Article read time - 10 minutes

Customer queries often take up significant resources. You’ll also see the same questions popping up constantly at different times of day and night. 

Manual handling of repetitive tasks is inefficient, and customer service shouldn’t devour most of your time. 

It’s time to change that. 

You can free up your time and still be able to deliver superb one-on-one customer support by using automated solutions such as a WordPress chatbot. 

If you are new to chatbot technology, wondering what exactly is a chatbot, or why so many brands decided to add them to their websites and stores – keep reading! 

About Chatbot Technology

A chatbot is a computer program that sends automatic messages to website visitors. Or, in simpler words, it’s a (ro)bot that chats with prospects and customers on your behalf. For that reason, chatbots are often called virtual assistants.

Like real live operators, they can use different text-based mediums to talk with your customers, such as live chat or instant messaging apps. When customers want to talk, they click the chat widget, type in their message inside the chatbox, and send it.

chat widget

Chat widget

Ok, but when a live operator receives a message via a live chat, they naturally can read it and respond to it. How will a chatbot know what to say and when?

Well, that’s simple – you have to tell them. 

One way to do this is to create conversation flows that your bot and customers will follow. 

Imagine for a moment you’re a scriptwriter, and your chatbot and customers are all going to star in your movie. You will need to write cool dialogues for them that are logically connected throughout the whole movie.

Take a look at the example below.

  chatbot example

A conversation between a chatbot and returning customer

 

The bot sends an automatic welcome message and asks the visitor whether it could help them with their shopping. 

Then, the message is followed by a set of responses (clickable buttons) the visitor can select. Here, the visitor replies with the “Just browsing” button, which prompted the chatbot to send a discount offer. 

As you may have noticed, each response that the visitor selects is tied to some message (or other action) that the bot will perform. That’s why such bots are called rule-based chatbots – they respond to inputs selected by your website users according to your rules.

So, in a nutshell, you’re the boss, and your bot will say, do, and launch per your commands. 

But of course, some chatbots can improvise and talk with your customers without any conversation script. Such bots are powered by Artificial Intelligence technology.  

Although AI bots will not always hold a full conversation on their own, AI features are convenient in many situations and nicely complement rule-based situations. 

Myths About Chatbots 

Even though chatbots have been around for over six decades, they are still a novelty to many. Those who have never used that technology before might feel discouraged to try it as they heard or read somebody’s negative opinion about it.

So what myth do people say about chatbots that are not quite the truth?

Chatbots Are for Big Companies

Yes and No.

If you’re dreaming about an ultra-customized chatbot development that would work exclusively on your WordPress site, then yes, you might end up paying a pretty hefty price.

But not all companies can afford to hire developers. What’s the alternative?

In recent years, many companies have emerged that deliver quality chatbot solutions for non-technical businesses of any size. Those companies offer so-called chatbot platforms that enable anyone to build their custom chatbots without writing a single line of code.

You build a chatbot by connecting different blocks that represent chatbot logic. Or, in other words, you piece together your conversation script block by block.

Here’s an example:

order phone call bot

Tidio chatbot conversation flow

The navy blue blocks represent chatbot actions, while the light blue one tells the bot when to activate. Notice how all the blocks are tied together with arrows which tell the bot what to do next. 

Such an approach to building a WordPress chatbot looks more like sketching a mind map than completing some complex technological task.

Chatbots Are Expensive

Not quite. It comes down to the company you choose. You need to keep in mind that some WordPress chatbot brands are small and medium businesses-oriented, whereas others target enterprise-size customers.

In terms of payment, all chatbot platforms companies available on the market follow SaaS business model. It means that you can try their services for free (or sometimes even continue using them for free) and decide whether you like it or not. 

Moreover, the payment is made monthly, and most of the price plans are quite flexible, so you can choose what you need for your WP site. You can sign up and resign any time you want.

Chatbots Are Unpredictable

Yes and No.

