10 Tips for Creating a Great Chatbot

Bots have recently stopped being science fiction and started being something more like DIY.

learn more about Murray Newlands

By Murray Newlands • Apr 26, 2017

diego_cervo | Getty Images

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Chatbots have taken the marketing world by storm. They are offering A.I.-powered technology to companies, allowing them to provide more advanced customer care while monetizing their marketing efforts by pushing deals and promotions on demand. Unlike popular belief, creating a chatbot does not have to be a hard task that costs lots of money. To help you with your chatbot making endeavors, below, I've outlined the benefits of implementing a chatbot into your business and 10 tips for creating a successful chatbot.

Related: Enterprise Chatbots Platforms and the Future of Work

The benefits of implementing a chatbot.

The real question is, why should you get on the chatbot bandwagon? The answer is simple. Chatbots are a cheap and effective way for you to automate certain day-to-day tasks, allowing you to focus your resources on the operational aspects of your business. Adding chatbots to your marketing mix will benefit you because they are relatively new and can be incorporated directly into your social media efforts. Chatbots allow you to:
  • More conveniently reach your audience.
  • Answer your customers' queries.
  • Increase your lead generation.
  • Build brand awareness.
  • Boost your sales.
  • Send targeted content based on data gathered from conversations.
  • Monetize your social media pages.

Related: Top 10 Best Chatbot Platform Tools to Build Chatbots for Your Business

Creating a chatbot is not difficult, but creating one that is functional and unique can be challenging. The 10 tips below will help you create a chatbot that speaks to your audience and delivers the messages that you originally intended, helping you to push your audience through your sales funnel efficiently.

Related: Enterprise Chatbots and the Conversational Commerce Revolutionizing Business

1. Use a chatbot-making platform.

The easiest way to create a fully functioning chatbot is to use a platform, such as Chattypeople. Chattypeople is a chatbot building platform for entrepreneurs and businesses as it requires no programming knowledge. All you need to do is sign up to the website and link your account to your Facebook profile. Some of chatbot tools other benefits include:
  • It works seamlessly with Facebook Messenger and comments
  • You can push offers and deals to customers on demand
  • It recognizes variations of your keywords
  • It can take orders directly from Facebook Messenger and comments
  • It integrates with all the major payment systems
  • It supports numerous CMS platforms and business categories
Related: How to Create a Facebook Messenger Chatbot For Free Without Coding

2. Define your goals and expectations.

Overloading your chatbot with features will likely set you up for failure. There is no point in trying to get your chatbot to master every task from the get go. Designing your chatbot so that it can master one task to its full capability is much better than having a chatbot that can undertake 5 to 10 tasks half-heartedly. Remember, people want quality, not quantity.

3. Give your chatbot a unique name.

Don't let your chatbot get lost in the growing chatbot crowd. When thinking about a name think about your chatbot marketing. More and more companies are implementing chatbots, and if yours does not have a unique name, it will not be remembered or found online. Giving your chatbot a unique name will ensure your customers can search for it easily.

Related: Make Chats With Chatbots Work

4. Approach your customers with your bot.

Chatbots are still very confusing to many, so approaching your customers directly will generate more conversations and leave them with a positive experience interacting with your brand. When designing your chatbot, you need to:
  • Create an effective greetings message.
  • Incorporate a clearly positioned "Get started" button.
  • Tell your customers how you can help them with a welcome message.
  • Use buttons on your Facebook page and website.

Related: 7 Ways Chatbots Can Benefit Your Marketing Strategy

5. Create a natural conversation flow.

Make sure your bot is conversational! Conversational bots make the interaction between your chatbot and your audience more open, allowing you to understand your customer's needs better and gather more valuable data. The whole point of your bot is to answer your audience's questions. Therefore, be sure to not get in the way of the conversation, on the contrary, facilitate it.

Related: Top 7 Chatbot Monetization Strategies You Need to Know

6. Start small and simple.

In addition to keeping its functionalities limited in its beginnings, it is important that you:
  • Keep its communications concise and understandable.
  • Don't use jargon to communicate with customers.
  • Remember that your bot is representing your brand and its products.

Your bot is currently in its infancy; it doesn't need to pretend to be something it is not. By starting small and keeping your bot simple, you can learn from your audience's behavior and slowly develop new versions of it with more functionalities.

7. Evaluate and optimize your bot regularly.

As mentioned above, you will extend your bot's functionalities by creating new and improved versions of it. After all, a chatbot is a powerful digital marketing tool, and as with any marketing tool, it needs to be regularly evaluated and optimized. Because the technology surrounding chatbots is still moderately new, it is still introducing new features. When you evaluate your chatbot, you need to:
  • Determine what you need to optimize it for
  • Focus on optimizing your chatbot based on your goals
  • Establish the best ways in which you can drive your audience to your desired outcome

8. Unveil one feature at a time.

Aside from the fact that you need to perfect each of your chatbot's features individually before launching them to the world, it would also be overwhelming for your audience to be faced with that much information in one go. For maximum effect, unravel one feature at a time, when customers need them.

Related: 10 Facebook Messenger Chatbot Marketing Expert Tips

9. Figure out which data you want to gather.

Chatbots are a valuable data gathering tool. This comes back to setting goals. Think about the data you'd like to gather from your audience, and tailor your chatbot's conversation flow to ask the right questions to acquire this data. For example, you could:
  • Ask for your customers' zip code if you need to know their location.
  • Gather key learnings about their shopping preferences to push relevant information in your next interaction with them.
  • Ask them about their eating, shopping, or exercise habits to push the right offers and promotions to them in the future.

10. Stay up-to-date with your competitors.

The fact that chatbots are new means there is still room for improvement. The best way to learn is by monitoring your competitors' progress. To do so, start tracking:
  • Things they are doing well that you could implement into your own chatbot strategy.
  • Things they are doing badly so that you don't make the same mistakes.
  • Any innovative features they are using that you are not yet aware of.

Launching a simple, easy to use, easily accessible, and efficient chatbot is the best and most innovative way you can reach your audience today. Not only this, by providing them with a conversational chatbot that has a bit of personality you can be sure they'll be coming back for more.

Murray Newlands

Entrepreneur, business advisor and online-marketing professional

Murray Newlands is an entrepreneur, investor, business advisor and speaker. He is the founder of ChattyPeople.com chatbot builder tool and Sighted.com. Read his blog MurrayNewlands.com.

Related Topics

Editor's Pick

Have More Responsibilities at Work, But No Pay Bump? Use This Script to Get the Raise You Deserve.
Black and Asian Founders Face Opposition at All Levels — Here's Why That Has to Change
Business News

Frontier Airlines Just Announced Its All-You-Can-Fly Summer Pass for $399. What's the Catch?

As travel begins to pick up, the airline hopes unlimited travel will jumpstart its business.

Thought Leaders

5 Small Daily Habits Self-Made Millionaires Use to Grow Their Wealth

We've all seen what self-made millionaires look like on TV, but it's a lot more subtle than that. Brian Tracy researched what small daily habits these successful entrepreneurs adopted on their journey from rags to riches.

Business News

The Scam Artist Who Robbed Backstreet Boys and NSYNC Blind. 'Some of the Guys Couldn't Pay Their Car Payment.'

In the 1990s, Lou Pearlman made millions creating the Backstreet Boys and NSYNC. It was all a giant Ponzi scheme.

Business News

Mark Cuban's Grocery Store Hack Will Help You Score Cheaper Produce

The billionaire talked about his early days in Dallas when he was strapped for cash.