The 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 you should add when building and deploying your bot.

  1. Proactive messaging
  2. Agent handover
  3. Carousels and button options
  4. Media sharing/sending downloadable content
  5. Qualifying leads
  6. Gaining input from multiple sources
  7. Omnichannel capabilities
  8. Conversational history with transcripts
  9. Star ratings and written feedback

Proactive messaging

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.

You can 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.

screenshot of BMW website with Userlike on screen
BMW uses its chatbot to help visitors learn more about its latest offers.

Proactive messaging achieves two important things: it shows customers you’re aware of their presence and that help is directly available to them. This reduces the amount of customers who leave your website by assisting them with their questions on the spot.

Agent handover

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.

Example product image of chat forwarding in Userlike

If a customer contacts your team outside of business hours, chatbots can create tickets or forward questions to your agents depending on the request.

Carousels and button options

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.

Example image of Userlike's carousel feature

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.

Screenshot of Botti's button options
Insurance company WertGarantie implemented their chatbot with OMQ and uses Userlike’s button options to help customers with common topics.

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.

Media sharing/sending downloadable content

Example image of media upload in Userlike

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.

Qualifying leads

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.

Gaining input from multiple sources

Chatbots built using an API can improve the communication quality between your business and customers.

Such a solution understands a large variety of intents (questions/requests) and is connected to a natural language engine to improve the accuracy of its responses and resolution times.

It also allows a chatbot to predict values and find common patterns among the data it consumes. Say you want to build a better relationship with your health app users. A chatbot built using IBM Watson can, for example, analyze its conversations with your customers to learn what health aspects are important to them and make relevant product/exercise regime/diet/supplement suggestions.

Screenshots of Lark's chatbot in action
Digital health coach, Lark, helps customers stay on track with their fitness goals.

Chatbots built using an API can also be connected to your customer messaging solution. For example, you could connect your IBM Watson chatbot to Userlike’s chatbot API and deploy it as an agent. That way you can use your bot across messaging channels and all controls stay in one place.

Omnichannel capabilities

Chatbots can converse on various platforms like Whatsapp, Facebook Messenger and SMS. This helps expand your service reach and even your customer base to those who prefer texting businesses .

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 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

Example image of star rating system on Userlike

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 while lets you build an interactive survey.

Get these chatbot features and more with Userlike’s Logic Bot

Through conversations and our own experiences, we learned what chatbot features matter most to our customers and built a solution that meets those needs.

Our Logic Bot functions as an active member of your team: it can greet customers, answer questions using simple syntax and help visitors navigate your website.

Screenshot of Ubie on chatbots page

You can use it as a proactive first contact for customers, as backup for your agents or for requests received outside of service hours.

To get a feel for our Logic Bot, you can say hi to Ubie on our chatbot page and see our solution in action.

If you already have a chatbot or want to build one with an external service, we also offer a chatbot API so you can use it with our software.

If you’re interested in our chatbot options, start a chat on this screen to talk to a member of our team. And while you’re here, sign up for our free 14-day trial to try us out with no strings attached.