Types of Chatbots and Chatbot Ideas
Even though the concept of providing outstanding customer service seems simple for customers, it’s not so easy for companies. Chat support can be a huge task to take on, especially for those companies that fall behind answering queries. Companies that offer their services in different time zones may also run into problems with their response times. Fortunately, implementing a Facebook Messenger bot or other types of bots can help smooth out any rough areas.
Chatbots work exceptionally well for guiding visitors around a website or answering repetitive questions. A messenger bot can field multiple queries at the same time while locating the proper answer within seconds to satisfy your customers.
Although it’ll be a long time before chatbots for businesses entirely replace their human counterparts, companies can use them to save a lot of money. Additionally, a well-programmed Facebook bot frees up the company’s human agents to focus their attention on more pressing or challenging problems. You can read how chatbots have evolved into important tools for consumers and businesses in a Toptal article.
With chatbots, you don’t have to know how to code to build one to match your specifications. Botsurfer guides you step by step through the chatbot building process. You’ll use our platform to create your chatbot using a clean interface with powerful features. There’s a free option for basic needs, or we have other options for more complex cases. We’ll outline several scenarios where you could implement different types of chatbots below.
Eight Types of Chatbots
Did you know there is more than one type of chatbot available? You can design fun chatbots, chatbots for after-hours questions, or chatbots to take on customer service tasks, among others. The possibilities are virtually limitless, and we’ll give you several chatbot ideas to try on your business.
Type One - Welcome Bot
You want to deliver exceptional service to your customers when they need it. However, not every customer that interacts with your chatbot will need a human agent to solve their issues. For example, some people may just want the information to complete an action or continue their purchase. You could dedicate a human agent to field these mundane questions, but that pulls them away from more pressing issues.
If this is your problem, a welcome bot could solve it. A chatbot can work as your virtual shopping assistant. A Facebook chatbot can answer basic questions via Facebook Messenger, greet customers, or transfer people to a human agent for more complex problems.
Your Facebook Messenger bot can quickly resolve simple cases, and you can get rid of spammy chats. Your team will be able to devote more time to focus on demanding clients and resolve their issues to boost their satisfaction levels. Chatbots also shorten how long a customer waits for an answer to a query.
Type Two - After-Hours Chatbot
You may have a customer service team that is on point, but they’re human. They go home at the end of the workday, go on vacation, get sick, or maybe get stuck in traffic and are late to work. Even if you have support on-hand 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for your business, there’s always a risk that a query will fall through the cracks. It’s impossible to plan for unforeseen circumstances, and you need something to fall back on. These circumstances are where the best chatbot can help.
In situations like those above, you can use an after-hours bot. An after-hours chatbot can inform anyone that contacts the business of the agents’ absence and office hours. These bots also make it easier to direct anyone to your contact information for follow up.
The top chatbots can effectively gather people’s information, so they won’t necessarily have to visit your website another time. You also won’t have to work to gain new leads because the chatbot will take care of it for you. Later, all you’ll have to do is write your customers back to make them happy. This contact will also start building a stable relationship with them, and these relationships are excellent business practices.
Type Three - Survey Bot
Performing an online survey and polling people on their preferences is very convenient for companies. You gain access to a broad swath of information, a large base of customers, and those who might be potential customers using a simple device. However, customers usually don’t find surveys attractive or convenient.
Nobody likes to take time out of their day to answer survey questions that aren’t fun or won’t benefit them in some way. The good news is, there are fun chatbots available that’ll gather information for you.
Survey bots are reliable alternatives to a traditional online survey because of one catch. Survey bots engage your users, and regular ones don’t. You can name your chatbot and give it a personality. In turn, your customers feel like they’re having a conversation and giving feedback rather than taking a survey.
Some users also get very discouraged when they open a survey and see several questions, and they may click close it without answering. Chatbots give these users one inviting question to start the survey before jumping right into the next one. You can add emojis to each item to catch the survey taker’s attention too.
Type Four - Lead Generation Bot
The top chatbots are excellent for answering general queries and narrowing down responses. But, this isn’t all you can use them for with your business. While your chatbot engages a person, the bot can start asking specific questions and turn a simple conversation into a viable lead.
For example, the chatbot can ask about the person’s contact information like their name, product preferences, and email. Once they have all of this information, the chatbot can compile it and promise the person a human agent will get in touch very shortly.
A fun chatbot is a better way to let your website visitors contact you instead of a traditional contact form. If you create your chatbots for businesses very well, this bot is much more likely to attract a visitor and engage them in a short conversation.
At the end of the conversation, the person is more likely to leave their details. The chatbot will send the data it collects to a back end where a human agent can use it to reach out to your client during the next marketing campaign to drive traffic.
Type Five - Competition Chatbots
Everyone loves a good competition, and a fun chatbot to create is a competition chatbot. These bots can help your clients handle a large variety of tasks, but they can do so in a fun and engaging way. You can quickly fulfill your business goals while entertaining your clients and potential clients with short brand quizzes. Possible topics include questions about your products, brand history, or campaigns.
A competition bot is a quick way to engage your clients on a very personal level and educate them about your company and products. Additionally, you can offer exclusive bonuses or discounts to the people who answer the most trivia questions correctly. This type of bot gives you a bigger chance of attracting a steady stream of new customers, selling more products, and encouraging lead generation.
