What is a Chatbot and how do Facebook Bots Work?
A chatbot is nothing but a computer program based on artificial intelligence, yet it has changed the view of existing customer service in a short period of time. Since it is able to interact with a large number of users at the same time, it is gaining increasing popularity on various types of fan pages. In the era of social networks, the use of this tool has turned out to be a major breakthrough in terms of receiving requests from people using the services of a given brand. Nowadays, almost every global company has its own chatbot, Google even undertook the project of the most realistic cyber chatbot imaginable.
How does a Chatbot Work?
A chatbot is an online consultant, either hosted directly on your website or available in an instant messenger. The way a chatbot works is not complicated. This virtual advisor can conduct a conversation in order to identify and solve a problem or provide necessary information. It plays the role of automatic customer service, for which artificial intelligence is responsible. The conversation takes place in the form of chat, or text messages. It can be an application like Messenger or a dialog box on the official website of the company.
The whole communication process takes little time and is very convenient. The service user asks a question or describes their problem. The chatbot then uses artificial intelligence to generate pre-prepared answers so that they are consistent with the needs of the customer. The data collected by the system makes it possible to answer the question while maintaining the context of the conversation.
Chatbots do not waste time thinking, they respond automatically. AI technology allows them to get to the heart of the problem quickly and proceed efficiently. The digital assistant does not give random advice, it always responds to the topic. If a communication problem arises, it presents a pool of additional questions that will give the user the opportunity to specify the problem in detail. Each subsequent question relates back to the original topic and is designed to verify the specific issue.
Types of Chatbots on Websites
Most often, you come across chatbots in the role of consultants. There is a reason for that – the use of chatbots allows for two-way customer-business contact without the need for a face-to-face conversation. Thanks to this, the company representatives and other employees have more time for other duties and the user does not have to wait for the answer for hours, which often happens with the standard service.
Yet another function of chatbots is the ability to generate and distribute e-commerce content. Instead of hiring additional people to create marketing campaigns, it is enough to instruct our helper to recommend products to selected or random people. This type of contact works like a smart newsletter.
Facebook is an example of a platform where this mechanism works perfectly – messages about new offers sent from the official accounts of a brand can reach thousands or even millions of users. In this way, you can provide customers with tempting offers and encourage them to use the service in the form of subtle advertising.
A Reliable Helper for Customer Service
A chatbot can successfully replace hotline employees. It should come as no surprise that more and more companies are dispensing with call center-type offices and creating separate complaints departments, and instead opting for digital consultants.
More advanced chatbots have the ability of so-called machine learning. This means that the artificial intelligence behind the logical thinking improves its algorithms during each conversation and thus improves the chatbot’s ability. The learning is done using natural language. The information acquired in the past is used to build databases, based on which the program will be able to create recommendations dedicated to the customer from a specific group.
Customers also appreciate the constant contact offered by chatbots. Unlike employees, these virtual assistants are available around the clock and you can seek their help in case of an emergency, when company headquarters are usually already closed.
Not having a real person on the other side of the chat has another plus. After all, employees are only human and have different characters. There are situations when they have a worse day and react aggressively when dealing with customers. The lack of emotion ensures that the chatbot will never get upset or respond in anger because it will not use phrases that it does not have in its database. This patent will avoid accidental conflicts and communication problems and maintain a friendly brand image.
So it is a convenience for both the entrepreneur and the user. Already now many analysts mention chatbot as one of the integral parts of the fanpage. The possibility to enter into conversation with a favourite brand increases its position on the market and helps to build PR. Therefore, it is worth considering whether this application will be useful for your company.
The Biggest Advantages of a Chatbot
Automated customer interaction has proven to be a revolutionary solution for several reasons.
First of all, it allows you to collect feedback and data on the needs and interests of potential buyers. This, in turn, can serve to optimize other areas of the business, such as productivity, work rate, costs, business development in the online space, and focus on the most effective business strategy.
Moreover, it provides cross-functional customer service. A digital assistant will immediately suggest a list of ready solutions instead of waiting to get accurate information. It doesn’t need a long description as it focuses on keywords and links them to available answers. A chatbot can handle simple tasks with the help of a conversation, such as running through the complaint process or presenting examples of service forms. In case of a more complicated question, it can refer the user to a link containing more complete information or direct him to direct contact with the company.
Contest and promotional activities make it possible to reach consumers from various target groups. Personalized messages reach people more than random ads. Consequently, a chatbot can effectively encourage users to a certain product and then redirect them to the manufacturer’s website to make a purchase there.
The chatbot works equally well on desktop devices as well as through mobile apps. This is convenient for people who don’t like to interact directly over the phone, including the entrepreneurs themselves.
This method is also more cost-effective. Not having to staff a person as a consultant, responsible for internal contact between the company and customers, means reduced costs for the service and translates into the ability to invest in other areas.
The possibilities of a chatbot are basically unlimited. More importantly, its use does not require programming skills. A ready-made application can be implemented on the website without special knowledge in the field of information technology.
Guide to Creating a Chatbot – Facebook, Messenger
Facebook and Messenger are currently the easiest way to contact customers and businesses. Such communication is less formal and does not require making phone calls. Unfortunately, owners of official pages rarely have time to write back to each customer individually. However, personal participation in the conversation does not have to mean the complete abandonment of customer service or hiring special consultants.
For this purpose, you can use applications that help build chatbots. The most popular are for example ChatFuel, ManyChat, ChatCompose or Api.ai. By placing bots on your own website, you can save a lot of time and money. If you care about these issues, you should take advantage of the benefits of artificial intelligence.
Chatbot or Automatic Replies?
There are two ways to get a chatbot running through Messenger.
First, you can use the help of an external platform. This solution allows a bit more possibilities and a more advanced form of dialogue. A chatbot constructed this way can send extended advertising content and even offer ready-made packages. Through such a mechanism, users will be able to book a ticket for an event, buy a product, book a room for a trip or order food with delivery to a given address.
After choosing one of the applications that offers the creation of a chatbot, you need to log into Facebook. In the next step, a tab will appear on the application that allows you to add a digital assistant to your fanpage. Once the chatbot is integrated with your Facebook page, you can proceed with the configuration. Each app has a slightly different interface, but the principles of operation remain the same. The page will provide a free wizard, where you need to enter sentences that will be automatically translated into code understandable for bots. The exact modification – from the welcome message to the detailed responses – may take some time, but it will give you a helper fully customized to the services offered by your brand.
Those who don’t care about a complicated system can use one of Messenger’s features, which is the generation of automatic responses. Such a chatbot is a bit more limited, but it has all the tools necessary to create a simple informant. You don’t need any external software to run it, and the process will only take a few minutes. Just log in to Facebook and use the option available in the settings. In the “messages” tab, you will find tools for personalizing your own chatbot. In the panel, you will see the option to create an original greeting. This will allow the bot to address each user by name. Enabling automatic replies will generate a message when someone tries to contact your company. You can add buttons to each reply, which will present the user with more conversation options.
Frequently Asked Questions from Customers
Using the Facebook chatbot, you can also prepare an interactive FAQ, i.e. a set of answers to the most frequently repeated questions. To do this, click on “Frequently Asked Questions” and then create an answer template that the chatbot will follow.