Business Tips

Chatbots 101: A Beginner's Guide

By
Hannah Curran
|
September 6, 2017

It’s time to delve into the buzzword of the season. “Chatbots” isn't just a codeword used by the technically-inclined to make the rest of us feel feeble. In reality, chatbots are computer programs that interact with customers through a digital interface, and they can save businesses thousands in customer service and consumer marketing costs—not to mention time! The interaction usually happens in a conversational manner through a brand’s presence on messaging apps such as Facebook Messenger, or via a chat window pop-up on the brand’s website. Expanding on this, chatbots can be uber-lucrative for a business and they’re much, much cheaper than you think. Of course, that doesn’t mean that the idea of installing a robot to interact with valued customers doesn’t still intimidate the living heck out of a large percent of the population. After all, not all of us can be coders… or computer savvy… or really know what “html” means. That said, if you think your business could benefit from a chatbot – but don’t really understand the logistics of such a process – then this article is for you.

Why Are Marketers So Obsessed?

How we use the internet is changing. Social media doesn’t have the chutzpah it once did because people are starting to favor one-on-one online interactions over public conversations. Chatbots Magazine explains that, “people are using messenger apps more than they’re using social networks.” As marketers, we understand the importance of connecting with our customers on whatever social or mobile app they’re using. But when so many of them are looking for answers to basic questions, who has the time to have a conversation with every single potential customer via messenger?This is where the chatbot comes in.

What Can They Do?

Chatbots designed with artificial intelligence aren’t just built for responding, they’re also collecting information and learning. The chatbots that we’re focusing on here, on the other hand, don’t have artificial intelligence. These chatbots can be programmed to resolve simple, common issues for customers. This type of bot can also be used to lead customers to the right product for their needs, or to direct customers to the right human representative by asking a series of simple, pre-programmed questions. Chatbots without AI can save businesses tons of money by completing the menial tasks that were once completed by hourly employees. What if you could eliminate cart abandonment from your website by greeting customers with a chatbot that leads them directly to the inventory they need? Imagine reducing your hourly wage payout by having a bot answer your company’s top 10 customer service questions. The ideas – and opportunities – are truly endless, which is another reason chatbots are becoming all the rage.

How Much Do They Cost?

You’re probably thinking that the answer to this question falls in the upper hundreds. But here’s the deal, you can get an easy-to-use chatbot made by a Fiverr seller that meets your budget and your needs. A cross-platform bot with all the bells and whistles is going to cost a bit more than a bot built with basic functions - but Fiverr seller’s can design and customize the best bot for your business. This makes it easier for the average Joe or Jane (that’s you) to implement chatbot technology that will save their business tons of money in expenses, hourly wages, and lost sales. If you’re curious about chatbot tech but aren’t sure where to get started, contact a Fiverr seller to get acquainted with your own personal robot.

What Do I Need?

Once you get hooked up with a seller, they’re going to ask you what functions you need from a chatbot to best support your business. If you’re going with a simple Q and A messenger chatbot, you’ll want to have a list of your company’s most frequently asked questions before you get started. What type of language do you want your chatbot to use? Go light on the quips and puns with your first chatbot. Instead, focus on creating an informative interface that will answer your Customer Service team’s most frequently asked questions. Now that we’ve shone a little light into the elusive domain of the technologically-inclined, you might finally be ready to tap a robot to handle the grunt work for your business. With a little ambition and the right seller, you’ll have your customers interfacing with one of those fancy newfangled robots in no time. Explore the Fiverr chatbot category here.

How have you used chatbots for your small business? Tell us in the comments below!

Hannah Curran
Hannah Curran is Fiverr's Social Media and Content Manager. Originally from Connecticut, she lives in California and works out of our San Francisco office. Have an idea for the Fiverr blog? Connect with her on LinkedIn.
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