6 Ways to Use a Messenger Bot to Begin a Brand Conversation

by Isaac Oswalt on April 12, 2017

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Chatbots, are new, exciting, and have excellent participation rates compared to older channels! We've discussed the why quite a bit, but now we'd like to start talking more about the how. Let's say you're sold, and you want to include a chatbot in your latest work. Where do you begin?

The first step should always be to decide what the chatbot will do. For the average business, that means starting with something simple – a goal that will attract your target audience and improve conversions while also saving time on ordinary customer service. So we've gathered some of the best chatbot goals to start with. These goals are direct, simple, and readily available on basic chatbot creation apps and the easy chatbots found in places like Facebook Messenger where any company can create one.

1. Pass Along Information to Specific Parties

This is one of the simplest kinds of chatbots, and a common starting place. Basically, this chatbot pops up in a website window and provides specific information to current readers. People can reply in the box, sometimes using certain tags as instructed to label information, and then the chatbot will immediately pass that information along to a real person, through an email or notification or whatever else the system supports. Here the chatbot is a go-between and resource for basic navigation. They help customer service out, but perform little independent action.

2. Product Availability and Compatibility

These chatbots specialize in answering questions along the lines of, "Do you have product ____ in stock?" or "Will product ____ work with the product ____ that I already have?" With the right database, these questions are actually very easy for a chatbot to answer. They can search their information and ask, "You are talking about model ____, correct?" and then go on to inform the user, "This product is in stock. Would you like to make an order now?" or "This product is compatible with the following models." Easy, and excellent at saving time, these bots immediately answer questions that would take far longer to take to customer service.

3. Scheduling Service

If you need to schedule specific meetings or service calls, consider starting your chatbot out with this task. These scheduling assistants can check current company schedules and let users know if a specific date and times works out or not. If that space is available, the chatbot can then automatically schedule the meeting. It's like an assistant who is always there (and free after implementation).

4. Looking at Accounts

In this case, the chatbot pops up in secure parts of your website and, after authentication, answers basic questions about bills, debts, and accounts. This is particularly useful for people who know exactly what they want to find out, but may not be able to locate it on their computers. It's no surprise that financial institutions often start with this kind of data.

5. Reviewing Orders (shipping, confirmations, dates, etc.)

If a customer has an active order, it's common for them to call up and ask about the status of the order, or go to their email and look up tracking information – whatever is applicable. However, a chatbot can also handle this, often in a friendlier manner, by providing extension information about current orders. Users can find out when a product is set to ship and arrive, confirm an order has been submit, and get concrete information about the supply process. More advanced versions of these bots can even place orders for existing clients, but this usually happens later on.

6. General Information and FAQ

Some bots are just happy to talk about a brand! These bots can provide information about the company, and answer common questions about what products do, how they work, and what products are designed for (residential vs. commercial, and so on). These bots may also have inventory information, or they could just focus on FAQs as a sort of welcome-to-our-company greeter.

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Isaac Oswalt

Owner of 21 Handshake, a strategic marketing company, driven to grow relationship-driven businesses. Futurist in nature, Isaac displays a deep desire to preserve the human element in today's business. Trust being the ultimate currency, his clients appreciate that "new and stronger handshakes" is a success metric in their businesses.

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