Chatbots have come a long way since their humble beginnings. They initially required someone on the backend to respond to queries in real-time. Thankfully you can now automate them to provide unlimited and personalized conversations at scale, saving precious time and resources.
Modern chatbots seriously lighten the workload for you and your team. Chatbots can qualify leads, book meetings, and handle customer support questions with ease. Instead of dealing with all of that busywork, your team now has more time to focus on more critical tasks.
How Chatbots Work
When someone uses your chatbot, it will respond to their question or phrase with a preset answer. There are many types of chatbots, so it’s essential to keep the types of chatbots in mind when designing your own.
Rule-based chatbots are the most simple to deploy. They allow users to interact with a bot by clicking preset questions. Intellectually independent chatbots are the next tier, using machine learning to understand keywords and phrases that prompt them to reply. Intellectually independent chatbots are quite common. There are also AI chatbots, which use artificial intelligence to “learn” how to respond based on understanding human language.
In HubSpot, you can start from a template based on your goal. HubSpot gives you a wide range of useful chatbot building features. You can customize the conversation, adding in questions and multiple-choice responses, or you can start from scratch.
With HubSpot, you can make sure that your chatbot doesn’t feel like a bot. You can add a personal touch with a friendly response system that captures your unique brand voice. The chatbot information collected can be sent directly to your team, so you all stay in the loop.
When users interact with your chatbot, HubSpot will collect that information, so the bot delivers friendlier responses. The data collected also comes in handy when that conversation needs to be passed off to a team member.
To get started with chatbots, ask yourself the following: What is the purpose of adding a chatbot to my website? Ensure you have this established, so everything else in the design process can be geared toward this purpose. When thinking of a purpose, think of your company’s areas of weakness and if a chatbot can improve them.
Once you have that question answered, ask yourself the following questions: How should your chatbot make users feel? What process should the chatbot be able to complete on its own? What is the use case? The answers to these questions should all be geared to fit your central purpose.
You should also consider what type of chatbot you need. Will you need a simple interface, or do you want to explore an AI option? You should also consider how you want to build your chatbot. Do you want to make it yourself from scratch? Do you want to hire a professional? Do you want to go through one of the many online services?
Setting up an outline of what you want and how you want to get it will make the next steps of designing the actual bot easier. When your bot is done, you’ll have an optimized version of your initial purpose.
Artificial Intelligence (AI)
The idea of an “AI” chatbot that talks to your customers might seem Orwellian, but it’s actually incredibly convenient. People often write off AI as “scary” instead of seeing the benefits of it.
A key feature of AI bots is that they get better over time. User Experience, or UX, will continuously improve the more people interact with the bot. A downside, however, is that AI chatbots require more time and more investment to optimize.
Most sophisticated chatbots use AI to learn new information. They do this by identifying particular patterns like repeat user questions. For example, if your company sells security cameras, the AI would recognize that questions about a cracked lens or camera that doesn’t turn on should be directed to a physical repairs website.
AI can be a handy tool for chatbots, so if this is what you’re looking for, ask yourself some more questions. First, how smart should your bot be? If you’re just having customers answer questions before being routed to customer service, you may not need much AI. Secondly, how much support can you dedicate to your AI chatbot?
Finally, ask yourself how you’d be able to handle a situation where the AI chatbot breaks. This can happen. If you’re relying on your chatbot too much, this could spell a crisis for you and your team. Make sure you have an action plan in case the bot glitches.
Incorporating Your Brand
Everything about the design and tone of your chatbot should be on-brand. For design, it’s crucial to think about matching color schemes and fonts to give your chatbot a consistent look throughout your website.
Your bot shouldn’t just be designed to look like your brand though. It needs to also sound like your brand. Consider your chatbot’s tone and formality and how it compares to the voice of your brand before adding it to your site.
Chatbots can be a fantastic tool for your company, but they can also hurt you if you don’t use them right. It’s essential to consider the implications of Artificial intelligence and the UX of your chatbot so that customers have a positive experience reflective of your brand.
The last thing you’d want is to set up a chatbot for customer complaints that doesn’t correctly address questions. You also don’t want a stiff bot that sounds like a computer program. You want a tool that helps your organization thrive.
If you’re curious about implementing a Chatbot system on your website, get in touch with us today!