As much as we might like to avoid it, at some point we all have to contact customer service. Once upon a time, this meant a phone call with a customer service rep, but thanks to technology, we can now get help faster than ever.
What are Chatbots?
Chatbots are artificial intelligence software that simulate human conversation through messaging and mobile apps, websites, and over the phone. In this post, we’ll be talking about the chatbots used online and in apps.
These bots can perform a number of functions, like resolving routine service issues and qualifying leads. They’ve been steadily growing in popularity over the past few years, and it doesn’t look like they’re going to slow down any time soon. Some customers even expect the option to “chat now.”
Building a chatbot may seem complicated, but it’s easier than you think. With HubSpot’s free Chatbot Builder Software, you can build and launch bots for . The best part? You don’t need to know how to code to use it.
How HubSpot’s Chatbots Can Improve Your Customer Service
- They can give customers quick responses to simple questions like “How do I pay my bill online?” or “How do I sign up for a subscription?”
- Adding a chatbot to your website allows you to effectively grow your customer service team without having to hire new employees. This saves you money and frees up members of your team to solve complex issues for customers.
- Since chatbots aren’t on the clock, they can offer 24/7 support. When an after-hours customer issue is too complex for the bot to resolve, it can provide customers with a follow-up email or put the issue in the support queue so they get
Now that we know they’re effective and popular and everyone wants one, how do you go about setting up your own? The good news is that you don’t need to know how to code to launch a chatbot on your site. You could build a custom bot from scratch, but you can also build one with no programming experience using chatbot builder software, like HubSpot’s Chatbot Builder.
The Basic Steps to Creating a Chatbot
- Identify clear goals for your bot. What kind of questions will it help customers with? Make a list of functions it should perform.
- Identify the best place to reach your clients — do they mostly communicate via your website, Facebook, or a messaging platform like WhatsApp? This is where your bot will “live.”
- Design your bot. Companies like HubSpot let you select a chatbot template based on your goals. Once you’ve identified these, you can use a visual editor to tailor the conversation and tone to match your brand.
- Use the list of functions you created in step 1 to customize your bot’s functions. You will need to create a database of questions with multiple responses, based on FAQs and known client pain points and issues. You can also program your bot to transfer conversations to your customer service team, create support tickets, book meetings, and identify leads.
- Test and launch! Have your team test the bot with different questions on different devices to make sure it works like it was designed to. Iron out any kinks and when it’s running smoothly, launch it! Don’t forget to announce the launch of your new sidekick on social media and in your email newsletter.
Chatbot Best Practices
Before you get started, here are a few more tips to customize the best bot for your business:
- Use language that your customers are familiar with. The preset responses you choose have to apply to multiple inquiries. Your bot will better handle responding and transferring queries if the language you use is clear and relevant. Also, the engagement should feel as human as possible, so spend time making the phrasing genuine and friendly.
- Remember that your bot plays a supportive role to human reps. When a case is complicated or cannot be solved by a bot for some reason, it needs to be transferred to a team member (who should have already been briefed on the issue via the bot). Studies show that in almost all cases consumers want the option to be transferred to a service rep when needed.
- Make sure your bot’s widget is clearly displayed — consider adding it to a corner of each page of your website. Most sites choose the lower right hand corner.
- Utilize features that make it clear to your customers how the chatbot can help, like setting it to show a friendly message or give examples of its functions.
Used effectively, chatbots can take pressure off your customer care team, identify leads, and improve your customer experience. Businesses are also using them as an extension of their marketing and sales knowledge bases and to help boost conversion rates.