Have you noticed chat icons on the right bottom corner of most of the websites you visit?
If yes, then the probability of it being a chatbot is high
According to (Gartner) research, By 2020, 85% of businesses will include a chatbot on their website and 70% of customer support interactions will be handled by chatbots.
Customer expectations have changed drastically, Nowdays customers expect instant response to their queries from businesses as well as expect a personalized experience.
And for providing such an experience chatbots fits the bill perfectly.
In this article you’ll find out What is a chatbot, What are the types of chatbot, What are the benefits of chatbots and How you can build a chatbot for your website.
What is a chatbot?
Chatbot is a software which can communicate with humans via a chat interface in human like conversation without any humans controlling the software.
Chatbots are mainly used on websites, but can also be integrated on other major chat platforms such as Whatsapp, Skype, Slack, Telegram etc
Here’s an example which can help you visualize how a chatbot functions on a website
Check out the website of Citygreens online shown below , you will notice a widget on the right corner of website
This is a chatbot and when clicked it expands into a bigger size chat interface where the user could type in his queries and get responses instantly without any human intervention.
Types Of Chatbot
Chatbots are mainly of 2 types
a) Rule Based Chatbots
b) AI based chatbots
Rule Based Chatbots
Rule based chatbots are pre programmed with the chat conversation. That is the chat conversation flow has already been programmed into the bot during development stage and on the basis of input from user the bot responds with the appropriate output that had been programmed in.
For eg: Check out this chat conversation snippet of a Rule based chatbot
Here the chatbot welcomes the user with a message and then asks the user to choose any option from the menu. Once the user chooses a menu option the chatbot will respond with an output that has been programmed before.
Rule based chatbots are mostly built using chatbot builders , which can help you launch custom chatbots for your website in less than 10 minutes.
And these type of chatbots are most effective in lead generation, collection of website visitor information and answering of customer support queries.
AI Based Chatbot
AI chatbots as the name suggests is a much more sophisticated chatbot compared to Rule based chatbots.
AI chatbots use Artificial Intelligence & NLP Technology for its functioning and is not pre-programmed with any chat content.
They have the ability to learn by themselves after initial training by the bot developer
The diagram given below depicts how an AI chatbot functions
AI chatbots have three main components
1) NLU (Natural Language Understanding)
2) Dialouge Manager
3) NLG (Natural Language Generation)
When the chatbot user enters the input it is first captured by NLU which analyzes the input by segmenting and identifying the intent and entities.
Intent: It represents an activity the chatbot users wants to perform, for eg: If a user types in “Book a car” this is an intent
Entity: It represents an object, For instance in the above given input the entity is “Car”
From NLU the data is directed to the Dialouge Manager, The Dialouge Manager decides what response needs to be given to the user given its input and the decision on what response needs to be given will be based on user’s past interactions with the bot and other data pulled from different sources.
And from dialouge manager it is sent to NLG which converts the structured data into text and display information as human understandable language as a reply.
AI chatbots are mainly used by big enterprise businesses, As developing AI chatbots require big budget, development teams and greater time, but once developed it is very powerful.
Examples Of Chatbot
Chatbots are not only used for providing customer support and answering customer queries ,they are also used for delivering news reports, weather information, executing customer orders etc. Check out few examples of chatbot shown below
Ecommerce Bot: Answers customer queries on delivery, order issues etc
Banking Bot – Assists you in conducting your day to day banking operations with your bank
Lead Generation Chatbot – Start collecting leads from your website
News Bot – Get latest news stories happening around the world
Food Delivery Bot – Order food via bot to get delivered on your door step
Scheduling Bot – Setup meeting with your team members or customers at a convenient time.
Benefits Of Chatbot On Website
1. Convert More Website Visitors Into Customers
Chatbots have the ability to persuade website visitors by asking needed questions and generate qualified leads.
For Eg: Consider an E-commerce website, One of the main problems which E-commerce store owners face is cart abandonment that is user’s select the product they want to purchase and add it to cart but don’t complete the purchase.
By integrating a chatbot in website the problem of cart abandonment can be solved to a large extent, when a user abandons the cart and tries to exit , the chatbot can ask them why they have not completed the purchase and even offer them a discount and close the sale at that very moment.
2. Deliver Top Notch Customer Service 24/7
“Poor customer service is one of the major factors which make customers switch companies”.
Nowadays customers expect businesses to respond to queries instantly and be accessible any time of the day
And these two actions are effectively worked out by chatbots without any human intervention.
Chatbots can be used on websites as the first line of contact. Below you can see an example of a chatbot conversation , where a chatbot is asked a query by a user and the chatbot has instantly replied with the necessary information from help articles. If the response has answered the user the conversations ends there else the chatbot can automatically route the query to a human to be answered.
3. Respond with personalized messages
The term personalized messages refers to displaying unique custom messages for each website visitors.Rather than displaying a single message to all website visitors, chatbots have the ability to display personalized messages according to website visitors characteristics.
Below i have mentioned 3 types of use cases where chatbots can be used to display personalized messages
First TIme Visitors: First time website visitors are mostly hard to convert into customers
Chatbots can be used to engage first time site visitors by offering them a discount coupon in exchange for their email address.
Returning Website Visitors: The cost of acquiring new customers is 200% higher than compared to retaining existing customers. Showcase custom messages or offer discounts exclusively to returning visitors.
Visitor leaves Site: Create messages that will be displayed to visitors who try to leave your site.
4. Get to know and understand website visitors better
Chatbots helps businesses gather insights on what services or products customers are interested in and thereby enable businesses to sell more of such services by offering custom discounts , personalized customer support etc.
Take for example a E-commerce website of an Electronic store , By integrating a chatbot on the website the business can get to know what type of products are asked more by customers by including a chatbot conversation similar to the one shown below.
By including such conversation, not only helps businesses to know which type of products are in demand among customers but also provide data on most typed in keywords by users which can be used by businesses for SEO to rank high in google search results.
5. Low Development and Maintenance Cost
Cost of developing a chatbot is extremely low when compared to development cost for websites, mobile apps etc. and once they have been built the maintenance cost is almost nil as it hardly needs any updation.
How to build a chatbot for website ?
Here i will show how you can build a rule based chatbot using Botjuggler chatbot builder platform without needing to know any programming skills
The botjuggler builder offers 2 ways for creating a chatbot
1. Option to select a predefined chatbot template, which you can customize according to your needs
2. Build a bot from scratch
Here i will demonstrate how you can build chatbot using a predefined chatbot template
So let’s start!
1. Visit www.botjuggler.com and sign up for a free account
2. Once signed up you are presented with the option Create a Bot as shown in the image below, click on it
3. Next enter your preferred chatbot name and website URl , and click on submit
4. Selet a chatbot template that is suited for business. Botjuggler provides a wide variety of templates of different kinds to choose from
5. Copy paste the chatbot script on your website just above the closing tag. If you have a wordpress website you can install our wordpress plugin to activate the chatbot on your website
That’s all , in under 5 minutes you can activate the chatbot on your website and start converting website visitors to customers
Wrapping It Up
As discussed in this article chatbots can help you provide an experience to your website visitors which they have not seen before and in turn increase your lead generation, reduce website bounce rate and increase your customer satisfaction.
Madhavan RadhaKrishnan is Co Founder of www.botjuggler.com a (Do It Yourself Chatbot builder for websites). I look into all aspects concerning product management and operation activities related to Botjuggler.