Chatbots have transformed how businesses communicate with customers. 64% of businesses believe that chatbots will allow them to provide a more personalized customer support experience.
For every business, website is the main source to showcase their brand, generate leads, and deliver online support. In fact, the website is the face of the business and the central hub of customer communication. By building a chatbot for website, you can engage visitors and customers instantly by addressing their queries in real time.
To understand how chatbots can mitigate customer frustrations like long wait times and improve the user experience, we need to understand how to make chatbot for websites. But before we go deeper into how bots help websites, learn about what is a chatbot and its importance.
What are the benefits of chatbot for your website?
Deploying chatbots on your website boost operational efficiency and bring cost savings while offering convenience to customers. Bots are proficient in resolving common queries while reducing the need for human interaction.
80% of marketers are using chatbots in some way or another. It is for this reason brands are investing in chatbot strategy for improving the customer experience.
The key benefits of a website chatbot are as follows:
Acquire more leads
Adding a chatbot to your website allows qualifying website visitors based on the questionnaire prepared as per your business needs. Chatbots for lead generation help in the lead collection in terms of booking appointments, demos, sign-ups, placing orders, etc.
Reduce customer support requests
Having a chatbot on your website is capable of handling common support queries in real time. Automating FAQs with a customer service chatbot helps to provide instant answers that reduce the number of support tickets raised by customers.
One of the challenges faced by businesses is not able to provide real time assistance. By creating a chatbot for website, you can handle common queries in the first contact itself and address their sales and support queries promptly.
Higher customer satisfaction
Website visitors expect businesses to provide instant service, whenever they need it. By adding a chatbot to the website, you can provide a better customer experience, which increases the lifetime value (LTV) of the customers.
Reduce overhead costs
Chatbots on websites can help businesses to save customer service costs in terms of adding manpower resources or infrastructure. Bots can handle multiple conversations that speed up response times. Businesses can reduce customer service costs by 30% by implementing conversational chatbots.
How to create a chatbot for your website from scratch (Step by step process)
You can build a chatbot for your website in two ways. Either you can build a chatbot from scratch or by using ready made templates. When you build a bot from scratch, there are certain steps to be followed for making the website chatbot successful and delivering the best conversational experience.
Let us discuss the seven steps on how to create a chatbot for website and increase brand presence.
1. Identify your business objectives
Before you build a chatbot for your website, it is vital to outline your goals and define specific objectives. You need to identify the business functions that need to be automated and what exactly you want your bot to do?
Generally, businesses build chatbots for websites for different purposes. They could be:
- To drive sales or collect leads by booking appointments, demos, sign-ups, etc.
- Enhance online presence by engaging customers 24×7 when the support team is busy.
- Automate customer support with FAQs and deliver hybrid support (a bot will handle simple queries and transfer the complex ones to the live agents)
- Collect customer feedback to understand their satisfaction level and improve customer experience.
Defining the business goals provides clarity in building a robust chatbot that aligns with your customer needs.
2. Give your website chatbot a voice and personality
Conversational chatbots for websites are a great additional channel of interaction between your customer and your brand. Hence, it becomes very important that the customer experience must be consistent with the other elements of your brand’s style.
Why customizing the bot’s personality and tone of voice is vital while building a chatbot strategy?
Because it creates a deeper understanding of the end objective, and how the bot will communicate through a choice of language, tone, and style. It makes your bot more authentic for the users to believe in. The main areas are
- Branding – You can set the core messaging of your brand into the bot persona to engage customers in a personalized manner. Give a unique name to deliver a humanized experience to the customers.
- Messaging – Set up warm welcome greetings to start a great flow of conversations. You can guide your visitors about the product and services by a well-framed message.
Customization adds a humanized touch to your bot and makes user interaction comfortable and friendly.
- You can name your bot for the internal business purpose. E.g. Sales or Customer Service bot.