There were several incidents involving chatbots developed by some major IT companies in the past. Those incidents, however, happened because the artificial intelligence in their bots wasn’t as capable as they thought.

Rule-based chatbots, on the other hand, even if slightly boosted with AI features, are not like that. This type of chatbots will go as far as your script allows them, so there is absolutely no way for them to do anything beyond that.

Chatbots Are Good for Only Selected Industries

No.

Chatbots come in all shapes and sizes. They are flexible enough to allow businesses to customize them to fit their needs and goals. And we are not talking only about the chatbot logic and behavior.

Many WordPress chatbots allow for personalizing widget appearance. You can change widget colors, add avatars, and edit labels so that your chatbot goes nicely with your website layout theme.

Most chatbots exist primarily in retail, but they can also help users visiting healthcare, public administration, education (including schools, colleges, and online courses providers), or bank websites. 

You’ll also find them in HR, management, tourism, restaurants, services, and pretty much in any other business sector.

Common Pitfalls of Using Chatbots

Building and shaping that WordPress chatbot the way you want promises significant autonomy and room for creativity. And indeed, it does. 

But it also means responsibility. 

If you don’t put enough care into choosing the right WP chatbot plugin and when writing your chatbot’s responses, your bots will put off your website users from revisiting you.

It’s like going to the cinema for a great movie that, despite featuring some top-Hollywood names, turns out to be yet another disappointment. What went wrong?

Poorly written script full of plot holes and unnatural dialogues. Not to mention the issues with the sound and screen that completely ruined your evening.

First of all, a WordPress chatbot is not a human being. But—it doesn’t mean that you cannot add some human touch to its dialogues. After all, your virtual agents will be facing real humans with real problems. 

Natural, amusing, or courteous responses will encourage your visitors to engage with your bots and make their overall experience with your brand much better.

Plus, you do not need to limit yourself to sending just plain text messages. Feel free to play around with memes, GIFs, emojis, and other visual elements to make the whole conversation more approachable.

Secondly, apart from dialogues, focus on dead-ends in your conversation flows. Think about what will happen if your visitor performs an action that you have not foreseen. What will go next when the visitor receives all the information they need, or a WordPress chatbot cannot resolve the issue they have.

chat bot example

A chatbot example

In the example above, you’ll notice that the AI feature worked flawlessly until the polite visitor sent a reply that was (apparently) not predicted in the conversation flow. As a result, the bot sent the welcome message again. 

This is an example of a situation your bot should be able to handle to provide a frictionless experience.

Third, the quality of the WordPress chatbot plugin matters as well. With the tried and tested plugin, you can rest assured that your customers will not struggle with getting help due to technical reasons. 

What a WordPress Chatbot Can Do for Your Business

Automated conversations do not necessarily need to be only about giving the information the visitor needs. 

In fact, a chatbot added to your WordPress website can help you build a strong business. So let’s explore some benefits of chatbots for online businesses and their customers.

Saving Abandoned Carts

A WordPress chatbot can keep an eye on your website 24/7 and react to your customers’ behavior that you would have otherwise missed.

One of such cases is when a customer abandons their cart. WordPress chatbot will notice it and will try to persuade the shopper to complete their order. A popular method usually involves offering some small incentive (a discount), but it’s really up to you what your chatbot will do to help you meet your sales goals.

Such an interaction is also an excellent opportunity to ask your customer for feedback. Perhaps they abandoned their cart because they encountered some technical issue or found a better deal. 

Your bot can find it out.

Lead Generation

Whether you are an eCommerce business owner or make money by blogging, you want to acquire new prospects (or subscribers) whom you could later convert. 

And chatbot is the right tool for the job.

It can easily replace your conversion forms and pop-ups and have your visitors leave their contact information. Since conversation is more engaging than filling in static forms, your bot will have higher chances of success.

