Have to been wondering how to create a chatbot for your website? Since 2016, the use of chatbots – especially in the U.S. — has grown exponentially. Most are easy to install, easy to use, and can be programmed to answer simple customer service questions. It’s gotten to the point where chatbots can also qualify leads for your sales team!
Despite these benefits, and these years of growth, many companies still haven’t implemented a chatbot of their own. According to a recent survey of over 700 online businesses, less than 19% of businesses currently use chatbots on their site.
Perhaps it’s because they’ve got too much on their plate to worry about setting up a chatbot. Or they’re not exactly technical experts and are concerned about coding requirements. Maybe they’re simply afraid of losing that personal touch that sets them apart from their competitors.
Never fear! GreenStar’s here. In this blog (and in plain English) we’re going to walk you through the basics of creating a personal, branded chatbot for your site – no coding required!
How To Create A Chatbot
Step 1: Get Existential – Decide What Purpose the Chatbot Serves
There is one thing you must ask yourself when learning how to create a chatbot. Before you even get to researching and installing, decide what you’d like your bot to do. It’s best to be as specific as you possibly can. Is it to generate leads? Is it to provide simple, 24/7 customer support? Is it to get customers in contact with the right people? The answer can be one, two, or even all of the above!
You can also ask yourself what features you would find helpful in a chatbot. Do you want to get questions answered quickly? Receive suggestions for products and services you might like? Schedule a meeting with sales or support? Sign up for a raffle?
Whatever your answers, be sure you write them down and keep them in mind when designing your chatbot.
Step 2: Location, Location, Location – Choose Where Your Chatbot Will Go
The second thing to take into account when learning how to create a chatbot is relatively straightforward. The location of your chatbot depends on where your customers and potential customers spend most of their time. Do they contact you on your socials? Or do they prefer to contact you via your website?
Wherever your customers are, your chatbot should be there. Most chatbots are pre-integrated with major site providers – GoDaddy, WordPress, Squarespace, Shopify, etc. And many chatbot providers also offer multiple integration options, allowing you to have one, omnichannel chatbot.
Our recommendation is to pick a provider that offers an omnichannel chatbot. That way, all customer and visitor information can be stored – and accessed – in one secure location. Some CRM providers also offer omnichannel chatbot software as an extension of their platform.
Step 3: Install Your Chatbot Software
You have your purpose. You’ve picked the perfect location and the perfect provider. Now it’s time to install the software! This is the meat of the “how to create a chatbot” process. Unless you’ve opted to build the chatbot yourself, the process won’t take up an entire workday. Most providers will offer a step-by-step guide to effectively installing your chatbot and provide expert support.
Step 4: Create Your Conversations
Now that you’ve gotten the chatbot installed, it’s time to build your conversations. Simply put, you’re going to create flow charts (or “trees”) for your chatbot to follow based on what your customers might need.
Let’s say you’re an internet provider and someone clicks on your chatbot. What do you want them to do first? Typically, most chatbots ask for the person’s name and email in case they’re disconnected. Once this is done, the bot responds, “Thank you! What can I help you with today?” followed by a list of options for the person to pick from. Some options could include “Home Internet,” “Business Internet,” “Internet Speed Test,” and “Something Else.” If “Home Internet” is selected, the bot would respond with information about your home internet packages and ask if the person would like to speak with a sales team member. If they respond “Yes,” the bot can automatically route that person to a sales team member with all relevant information attached to the message.
I’ve included an example chatbot tree below:
The best part? You can create as many paths as you need to in order to meet your customers’ needs. While this may seem a bit overwhelming, don’t worry! You can always start small and build from there.
PRO TIP 1: When you’re designing your conversations, don’t be afraid to give your chatbot a little personality! It helps build a positive image of your brand if your bot has an engaging “voice” and a more human touch. Use emojis, gifs, and other personalized language.
PRO TIP 2: Make sure your conversations aren’t too open-ended. If your visitor is struggling to figure out how to handle the chatbot, the chatbot isn’t doing its job. Remember that the bot is supposed to guide users in specific directions and plan your flowcharts accordingly! Oh, and no walls of text. Keep responses short, sweet, and to the point.
Step 5: Start Customizing
It’s important that your chatbot reflects your brand identity. Don’t be afraid to customize its colors, add your logo, even give it a name (ours is Roi). You can even control where it appears on the screen, when it appears, and so much more. Be sure to investigate what kind of options are available to you in the chatbot you chose!
Step 6: Test, Test, and Test Again
You did it. You learned how to create a chatbot! You’ve customized your chatbot. You’ve perfected your chat trees. You’re ready to go. But before you launch your chatbot, be sure you’ve thoroughly tested it. Walk through all the decisions to make sure they work correctly. If the bot’s programmed to send an email to sales, make sure sales can receive those emails. If your bot automatically sends a PDF or other file in response to a question, make sure those PDFs are formatted well in the chat.
This step is crucial. It may seem like a slog, but don’t skip it. No one wants to deal with a malfunctioning chatbot. Least of all your customers.
Once that’s done, you’re ready to launch!
Step 7. Once Launched: Monitor Your Chatbot to Continue Improving It
After the chatbot launches, it’s tempting to sit on your laurels. After all, you did it! You learned how to create a chatbot! You’ve created a 24/7 sales & support resource. But as customers start interacting with the chatbot, you’ll begin to notice areas of improvement. Maybe they’re not following a specific chat path as much as you thought. Maybe they’re using the bot more for service requests than sales inquiries. With that data in hand, you can keep your chatbot current and your customers satisfied.
How To Create A Chatbot: Get Help From GreenStar Marketing
Now that you know how to create a chatbot, it’s time to get to work! No matter if you’ve never installed a chatbot or are looking to upgrade the one you’ve had for years, GreenStar Marketing can help! With our expertise in web design and management, we can help you make the most out of your chatbot. Reach out today for a free consultation!