How to Create a Chatbot That Doesn't Suck
Chatbots are the latest craze.
But there is a steep learning curve that only programmers are familiar with.
So then, how would you go about making one for your business?
You may or may not have experienced a chatbot yet (keyword: …yet!!).
Wait until marketers really figure them out! You’ll be completely inundated with robots in your near future.
…anyways. Enough about the future and Skynet.
They are pretty friggin baller.
There are many different uses for Chatbots.
In fact, if you want to test out a couple, check these out:
- Recipe Bot Built by Whole Foods. Allows you to find recipes.
- Find & Share Music Bot Built by Shopify.
- Travel Bot Built by Kayak.
- Sports Scores Bot Built by Toni.
- Shopping Bot Built by Ebay.
- Scheduling Bot An email bot that acts as a scheduling assistant.
- Hell, there is even a bot that wants to be your friend: Xiaoice Built by Microsoft.
Here’s a little gem for you…. It’s a collection of bots built by some of the biggest brands just to show you there is no end to how creative you can be.
This is a GIANT opportunity for you to get a leg up on the competition…
…but how do you create one?
Chatbots for Business
To put this into perspective (for those who are unfamiliar), you have an email list right?
Think about email.
The Whole shebang!
Now. Imagine you live in a world where you KNOW your message will land safely in your target's inbox AND you know they’ll see it.
Wouldn’t that be amazing?
I know some of you would give up a kidney for that!!
On top of all that, imagine it lands safely in their inbox and they see it…
…next, let’s say you are in the lead generation business, you need consistent leads to survive.
You know how much time and energy it takes not only taking that new lead and pre-qualifying it, but also following up (time, and time again), to REALLY qualify them. To make sure they are exactly what you are looking for.
What if I told you, you can ALSO do this with a laser-focused chatbot?
I know… you’re skeptical… And that’s to be expected.
How Influencer Press Made $10k off one client with a simple Chatbot
Here is an example of a chatbot that works amazingly and continues to run solid...
Founder of Influencer Press, Ulyses Osuna, created a baller chatbot that brought him in over $10,000!!
Ulyses found that he could cut out so much unneeded time and energy trying to qualify clients by simply having a bot created that did this for him.
- He knew his buyers.
- He understood how to qualify them.
- And most important of all, he created it in such a way, that it gave the feel of an actual conversation!!
Check Ulyses' bot & get the Case Study
Click the Button above and type "Get Started" in messenger.
Okay, Sam… that's cool and all... but how the hell do I put something like this together?
Glad you asked 😉!
As everything goes in the world of business and, especially, in the world of marketing we must first know who our target audience is… AND REALLY KNOW THEM.
Know Who The Hell You Are Targeting!!
What kind of weirdos are they??
Creating a Buyer Persona is step one.
Ever heard the term, “Back to the drawing board”?
This is the epitome of that sentence in regards to business.
If you don’t know who your customers are, how the hell are you going to get your message in front of them? How are you going to solve their problems?
And don’t be “That” guy who says, “Oh, well I know who it is I’m targeting”…
…take the damn time and actually do the exercise (you can thank me later).
There are a few different templates you can use, from some very reputable sources:
- Hubspot Persona Templates
- OptinMonster Buyer Persona Template
- Digital Marketer Customer Avatar Worksheet
- HootSuite Buyer Persona’s w/Social Media Data
- Sprague Media FB Specific Persona & Targeting Worksheet
Our persona worksheet has been created by us, specifically for the work we do on Facebook for our clients… SO it looks a little different but may be exactly what you need.
The premise for creating these personas is to not only understand who it is you are targeting but what message and offer to put in front of them, that they will actually NEED.
Knowing their pain points can help you speak their language and hook them with the benefits of the solution you are offering!
Figuring Out The Solution
To find the perfect solution to a problem, you must first - KNOW THE PROBLEM!!
You KNOW your audience. Now you must KNOW their problems.
There are many technics for figuring this out…
In fact, you may already have the solution, but if you don’t - here is a simple technique to figure this out.
You just went through the whole process of figuring out your audience (assuming you did this), so now think back to your audience… Your buyer's persona.
Bust out a pen and paper (or type your ass off) and put yourself in their shoes.
