Chatbots for Business

Chatbots are hot news right now, but you’re probably thinking why on earth would my business ever need a chatbot?

Let me answer that with another question – could you use another pair of hands, available at all times, to handle incoming enquiries and support calls, to qualify leads and drive an uplift in your ad conversions? If the answer to that is ‘yes’ then a chatbot could be exactly what you need.

In simple terms, a chatbot is all about having a conversation. Do you find yourself having the same conversations time and time again, either when supporting customers, or when explaining about your products, when delivering training or when handling sales enquiries? A customised chatbot tailored to your business is on hand to have these conversations with people at all times of the day.

Now I’m not saying they are replacement for good customer service and face-to-face sales, because nothing can or should replace that personal touch. As a virtual assistant who can pick up on all the extra bits that you don’t have time to do however, or handle the queries that may get lost in the ever-bulging inbox, they can be invaluable.

Chatbots are often found in social media, particularly through Facebook Messenger, but they’re certainly not limited to a single channel. They can hold conversations through Twitter, Skype, Slack, SMS, Email and many more platforms, as well as through custom widgets on your website.

The key thing with any chatbot is to decide on what the overall aim of the conversation is first. Some examples could be to provide the customer with some specific product information, to push contact information from a potential hot lead into your CRM, to work through support steps on the front-line of a helpdesk or to survey your audience following purchases, services or any other interaction with your company.

So now, hopefully, you’ve got ideas of where a chatbot could sit within your business, how do you go about getting one? There’s a number of services that you can use to easily set up a basic chatbot.  On the Facebook Messenger side, options include Chatfuel, Botsify and, as well as many others that let you get a bot up and running for free.

Stepping up from the free services, and up a level of complexity too, chatbots can become very powerful automation tools. A number of chatbot creators allow integration with 3rd-party software including IFTTT and Zapier, or even your own in-house software through JSON and other APIs. This can let your chatbot book appointments for you in your Outlook and Google calendar, provide purchase receipts and invoices on demand, recommend events based on location and much, much more. The possibilities really are endless.

So to come back round full circle, chatbots are hot news right now, and hopefully you can see why and how they can be of benefit to your business. Hopefully you’ve even had a go at setting one up for yourself, which is great. Drop a comment below and say how you’re using chatbots in your company, or where you think they could fit in.

If you want to chat with me or the team about the potential of chatbots in your business, or explore how we can work with you to unlock the the efficiencies and conversion uplifts chatbots can bring, or anything else Apps4 offer for that matter, then please get in touch on 0161 974 7550 or, or drop a note into the comments below.

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