- You can give a name to your bot that matches your website branding. For example, Eva or Zoe. This name is displayed to your customers and makes them feel that they are interacting with the human agents.
- For the conversational bots, the tone of voice you apply should resonate with your brand’s communication style and the expectations of your target audience.
If you want to add more to the bot’s personality, you can set a designation of the chatbot, which can also be displayed to visitors and customers. Also, you can personalize your bot by choosing an avatar from the gallery or upload of your choice. You can also set the priority for bots and the human agent for seamless communication.
3. Build a conversational flow
It is the most important part while building your chatbot. Building the conversational flow is an exercise to help you organize your content and start thinking about the best ways to word the bot’s answers.
The dialog flow goes into all the detail required to implement the bot with the help of nodes and actions.
- Node – It is a specific scenario or a part that you want to execute the overall bot flow. It could be anything – a welcome greeting or a product overview. These messages are set according to the bot flow.
- Actions – Actions are defined as interactions that chatbots can make with visitors. With actions, you can add different elements as described below to drive your conversations forward in a pre-defined manner.
You have to add new nodes with the help of different actions to build the bot flow. For example, add the required actions such as the Text Message, image, carousel, video chat option depending upon your business requirements.
The chatbot for your website is supposed to be AI-based or rule-based, depending on your chatbot strategy, its conversation flow should be elaborated carefully.
Here are some tips to build the bot flow:
- You should have proper onboarding to introduce the bot’s functionality at the starting of the conversation. It’s important to minimize user effort and build unambiguous bot messages.
- Every sentence your chatbot sends should be carefully thought through. Avoid gender-specific pronouns and open-ended questions. To build a more natural conversation flow, diversify your bot’s replies as much as possible.
- Building a dialog tree you should make sure that every possible user request is covered by a part of your chatbot’s logic and the user won’t get stacked at some point.
If you think that you may miss something, simply leave the option to contact a human agent to avoid a dead end.
4. Train your bot regularly
Training your chatbot is an important stage while building a chatbot for any website. You can train your bot with comprehensive FAQs depending upon your business needs. It helps the bot to deliver relevant answers to your website customers or visitors.
Creating FAQs helps your bot to learn about your business. It trains the bot to identify the user intent and have effective communication with the users.
Training your chatbot is a process that is relatively simple, but incredibly repetitive.
Depending on how smart you want your bot to be: basic level, responding to FAQs and canned inquiries versus high-level, understanding human language by being fed sample interactions to strengthen its natural language capabilities – will determine how much training your bot needs.
- If you only want your bot to answer questions you auto-populate on your site, then it won’t have to learn as much as it would if you want it to respond to user inquiries akin to a human agent.
- Alternatively, if your end goal is to use the chatbot only as a guide to redirect your users to a human customer service agent, then your chatbot needs less training than an intelligent bot would.
5. Create a balanced approach
There is no bot that is 100% perfect. There are instances when a chatbot may not be that effective for the scenarios and customers look for alternate contact options like chat support at some point.
Hence, it is important at what point you want human handover to happen. It will create a balance between bot and the live agents which can reduce cart abandonment rate.
The other way to do the same is by defining fallback scenarios. Fallback scenarios are a very important part of building a chatbot and should be well defined. They identify the break-up points in the conversation and define an alternate solution that the bot can offer to the users.
Here is how you can configure the fallback options.
You can define at what particular stage, your customers can get a chance to connect with the human agent in the following ways.
- You can set a custom fallback message when the bot is unable to understand the user requests.
- Setting the triggering fallback helps you to define the number of queries unknown to the bot for triggering the fallback option.
- Choose fallback options for the bot. When the bot is unable to figure out the user intent, the system will prompt a fallback message or connect with a human agent according to the selected options.
6. Measure your website chatbot KPIs
While building a chatbot for the website, it is important to understand the key chatbot metrics and KPIs. They help to know how your bots are performing to achieve your goals
In order to make your chatbot a successful one, it’s important to define your KPIs and measure them. Based on your business objectives, you can identify how you will be measuring your chatbot analytics.