Think about every aspect of their day…
Do they have trouble waking up in the morning? Fixing breakfast for their kids before screeching off to work?
Do they have a problem with eating healthy? Or even getting the right amount of time to consume a meal?
Does their car malfunction a lot? Do they have a car or have to take the bus? What is their mode of transportation?
At work, do they get bombarded with calls all day from telemarketers, vendors, clients, etc, who all want something from them?
Do they have trouble getting home on time, picking the kids up from school, or making a decent dinner?
Are you getting the gist of this?
…go through your list and start crossing off everything you cannot help with.
For instance, if you sell supplements, you may have to focus on the aspects of their life that involve eating or feeding their children.
If you sell software B2B, then focus on the problems they go through while at the office and what red-tape they have to run through to get anything done!
And if for whatever reason you get lost in this exercise, call one of your previous clients (preferably one of the ones you liked working with) and ask them what it was that made them choose you.
Or you can even link up with SurveyMonkey and create a survey to go out to your past clients.
You really don’t need that many people to survey, as long as you ask the right questions. And with SurveyMonkey, their Basic plan gives you 100 free responses (surveys).
Any way you slice it, you NEED to know how you will be helping them AND what is in it for them, because at the end of the day this is all they care about.
And oddly enough, sometimes that means you are going to need to talk to your customers directly (...I know, contrary to what I am talking about right?).
Of course, that also means they can lead to awesome relationships...
This is a major reason why you’ll want to choose the right software to help stay connected to the user.
Pick The Right Software
There are many different chatbot builders out there.
It’s important to understand them and know which one is right for you
Now, there are many different kinds and versions of chatbot’s out there.
Here's are five to choose from:
- MobileMonkey (One of my favorites, specifically for Marketers, created by Larry Kim)
However, we want to focus on the two popular ones right not...
ManyChat and ChatFuel.
Why these two?
For a few reasons, but all-in-all you want a company that not only understands what the user wants (and have a decent UI) but also have growth enough, to change with the times and upgrade its program as we roll into the next few years.
Now I am not going to break down the difference between these two programs.
That’s a conversation for another time.
If you want an in-depth analysis, check out Dana Gran’s blog post, ManyChat vs Chatfuel on ThinkTuitive.
I say, test them both out… Play with them a little bit and see which one you like best.
Next, you need to know your target market’s buying process and where your bot will fit into this process.
Where Will Your Chatbot Fit In?
Are you planning on using it in the beginning of your funnel? The end? Everything in between?
Its placement in the buying process is crucial.
If you send freezing cold traffic to your bot, and you are trying to get them to buy a product, the likely hood they will convert is very low.
Don’t misread that sentence, you CAN send cold traffic to your bot, but if you do your (for lack of a better word) “Chatbot-Funnel” needs to be about building trust and authority.
Let’s go back to the basics real quick…
Here is what a funnel looks like:
- ⬇️ Visitors - Cold traffic
- ⬇️ Lead - Optin or sign up
- ⬇️ MQL - Marketing qualified lead
- ⬇️ SQL - Sales qualified lead
- ★ Opportunity - Perfect client / customer
- 💯 Client - Closed the deal
It’s fine if you have other channels operating at different stages, but when creating your chatbot, you must have a strategy for implementation.
You can create a bot for any and every part of your funnel / the buying process once you know where your audience will be coming from.
If they come from a blog post, test sending them to a bot that opts them into receiving a lead magnet (lead).
Have an opportunity ready to buy?
Send them through a bot that allows them to purchase (…yes, you can add payment integrations to your bot!!).
If you offer a service and want to know more about your prospect, run them through a qualifying sequence.
At the time of writing this, the most successful chatbots I’ve seen have been Lead to Opportunity (and even some client) bots.
However, in order to make this successful you’ll want to have your qualifying questions and answers prepared.
Qualifying Questions & Answers
If you have spent enough time with clients (either on the phone or in person) you should have an idea of the questions they ask, the objections they have, and how to answer them.
If not, have a detailed conversation with your sales and marketing team because this is VERY important…
…hell, there should be NO reason you don’t know this!!
Let’s use mortgages as an example (Why? Well… just because I have a background in Finance).
The application process is the most important process.
It runs everything you do from start to finish.
This process can also take your sales team away from what they are good at… Selling!!
