Chatbot: what it is and how to create one for free
Chatbots are not yet widely used by industrial companies, but their use represents a great opportunity for improvement inmarketing automation and customer service.
A chatbot is a computer program with which the user can have a conversation, usually on a website or within a messaging app, such as Facebook Messenger or Telegram, either to request information or to carry out an action.
A chatbot recognises natural language just like Siri and Alexa do, but in this case the conversation usually takes place in text format.
How to take advantage of chatbots in industrial marketing
For industrial companies, chatbots open up new possibilities for interaction with customers:
- They allow you to dynamically segment users from the conversations.
- They facilitate lead generation.
- They can be sent messages through automated workflows: advertising, invitations, discount coupons, etc.
- They open new doors for training staff in the use of new tools.
- They act as an assistant to select the most suitable service and product according to the specific needs of the client.
- Customer service agents can avoid simple problems and spend more time working on complex issues.
- Instant 24/7 customer service.
However, it is very important to avoid being perceived as spam. Chatbots must always serve to provide value to users.
The advantages of chatbots for the user
The use of a chatbot allows the user to skip the process of having to navigate through an interface full of buttons and menus. This provides you with:
- Accessibility, with a much simpler and more intuitive interface.
- Greater immediacy and efficiency.
- Naturalness, since you can use the same natural language that you use in real life.
- Thanks to artificial intelligence, the chatbot gradually learns about the user's tastes and habits. In this way, it offers increasingly precise answers and offers an increasingly fluid interaction.
- In short, a better user experience and customer service.
In fact, we can say that thanks to chatbots the trend is an advance towards the gradual elimination of user interfaces, which now interact with the software without screens or menus. This will completely eliminate friction between user and software.
The experiences show very high levels of engagement in this type of action.
Many specialists think that bots are the new applications. One of its great advantages is that, unlike applications, it is not necessary to download them specifically. In instant messaging applications such as Telegram or Slack, chatbots are usually incorporated as if they were just another contact.
It is much easier for the user to write a message to the brand through Facebook and tell them what they want. They can even raise questions about technical issues.
How to build your own chatbot
The first thing is to specify what service we want to offer, and how we can translate it into a conversation in which the chatbot guides the user with specific questions and predefined options.
This design must be accompanied by a content strategy to achieve valuable interaction for the user. You have to develop a content classification, with semantic relationships and a good taxonomy.
In the case of companies in the industrial sector, a good strategy is:
- Start by offering a list of the main services/products so the user can say what they are interested in.
- Ask specific questions about what they need: size, dimensions, colour, etc.
- Ask for the contact details.
The important thing is that you obtain all the necessary data so that you can make a quote easily without having to contact the person again and thus save a lot of time in this phase of the commercial process. Then there will be time for the sales team to follow up and build long-term relationships with customers.
Even without programming knowledge, it is possible to develop simple chatbots thanks to tools such as Api.ai, Wit.ai or Smooch. But it is best to integrate them into a global strategy with an agency specialised in industrial marketing such as BCM Marketing.