A chatbot is an artificial intelligence (AI) application that can imitate a real conversation with a user in their natural language. Chatbots enable communication via text or audio on websites, messaging applications, mobile apps, or telephone.
Chatbots use machine learning to identify communication patterns. With continued interactions with humans, they learn to mimic real-life conversations and react to verbal or written requests, in turn, delivering a particular service. Since chatbots use AI, they understand language, not merely commands. Thus, they become more intelligent as they have more conversations with users. Worth noting is that aside from AI-based chatbots, there are chatbots that use multiple-choice scripts; in essence, option X leads to path Y and so on.
Why are chatbots important for a business?
Let’s highlight some of the advantages that chatbots offer businesses going by findings in the State of Chatbots report of 2018.
- Help companies to provide 24-hour service. 64% of respondents to this survey reported that 24-hour service is one of the main advantages of using chatbots. With bots, businesses can ensure that they respond to customer queries regardless of the time, thus boosting customer experience — an essential factor for success in business.
- Allows brands to reach out to more customers. Going by this report, 69% of users prefer bots over apps when interacting with businesses. It, therefore, makes economic sense to use this channel if a brand passes information regarding its products and services to a broader demographic.
Benefits of a Chatbot
- Better customer engagement
- Cost savings
- Tracking gaining insights and consumer data
- Successful lead generation, qualification, and nurturing
- Easy operation in global markets
Below are more benefits of using chatbots for your business:
- Better customer engagement. Chatbots shine at engaging both prospects and customers, leading to more sales. While a brand can go overboard with the traditional customer service by providing more information than is required, chatbots only give bits of data based on the input provided by users at each time. They do not end up annoying users with irrelevant information. Instead, they keep the customers engaged for longer by sharing the compelling content flowing.
- Cost savings. Business owners have to pay their employees to manage a chatbot 24/7. These expenditures keep increasing as the business grows and can soon reach uneconomical levels. Chatbots are a one-off investment that assists firms by cutting down on staffing expenses. Brands can easily integrate customer support chatbots to cater to simple concerns of prospective customers and pass on the complex issues to customer service agents.
- Tracking gaining insights and consumer data. Chatbots collect useful feedback from customers, and this information can go a long way to help brands improve their services. Moreover, this feedback can prompt brands to optimize their sites by making changes to low-converting pages.
- Successful lead generation, qualification, and nurturing. Chatbots receive consumer information that enables them to send personalized messages to customers at various stages of the sales funnel. Bots can ask relevant questions, persuade the prospect, in turn, generate a lead for a brand. Moreover, bots can help businesses to find out unqualified leads via key performance indicators (timeline, relevancy, resources, budget, etc.); thus, barring businesses from dealing with time-consuming leads.
- Easy operation in global markets. Chatbots help enterprises offer excellent customer service in multiple languages all year round. In turn, brands can scale up their operations in new markets.
How does a chatbot work?
Chatbots primarily use artificial intelligence to talk to people and give relevant content or suggestions. They can function based on a set of instructions or use machine learning. A chatbot that works based on rules is usually quite limited. That is designed to respond to fixed commands. So, if a person asks it the wrong thing, the bot will not understand what the question means, and therefore, will not provide an appropriate response. The intelligence of the bot solely depends on how it is programmed.
On the other hand, a chatbot that uses machine learning works better because it has an artificial brain. The bot understands not only commands but also language. The user, therefore, does not have to use precise words to get accurate or useful responses. Moreover, the bot learns from interactions it has with users and can deal with similar situations when they arise later. It essentially becomes smarter as it talks to more people.
Apart from an AI-based chatbot, there is another type of chatbot that proves useful for marketers. This type of chatbot is more straightforward, even a beginner, can work with it. This bot deals with sending group messages. Brands use it to empower their email marketing and web push strategies. Facebook campaigns allow you to increase outreach, boost sales, and improve customer support. All that made possible in SendPulse without coding skills required. Stay tuned to start your messenger marketing.
How to Create a Chatbot with SendPulse
- How to create a chatbot for Facebook Messenger?