So to help automate this process, let’s send them through some automation.
Now, I am not going to build out the whole process for you, but let's look at the basics of what we need:
- Name, Address, Phone #, SSN ( ⬅️ test this one)
- Any sort of craziness that WILL pop up when you are ready to close 🙈!!
If all these questions were answered, it would be like a salesman’s wet dream!
Here is a peek at one of Avaamo’s bots.
Are you beginning to visualize the whole picture?
You want to give users the opportunity to complete as much of this process as possible before moving them to the next stage in your sales process.
Once you have completed what the questions that you want answers too, put yourself in your buyer's shoes.
What answers might they give you?
What if they don’t know?
Over time you’ll be able to optimize your bot better but for now, consider every option they might give you.
This is where understanding those objections and concerns come into play.
If we know that when we ask a specific question we normally get X answer, but sometimes they’ll say Y or Z.
We want to be able to predict the responses and be prepared.
The last thing you’ll want is to have to follow up with everyone because there is a hole in your bot…
…of course, it’s the nature of this particular beast when building out your bot.
Building a Chatbot
Now that you have the concept in place for what your goals are and how it’s going to work, let’s start building.
Once again we are stepping into the shoes of the buyer.
Treat this as if you were texting them.
Think of it like this…
Not only do you want to ask the right question, get the right answer, but you also want to make the user experience seamless.
As if they were having an actual CHAT with someone.
What does this mean?
Here are 9 rules I like to follow:
- Be concise
- Don’t be afraid to use texting lingo (lol, ppl, btw)
- Use emoji’s 🙈 💯 😂, but not all over the place… Rule of thumb: use them as a way to highlight specific actions.
- Use Gif’s
- Make it easy to read… Think minimalism. Keep the # of characters as limited as possible and try to break up huge paragraphs.
- Don’t use jargon... Speak like they would (you are trying to connect here folks!!).
- Use show “typing” in between messages… It gives the feel to the user, that someone is speaking directly to them.
- Let them know they are talking to a chatbot (give it a name to make it seem more human… damn robots!)
- Give them an option to talk to a human… they may get stuck OR they just may be anti-bot. In which case, you don’t want to lose them.
It’s all in the details.
You’re wanting your prospect to feel a connection with you, even before you actually connect with them (crazy right?).
This means your sequences and setup must be top notch!!
But don’t stress when you don’t get it right the first time around.
It takes time to really optimize a bot, especially for middle-stage sales & marketing processes…
…hopefully you have some friends, co-workers, or even your best clients help you test out your chatbot.
Make Use of Automation
Setup automation, autoreplies, and rules that make sense.
Here is an example of one I created for an advertisement running where the person must type, "Get Started" in the comments section.
I am sure you've seen these around a few times (test them out!).
Remember this is about automation...
So as much as you would love to have a bot just ready to go, we have to give it all the necessary tools and resources to succeed.
We are telling the bot what to say and how to say it.
Test, Test, Test, Optimize
Bots finished, but we still need to take care of all the bugs and make sure it’s running properly.
As previously mentioned…
Reach out to your colleagues, employees, marketing & sales teams, anyone with a pulse who understands what you are trying to accomplish.
Have them go through it with a fine tooth comb.
Go through every nook and cranny.
Have them ask off the wall questions and see how your bot responds.
Now fix ALL these bugs.
Once you do that, reach out to your best clients.
Ask them to do you a favor.
Send them the link and have them do the same thing.
I promise you it will be painful.
It may even take you a while to patch every tear and plug every hole, but after it’s completed it’s time to start rocking & rollin!!
Oh, and be sure to start utilizing the "Send to Messenger" plugins on your site... it's almost like asking them to subscribe to your blog, but a whole hell of a lot easier.
Here's a link to the developers Facebook Messenger platform, in case you want to build it out yourself (...nerds!!)
Time to Rock & Roll
None of this was meant to be easy.
However, after some time playing around with it, you’ll understand why it’s important to have the right software, the right goals, and the right support behind you.
This is exactly why marketers, like Tyson Isham, have created a community specifically around creating, building, and managing chatbots… Join the Facebook group here ⬅️
If you want to take your chatbots to the next level, then this group is where you need to be 😉.
Bots are still so relatively new that there is nothing else out there like it.