Chatbots have become a trending topic for organizations. It seems, marketing and artificial intelligence will be great allies in the next few years, while conversational commerce will play in favor of sales teams and social customer care, as well as resource optimization, it will also have significant returns for those in charge of operations.
However, you must take into account some recommendations before implementing a chatbot. Planning and strategies are the key to being one of the winners in this brave new conversational world.
1. Analyze Your Potential Client
C2H: Chatbots to humans
First you must define which line of business will be served by the chatbot: B2B or B2C. In both cases, chatbots are possible allies, because in the end the communication will take place with human beings, it doesn’t matter if they are final consumers or company directors. However, understanding which line of business we want to focus our efforts on, will help to clarify the first steps during the creation process.
At first glance it might seem very clear, but let’s put an example: a company dedicated to selling soft drinks wants a chatbot to increase its sales. A chatbot can send messages to end users (B2C) about special promotions, new products and campaigns. However, the company has synergy with distributors, self-service stores, small establishments (B2B) that need to contact the brand when they run out of stock. Chatbots can also aid distributors in contacting the company to request the supply and in turn facilitate logistics.
2. Clarify the Objectives for Each Line of Business
Once you know who your potential client is, discuss it with your team, there are several areas that can benefit from the implementation of a chatbot. In our note named “5 business lines with which you must talk if you are thinking of implementing a chatbot in your company”, you will find additional information about the decision makers and the benefits that a chatbot brings in each area of your business.
Discuss internally with your team, this will give you ideas to understand how you can direct the bot and what your real goal is.
Some of the most common objectives by line of business are:
- Customer care Improvement — Operations // Marketing
- Opening of new sales platforms — Sales
- Reduction in operating costs — Operations
- Connecting with the new generations — Marketing // Sales
- Improve the user experience — Marketing // Customer experience
After defining objectives, create a general roadmap and score it. Highlight the priorities for the business and based on that, shape your ideal chatbot.
These objectives will help the team in charge of developing the chatbot trace the conversation flow and create KPIs based on your real needs.
3. Define the Type of Chatbot You Need
Once the line of business and the real needs of each area have been defined, It’s time to define priorities. Possibly a chatbot can support you with more than one activity but, it is important to prioritize and understand the central function of the chatbot:
– Sale of products
– Customer Support
– News Sharing
It is possible to have a hybrid, for example, if among the priorities is improving customer service and to enable new sales channels, you can build a system capable of receiving customer service and making sales, but the evolution must be gradual. First developing the functions that will allow you to cover the needs according to the score and subsequently begin integrating more elements.
Although not all the functionalities have been developed in the initial phase, It is important that the team who will develop the chatbot have the complete road map to contemplate future implications and avoid further work that will cost the company time, money and effort.
4. Think About the Experience You Want to Give Your Customers
If you´ve considered the option of implementing a chatbot it is important that you know that taking care of the user’s experience is a priority, otherwise the bot could become a nightmare. You must define together with your development team the first interactions as well as the personality of the bot.
It is important that you work through this as a team, because they will give you the best recommendations in terms of conversation flows, user experience and functionalities, but only you know how your company works and how your client interacts.
Having a new sales channel can excite us and we will probably want to put all of our products in there, but let’s think how the user comes to them and let the chatbot revolutionize their experience with our brand, from receiving 24/7 attention, answering frequently asked questions in real time, or even interacting with the user without the need of specific commands or buttons.
Think of Natural Process Language interfaces. If the conversation is good, the user could make a purchase or hire a service with the help of the chatbot.
5. Plan the Future
Be clear about the following steps. Possibly some of the integrations that you want to carry out need to be reviewed beforehand with your IT team. Work together with the team that will develop your chatbot, be clear about the technical implications for certain activities and prepare your infrastructure to evolve and move to the next level.
Wanting to implement a chatbot is a good start to enter the new world of conversational commerce and the next stage of social customer care. You’re on the right path. According to the Sample-Global Chatbot Market 2017–2021, it is expected that by the end of 2024 the global chatbots market will reach $ 994.5 million dollars and generate an income of $ 626.3 million USD.
Just remember that the success of your chatbot will depend in the ability of your company to define a clear purpose and the timely establishment of objectives by the marketing, operations, IT or innovation teams -the main decision makers- and to understand that It is an out of the box product that will evolve, learn and transform constantly, according to the technologies, needs, channels and interactions that can be achieved with your users.
If you still have doubts about how chatbots works and on which platforms they can be implemented, download our ebook: Chatbots, what are they and why they are revolutionizing digital commerce.