What is a chatbot?
What is a chatbot and should you even care? I have been discussing chatbots for a long time and I love chatbots. But sometimes people ask me, “What the heck is a chatbot and why would I even be bothered caring about it?”
According to The Oxford Dictionary…
A Chatbot: A computer program designed to simulate a conversation with human users, especially over the Internet
Well, the fact is chatbots are making their presence felt everywhere through all sorts of organizations, businesses, and even in our social lives. A lot of the social platforms that we use such as Messenger, Facebook and Instagram are all using chatbots to deliver information. You will often see a help desk or a chat box when you visit many websites these days.
Many of these are all automated or artificial intelligence chatbots. Chatbots are around everywhere.
What businesses do chatbots work for?
Well, if you’re a business owner and you’re thinking, “How do I even use chatbots, or should I even bother thinking about it?” Then the answer is yes, definitely because we’ve been able to help clients in all sorts of industries.
Chatbots have worked very well for the following Industries:
- Service Businesses ( Plumbers, Electricians, Hairdressers)
- Financial Planners
- Retail Businesses
- the list goes on.
If you have a need to connect with a potential or current customer, then a chatbot can work for you too!
Even some of the world’s biggest sporting clubs are using them…
How do you install a chatbot?
Basically, without getting too technical, it’s just a little piece of code that integrates, in our case with Facebook. We love using Facebook because everybody’s got Facebook in your pocket right now. You’ve probably got the Facebook app on your phone, which means you can integrate chatbots very, very easily.
The cool thing about using Facebook and chatbots is that when people are interacting with your business, they think that they’re talking to you through Facebook. In actual fact, chatbots are using a third-party service, that lets you have that easy conversation with people on the Facebook platform.
There are a number of third-party services out there that you can use, without having to know any code. Some of the services we have used in the past include manychat, chatfuel and Mobilemonkey All of these services have a mountain of training videos and beginner information all levels of marketer and business owner. We personally LOVE manychat and recommend it to all of our clients.
What sort of tasks can you do with a chatbot?
There are many different tasks that you can perform with a chatbot. You can do anything from customer service tasks to selling items, from giving information, to helping people understand your product and service. The reason I love chatbots so much is that they let you, as the business owner, take your potential client on a journey. Now that customer journey we all know can be many steps. It can start with an awareness phase and go all the way through to buying your product and becoming a loyal customer of yours.
A chatbot can take that customer on the journey without you having to hold their hand every single time. Now sometimes in some industries, it can be very time consuming to have that customer journey be effective, especially if you’re the person holding their hand. A chatbot automates all of that. It lets you, as the business owner, do your business, run your business, do the things you’ve got to do while the chatbot takes care of that customer journey for you.
Do people really like to talk to a bot?
There are all sorts of great things that we’ll get into later about how you can make that journey feel very special to them.
And one of the big questions I’m going to answer right now is “do people really like to talk to a bot?”
And here’s my answer to that.
If you wanted to know the answer to the question ‘Where is a Pizza shop near me’ ” and you want the answer right now, do you care whether it comes from a real person, a Google search, or a chatbot?
No…You don’t care. ( I am guessing 🙂 )
You want the answer now..not when the shop opens later or you have to sit on hold on the phone to get the answer.
Now in this day and age of living right now, we want our answers yesterday. A chatbot supplies that information to people when they want it at the time they’re asking for it, not when you’re ready to deliver it to them. And if you don’t deliver that information at the time they’re looking for it, then you’re going to be waiting and missing out on that customer because they’re going to go and find the answer from somebody else. And that somebody else maybe that person’s new client.
So that’s what a chatbot is.
I hope that makes sense. We’re going to dig into more information about chatbots, how they’re used for business, how you build them, what do you need to do with them? What are the benefits of them? All sorts of cool things.