- How to create a chatbot for Telegram?
How to create a chatbot for Facebook Messenger
Facebook Messenger, being the second most used messenger app in the world and the first in America, is the best place to set up a bot. Set up messenger marketing with SendPulse by following these steps:
Step 1: Create an account with SendPulse and go to the “Messengers” tab
If you are not already on SendPulse, sign up. If you are already logged in, click “Facebook chatbot” under products. Go to “Messengers” tab at the top of the page and click the "Connect channels" button.
Step 2: Sign in with Facebook and create a bot
Select group pages for which you want to create chatbots. Click "Enable" opposite a group to enable a chatbot.
Step 3: Send a test message
Subscribe to your chatbot and send yourself automated messages and campaigns to test them.
How to create a chatbot for Telegram?
Creating a Telegram chatbot is as easy as pie with SendPulse. You don't need to code or have any technical background. You can create up to three bots each month and send up to 10,000 messages for free. Follow this step-by-step guide to get started.
Create a bot with @BotFather
Sign in to your Telegram account, enter @BotFather in the search tab, choose the bot that has a blue checkmark beside it, and click "Start" to activate it.
Then, create a name and username for your bot
Connect your bot to SendPulse
Copy your token value and add it to your SendPulse account.
After you are redirected to the Telegram app, click "Start" and you will be subscribed to your bot. Look for more precise instructions in this guide.
Below is a Hello Fresh chatbot.
Here is how the Score uses a chatbot to provide fans with updates regarding their favorite teams.
Eddy Travels bot allows users to find the necessary flight. Check out below.
Finally, HipMunk’s Facebook chatbot helps travelers book flights and hotels quickly.
Chatbot Best Practices
- Give the chatbot a personality
- Give users reading time between messages
- Know when to use buttons or quick replies
- Use tactful quick replies to say no
- Give the user a way to re-engage with the bot at the end of the conversations
Here are the best practices for building, testing, and using a chatbot:
- Give the chatbot a personality. How people perceive the bot will affect how they converse with it. Simple things like giving it a face and a name can go a long way to enhance the user experience.
- Give users reading time between messages. No wait times or short wait times make it frustrating for users to keep up with the conversation. So, set wait times depending on the length of the message and increase the wait times a bit more with each additional message.
- Know when to use buttons or quick replies. Quick replies are written as the user responds to facilitate the conversation flow and usually disappears after use. Buttons, on the other hand, are written when the chatbot is talking and is used to navigate. They do not go away after use.
- Use tactful quick replies to say no. Have polite negative quick responses that people can use without feeling bad about it.
- Give the user a way to re-engage with the bot at the end of the conversations. Craft a response that allows the users to re-engage the bot later.
- Here is the complete guide to chatbots for marketing. You'll find out how to get started with chatbots for social media.
- This article sheds light on how to use chatbots for your business.
💙 Can SendPulse help me create a chatbot without coding?
💡 How can I use a Messenger chatbot for marketing?
Set up your chatbot to answer FAQs, help people make orders, book tables at a restaurant or hotel rooms, register for webinars — all of this will reduce the workload on your customer support and sales teams. Register with SendPulse, and design chatbots for Facebook Messenger and Telegram without a line of code to support your audience at every stage of their buyer’s journey.
🤖 What is a chatbot platform?
It is a service that allows you to create and manage chatbots connected to messengers and social media. If this technology is new to you, choose a chatbot platform with a free plan, like SendPulse, so you can learn how chatbots work and test them without investing a dollar.
👋🏿 How do I get subscribers for my chatbot?
💣 Can my subscribers break a chatbot?
This may happen if your chatbot has no pre-designed reply to specific user queries. If you run a chatbot on Facebook Messenger or Telegram set up a universal reply for all unknown messages. A chatbot created with SendPulse has the default reply “Our manager will contact you in less than an hour.” Add buttons like “Go Back” and “Start Over” for better navigation with your chatbot. Register with SendPulse and create up to three chatbots free of charge.
Last Updated: 2020-04-27