Free chatbot resources for your business website

SeaKnight By SeaKnight, 8th Nov 2017 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/2_npw18j/
Posted in Wikinut>Business>IT & Ecommerce

A guide to some of the useful resources for creating a chatbot for a website

Why do businesses need a chatbot, and how to get one

Whatever your online presence or business, you have probably noticed that rivals are already adding a chatbot to their pages. These friendly chatterboxes are the latest trend for web design, marketers and social media managers to increase engagement. They can help coax a customer toward a buying decision, link them to appropriate information which saves them from needing full customer support, and they are available 24 hours a day.

As the website and social media landscapes continue to evolve, a chatbot is becoming a popular feature when it comes to driving engagement. It can become a valuable asset to your digital marketing strategy and online presence, and they are easy to build with no coding skills required.

Apple's recent first effort for their music service is a Facebook Messenger chatbot that offers listening choices based on either an emoji or simple chat. And, if that’s good enough for Apple, it should be a sign that all businesses need to pay attention.

When it comes to communicating online or any sort of interaction, people are normally nervous about talking to someone. Chatbots are not as impersonal as filling in a form and instead help to create a strong bond from the outset.

The most popular reasons people use a chatbot is that it is a flexible, quick and easy way to obtain information. Instead of making the leap and calling to discuss an issue, where some people fear they may be pressured into making a booking or sale there and then, talking to a chatbot helps them take the first steps to build up confidence in your site, service or product.

There are two types of chatbot, rules-based examples that follow a script to guide the visitor to an answer or advice, and AI-based bots that can be smarter, but require more development.

You can create and deploy a rules-based chatbot like Snatchbot which provides a free design tool, analytics and can publish to most online resources, on your website via a dash of HTML code, add it to your Facebook Messenger feed, Viber, Skype or other feed. Others that may be worth trying include Botsociety.

You can get started using a template that suits your needs such as booking a hotel room or tickets, providing information via a FAQ or sharing YouTube videos among many others. Customise it to your business and deploy it to the site or chat service, and it is up and running.

The chatbot can help guide them to the correct support contact point or can answer some of the more commonly asked questions, saving your business and customer support staff time while helping to increase sales or grow your customer base.

The only real rules and limits on a chatbot are that they have to be welcoming and use a little personality to greet people who may not have come across one before. Ditching the usual corporate tone and taking a friendlier, more social media approach will help create a conversational contact point that will make your site stand out, as the technology is still pretty new.

Taking the AI chatbot route

There are also tools available to create AI-based chatbots for free. Chatteron uses its AI to inspect what a visitor says, allowing people to use a more natural language, rather than being limited to script-based responses. However, for most use cases a script-based bot is more than sufficient for most small businesses to engage with their customers.

Why should your business use a chatbot?

Naturally, you'll want to think about how it can best benefit your business. Most companies use it as a buffer between the user and customer services or support, dealing with the majority of easy-to-resolve queries. Others provide chatbots as a simple way to access information in a more natural Q&A way, rather than sending them straight to an anonymous and dense FAQ page.

The key to chatbot success is to give the bot a little personality and make it welcoming. The first message has to be both warm and instructional as many users are coming across chatbots for the first time. You might ask the user's name to make things more personal, and give your chatbot a name and identity too.

You might order the conversation in a similar way to your site, to discuss products or services, provide more information or help and support. Chatbots don't have to be extraordinary, but they do have to be useful, otherwise, people won't try them again.

Tags

Business, Chatbots, Customer Engagement, Customer Service, Website Design

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author avatar SeaKnight
Tech writer focused on how it can change the world, for better or worse

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