How brands can use chatbots to enhance UX

To chatbot, or not to chatbot, that is the question. Maybe not quite the words of Billy Shakespeare, but close, right?

Chatbots have been quite the buzzword throughout 2019, with 80% of businesses claiming they already use, or plan to use chatbots by 2020. But is it worth all the hype and can chats really enhance UX?

For some, ‘the rise of the robots’ is something that makes them quiver in their boots – a threat to their jobs and their customer’s user experience (UX) – but the numbers don’t lie, 63% of customers surveyed said they were more likely to return to a website that offers live chat.

Let’s get to the nitty gritty of why you’re here; how can chatbots actually enhance your customer’s UX.

Automating transactions

It’s important to make the purchasing process as fuss-free as possible for customers. Chatbots bridge that gap and become an extension of a business’ sales team.

According to SalesForce, 57% of customers are eager to share their sensitive data with chatbots to get more relevant deals and offers. This gives brands the opportunity to classify an individual’s wants/needs, in order to serve them personalised products and offers to increase conversion and enhance UX.

From here, bots can securely take payment and complete the sale – making the buying process much smoother. Some say it’s lazy, some say it’s genius, but the proof is in the pudding, as they say – 70% of 1-800-Flowers’ orders through their chatbot were from new customers.

*If you handle customer data, ensure your website security is up to scratch with our top tips here.

Provide customer support

The most common practice for using chatbots is for customer service. Chatbots automate communication with customers, speeding up response times and answering up to 80% of routine questions.

According to HubSpot, 82% of consumers look for an immediate response from brands on marketing or sales questions – a statistic that most customer service personnel cannot compete with.

Offloading this tedious task to a chatbot frees up employees time to get onto other tasks at hand – it’s a win-win.

Intelligently enhance your FAQ’s page

Chatbots can enhance UX by populating most commonly asked questions on an FAQ page, so customers don’t have to continually search for answers to their burning questions.

A FAQ page is one of the best ways to improve SEO. By using the most commonly asked questions within your FAQ page, you are working works towards a sound voice search strategy – allowing those using Siri, Google or Alexa to find your website with ease.

Companies in the developed world may respond to civil society and investors’ pressure to take social responsibility more seriously by adopting CSR frameworks, but only to appease their critics and without any attention to actual changes in their practices.

Look, I get it – sometimes you just want to speak to a (preferably) living, breathing human being when you have a problem that needs solving. But chatbots have come a long way, and are increasingly becoming more adept at speaking with customers on a deeper level, allowing brands to have better conversations with their customers online.

The best chatbots are the ones that don’t feel like you’re talking to a machine, but instead mimic humanistic language and create a connection – adding a touch of flavour, a sprinkle of humour and the odd ‘umm’ and ‘er’ here and there.

Fun fact: studies reveal that customers still use polite language when interacting with virtual assistants; they ended their interactions with ‘Thank you!’ and often formulated questions that started with “Please…”, “Do you think…” or “Can you tell me…”

Tips to chat like a champion

Choose a tone of voice that matches your brand personality

Your brand’s unique personality is the very core of your business, it’s the voice that connects your brand to your customers and create long standing relationships with them.

Allowing your brand’s personality to shine through in your chatbot’s language creates consistency throughout all communications online. If you haven’t defined your brand’s personality just yet, we suggest you do it now – our marketing team can give you a little help.

Typing indicators (…)

There’s nothing more off-putting than having a chatbot that has no delay. After all, you don’t expect a reply the exact second you hit that ‘send’ button with friends, do you?

In fact, don’t answer that.

Photo credit: Kommunicate

It might sound a little counterintuitive, but allowing a slight delay with typing indicators makes one hell of a difference, making the conversation with customers feel that little more authentic.

Contextual understanding

Contextual chatbots are a must; they remember previous messages a user has sent and presents a more thoughtful answer.

chatbot contextual understanding to enhance UX
Photo credit: medium.com

The above example shows that the bot knows that the user would like to book flights, even on the second and third message, without the user having to mention it again.

The bot here has used the contextual information to know what the user wants.

Emojis & GIFs

Emoticons and GIFs add a blip of colour and a dash of personality to set the tone of the conversation. This is especially important to brands that are specifically targeting Millennials and Gen Z – those that have grown up with emojis at the core of communications.

emojis in chatbot to enhance UX
Photo credit: Coca-Cola

Here’s an example:
“I can’t wait.” vs “I can’t wait!” vs “I can’t wait 😁”

Each message holds the same sentiment, but the conveyed feelings may differ slightly.

What’s more, emojis have been proven to boost engagement levels, click through and open rates.

Customer communications is one of the most, if not the most, important components of marketing – it allows brands to connect with customers on a more personal level to increase conversion and brand advocacy. Chatbots allow businesses to openly communicate to users on their website with ease, in order to answer questions, offer discounts and aid conversion.

Check out dotdigital’s chat feature here!

Are you looking at implementing chatbots into your communications strategy? Contact our team for more information.