Chatbots have seen a meteoric rise in popularity over the past several years. It’s almost impossible to visit a modern website without a box appearing at the bottom with a brief introductory message. It’s often a friendly, “Hello! How can I help you today?” or a similar line that prompts the visitor to engage.
The widespread adoption of this feature is easy to understand, given its value. A chatbot acts as a digital representative, available to answer questions and address concerns when you have more pressing responsibilities. Naturally, you’d want to remain in close communication with potential customers.
However, a chatbot may fail to meet the expectations of a marketer if they disregard best practices. A chatbot is a strong concept, of course, but its execution is just as integral to success. It’s all too easy to make mistakes if you’re unfamiliar with the technology or its application.
With that in mind, here are five mistakes to avoid when using chatbots in marketing.
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As long as you follow the suggestions below, you’ll enjoy the many benefits of your chatbot while preventing some of the most common issues.
Even with advances in chatbot technology, it’s far from a perfect solution. An overdependence on your chatbot to respond to customer inquiries can cause issues if it isn’t capable. More than that, 40% of U.S. respondents from a recent survey said they’d prefer to speak with an actual person for customer service.
That doesn’t mean you have to remove your chatbot, but you should consider an adjustment if it’s unable to handle requests. A blended approach to customer service is preferable, where a human agent can pick up where a chatbot left off during a conversation.
2. Uncomfortable UX
A chatbot without personalization results in a poor user experience. Imagine this. A customer visits your website and begins a conversation with your chatbot, but they have to navigate a one-size-fits-all conversation path and select preset response options until they finally find what they’re searching for.
This may sound uncomfortable from a user perspective, and that’s because it is. However, if you take the time to develop conversational personalization for your chatbot, you can promote user engagement and provide value. Though it may require a significant amount of work, it’s well worth the effort.
3. Tech Tunnel Vision
The impressive functionality of modern chatbots has made them a valuable asset to marketers. That said, they’re only capable of certain tasks, while they’re incapable of others. As an example, if a marketer depends on their chatbot for an upcoming event, it may fail to achieve the desired results.
An event app is often the better choice in these situations, but that doesn’t mean your chatbot is useless. You can integrate it with the app or run them side-by-side to enjoy the full benefits of each system. In doing so, you’ll supplement the shortcomings of your chatbot and offer the best experience for event-goers.
4. Inadequate Budget
Though many marketers are interested in artificial intelligence — and plan on increasing their spending — they often cite an insufficient budget as a serious stumbling block. It’s one of the largest challenges to AI marketing success, as it’s all too easy to underestimate the expenses associated with a chatbot.
Before a marketer moves forward with development, they should research their options and consider the cost of implementation. It may prove too expensive, in which case, they should look into the available alternatives. Otherwise, they should continue with caution, aware of the limitations of their budget.
5. Insufficient Testing
User testing may seem like an obvious necessity, but some companies skip this critical step. They trust their chatbot to function without any difficulties, and this optimism can come back to bite them. While building and launching a chatbot isn’t the easiest task, you can’t afford to cut corners in development.
Fortunately, this kind of problem has a clear solution that doesn’t take an enormous amount of work. Find users who are willing to help, send them a copy of your chatbot and apply their feedback. If they come across an issue, you can address it before a customer has to bring it to your attention.
Make the Necessary Changes Today
Chatbots are a valuable tool, but they’re only as effective as the person who wields them. As long as you follow the suggestions above and review the most common mistakes, you’ll develop and implement a chatbot that provides lasting value for your organization.