A quick guide to a better chatbot

Posted December 9, 2022 in
Does your website have a chatbot?

Is it like every other chatbot that asks "Need help? I'm here if you need me", followed by a wide open text field.

I can hear it now: "but Will, I hate chatbots...they're terrible". Yes, there are a lot of bad chatbots out there, which is why a good chatbot that provides value is a huge opportunity.

Remember the last time you visited a website for the first time? You didn't know the structure, the page navigation and maybe you struggled to find the information you were looking for OR you really didn't know what you were looking for. A chatbot that provides options to common paths on your website can help guide, and eventually, convert your visitors. Here is how:

First step: get rid of that wide open text field. This field allows too much room for error, breaking your bot's logic and frustrating your visitor.

Next step: provide at least 3 options for common website paths. Take a look at how HubSpot does it:

HubSpot Chatbot with options.png

Three options and very little room for error. If you are still married to the text box, provide "Something Else" as a fourth option followed by a short text box. 

Last step: build out your chatbot to serve up relevant links to your best performing pages and/or content that will help guide your visitor to what they are looking for. Most bot builders will allow you to deploy a different bot on each page, giving you control over context and next steps. 

Final thought: provide value before asking for an email. Most chatbots are the same...in the second step, they ask for an email "in case we get disconnected". If you provide value first and wait to ask for an email, your visitor will trust you more and be happy to provide their email when the time is right.

Be brave and confident to try different actions and varied paths for your chatbot. In other words, don't just set it and forget it. By utilizing this technology the right way, you will find a very strong "website concierge" that can help you establish relationships and trust with your web visitors. 

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