Type Six - Appointment Bot
It doesn’t matter if you run a restaurant, medical center, law office, or a beauty salon, booking consultations, and setting up appointments is a large part of your daily processes. For anyone who wants to use your products or services, it’s in your business’s best interest to find a slot for them. If the potential customers hit a wall and can’t book, they’ll go elsewhere.
Larger clients have busy schedules, and this means they may not have time to contact you to book an appointment during regular business hours. If this is the case, you need something available to schedule an appointment at a time that suits your customer.
People don’t like to wait, and when they’re short on time, they’re more likely to go to whoever they can book an appointment with first. This entity could be your competition. So, chatbots for business appointments can bridge this gap and be available whenever your customer wants to book.
This bot can ask your customers about their preferences and give them relevant information to help them find an appointment slot. Future clients will get the help they need when they need it, and your staff can focus on the customers who are in front of you.
Type Seven - Navigational Bot
Another useful chatbot idea is a navigational chatbot. This type of chatbot uses a short conversation to help any visitors that interact with it find the content that is relevant to their queries. It could show them a blog article, webpage, or a resource if the visitor requests something specific. It can show them products or services that are relevant to them as well.
For example, say your business sells shoes. A visitor could open the chatbot and tell them that they’d like blue heeled ladies’ boots in size seven. The bot could pull up all your products that fit that short description and give them a link directly to them. This process improves the customer journey by providing a quicker and more direct route to purchase items. Your chatbot can also adapt to changing messages and themes like giving a seasonal greeting or mentioning discounts or sales.
Type Eight - Internal Assistant Bot
The final kind of bot we’ll talk about is the internal assistant bot. This is a bot idea aimed at your staff instead of your customers. This assistant can help your team find answers to simple questions without disturbing their team members with everyday issues.
For example, say you set up a chatbot to help with project management for your team. You feed the chatbot all of the relevant information like client information, deadlines, or tasks. If a team member has a question, they could open the bot and ask. The bot will pull up the relevant information and give them a quick answer to their problems, so they can get back to work.
Chatbots are also a very efficient way to help onboard new employees. Most new employees have a lot of questions about their role or everyday processes. You can show them a chatbot where you loaded in most of this information, and the new employee can find their answers. This chatbot will save a lot of time because the new employee won’t have to track down a specific person for answers.
Platforms that Utilize Different Types of Chatbots
Several great platforms use different types of bots for their everyday practices. These platforms routinely update and change their chatbots to suit any new improvements or additions to the platform to keep it up to date. A few popular platforms include but are not limited to:
Slack is a popular collaboration platform that features a chatroom. You can create multiple channels for your different projects and allow teams access. Slack also has a chatbot with various settings. It can remind team members of birthdays, or you can set it to warn team members of deadlines. You can schedule the chatbot to follow up with previous projects or requests to make sure you don’t forget anything.
Every team member can set up a variation of the chatbot just for them. If they know they’re going to forget a deadline or part of a project, they can put it in the chatbot and choose how often it reminds them. There are push notifications that you can send to your desktop or mobile device, and Slack has an app for Android and Apple devices.
Arguably one of the top chatbots available, Facebook Messenger, is very user friendly and accessible for businesses of all sizes. You do have to have a business-specific page set up on Facebook to link your Messenger chatbot to answer questions. Once you connect it, you can set up your bot however you like.
Facebook allows you to set off-hours when the chatbot automatically sends responses to anyone who sends queries. This response time will enable you to earn and keep your “Very Responsive” badge on your business page. Additionally, this badge tells your potential customers or anyone who sees your page that you work hard to resolve any issues they have. They’ll be more willing to interact with you because this builds their confidence levels in your business.
Ecommerce platforms are very competitive, with dozens of shops trying to sell a wide variety of items. The most responsive shop typically does more business than one that isn’t available for their customers when they have a question or problem. The top chatbots can direct customers to specific items, inform customers of delays, and collect information for follow up or lead generation.
If you have a particular product like makeup, your chatbot could give makeup tips, help customers match their perfect shades, or assist in finding new colors and lines to complement their styles. You could create fashion profiles for your customers if you sell clothing. Another option would be to advise customers of deals, flash sales, or promotions to drive sales numbers.
If someone has access to a smartphone, they have access to SMS. You’ll gain a massive audience of potential customers that you can tap into with an SMS chatbot. This type of bot allows people to hold a short conversation with your brand through text messaging. It’s a great way to send coupon codes, discounts, and information about sales.
These chatbots use natural language processing (NLP). NLP makes it easier to design very interactive conversations using text, GIFs, and emojis. Update your customers on their order status, give them links to tracking information, or answer questions about your services or products all on the person’s smartphone. This format makes it easy to get the answer your customers need while they’re on the go, so it’s convenient.
Build the Best Chatbot with Botsurfer
If you’re ready to incorporate a responsive and convenient chatbot for your website, Botsurfer has a user-friendly platform to start the process. You can set up the chatbot for your business using our platform, and we have several options available. Our free version works well for basic questions or applications, and we have other tiers for more complex needs or if you have a bot idea you want to develop.
We invite you to take a look at our features and pricing to find the best option for your business. If you have any questions or concerns, you can get in touch with our staff. We’re happy to help in any way we can.