When it comes to contacting people, what do you prefer: Calling or Texting?
That’s why Facebook Messenger Chatbots have become an essential tool for business communication.
My name is Dr. Vaibhav Bharadwaj, and I share useful information about digital marketing specifically for dentists and wellness professionals. You may find some examples in this article that are specific to these industries. However, the concepts can be applied to any service-based sector.
Keeping the messaging option open makes your audience more likely to connect with you rather than your competitors.
In this article, I am going to show you what a Facebook Messenger chatbot is, why should you use it, what problems can it solve for your business, and a simple four-step process to set it up!
A change in Audience Expectations
Gone are the times when customers were happy with just A-class products or services alone.
Today, people want A-class experiences as well.
As a business owner, this can be difficult because, firstly, we may not always “be available.”
Secondly, not everyone can hire a customer support staff.
The simple solution here is Chatbots (basically Artificial Intelligence).
The inexpensive and smart way to bring your customer service online 24x7x365
According to Business Insider, messaging apps have now become more significant than social networks. People use them for communicating, and they are great tools for small businesses!
What is a Facebook Messenger Chatbot?
It is an automated software-based on Facebook messenger that talks to your potential customers on your behalf. It solves people’s problems and saves the time of the business owner.
It can be attached to the business page of your dental clinic/gym/diet clinic, and people can interact with it by pressing the “message” button on your page.
Types of Chatbots
Simple chatbots designed to follow specific rules. These are suitable for answering simple questions. Most Facebook Messenger Chatbots fall in this category.
E.g., opening and closing hours of the clinic, consultation fees, links to instagram page or a youtube channel, or asking for directions to your clinic/gym.
More advanced, interactive, and humanized.
They are implemented to solve multiple problems of the customers.
A great example i know of is the HDFC Eva Chatbot. If you’re an HDFC Bank customer, you must be knowing about this advanced chatbot, which does many functions other than simple ones.
Why should you have a Facebook Messenger Chatbot?
It makes you always available
Your business (a dental clinic, or a gym or an online nutrition coaching) needs new clients coming in daily. If new interactions are always dependent on one person, they are bound to be delayed. A bot makes you always available.
According to research, 68% of customers will choose your competitor if they think you don’t care (delayed response is one big turn-off!)
Saves “human” time
Facebook Messenger Chatbots can automate mundane, repeated interactions like FAQs, consultation charges, doctor timings or questions like “Do you train people with diabetes?”, “Can I get a Free Coaching consultation?”.
Facebook Messenger Chatbots are free (if you build them on your own) and inexpensive if you hire a professional like me to make it for you.
Also, the cost involved is only a one-time affair.
Compared to Email Marketing, Facebook Messenger chatbots are far more effective today.
Email marketing has a low open rate (20-30%) and comes at around $1000 a year. Thats a whopping INR 75,000 for a year! Moreover, its difficult to set up the e-mail automations without the help of an expert email marketer.
People are 3.5 times more likely to open their Facebook messenger rather than a marketing email in their inbox!
What problems can a Chatbot solve?
- Generate leads and prequalify them:
- E.g., “Have you got a Dental consultation before?” or “Are you currently following any particular diet?”.
- You can put any number of questions and get answers.
- Help them select the right product/service:
- E.g., if a person selects “Weight loss,” he can be directed to choose between Diet plans, Exercise Plans, or combination plans.
- Book/Cancel/Reschedule appointments
- Download Resources: Allow your prospective clients to Download forms, guides, checklists directly.
- Grow your Subscribers by posting relevant content
- Automate your follow-ups:
- E.g., you can send automated texts to people who visited your website but didn’t book a consultation.
- Send automated follow-up reminders to patients who booked three months ago
- Webinar Sign-ups:
- Allow people to sign-up for your webinars.
- These can also integrate with your email marketing software to send automatic webinar reminders!
- Integrate it with Facebook Ads: Show ads specifically to people who have ever interacted with your chatbot.
- Collect feedback/review for your business after the services
- Bots can be scaled: During peak business hours, a bot can handle multiple questions seamlessly. This is especially important when you’re a one-person army and are often busy with your clients/patients.
Since all conversations happen in Facebook Messenger, whenever a query remains unresolved, you can always chip in and help them move forward.
Build your first Facebook Messenger Chatbot: 4-Step Process
Step 1: Identify the Pawn
Identify the biggest problem of your business related to prospective clients or existing customers.
Aim to solve that problem with your bot. It can be customer service, sales/marketing, or lead generation.
Step 2: Look for Repetitive Actions
You’re giving the same answers, the same downloadable resources, the same post-operative instructions, the same steps to your customers repeatedly.
Why not automate it?
Look for repetitive conversations, actions and related things that can be automated by the chatbots. This would be unique to your business!
Step 3: Build your bot or Get it built!
The most practical way to build a chatbot today is to use a chatbot software.
- It doesn’t require much effort and time.
- It’s easy to use and often includes built-in templates.
- There is zero to minimal coding required, and it usually takes less than an hour to setup.
- It solves most problems.
Choose a platform that offers chatbot and live chat both. This way, if the customer’s query is unresolvable by the bot, you can take care of it manually.
Some of the popular tools you can use to do this:
- Stream chat
- Chatfuel (one of the most significant names in this list)
If that appears complicated or you don’t have the time, reach out to me, and I’ll do it for you!
Simple tips for an effective chatbot setup:
- Simplicity: Keep things simple, and design your bot messages to be short and to the point. Use emojis, images, videos, and GIFs to make the text interactive and exciting.
- Transparency: Transparency is the key. The customer should know that they are interacting with a bot. Also, when you request their personal information (during appointment booking), make sure to emphasize that their information is safe with you.
- Personalization: “Hi, Rohan!” is better than a drab, “Hi!!!!”. Personalization makes the conversation friendly.
- Independence: Give your audience an option to stop or unsubscribe from updates (usually by typing STOP or NO)
- Continuous Learning: Keep learning from your mistakes!
Step 4: Integrate
Absorb the chatbot into your marketing armamentarium.
Integrate it with the other tools that you’re using (your website, email marketing, whatsapp marketing, online booking platforms, Facebook ads etc).
- Chatbots are an opportunity: If you look closely, a lot of your competitors might not be using it effectively.
- They have already started changing our business, and after this Covid era is over, they would be even more indispensable.
In this article, I have explained the basics of chatbots, why they should be used, and the related aspects.
Identify a business problem, choose a chatbot software, and start building a bot for your business.
I also took you through the simple four-step process to design and set up your first bot.
Now go ahead and set up your first bot, or if you find this complicated, reach out to me, and I will do it for you!
I hope you found this helpful.
Do share it with others and help us spread the word!