Everything You Need to Know to Get Started With Chatbots

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Everything You Need to Know to Get Started With Chatbots

What a chatbot is, why you need one on your site, and how to get started.

Table of Contents

It’s a safe bet to say you’ve encountered a chatbot or two while browsing the internet. You’ve likely even used one to answer a question or solve a problem. Chatbots have become commonplace in marketing strategies, and for good reason. They help lift the burden off your customer service team, allowing them to focus on other tasks that will delight your customers. They also make it easier to qualify leads.

Let’s dive into why you should consider adding a chatbot to your website.

Section 01

What is a Chatbot?

A chatbot is a form of artificial intelligence (AI) that acts as a customer service agent on your website. You can think of it as a website concierge — when programmed right, it’ll get people where they need to go. Chatbots are the most popular form of AI, and experts predict the chatbot market will grow to $10.5 billion by 2026.

Section 02

What Can a Chatbot Do?

A chatbot can do everything you can and more — all at the same time. Think about it this way: Have you ever had to carry several things and wished you had more arms? A chatbot can manage this load. They can hold many conversations at once, making sure your customers are getting the attention they need, when they need it. To top it off: Chatbots don’t need sleep. Their 24/7 availability means you can rest knowing your customer requests are being fulfilled. Sweet dreams!

  • Process returns
  • Answer questions
  • Accept payments
  • Process returns
  • Answer questions
  • Accept payments
  • Multilingual transactions
  • Product recommendations
  • Book tickets to shows

Section 03

Why Do You Need a Chatbot?

The answer to why your website needs a chatbot is simple: To delight your customers. In today’s fast-paced world, people want answers, and they want them now. Research has shown that the average visitor will bounce from your site within 54 seconds if they cannot find what they are looking for. So, why make it hard?

There are several daily responsibilities chatbots can lift off your sales and customer service teams. These include:

  • Helping visitors navigate your site
  • Solving customer problems
  • Answering customer inquiries 
  • Qualifying leads
  • Generating leads
  • Reducing customer wait times
  • Reducing customer wait times
  • Collecting data you can use to optimize your site

Section 04

How Can a Chatbot Benefit Me?

There are many benefits to having a chatbot on your website — both to you and your customers. In addition to handling multiple customer conversations at once, chatbots are also cost-effective. Building an effective chatbot is a one-time expense that will have immediate ROI. With a chatbot, hiring additional customer service reps or someone to answer the same questions every day is not necessary. 

A recent study on using chatbots in the banking industry found that chatbots will save companies $7.3 billion globally by 2023.

Other chatbot benefits:

Understand your customers

Analyze chatbot data to see what visitors are asking and optimize your content based on those queries.

Earn more leads

When you can instantly answer a customer’s question or provide a quote, you’re creating more opportunities for them to convert.

Close more sales

When you create a follow-up workflow to chatbot conversations, you’re nurturing that lead through the buyer’s journey.

Improve e-commerce

When you can accept payments, provide customer recommendations, remind people not to abandon their carts, and more, you’ll see sales increase.

Solicit feedback

Want to know what your customers think of you? Ask them! Use this data to improve your processes, website, and content.

Section 05

How To Create a Chatbot

The first step in your chatbot journey is to make sure you have a clear purpose and goal. If your chatbot exists just to exist, it isn’t helping anyone — in fact, it will probably frustrate people rather than help them.

What tasks are you looking to offload onto your chatbot? Customer service inquiries? Quote inquiries? Payments? Product info? Once you’ve settled on your chatbot’s purpose, you can start mapping out its strategy.

Start from the beginning of the conversation, and remember to keep it friendly and welcoming. Just because people know they’re talking to a robot, doesn’t mean it has to sound like one.

From there, map out all the options you’d like your chatbot to offer. If you’re a playground equipment provider, maybe you want categories for the different types of equipment you provide. If you’re a publishing company, you could offer ways for people to renew their subscriptions, edit their subscriptions, or make a payment.

As you create your chatbot, think about all the questions you would have along your buyer’s journey and make sure you include them in your flow. You can always tweak your chatbot if no one is clicking on some of your options.

HubSpot’s Chatbot Creator

If you’re a HubSpot user, you can create your chatbot within your CRM. Their Chatbot Builder software is free and included with all levels of the HubSpot platform. The bot will allow your sales team to connect with leads while they’re still warm.

Additional features include the ability to qualify leads, book meetings, and provide answers to frequently asked customer questions. The best part is you don’t even need coding knowledge to set it up. HubSpot’s user interface makes it easy to get started right away.

Section 06

Chatbot Trends

There are a few emerging chatbot trends that should be on your radar.

NPL capabilities

If your chatbot doesn’t have natural language processing (the bot uses AI to understand the nuances of human dialogue, dialects, and language to respond as a human would), then make sure all your responses are as natural and conversational as possible.

Voice capabilities

With the rise of Siri and Alexa, more people are leaning on voice recognition to complete search queries. Some people will enjoy chatting with a human-like bot more than typing their whole conversation.

Payment capabilities

Everyone loves a seamless online transaction. If there is one way you can make the process of paying easier, it’s with a chatbot. Equip your bot with the API of your payment system, and you’re in business. Literally!

Multilingual capabilities

Don’t miss huge swaths of your target audience with a chatbot that only speaks English. A chatbot that speaks multiple languages will have global appeal.

Section 07

Common Chatbot Mistakes

Avoid these common mistakes when creating your chatbot:
  • You have no clear strategy
  • It’s too robotic and not friendly
  • It gives people too much information
  • It’s never updated
  • Your chatbot creates more questions than it answers

Section 08

How to Measure Chatbot Success

We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: Having a chatbot for the sake of having a chatbot doesn’t help anyone. If you aren’t measuring your chatbot’s success (or lack thereof), you’re missing opportunities for improvement.

Here are some metrics you’ll want to measure after your chatbot has been live for 3-6 months:

  • Total number of users
  • Number of engaged users
  • New users
  • Successful chat sessions
  • Conversation duration
  • Completion rate
  • Bounce rate
  • Chatbot response time
  • Bot-to-human handoff
  • Total number of users
  • Number of engaged users
  • New users
  • Successful chat sessions
  • Conversation duration
  • Completion rate
  • Bounce rate
  • Chatbot response time
  • Bot-to-human handoff

If your data is aligning with your chatbot goals, you’re doing great! If it isn’t, you may want to examine: 

  • Frequently asked questions
  • Ticket deflection rate
  • Customer satisfaction rate

Analyzing these metrics along with your other data will help you improve your chatbot’s success rate. 

Read On: 16 KPIs to Measure Chatbot Effectiveness

Section 08

Get Started with Chatbots

The benefits of adding a chatbot to your marketing strategy are stacking up. Are you ready to get started but not sure of the best approach? Lynton has helped create several successful chatbots, and we’re ready to help you succeed too. Reach out today to get started.