Chatbots: What, Why and How? – Part 2

Welcome back to the second and final part in our series on chatbots. In the first part we outlined what exactly chatbots are, and why they’re beneficial to business. Chatbots are set to be a key technology trend in retail in 2017, and early adoption will put your business ahead of your competitors.

In the second part we look at what function your chatbot could have, and how you can build and implement your chatbot.

What do you want to say?

It may seem obvious, but the first thing you need to establish is what exactly you want your chatbot to do. There are a number of different examples for business – from chatbots that can take your order through messaging services like Slack, to chatbots that can process your payments through Facebook. However, the right application for you will depend on what business issue you’re trying to resolve. The beauty of chatbots is that they are inherently customisable, and you can build new features into your chatbot, or strip away features, based on customer engagement and trial and error.

One example of an efficient way of using chatbots is as a triage system. They pop up on your website while a customer is browsing, prompting them to ask any questions or requests. The chatbot can then share responses to keywords it recognises, or triage it on to a real person. For example, NotOnTheHighStreet.com has a chatbot that prompts users to share what gifts they’re looking for, which triages them onto a gifts specialist.

Chatbots can also link to external sources. So for example, if you have a Facebook Chatbot linked to your business page that handles FAQs, they can link your customers to the right pages on your website.

How can I create my own chatbot?

It may seem like a daunting task that you think requires a lot of coding – but in reality there are a number of options for non-coders to create a bespoke application for your business. Two platforms that enable you to create a personalised chatbot without any coding requirements are:

You can create your chatbot using a helpful dashboard, which includes tutorials and examples which allows you to build the right chatbot for you.

Some of these dashboards also allow you to integrate your chatbot with your website if it’s built on certain platforms like WordPress. In addition to adding another layer of customer service to your consumers, it also gives you another channel to communicate with them about things like special offers and events. Using the ‘broadcast’ feature you’re able to share timely chatbot messages with your followers on Facebook, directing them to your retail website for example during events like Black Friday.

Chatbots are an exciting new feature for your business which benefits you and your customer. By investing in this new technology you’re sure to impress new and existing customers and open up new avenues for customer engagement.

Category: eBusiness | Tips
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