatbots can be programmed to achieve for you.

Using a native-speaking live agent will almost always be the best choice, but a finely tuned chatbot can also do the following things that an agent would handle:

  • Answer customer questions 24/7.
  • Engage customers with proactive greetings.
  • Automate the answering of frequently asked questions.
  • Guide customers on your website or other platforms.
  • Boost overall engagement.
  • Automate functions like calendar bookings and scheduling sales meetings.
  • Streamline your purchasing process.
  • Provide personalised recommendations based on key indicators.

Where Should My Chatbot Appear?

One of the primary things you’ll have to decide is where you’ll want your chatbot to appear. 

The most common place for a chatbot is on your website, but there are other platforms where a chatbot can be especially useful. Here are just a couple of specific examples.

Facebook Messenger Chatbot

It can be challenging to manage your Facebook presence in real-time. A Facebook chatbot is a great way to connect with users immediately, even if you don’t have an agent actively monitoring your Facebook inbox at all times. A properly tuned chatbot can help you connect with your Facebook fans on a deeper level and also allow you to personalise your Facebook fan page experience for visitors.

WhatsApp

WhatsApp has become the world's most popular messaging app, with a staggering two billion monthly active users. A WhatsApp chatbot option allows a large percentage of potential users to connect with your brand quickly and seamlessly using a platform they use often.

Many consumers are showing a preference for WhatsApp as their method of choice when speaking with brands directly. Additionally, young consumer brands are moving toward WhatsApp because of how easy it can be used to sell consumer products. 

As you can see, using a chatbot on WhatsApp can be an invaluable resource to reach your users in a method they prefer and are familiar with.

Here are some simple-- but powerful-- things you can do to optimise your chatbot.

1) Check Your Wording

Too often, a chatbot isn't tuned to match the persona of the company it represents or the user journey the customers are expecting. Ensure the language in your chatbot is on brand and nothing sounds too generic or unclear.

2) Read Your Actual Chats

This may sound like a simple one, but it can give you the clearest picture of where you can optimise your chat using real conversations. Examine 5-10 chat transcripts and see how your customers interact with your chatbot. This is a goldmine for adding alternate wording for various questions or products and spot places where your customers might be getting stuck or frustrated.

3) Lead the Conversation with Questions

How do your chatbot conversations flow? If you're looking for ways to guide customers, one of the best ways to do this is by using simple questions. Using phrases like 'Does that make sense?' can keep a customer engaged and help identify places where your chat flow is unclear.

4) Clarity is King

Remember that not everyone knows your industry or business as well as you do. It's better to fall on the side of over-communicating than under-communicating. Avoid industry abbreviations, acronyms, and jargon, and do your best to ensure that the average person can interact with your chat quickly and easily.

5) Don't Set It and Forget It

You should take some time at least once a month to go through your chatbot user journey. Things change online constantly. You may be surprised that your chat isn't showing properly after a new smartphone update or can't be accessed because of a new 'Cookies' message your visitors need to accept. Try your chat from different devices at different times of the day, and even get others on your team to test.

You may already be using a chatbot within your marketing mix (or you may just be getting started). Take a look at these valuable tips to take your chatbot to the next level.
You may already be using a chatbot within your marketing mix (or you may just be getting started). Take a look at these valuable tips to take your chatbot to the next level.
July 29, 2022

Don’t Be Afraid to Reboot

Do you already have a chatbot set up? No problem. If you can use this article to tweak what you already have, you’re in great shape. 

However, if you set up your chatbot without any real planning or forethought, you might not want to hear this, but you might do well by starting over from square one using the techniques in this article.

The wrong foundation can give you problems no matter how many minor fixes or optimisations you try to implement. Think of it like a button-down shirt. If you get a button in the wrong hole at any point, the only way to fix it is to undo it and start again. 

If you do not see the results you’re looking for after trying some new strategies, one way to improve your chat performance is to get a fresh, clean start with your chatbot.

Use Chatbots to Scale Your Team

Using a chatbot is also an excellent way to scale your customer service team in a cost-effective way virtually. The goal is to use the chatbot to handle functions that don’t require the warm touch of an agent. By programming your chatbot to handle simple, common questions, you can free your agents to focus on the customers who truly need a live person's help. 

Are you looking for ideas on what to automate? Take a look at your chat analytics for patterns of common inquiries and customer patterns and start to build automated responses based on them. 

One way to improve your chat performance is to implement a finely tuned chatbot that can do some heavy lifting on your various media channels 24/7.

Should You Use a Live Chat Agent or a Chatbot?

It’s a common misconception that you must choose either a live chat agent or a chatbot. But why not use both? Consider a hybrid approach which is the perfect melding between an optimised chatbot that becomes a powerful tool for a live agent.

Next Level Tip: Put Your Live Chat Where the Traffic Is

It makes the most sense for many companies to put live chat on every site page. This is a great way to ensure that all your site’s visitors experience the warm touch that only live chat can bring. Remember that you can still customise each page's messages, so things don’t feel generic or impersonal. 

For sites that get a lot of traffic, however, it can make more sense to pick and choose where you want your live chat to appear. If you don’t, your agents can get overwhelmed and not know where to place their focus. In this case, consider putting live chat on the site pages that get you the most conversions or on the pages of your highest selling or largest ticket items.

Optimising Your Chatbot is Only One Piece of the Puzzle

Hopefully, you’ve found this article helpful and have some practical, applicable tools to help you optimise your chatbot for success. However, we also want to mention that fine-tuning a chatbot is only one piece of the puzzle.

When it comes to improving live chat performance, there are many other details things you should be looking at, tweaking, and working to improve, we cover these in our ultimate chat guide:

Contents of Ultimate Chat Guide

We’ll give you the tools you need to give your live chat a top-to-bottom makeover. Get your copy of the Ultimate Guide for Improving Your Chat Performance here absolutely free.

Also, we're always down for a chat if you want to talk to a human. We look forward to talking to you soon.

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