Should you add a chatbot to your website?

Using a chatbot
Chatbots have been growing in popularity as the number of customers expecting “on demand” customer service increases. Research shows that adding a chatbot to nearly any type of website, across all industries and services, provides a surprisingly high return on investment. Here are a few stats:
  • 63% of people would consider messaging an online chatbot to communicate with a business or brand (Mindshare’s Humanity in the Machine report)
  • 64% of Americans say 24-hour service is the best feature of chatbots (Drift’s 2018 State of Chatbots report)
  • Live chat software has a 73% satisfaction rate as a way for customers to interact with businesses. (G2’s Facebook Chatbots Guide)
If you are considering how a chatbot might work for your business or website, let’s take a look at some common questions.

Q: Do you need a live person to monitor the chat?

A: Not necessarily.

When you add a chatbot to your website, you’ll have a few decisions to make. One of the first questions will be if your team will monitor the chat in real time or if your chatbot will act as an interactive form, collecting information from leads and then passing those details along for follow up.

Many companies use a dual approach. For example, if you manage a flooring store and your retail showroom closes at 6:00 p.m. on weekdays, you might set up your website’s chatbot to provide real-time feedback during business hours and an automated experience (that involves collecting customer information outside of business hours when a customer service or sales representative isn’t available to handle promptly once your team is back at work). Adding a chatbot to your website gives customers 24/7 access to connect, even if that connection is an automated chatbot.
By 2020, companies will manage 25% of customer requests on websites, mobile apps, consumer messaging apps, and social networks using chatbot technologies.” ( Gartner, February 19, 2018 press release)

Q: What are the best reasons to use chatbot technology?

A: Lead generation and customer support.

A chatbot can be used in multiple ways. When you’re just getting started, you will likely see some initial successes in lead generation and managing customer support. The availability and perceived friendliness of the chatbot acts as a pseudo member of your team on the web, lending itself to these two types of customer service.

For lead generation, a website chatbot can ask leads a series of simple, targeted questions to help gather the necessary details your sales team will need to follow up. A customized chatbot will also allow you to use language that’s in line with your brand voice, and this will also help provide a more consistent customer experience for your leads than sending them to a generic “request a consultation” form to fill out.

For customer support, a website chatbot can provide users with links to related resources based on keywords or categories from your FAQs. Since customers using your chatbot are likely reaching out because they are frustrated or confused, a chatbot can serve as a tool to help them get the right contact information or resource they need it when they need it.

Q: How do you add a chatbot to my website?

A: Use a marketing tool or build your own.

Depending on your team’s experience and expertise in chatbot creation, your internal staff may have the required know-how to develop a custom chatbot solution for your website. If that’s not the case or if your team doesn’t have the time to take on another project, you can use an existing chatbot marketing solution.

Most TBH Creative clients use the Hubspot chatbot tool to trigger users into workflows, lists, or skip questions for users that we already know the answers to. Other readymade chatbot options include:

Q: Aside from my website, where else should you think about using a chatbot?

A: Give Facebook implementation a try.

In 2016, Facebook rolled out its chatbot functionality for Messenger to “provide anything from automated subscription content like weather and traffic updates to customized communications like receipts, shipping notifications, and live automated messages—all by interacting directly with the people who want to get them.”

With 2.5 billion people using at least one Facebook apps, the chances are good that you’ll be able to reach your target audience using their chatbot solution.

Thinking about getting started with a chatbot tool on your website? Need help getting started? We can help!
Let’s get started
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Sarah

About the author | Sarah Matlock

Sarah is the marketing manager at TBH Creative, specializing in project management, marketing strategy, and analytics/reporting. She likes to blog about how to keep projects on track, how to interpret marketing data, the latest trends in the industry, and how to engage the online community more effectively.

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