Chatbots are an exciting new trend that is revolutionising customer service. But before you jump in – do you even need one?

In our previous post, Deliver Superior Customer Service Using Chatbots, we explained that chatbots can help you save time and money. They also help your customers get answers any day of the week. But let’s be honest, not everyone needs a chatbot.

Are chatbots for your business?

First of all, you need to be very clear about your ‘why’. What is your objective for building a chatbot? Every piece of technology should add value to your business and provide a positive return on your investment.

Secondly, what are you trying to achieve? How will this enhance the value of your product or service? Does it solve a pain point or make life easier for you and your customer?

What is the value of your chatbot?

Define how a bot will work and where it fits in your marketing strategy. Like any other channel, a chatbot should be in sync with your current plan. It should follow the same message and cater to the same buyer persona. It should reinforce the same brand identity as well. It should guide customers along their journey and delight them.

Who will use your chatbot?

You need to be very clear about who you are speaking to and why. This is important for determining your dialogue and tone.

Should it be serious or informal? Could the chatbot make a joke? What language does it speak? Create the personality of your chatbot with the interests of your client in mind.

On which platforms will it be accessible?

Depending on where your chatbot will be integrated, you will need to have it adapted. A chatbot will not talk to your customer on social media the same way it does on your website.

What is your chatbot’s personality?

Even though your customers will know that they are talking to a bot, they will still treat it like a person. Your chatbot needs to have a name and personality. It needs to have a tone of voice that is aligned with your brand and values. Want to know more about the tone of voice? Check out this fantastic guide by MailChimp to help you nail it.

As you know, how you say something is as important as what you say. Create a chatbot personality the way you would create a movie character. Make sure that this character is perfect for customer service.

Here are some more tips.

Think about the most helpful and charming friend in your life. This person should be someone you always feel comfortable about asking advice from. It is someone whose opinion you respect. Going to a boutique store and talking to a shop assistant could also be a source of inspiration. Pay attention to the words, gestures, and structure of the conversation. Take note of how they make you feel too.

Think you’re ready? We have a few more things to ask you before you go.

What services can your chatbot perform?

If you want it to respond to queries, the first step is to create a database. A database is where your chatbot finds the answers to enquiries. It can be a set of questions, like an FAQ sheet. It can also be a calendar or product list.  Take this database into consideration when you’re writing the conversation flow. The conversation flow is the basis of your chatbot, so map it out carefully. Provide your customers with an option to speak to a human agent or send an email too. Chances are you won’t be able to foresee every question that a customer has.  

Final Thoughts

Done poorly, a chatbot can alienate and frustrate customers. Make sure you get it right through rigorous testing. Investments in technology need to weigh carefully. Are you losing time answering customer queries? If the answer is yes, then a chatbot is something you should look into. It’s your time and money after all.

Get in touch with us and we will help you work out the rest.   

Till the next time!