What are chatbots?

A chatbot is a computer program that is designed to communicate with human users through the internet.

While they have many uses, we’ll be focusing on how they can be used on the website of a business to drive conversions.

Are chatbots effective?

In short, yes, they are… if used correctly.

The ability to automate one-to-one conversations with humans using technology must sound appealing to business owners and marketing managers out there. I mean, why would you not want to automate conversations with potential customers and filter out bad leads with little to no effort?

As appealing as that may sound, chatbots sometimes fail to deliver a seamless and efficient user experience. Like most things, there are cons to having a robot interact with your potential customers.

How do chatbots work?

They way chatbots work is basically through conditional logic.

For example, a chatbot can start by asking the user a question and provide the user with predefined answers, then responds in a certain way depending on the user’s selected answer.

Or, when a user interacts with a chatbot and uses certain words or phrases, the chatbots responds in a certain way.

Here are a few examples:

Example 1:

Example 2:

Example 3:

Here are a few examples of chatbots gone wrong:

Example 1:

Example 2:

Example 3:

How do I ensure that my chatbot is used correctly?

  • Step 1: Understand the goal of the chatbot. Eg. To drive phone calls, to capture email addresses, purchase an item etc.
  • Step 2: Think very carefully of the logic and every possible outcome, and map out the logic in detail.
  • Step 3: Test the shit out of it before (and after) going live.

Here’s a chatbot success story

Initial research and setup

  • We looked into chatbots for a client of ours in the healthcare industry. We had demos and trialled a few different providers. When we found one that we were happy with, we got the client to sign off and signed up. Their goal using the chatbot was to filter out bad leads and drive form completions / consultation bookings.

Work involved

  • We then mapped out the logic, the message copy, and got it reviewed, made changes, got it reviewed again, until all parties were happy with it.
  • After creating the logic, we then got the client’s copywriters to iron out the language used by the chatbot, so that it follows their brand guidelines. This is what the end user will see, so it needed to be 100%.
  • Following the mapped out logic, we then built the chatbot within the platform using the client’s copy and added the Javascript code to the staging website, where we were able to test any changes made within the platform.
  • After thorough testing by all parties involved, we copied the Javascript code to the live website and launched the chatbot for users to interact with.

The result

  • Three months after its launch, the chatbot contributed an extra 10% form completions. Also, 30% of users who interacted with the chatbot completed a form (a 30% conversion rate).

While there are sceptics, I believe that the use of chatbots is extremely effective when used correctly. With machine learning and AI on the rise, creating effective and efficient chatbots will soon become even easier. I feel that industries need to leverage new age technologies into their businesses to derive operational benefits


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