Chatbots are nothing new, but many businesses still haven't tried them. In the past few years, chatbots went from being the big new trend to a tried and true Marketing practice.
If you're still not convinced about chatbots, read our post on why you need to use chatbots NOW. If you are ready to jump on the chatbot bandwagon, discover how to create your very own chatbot strategy.
1. Analyze your company's processes and needs
What do your current business development and sales processes look like? How are you nurturing website visitors or leads? How are you dealing with customer service? The first step in developing an appropriate strategy for your digital chatbot is to see where you can improve efficiency.
For SMEs, chatbots can help expand your capabilities when you don't have many employees or resources. Large companies can also take advantage of chatbots to automate simple or repetitive tasks, thereby freeing up time for more important projects. At their very core, chatbots are about getting visitors to the right place instead of letting them slip through the cracks of your website.
2. Define the purpose of your chatbot
In Marketing, chatbots can be used for a myriad of purposes. The main ones are lead capture and customer service. But you can integrate your sales meetings, blog/landing pages, forms, lists, and workflows into your bot. Discover a few different examples of successful business chatbots below:
Margot is Lidl's digital "winebot" that functions through Facebook Messenger. Margot helps site visitors learn about wine and find the wine and food pairings they're looking for, facilitating e-commerce. Whole Foods and Sephora have similar bots to help users find and buy products.
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All the major news outlets and content providers have started developing chatbots. CNN, NBC, The Wall Street Journal, TechCrunch... they want to make sure visitors are able to sign up for the exact content they're looking for. They push content through the chatbot itself and also encourage readers to sign up to personalized blogs/newsletters.
Bank of America is doing banking right. With their chatbot Erica, they help bank users look up transactions, find information on credit scores, connect with spending and budget tools, etc. Adobe is another good example of this concept, with their chatbot helping with troubleshooting and guiding users to FAQs and their knowledge base.
Customer Service and Sales
MongoDB is a SAAS which installed a chatbot on their website to qualify leads, answer questions, and connect visitors to a sales agent. Through workflows and connection with the CRM, they are sent to the right salesperson automatically. HubSpot's HubBot features a variety of options for products, pricing, and their knowledge database, and if the bot can't find what you're looking for, they send you to a live chat with a customer service agent.
3. Determine who and where
Ideally, a business will have more than one chatbot, but if you're a newbie to chatbot strategy then start with one and go from there. At this point, you will have defined the purpose of your chatbot: to direct visitors to certain content, qualify leads, or for sales/customer service. Now you will need to choose who you will target and where your chatbot will appear; for example, if you want visitors to subscribe to your blog, it might not make sense for the chatbot to appear on your Contact Us page.
Whatever the purpose of your chatbot, you will need to be able to provide standardized answers that are personalized for whatever direction the user takes the chatbot's logic. If you have well-defined Buyer Personas, you can map out the problems and questions these people are likely to have. As you go deeper into the possibilities of different questions and answers (you'll get very familiar with if/then branches) you can include more personalization.
4. Make your chatbot unique
The last step involves copywriting and design. Yes, you can simply copy another website's chatbot, but you want yours to stand out, represent your business and employees, and have your branding.
Think about your tone of voice. Should it be formal or casual? Include transitions in your messages. Consider emojis. Visitors will know they are talking to a robot (it's actually illegal to pretend your chatbot is not a robot), but it can still have personality!
mbudo has experience in creating chatbots for many clients, (plus we've got out very own - mbubot!) If you need help designing a Marketing Strategy for chatbots, get in touch with us. Looking for more info on how automation is helpful? Read our blog post!