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4 Chatbot Fixes you need to make TODAY: Building Chatbots that CONVERT in 2022

What we’ve learned from working with chatbots over the years…

Chatbots have become EXTREMELY popular. In Sales & Marketing, Chatbots are taking the lead generation & digital transformation world by storm.

More and more websites have chat features that ‘pop-up’ on the bottom right hand side of a site once you visit, asking if to ‘help’ visitors by connecting them with reps ready to help.

If you’re a Digital Marketer, UI/UX designer, Business Admin or Webmaster, you’ve likely been tasked with configuring a chatbot to drive online engagement.

As more businesses are implementing chatbots on their websites, it’s important to differentiate your chatbot experience to stand-out in the crowd.

The top thing to keep top of mind when thinking about your chatbots is they MUST ADD VALUE – Buying a chatbot solution because your ‘competition is doing it’ is not enough to get the job done.

Your tools and investment need to serve a purpose. If your bot doesn’t help connect your visitors to a human or point your visitors to a helpful direction, it can quickly just become an expense that drives your visitors away from your site.

Here are some tips that we’ve picked-up over the years:

1. Get Creative & Contextual

If you’ve ever been in retail sales, you have probably approached a shopper and asked the question, ‘How Can I Help You Today?’,

The most common response to this question is a distancing ‘Just looking…’, a sign the customer does not believe you can add value to their shopping experience.

One of the first things you learn in sales to to start with a creative opener.

Experienced sales professionals are taught to open conversations with something more creative, designed to express interest in the shopper and start a conversation.

Many brands provide an employee handbook or sales playbook that guides employees through how to engage with customers. This is a brand management strategy that helps assure the customer experience is consistent, on-brand, encourages engagement and larger purchases or repeat business.

Some examples of more contextual opening lines:

  • Welcome to X, home of the Y! We have some specials today, would you like to learn more about the Z special?
  • Hi! I see you’re looking at X. A lot of people who are looking at X are also interested in A, B and C. Can I tell you more?
  • Hi I’m X and I’m the Y Specialist. Would you like to learn more about A, B, C or D?

Rather than just generically offering to ‘help’, being more contextual shows the customer than you’re aware and qualified to provide value to their shopping experience.

Higher converting bots work the same way.

Contextual bots can be ‘triggered’ by actions your visitors are taking on your site. Rather than popping up once someone lands on your page, contexual bots will offer information relevant to the page, section or button your visitor using.

When building your bot experience, refrain from a generic opening line such as:

Hi There, How Can I Help

Instead, replace this pop-up with a ‘trigger-based’ experience that is only initiated when a prospect clicks on a link, button or section on your site.

For example, visitor clicks on a button for ‘upcoming training events’ and your bot can pop up with the following:

Welcome to the X course page! The registration deadline for our upcoming course is MM/DD/YYYY. Would you like some assistance?

Registration Assistance

About the Course

Special Offers

Chat with a Representative

We call this making your bots ‘aware’.

Rather than having the same ‘pop-up’ Chatbot experience defaulted on page-load, use a trigger-based experience to provide a contextual dialog with your bot being aware with how your visitor is navigating the site.

When your bots are aware, they can ask better questions and route to the most appropriate reps to add value to the user experience.

2. Avoid Alert Fatigue

When implementing new technology, it is tempting to ‘overuse’ all the features. ‘WOW, An Integration with Slack – Let’s use it!’

The assumption is, more alerts the team receives the more we can drive them to the site to help all our visitors!

However, what happens in reality is teams get ‘alert fatigue’. If your alert is going off each time a visitor goes to the site, those alerts loose meaning and can leave reps unmotivated to ‘pounce’, or worse – they’ll start disabling the notices all together.

Instead, only trigger an alert when a visitor is ASKING for help. This is a signal to a human, that a human is looking for an answer or implicitly asking for human assistance.

When your alerts add value to your visitors and your reps, the experience is improved for everyone.

3. Bots Don’t need All the Answers

When programming bots, it’s easy to go down a ‘rabbit’ hole of logic branches to create a ‘human-like’ experience with your bot. It’s tempting to program a bot to have an answer ready for any question that a visitor may ask and quickly create complex conversation flows that try to replace a human with program.

Don’t over-engineer your bots to have ‘all the answers’, Connect to a human or Calendar for Booking Meetings instead.

Rather than trying to program your bot to answer every question, we recommend keeping the logic simple. Have the bot gather some high level information and pass off to a human. If no one is available, give your visitor the option to book a meeting.

One of the best outcomes for a bot is lead generation. In fact, one of the top KPI’s we recommend for tracking ROI is ‘meetings booked’ – or how many times a visitor used a bot to book a meeting with one of your reps.

We have found reps LOVE meetings booked from chatbots as those are some of the hottest inbound leads. Design your bots to drive meeting bookings and you’ll have a very happy sales team.

4. Bots are not form replacements

There is a movement amongst chatbot enthusiasts to replace forms with chatbots. These enthusiasts believe visitors will prefer to engage with bots instead of filling out forms.

Their strategy is to remove all forms from your site, and replace them with a chat bot. When a site visitor is engaging with a bot, the bot will conversationally takes several steps to get the same information.

For example, Instead of a simple form, instead a button on your site will trigger a contextual chatbot.

For example, a form to ‘request a demo’ or download a case study being replaced by a bot experience, that takes much longer than simply completing a form:

Bot:Hi, I’m a bot. I’d like to help you out today. What is your name?

User: {{types_name}}

Bot: Great, Hi {{name}} nice to meet you! Tell me more about what you’re looking for?

– Sales

– Support

– Something Else

Bot: Hi! Before I connect you, what is your email?

User: {{types_email}}

Bot: Instead of waiting, I can have someone contact you. What is your best phone number for a call or text message?

User: {{types_phoneNumber}}

If this is a strategy you’re considering, remember to keep things simple. A big mistake we’ve seen when companies adopt the ‘bots over forms’ strategy, is making it more difficult for an interested prospect to give you their information.

Rather than a 4-5 step conversation, the interaction above would be much faster with a form.

While the bot may seem like a cool new ‘replacement’ of a form, your user could answer those questions in a form that is instantly passed to a sales or support representative.

There is no question bots serve a purpose. We encourage you to think about when a bot is appropriate and when a form is appropriate.

We have founds bots add most value for the following use-cases:

  • Assistance with a purchase
  • Application guidance or Website navigation
  • Visitor/Customer Support

For requesting documents, downloadable information or product demos, forms still continue to out-perform bots.

In Summary

While chatbots are a popular new feature, there are still plenty of people who just want to request information, download a white-paper or get some information emailed to them.

Keep this in mind as you’re implementing your chatbot strategy and understanding how to get ROI from your chatbot tools.

We hope this helps you with your Chatbot implementation and that you have a successful chatbot implementation!

What are some chatbots that you’ve used that were very helpful. Have you ever seen a poorly configured bot that deterred you from working with a business? Are you getting ‘bot fatigue’?

We’d love to hear from you!