Chatbots are all the craze for inbound automation, especially on Facebook.
The big chatbot questions
- What do they do
- How can you use them
- Where do you find providers
What do chatbots do?
Chat bots basically automated text responses to questions or create a QnA funnel or data collection process that replaces tired old fashioned forms. There’s a vast array in sophistication and purpose for bots, from the most simple to very complex interactions.
Imagine a flow chart with a question and a series of potential answers, each one leading to another question or suggestion for the customer or prospect engaging the chatbot.
They can be designed to replace humans for customer support questions, like “What’s my balance?”
Chatbots are also great tools to qualify inbound prospects, therefor they are commonly used in sales automation.
How can I use them?
Chatbots are used to provide instant feedback on Facebook pages. A bot can guide Facebook users through a series of questions and answers to qualify them as prospects. In some cases bots direct visitors to forms online or even connect them with human agents.
On websites, chatbots are commonly used to help the customer get answers to common questions. They are like a fancy FAQ computer script.
Chatbots are usually very rudimentary AI, typically a simple IF THEN series of questions and answers.
Where do I find providers?
You can buy customized Chatbots or use prebuilt scripts and services. It’s a lot like building a website. You can use a digital agency, and many agencies specialize in bot development.
Some big banks are building bots internally, using external APIs and SDKs to access powerful AI tools to assist their customers. These interfaces are typically built by internal teams or supported by traditional development agencies.
Below, you’ll see a list of DIY Chatbot providers.
Just because you use a SAAS hosted chatbot service doesn’t mean you want to avoid an expert provider. One possibility is engaging a programmer or digital agency to build a very specific purpose built bot.
The big chatbot choices
- Design a purpose built bot
- Use a chatbot service
- Hire a chatbot consultant
If a prospect asks “What kind of car are you looking for?” the bot may offer a set of choices, like: sports car, economy sedan, luxury sedan, truck.
Some chatbots are very simple, while others can be very involved and complex. A question may start off with “Are you looking for a new or used car?” Then, the bot may progress to the kind of car, color, price range, etc.
A chatbot may also answer freestyle questions and have a program to look for certain keywords. Complex AI driven bots can interpret human voice into text that is analyzed by the system to generate assumptions about the prospect’s interest. Most bots are very basic and drive a prospect through a series simple question and answer scenarios to push the prospect to a funnel or a lead management system.
Many simple chatbot point and click service providers offer DIY systems that a relatively savvy person can figure out alone.
If you want to do something with a complex API or perhaps build a completely unique experience, then you will need to engage a developer or digital agency with a development team to assist.
A cost effect strategy is to hire a consultant familiar with the many options in chatbots to guide you to the best option to fit your case. Though good chatbot consultants are going to be pricey (by the hour) the savings in headaches and customer aggravation far outweigh the consulting fees. In the case of chatbots, experience and expertise pay.