Top 5 Traits of a Good Facebook Chatbot

Many brands and marketers are looking for different, resourceful ways to deploy a Facebook chatbot. At one time Facebook was the easiest, fastest way for brands to get messaging experiences to market. The feedback was often mixed, but where powered by conversational AI, it made things easier and provided users with a unique experience they loved that led to higher engagement, sales and satisfaction than traditional eCommerce experiences.

Today, however, the platform is in need of some love and well-deserved appreciation. Facebook is removing Messenger’s “Discover” Tab, Facebook chatbots are purported to have a high failure rate and have even provoked a so-called “death of chatbots”. At the same time, successful brands have realized that Facebook is only a starting points for their chatbots, and the platform itself is making major inroads with conversational interfaces. 

The wild successes out there have a lot to teach any brand looking to deploy a Facebook chatbot. For most brands, there’s a few things to keep in mind when you start to develop your next messaging experience: have a distinctive voice, actively recommend products, leverage Natural Language Understanding, provide consumers the confidence to buy and make sure the experience can be connected across other channels. 

Using Your Brand’s Voice to Engage

Messaging is a highly responsive platform, and can actually be a great way to convey your key marketing messages. The problem is maintaining continuity in the messages you send your consumers. Sometimes you want them to consider products, other times you want to provide customer service, and often they have intentions that are unexpected or unpredictable.

While you can’t account for everything in advance, honing and defining your voice gives you a defensible position where you can still allow your brand to feel natural and approachable. This is difficult, but it’s a matter of maintaining the kind of presentation and tight copywriting you expect from a core, year-round marketing campaign. Being distinctive keeps you from being forgotten.

In one particular case, nail care brand Sally Hansen saw 85% email opt-in (17x their website) and nearly 0 exits from a distinctive holiday-themed Facebook chatbot. With a 5-day campaign, they were able to collect 11,000 emails and revitalize their eCommerce customer base – all because they offered a conversational experience that was truly different from the rest. 

Providing Relevant Recommendations

Product recommendations are one of the best use cases for conversational AI. A lot of people think basic product quizzes can do the same job, but they’re really one-way experiences that don’t naturally personalize to the consumer. They also don’t really give you the opportunity to create a longer-lasting relationship with the consumer – one that goes beyond a first interaction.

When you deploy product recommendations within a Facebook chatbot, you have to do everything except “stick to the script”. The advantage of AI chatbots is that your consumers don’t need to be limited by the same restrictive dialogue – having a flexible structure that helps consumers find the best choices for them reveals the priority of their concerns and encourages them to buy more. Furthermore, calling up previous recommendations at another point in the customer journey can be essential to providing more value with each interaction (more on that later).

The challenge here is combining a savvy, pre-designed product recommendation with the AI capabilities necessary to actually take consumers wherever they want to go. By properly recognizing and accounting for consumer needs, brands can enable their product recommendations to be more effective at increasing conversion. All of this of course requires our next core feature of Facebook chatbots: Natural Language Understanding

Respond to Unique Concerns Using NLU

Natural Language Understanding (NLU) gives your brand an opportunity to interpret and respond to new information through your facebook chatbot. It parses intents and domain-specific terminology to understand the unstructured or unexpected statements that consumers make.

The fact is, the absence of NLU is what has left so many people dissatisfied with Facebook chatbots. By incorporating it, you not only ensure that you can offer a better experience – you also make it easier for customers to come back and actually feel understood. Understanding specific intents is the key to enabling your consumer to actually learn more about a product or set of offerings they’re exploring, and is just another reason why solutions like virtual product advisors are far better suited to a brand’s needs than AI assistants

Don’t Pressure for a Sale, Give the Confidence to Buy

Once you’ve got somebody ready to consider a product, you don’t want to pressure them with cheesy sales tactics or dilute their interest with unnecessary promotions. Giving people the confidence they need to buy works better instead. 

What does that mean? For one, your Facebook chatbot needs to be able to answer the basic questions consumers have. They may want to know why a product is good for them – even if it’s just a matter of reiterating their need and the products benefits. Maybe they want to be reminded of an already advantageous price, or a seasonal reason to buy. 

With a Facebook chatbot, you can offer in-context consultation that is actually quite effective – almost twice as effective as a chatbot without it. Of course, this can also be prompted within the right experience design, but making people feel invested in a given product is one rhetorical capability where simple support-bot designs just don’t do all that much to help a brand. 

Allow Consumers to Stay Connected

No matter what channel you’re on, consumers should be able to stay connected with you on every other channel they use to interact. Omni-channel approaches are necessary because channel-switching is seen as essential to the modern consumer journey. For your consumers, making sure your Facebook chatbot doesn’t just stay on Facebook is the biggest step you can take to increasing usage and success.

So, what are the other places you can incorporate a Facebook chatbot? Well, a webchat, landing page, advertising and even connecting it through voice. There’s pretty well no limits to the channels that can leverage conversational AI. Your customers already expect this omni-channel approach for everything else, soon enough they’ll expect it for messaging too (Facebook is even doing it across all their own messaging properties

Making the Best Possible Facebook Chatbot

At the end of the day, the way in which you deploy a Facebook Chatbot is not only going to determine yours success on Facebook and Messenger, it could also lay the framework of every other conversational AI investment that follows. For a brand, this is critical. The number of transactions done through conversational AI will double every year until 2023, from 2.2 billion to 26 billion annually. 

If you’re developing a Facebook chatbot, you need to know that no matter the cost, your ability to both port the experience to other channels and take advantage of higher consumer adoption is essential to making the most of your investment. If you want real return on your messenger bot or Facebook chatbot, you need every one of the features mentioned above, and all of that is only possible through true conversational AI. 

Still have questions?  We’re fired up to help as many brands as possible to raise the bar of user and customer experience in eCommerce.  If you need help implementing website engagement tools for your brand or want to talk further about any of the tactics in this article, we should talk ASAP!

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