9 Features Every Chatbot Needs to Be Successful
Technology is all about the features. When we buy a device or use a digital service, we want it to improve our lives somehow.
I bought a Fitbit so I could have a better handle on my fitness, and businesses use chatbots to get a better handle on their lead generation and customer support. Chatbots, like Fitbits, come with a lot of features — but with a chatbot you can just build it to do what you want it to do.
While the creative freedom is refreshing, it can also be daunting when chatbot builders give you so many options and integrations. This post will cover the most useful features your chatbot needs.
- Proactive messaging
- Agent handover
- Carousels and button options
- Media sharing/sending downloadable content
- Qualifying leads
- No-code builder
- Omnichannel capabilities
- Conversational history with transcripts
- Star ratings and written feedback
A major feature of chatbots, and customer messaging software, is being able to proactively approach your customers on your website. For online retail, it’s the closest you can get to offering “in-store” help.
Proactive messaging achieves two important things: it shows customers you’re aware of their presence and captures their attention in the first crucial moments they’re on your site. This will help stop customers from leaving your website since you’re showing you’re available and can assist them on the spot.
The best proactive approach is to set a trigger so that your chatbot can send a message after a predetermined time. For example, your chatbot could send a welcome message in the chat after a customer has been on your pricing page for three to 10 seconds.
During business hours, chatbots can connect or redirect a conversation to an agent. The easiest way to offer this is by pairing your chatbot with your customer messaging software.
This feature is so important. Maybe the most important, especially in customer service. Customers still prefer human agents for more serious, complicated or time-sensitive matters. You don’t have to worry about losing their business to a single question if you use the forwarding feature.
If a customer contacts your team outside of business hours, chatbots can create tickets or forward questions to your agents depending on the request.
These visual features within the chat, which are only available for website chatbots, make it quick and easy for customers to find what they’re looking for, or discover a page on your website. Not to mention carousels can look quite attractive in a chat box.
Buttons also help speed conversations along so customers don’t always have to type their request. It also helps avoid any frustration since customers will see what exactly your chatbot can help them with.
Plus customers don’t always use the keywords and commands you expect, so buttons and carousels keep the conversation going without any awkward dead ends.
Sometimes showing is better than telling. Chatbots and customers can share media within the chat to aid the conversation, such as sending a picture of car damage to an insurance agency to file their claim.
Chatbots can even send links to downloadable content, like return labels, invoices, manuals, etc. This saves your customer from having to search your website or login to their account — especially if they forgot their password and need immediate help.
Sending relevant images and documents within the chat can also help speed up processes that otherwise take a while to do manually, like settling a claim or verifying an identity.
Chatbots can be used as part of your sales strategy to qualify leads by guiding customers along their buyer journey.
Use this feature as part of your chatbot funnel to stoke interest and keep customers engaged. With Userlike, your chatbot can collect the visitor’s name, email, phone number and any other data important to your company.
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If the conversation is forwarded to an agent, Userlike shows them which page the user is currently on. Agents can then quickly familiarize themselves with what the customer needs even though the conversation started with a bot.
Creating and maintaining your chatbot should be easy. So easy that you don’t need a developer or have to mess with a single line of code. This will make it possible for anyone on your support team to build and make changes to your bot when needed.
There are plenty of visual flow builders on the market, ranging in capabilities. Some are inexpensive rule-based solutions with drag and drop interfaces, others are intent-based AI builders that come at an enterprise-level price.
A smart, cost-efficient solution is to use customer messaging software with a built-in AI suite. That way you can use chatbots and automate parts of your website combined with live chat and messaging.
For example, Userlike’s AI Automation Hub is part of our software. You can access it directly from the Message Center and edit your central knowledge base, which is connected to three modules: an AI chatbot, Smart FAQ and Contact Form Suggestions.
You just need to edit text fields — there’s no code involved unless you want it to be. This is an ideal setup for small to midsize companies that want intelligent AI to help with common customer inquiries but lack the development team and budget to build a solution from scratch.
If you decide to deploy your chatbot on multiple channels, it’s important (and easier) to monitor and control it from one central hub . This makes it easier to keep track of information and not miss any conversations, tickets or requests.
According to Anastasiia Bilous for Chatbotslife, one of the biggest challenges businesses and customers alike face is being able to continue the conversation where it started. A chatbot, like Userlike's AI chatbot, can answer customer questions no matter where they originate, say through Twitter or a WhatsApp message, and keeps the documentation in one place so customers never have to repeat themselves.
Plus a chatbot reduces waiting times on these channels, improving their useability and earning more customers’ trust and satisfaction with your service.
Conversational history with transcripts
As mentioned before, customer messaging solutions automatically keep a transcript of the chatbot’s conversations. These transcripts can be used to keep track of what your chatbot is answering so you can make improvements or changes where necessary.
Transcripts are important because they’re honest. You can observe how customers approach your company and see where your chatbot and service can improve.
Plus it saves your agents having to ask customers to repeat their issues if they get transferred by a bot. Agents can take a second to familiarize themselves with the customer’s current or past issue and assist accordingly.
Star ratings and written feedback
Feedback is how we improve and grow, even in the case of chatbots. Businesses likely want to know their money and time is being well-spent on a digital assistant, so customer feedback and ratings are extremely helpful.
At the end of the chat, you can display a rating system depending on the platform you use. Userlike offers a star rating system and a text box for written feedback, for example.
Which platform is best for a chatbot?
Through conversations and our own experiences, we learned what chatbot features matter most to our customers and built a solution that meets those needs.
Userlike offers an AI Automation Hub, which is a rare combination of sophisticated AI features and customer messaging software. There’s no need to integrate an outside chatbot provider — everything you need is already built into our software.
It uses a centralized knowledge base as a “hub” for three customer support modules: an AI chatbot, Smart FAQ and Contact Form Suggestions.
Our AI chatbot can be used as a proactive first contact for customers, as backup for your agents or to answer requests received outside of service hours.
The AI chatbot picks up conversations where customers left off — a perk not every chatbot platform provides. Most chatbots “reset” once you leave the website, but customers can see their previous conversation with the AI chatbot before deciding to continue it or start a new one.
You’ll lose fewer customers by proactively approaching them with an AI chatbot that’s not only easy for customers to use, but simple for your company to implement.
To learn more about our automation features, read our post, “Automation with AI: introducing new powerful AI features.”
If you’d prefer to test it for yourself, sign up for a free two week trial of Userlike and see our customer messaging software and automation features in action.
If you like our chatbot features, then reach out to our team in the chat on our website or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to hearing from you!