3 Clever Ways to Create a Chatbot for Your Website
Everyone is talking about chatbots. But how do you actually add one to your website?
First off, there is no one-size-fits-all solution to finding the perfect chatbot for your website. But don’t worry, it isn’t rocket science. Here are your options, use cases and examples.
1Implement an out-of-the-box chatbot
The quickest way to implement a functional chatbot on your website is a predesigned service bot that’s tied to your live chat software. If you use Userlike, for instance, you have the option to activate Chat Butler . This is a simple chatbot that jumps in when all your service reps are occupied or unavailable.
Chat Butler greets the customers and forwards the inquiry as soon as a chat slot opens up. Depending on your preferences, he notifies your team through email, a browser notification, Slack and/or your custom backend via our API Add-on.
If no service rep answers within a preset time, he collects the visitor’s information and creates a ticket for your human staff. All Chat Butler's settings can be easily adjusted in your live chat backend, so it only takes a few minutes to integrate the chatbot on your website.
This video shows Chat Butler in action connected to Slack:
The great advantage of an out-of-the-box chatbot solution is that you don’t have to worry about coding and creating rock-solid logics. And even though these bot solutions are limited in their interaction with the customer, you can customize the wording to your corporate style:
The downside of this out-of-the-box chatbot is that he's not of much help outside of your service hours. He solely guarantees a quick first chat response while your team is at work. But many people who are looking into chatbots have something else in mind: a witty, competent chat bot that answers customer questions himself. In that case, option two might be just right for you.
2Build a chatbot using your live chat provider's API
Besides functioning as a quick and friendly greeter, a chatbot can also become a skilled member of your service team. Even though a chatbot won't be able to replace a breathing service agent any time soon , he can answer the most frequent questions, sending helpful graphics or links, and even asking clarifying questions. This could allow you to offer a 24/7 customer support.
To make this entrepreneur’s dream come true, however, you will need to connect with a serious AI service like IBM Watson. At Userlike , we offer a chatbot API that allows your third-party chatbot to operate like any other agent within the Userlike live Chat Panel – with the “small” difference that he is able to talk with many customers at the same time.
To prevent getting bogged down in possibilities, Userlike helps you out with four clear routing modes to choose from:
- Human: The chatbot operates like any other human service agent. There is no special preference if a human or the bot answers the inquiry.
- Failover: The chatbot only jumps in if all other operators have their chat slots occupied.
- Firewall: The chatbot always answers the chat inquiry first. You can set your logic to trigger at which point to forward the chat to a living agent – for example when the chatbot seems unable to answer the question.
- Service Time: This one is active outside of service time. The chatbot answers all inquiries. By your determined logic, he can create a ticket for his human colleagues – for example when he seems unable to answer the question.
3Build a website chatbot through a platform
Let’s say you don’t support your customers with website chat, but you still want to install a simple 24/7 chatbot service that answers frequently asked questions. In this case a chatbot platform like Botsy or PandoraBots might be the way to go.
On the upside, the chatbot has the potential to grow its IQ by adding certain plugins like Google search, Bing search or RSS Import. On the downside, the chatbot is not equipped with a live chat option so that he can forward a message to a human chat agent when he runs out of good answers.
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If you still want to jump in when the chatbot isn’t able to cover your customer’s request, again, most chatbot platforms offer plugins that allow you to answer questions by email or other communication channels.
How you implement the chatbot on your website depends on the platform you choose and your website’s framework. You either download a plug-in, like for Wordpress, or use the platform’s API by entering the website chatbot code.
Use cases for website chatbots
I already mentioned that chatbots are not a replacement for human resources. Although machine learning and natural language processing are evolving, bots still lack the ability to empathize and understand individual scenarios. But many use cases are predestined for the help of our android friends.
- Collect basic information: Before a service rep even lifting a finger, your chatbot can collect the customer’s details and ask for the issue. Afterwards he would forward the message to a human who can start the conversation, already well-informed.
- Answer frequent questions: A chatbot on your website can relieve your service team from answering commonly asked questions and guarantees a quick response.