But again, it also comes down to writing good conversation copy so that your bot will genuinely be more appealing to your audience when compared to traditional lead capture forms. Eventually, an online chatbot can be a significant part of your WooCommerce store optimization to increase the conversion rate.

Qualifying Leads

Generating a continuous flow of leads is not an easy task. But evaluating and responding to each of those leads could be even more challenging (especially for busy sales teams).

Fortunately, a chatbot for WordPress can simplify this process.

We already know that your online chatbot can act as an email building plugin that collects contact details or any other piece of information about your visitors. But it can also push the conversation a bit further to identify high-quality leads to pass to your sales team. 

For example, the chatbot could begin by asking a few questions about the visitor’s goals and/or interests.

Based on their responses, it can assess whether a particular visitor is likely to be a qualified lead. If yes, it will pass them to your team as a top priority. Such a swift operation will allow your sales specialists to connect with the lead immediately without wasting their time on cold leads.

Announcements and Product Showcase

Recent updates, sales, incoming events, deal of the day, change in various business policies, etc. – all of these could be communicated to your visitors by an online chatbot.

The advantage over pop-up windows is that the chatbot’s messages do not obstruct the view, and the visitor can carry on browsing your website without closing the chatbox.

You can also use your WordPress chatbot to showcase selected products or services that will be displayed inside the chatbox as a carousel (product slider). But unlike regular sliders embedded on the website, chatbots can talk with your visitors about your offer. 

Your online chatbot can provide more information, answer questions about shipping and return, recommend similar products, and more. As if your customer would be in a brick-and-mortar store talking to a clerk.

Order Automation and Scheduling a Service 

If lead generation or sales announcements can be made conversationally, why not place an order or schedule a service?

Your virtual assistant could ask a series of questions and provide a set of replies that the customer can respond with. If your WordPress chatbot has an AI feature enabled, then, instead of clicking the buttons, the customer will be able to type their replies directly in the chatbox.

When the interaction is done, the online chatbot will confirm the order and thank the customer for choosing your business.

Again, your bot will deliver a similar experience the customer would get if they had ordered on-site or over the phone.

Similarly, I suppose your business is about services. In that case, a WordPress chatbot could schedule an appointment (if you offer services offline, e.g., repairs, hairdressing) or book an online product demo with one of your sales reps.

Sending Notifications to You

Apart from “talking,” Chatbots can also silently track your visitors and notify you when they perform an action you would like not to miss.

For example, you could make an online chatbot that will let you know when it notices a customer who sits on a particular product page for a more extended period. You could then engage such a visitor personally to determine whether there is something they need help with. This proactive approach could lead to a closed sale.

The use cases depend on your sales strategy, but whenever there is a need to engage the visitor directly, your chatbot can help you with that.

Targeting Visitors Browsing High-End Product Pages

Your chatbot will not only do whatever you want it to but can also activate on selected pages of your WordPress website.

If you offer premium products or services, you can build a chatbot to engage visitors who browse specific products or landing pages.

Your goal could be to get their contact details, push them down the sales funnel, assist them in placing an order, upsell, or receive a notification so that you can talk to them in person.

Whichever it is, an online chatbot can make it easier for you.

Customer Segmentation

Customer segmentation is one of the key marketing strategies you cannot overlook. It allows you to tailor your content and offers to your audience and deliver personalized experiences via email campaigns or SMS marketing

That, in turn, increases customer loyalty and conversion.

A chatbot for WordPress can get the necessary information and then add a tag to them to help you assign your audience to their relevant segments.

They can also send personalized offers to returning customers or new visitors based on your market segments.

Final Thoughts

As you can see, there are plenty of use cases and potential benefits to implementing a WordPress chatbot. We’ve barely scratched the surface with the examples listed here.

Although chatbots cannot be compared to or replace a direct human interaction, it doesn’t necessarily mean they cannot be useful, on the contrary. Think of them as business tools intended to be an extension of your regular customer support, sales, and marketing teams.

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