Here are a couple of common chatbots KPIs that you can measure are:
- For lead generation: No of new leads/ demos/ bookings
- For customer support: No of queries resolved by the bot, response time
- For website engagement: New conversations by the chatbot
Once you identify your KPIs then you can set to measure them weekly or monthly in order to understand the bot performance and where you may need to fine-tune the bot flow to improve your KPI. It also helps:
- To access the effectiveness of your chatbot but gaining insights on how your customers perceive your bot service.
- With the help of the chatbot metrics, you can understand how far your customers are satisfied after interacting with the bot.
7. Test, test, and test
This final step is one far too many people skip over. To see how efficient adding a chatbot is for your website, shouldn’t you be tracking the success of your bot? Once you have defined your bot flow you can test to check if it is meeting the use case correctly or not.
After your bot has been deployed and started interacting with people, it’s important to evaluate how much the bot is able to replicate the human agents based on key elements like:
- Identify how frequent bot conversations are happening.
- At what point customers are leaving the conversations.
- Was there any human handover due to the bot’s inability to answer the query?
Regardless, chatbot tracking is a necessary step to include to find flaws and improve on your bot’s language capabilities and success rates. You can administer a post-interaction survey, guide your users to a human representative to answer questions, or have the bot send automated questions when the user leaves the conversation. It’s a win-win for everyone!
Chatbots for websites: Key use cases
Website chatbots are being leveraged across different aspects of the business. Bots have greatly transformed the customer communication and other functions for industries of various sizes.
Here are some main categories of chatbot use cases to enhance business productivity.
1. Lead generation
Chatbots on websites enable businesses to identify the product interests, likes, dislikes of customers, and segment them based on their response. Website bots qualify visitors into leads by asking a set of questions and guide them to book sales meetings.
Seattle Ballooning, a company that offers hot-air balloon rides, perfectly executed this strategy with its Seattle Ballooning Assistant. They ask relevant questions and offer options to select the problem the customer is facing. They also provided personalized services throughout the purchase process.
2. Automate customer support
According to the State of Chatbots report, “55% of respondents say they would most enjoy getting an instant response and answers to simple questions from a chatbot”.
By automating your website support, you can offer 24×7 service to the customers, even when the service reps are busy or unavailable. Round the clock availability creates a positive impact and increases resolution speed that reduces customer churn.
Bank of America deployed a virtual financial assistant named Erica. The bot efficiently handled the customer service queries in various ways like sending notifications and providing balance information, sharing money-saving tips, and providing credit report updates, facilitating bill payments, etc.
Erica has surpassed 6,000,000 users and has serviced over 35,000,000 customer service requests.
3. Measure customer experience
Chatbots are a great way to acquire customer feedback from your website visitors and customers. You can generate a high level of engagement, which encourages customers in completing surveys, thus creating a win-win situation for both companies and customers.
IKEA, the leading furniture brand, created a chatbot called ORC to collect customer insights. They are friendly, offer incentives, use emojis, and ask qualitative & quantitative questions. They finish the session with some demographic questions like asking for an email address.
The main objective was to improve the customer experience. So, they kept short lengths and fewer questions. It helped to gain insights and have a conversation with customers.
How to build chatbot for website: Key takeaways
Chatbots have become an integral part of customer communication. But going forward, they will be the main channel of customer engagement. Building a chatbot for a website is important for business and for that you can either build a custom solution or use a readymade platform that provides chatbots and live chat as a complete solution.
Depending upon your business requirements, you can choose ready templates or build a chatbot and integrate it into your website. If your business has unique requirements and time is not a constraint, you can build it from scratch.
Choosing a predefined template saves time and money. It provides both live chat and chatbot support. It helps to understand customer needs, reduces time to market, and changes it frequently based on measure, test, and improvement.