- Guide your customer to the right operator group: If your service agents have different areas of expertise, your chatbot can ask the customer to pre-select a certain topic or department. That way you spare the customer valuable time by forwarding the chat directly to the right guy or gal.
- Create tickets: If all your chat agents are busy, the chatbot leaves a message for his human colleagues. This guarantees a timely follow up and prevents a chat inquiry from staying unanswered.
- Offer sales support: By creating a multi-option menu within the website’s chat window, you can easily fuel your sales. The chatbot will know about your customer’s interest and offer relevant info to the visitor.
Examples of website chatbots
Here are some real life examples of companies that successfully use a chatbot on their website:
LogoEnergie is a major electricity provider in Germany. They first implemented Userlike Live Chat in 2016. Two years later they decided to add the powerful chatbot system IBM Watson – with astounding results. Eighty percent of all customer requests could be answered by their new chatbot Henry.
“What the Chatbot can easily solve are for instance questions regarding electricity meters and bill copies or if a customer wants to change the monthly part payment. The human staff is needed for individual cases,” says Christina Sologna, project manager at LogoEnergie .
“Of course we had the apprehension, that it will lead to frustration, if the chatbot can’t answer a question. But within the first four months that Henry is in place now, we had no negative feedback – not even from the people who were forwarded to a service agent because Henry couldn’t sufficiently solve the case.”
LogoEnergie’s chatbot is active 24/7 and only forwards chats to human operators if needed. Outside of the service times, customers can ask for a return call or an email response. The LogoEnergie example illustrates nicely that the combination of human chat agents and a skilled chat bot is pretty powerful.
Smart ’s strategy is very similar to LogoEnergie’s. On their website, chatbot Sophie is the first “person” in charge to answer customer inquiries.
She is able to help with finding the next smart car dealer in your area, answering questions about the different car models and guiding you to the right page. Sophie doesn’t necessarily answer all questions directly in the chat window, but let’s you know where to find the information.
Sophie also encourages visitors to make use of the smart configurator. For example, when you ask about the gas or electricity mileage of a certain car model, Sophie will not give you an average number, but sends you to the configurator. All car lovers enjoy configuring a car online (while it takes them a step closer to a potential purchase), so it is a smart move to lead the visitor to the configurator whenever there is a chance.
In case the issue can’t be solved by Sophie, Smart offers the option to fill out a contact form so the customer can be reached by phone.
Although they both belong to Daimler, Mercedes Benz and Smart decided for different chatbot modes tailored to their specific target group. While Smart always tries to solve the issue with chatbot Sophie first, Mercedes Benz puts emphasis on fast, human-based support.
From 8 o’clock in the morning to 9 o’clock at night, live chat with service agents is the main service channel of the luxury car brand. To connect their customers to a skilled operator right away, they use a multi select query; the visitor can choose a matching category before the chat starts: “consulting and test drive,” “configuration and equipment,” “market entry/delivery times” and “miscellaneous.”
During service hours, Mercedes Benz doesn’t use a chatbot whatsoever. Their bot, named Mercedes by the way, only comes into play once the team is offline. After 9 p.m., she is the main customer service channel and operates very similarly to Smart’s chatbot.
TL;DR: You have three options for implementing a chatbot on your website
- A simple out-of-the-box chatbot that is activated by a few clicks in your live chat software.
- A professional chatbot like IBM Watson that you connect with your chat panel by using the livechat API.
- Or a chatbot platform like Botsy that you can integrate by installing a simple plug-in or adding the chatbot code to your website’s HTML.
The best way to add a chatbot to your website?
Although it's tempting to let a chatbot do all the work, we don’t recommend using it as a stand-alone solution for your chat support. Customers expect at least a healthy combination of automated service and human live chat support.
While a platform bot like Botsy can be useful for advertising, customer education and entertainment, you will create the best service experience by working with either an out-of-the-box chatbot or a professional chatbot that is API-integrated into your live chat tool.
Want to test our out-of-the-box chatbot today? Sign up for our free trial and shoot us a message. Happy Chatting!