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 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.