So there’s a lot of hype at the moment around chatbots for businesses - and there is a good reason why. In short, chatbots enable businesses to address key questions from customers almost immediately with automated responses. This enables business owners to accelerate consumer purchase decisions as well as reduce customer service costs. While chatbots may at first seem difficult to create, this, however, is not the case. No complex coding, no developers required - you can assemble it all yourself!
What is a Messenger Bot / Chatbot?
Simply put - a chatbot is a computer program that interacts with users on a conversational level/platform. Facebook Messenger Chatbots are chatbots that operate off of Facebook’s Messenger platform. With over 1.5 billion daily active Facebook users it comes as no surprise that Facebook Messenger Chatbots are the most popular for business owners, for 2 essential main reasons - Facebook gives you both the audience and the means! Above and beyond this, automated chat technologies allow you to engage with customers 24/7, ensuring that any and all questions that they may have - never go unanswered.
So, What Business Applications do Chatbots have?
There are a number of areas where businesses can put chatbots to good use, however, there are two (2) main advantages to using Chatbots for your business:
- Digital Marketing - Drive Leads & Sales: According to recent studies and surveys, as many as 21% of consumers consider chatbots as the easiest way to contact a business. As many as 15% of Facebook users have already engaged with some form of a chatbot and 95% of users believe that chatbots will play a critical role in the development of customer service practices in the near future. Lead Generation is perhaps one of the most successful and efficient modern marketing tools that one can apply in order to acquire new leads and generate sales. For more information read our blog What is a Sales Funnel and Why your Business Needs One to Succeed.
- Customer Service - Solve Customer Issues: Chatbots provide consumers with quick answers to common questions - similar to that of an FAQ’s on a website. However, instead of having to scroll through information to find what you’re looking for, consumers simply type their question/s and are provided with instant responses based on particular keywords within their question/query.
How to Get Started on your Automated Chatbot
One of the most daunting things about getting started with your chatbot is establishing who is going to build your bot and how are they going to do it? Today’s chatbot tools that are available to use are extremely user-friendly, that is to say that you don’t need a degree in programming or know how to write code to get started. As a result of such limited technical ability being required, the most critical elements required are copywriting and conversion-focused content for your chatbot. You will need to make use of engaging, informative and concise content to ensure that consumers get quick answers presented in a way that is easy to understand and draws them into the conversation.
What Tools should you Use to Build your Chatbot?
With the correct tools, the development and maintenance of your chatbot can be effortless. There are a number of free chatbot tools available online for you to make use of, namely ManyChat (perhaps the easiest and most user-friendly platform to use), ChatFuel, Leadformly, and MobileMonkey. These tools are designed specifically to create a seamless, user-friendly experience such that you never have to write a single line of code - using friendly drag-and-drop, toggle choices, checkboxes and other features that allow you to design the perfect chatbot for your business. You can find links for the various FREE Online Chatbot Tools below:
Other Awesome Marketing Features provided by Chatbots
- Send Chat Blasts (Broadcast Messages): This feature is great for building engagement. Chat Blasts are able to drive traffic based on a specific, focused target group or audiences such as people that have already made contact with your page and expressed an interest in your offering/s. This allows you to make use of different approaches for different consumers who have asked specific questions, engaged with you in a particular manner or fall within certain demographics.
- Website Chat Features: Users are able to connect their Facebook Messenger Chatbot to their websites, businesses are able to expand their contact lists exponentially. As your chatbot is linked to your Facebook page, in order for users to engage with it on your website they are required to login to their Facebook account - this means that as soon as they log on to the chatbot you can immediately begin collecting their information once they start engaging. This is a great feature as it allows businesses to keep the conversation going once consumers have visited and left their website.
- Link with Facebook Ads: Instead of utilising traditional online ads that encourage viewers to visit your website, you can opt for “Click-to-Messenger” ads instead - sending consumers directly to your chatbot to begin engaging with you. When a user clicks your ad, it starts a Messenger conversation, allowing you to capture their contact information while they get helpful information about your product or service using one of the most engaging platforms around. If you’re not quite convinced of the power and potential of utilising Facebook ads for your business, read our blog on the 5 Reasons to Embrace the Power of Facebook Advertising.
- Link with Email Marketing Campaigns: you can link your chatbot to various automated email marketing services, such as Mailchimp. Customers are able to provide you with their contact information through custom user fields, allowing you to then add them to your email database and nurture them through a series of emails in order to turn them into paying customers. For more information on Email Marketing campaigns, read our blog: 5 Essential Automated Emails in a Nurturing Series.
Ultimately, Facebook Messenger chatbots are a powerful marketing and customer service tools. By embracing chatbots, you are using a communication channel that customers prefer and enjoy. Chatbots let you be where your customers are, on the chat app they know, love, and rely on every day, letting you grow your business with today’s trending tech.