What is a Chatbot?

If you’ve used the internet recently, there is a good chance you either saw or interacted with a chatbot. That’s because the definition of a chatbot is “a computer program designed to simulate conversation with human users, especially over the internet”. Chatbots have been in use for years now, but don’t be surprised if you see a sharp increase in their use.

This blog will explore website chatbots (text), but there are also chatbots that work with voice. The most famous are Amazon’s Alexa or Apple’s Siri, but any “bot” that can simulate a conversation based off the information you input is considered a chatbot. In the case of text and verbal cues, both systems analyze your words to create a dialogue between you.

Putting Chatbots to Use

To start, you need to understand the average customer’s journey through your website. If you notice a lack of conversions or purchases, something is broken in their path. Paying attention to when and where this happens in their journey will only make your chatbot more useful to the user, and therefore establish a reputation as an aid rather than an annoyance.

After you have located the obstacles in the path, it’s time to build your chatbot. There are several programs available that don’t require coding, but a custom-coded chatbot can take the user experience to the next level. You want to capture relevant information to the user and your business, so try programming prompts such as “What product or service are you looking for?” or “Welcome to the site! Choose a service to get started”. With the proper questions, you can drastically increase conversions by showing the user exactly what they want or need without much effort.

You’ll know your chatbot is working when you see a more streamlined journey to conversion in your analytics.

Endless Potential

Chatbots are an exciting tool to keep your eye on over the next few years. According to a handful of articles online, chatbots are essentially going through puberty right now. There have been countless failures of large-scale chatbots to date, and developers are learning quickly how to avoid these failures. Updates are made constantly, but the customizable nature of each bot means success stories vary across industries.

As mentioned at the beginning of this blog, I wouldn’t be surprised if you’ve already interacted with a chatbot online. They are in just about every industry you can think of and are usable by companies, organizations and offices of all sizes. Whether you need a bot to automatically send a confirmation email with the details of a patient’s appointment, teach someone a foreign language, or simply suggest automatic replies to messages or emails – there’s a bot for that.

If you think there might be a bot for you, drop me a line or send me a note. I can be reached at our office phone (401) 681-4900 and [email protected]. Let’s identify the obstacles in your customers’ journeys and up your conversions!