By Chris Christoff, co-founder of MonsterInsights

As entrepreneurs, we’re always looking for new and exciting ways to add value to the experiences we offer our customers. One of the best ways to add value, and sway potential customers who have questions, is through customer service. Many businesses now link their companies to Facebook and use custom-made chatbots to create informative, robust customer-care experiences.

There are plenty of things to keep in mind if you’re interested in building your first Facebook chatbot. Let’s explore four tips to help you develop a killer chatbot that can improve your review scores, customer satisfaction and even sales numbers.

1. Start with a strong foundation.

The first decision you have to make is figuring out which toolkit you are going to use when developing the framework for your chatbot. There are plenty of programs available that allow you to easily create a detailed chatbot with simple and intuitive drag and drop features

Programs like Chatfuel require minimal coding, making it ideal for people who want to develop a chatbot for Facebook with ease. If you don’t have the time or resources to code, this program will allow you to create a basic, functioning chatbot -- no extra bells or whistles required.

On the other hand, you could use an advanced program to fine-tune your Facebook chatbot. Advanced coders out there may want to use a program like Dialogflow to develop the groundwork for your chatbot. When you use a program that allows for detailed coding, you can customize your chatbot with more precision and detail.

2. Consider the conversation flow.

The main function of a Facebook chatbot is to help your customers. It’s important to keep this in mind when developing the chat flow between customers and your chatbot.

One of the biggest issues that business owners have is they design potential responses to sound business-like -- or worse, like they’re robots that only sell their product. The best thing you can do is develop a flow between what the customer could ask and how your chatbot is going to respond.

Consider reading the mock conversations out loud to ensure that there is a natural, human-like flow. Carefully choose the way that your chatbot responds to both customers and potential customers. Make sure that your robotic representative has some personality and accurately reflects your brand.

3. Include guides and prompts.

There is nothing quite as frustrating as not getting guidance when you need it. We have all been in a situation where we needed help with customer service and felt like we were going in circles. It’s no surprise that not having the right help can turn potential customers away from your business and cause current customers to have bad experiences.

Consider adding a simple prompt like, “Say ‘Hi’ to start!” and then program your chatbot to run the default response when someone types “Hi” in the chat window. Small, common-sense tips like this will go a long way with your customers.

It’s also important to add a prompt when the customer/potential customer types in a response not registered to your chatbot. Some people find it helpful to put a gentle reminder to a wrong input, such as “Please type ‘Hi’ to initiate conversation.”

Encouraging your customers to use prompts with your chatbox can save both you and countless customers time and energy. It will also allow them to get their questions answered quickly, which translates to more sales and happier customers.

4. Present a human-chat alternative.

We would like to think that our chatbot is going to solve the problem of every single customer, but that’s not always the case. There are going to be customers who can’t get their problems solved through chatbot functions, or perhaps they are someone who just prefers to talk to another human being for business interactions.

In these scenarios, present an option to your customers so they can contact a human being either via chat or phone call. If you only have customer service available during certain hours, set it up so that the bot can educate the customer and let them know when live customer service is available.

Building your first Facebook chatbot may seem like a daunting experience, but it’s actually quite simple. There are a number of resources available to help you make the perfect bot for your business. Your customers are going to love having an accessible way to get their questions answered, you’re going to love the fact that you’re saving money -- and the bot, well, the bot isn’t going to care because it’s a robot.

Chris is the co-founder of MonsterInsights, the leading WordPress plugin for Google Analytics.

Published on: Oct 5, 2018