Quick Bit: Who doesn’t want to keep website visitors happy and engaged? Keeping your audience satisfied by answering their questions promptly and with some personality helps encourage
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Who doesn’t want to keep website visitors happy and engaged? Keeping your audience satisfied by answering their questions promptly and with some personality helps encourage a positive experience on your site. For a growing number of business owners, learning how to boost engagement on chatbots is the key to leveling-up customer experience without dedicating countless human hours to the endeavor.

If you spend any amount of time on the internet at all, you’ve likely run into a chatbot at some point.

A chatbot is essentially a robotic chat interface that appears when you land on a website or when you seek help via a live chat option.

If no live human is available to assist you, the chatbot can help direct your question to the FAQ or website page.

But the utility of chatbots goes much further than that. And time and time again, using one on a website has proven to be effective at boosting engagement across multiple verticals.

Today, we’ll discuss how to boost engagement on chatbots with greetings that capture site visitor attention. No chatbot? We’ll also explore why investing in a bit of artificial intelligence (AI) can both help you retain customers and grow your business.

Let’s get to it.

How can chatbots help your business?

Adding a chatbot to your website can help your business in several ways.

Chatbots give your site a personalized feel

According to Salesforce, 52% of customers have come to expect some level of customization while shopping. Often, this is accomplished through smart product suggestions and the like. You can extend this personalization to your chatbots, too.

The more personalized a visitor’s chatbot’s experiences are, the more likely they are to convert in some way.

While personalization isn’t possible on a first-time site visit, it can be leveraged over time, over repeat site visits. That’s because a chatbot can learn a visitors’ preferences by:

Addressing each user by name during all interactions.
Studying which types of products they’re most interested in.
Suggesting future sales based on previous purchases.

Personalization can go a long way toward creating a more positive shopping experience. It’s also a good way to boost engagement on chatbots.

Chatbots aid with automation

A great way to save time in your business is to leverage automation. After all, when you’re an entrepreneur or small business owner, there’s a lot on your plate to manage every day. From marketing to customer service, there’s a lot to oversee and wrangle. Thankfully, many business tasks can now be automated, and that’s precisely what a good chatbot can assist with.

A chatbot can reduce some of the customer service tasks on your plate by:

Answering frequently asked questions.
Directing customers to the appropriate pages or sections of your website.
Guiding them automatically to various other actions.

Each chatbot-directed task is one less worry on your (or your team’s) to-do list, opening up your schedule to complete other vital activities.

A chatbot can answer questions promptly

Does your business have a 24/7 customer service team? If not, using a chatbot is a great way to add around-the-clock coverage without having to shell out for extra employees. And since customers want faster answers to their questions, this works out better for everyone.

In fact, 82% of people want faster responses to their purchase-related questions, which makes chatbots all the more relevant.

A chatbot can help build better customer relationships

A good chatbot can remind your visitors about various services or products you offer, as well as answer commonly asked questions without prompting. So, if someone is browsing on a particular page, the chatbot can pop up with contextual and relevant information.

This helps build greater customer confidence in what you have to offer.

You can even configure chatbots to prompt visitors to follow your company on social media, extending the relationship even further.

Greetings that boost engagement on chatbots

If you’re on board with using a chatbot, it’s essential to further optimize the experience for your online visitors. One of the best ways to do this is by configuring the greetings you will use.

How you address prospects and customers from the get-go can have a huge impact on how visitors perceive your business.

Here are a few ways to use greetings that’ll help boost engagement on chatbots:

1. Use an introduction

A surefire way to boost engagement on chatbots is to use a straightforward introduction. Let site visitors know who is talking to them (a chatbot) and what it’s capable of right away.

Give your chatbot a name. People seem to enjoy chatbots with names, including both human ones and technological-sounding ones. So, whether you’ve named your chatbot Kevin or the BizBot 5000, make this clear upfront so visitors know who to address in their messages.
Indicate who the chatbot “works” for, so to speak. So, you might have your chatbot say something like, “Hello, I’m Kevin, the BusinessName How might I help you?” It’s simple and to the point. Plus, it makes it clear that they’re in the right place and can get their questions answered in this space.

Structuring the introduction in this way also frees you up to use this same chatbot with other messaging systems like Facebook Messenger or Instagram, if available.

2. Keep messages short

Though it’s tempting to list a ton of options for site visitors immediately after the chatbot sends an introductory message — don’t. It could overwhelm site visitors and make it hard for them to find the information they’re looking for. Your chatbot might also convey a feeling of “one-size-fits-all” instead of a personalized experience.

If you do need to convey a fair bit of information, try to configure the chatbot to send a series of messages rather than a single wall of text.

By creating a text series, site visitors can work through the messages at their own pace. They also may feel as though they’re having an actual conversation and have a more personalized experience. This works better than having your chatbot act as nothing more than a glorified FAQ.

3. Split up lengthy messages for easier reading

Need to get a lot of information out of the way immediately? Avoid that wall of text we mentioned earlier. So instead of configuring a text series, split your longer message into a handful of smaller messages sent at one time.

Doing so will allow a site visitor to see three to four messages in the chat window. Each one should only be a sentence or two long, offering a different and important piece of information. This is a lot more digestible to site visitors and less likely to overwhelm them. Plus, it also makes it easier to read at a glance.

Be mindful of how many messages your chatbot is sending.

It’s never a good idea to send a novel to your site visitors. Their eyes will glaze over and it just won’t be helpful. Aim for brevity over thoroughness every time.

4. Make the chatbot’s limitations clear upfront

One way to boost engagement on chatbots is to write a competent introductory message. But this also means you should clarify what your chatbot can and can’t do immediately.

It’s never a good idea to lead site visitors into a conversation with your chatbot, only for them to find out through trial and error that it can’t help them after all.

To avoid this frustration (and potential loss of a customer), make it clear right away (like right after the chatbot introduces itself) what it can do.

Indicate what types of questions it’s been programmed to answer.
List the prompts that it can respond to.
Indicate its limitations.

Make this experience as user-friendly and easy for your customers as possible to yield the best results.

5. Be conversational

When thinking about how to set up your chatbot, it’s easy to fall into the trap that business-speak is best. And certainly, in some industries, it would be. But for the most part, site visitors appreciate a bit of colloquial flair and informality.

No one wants to feel like a business they want to work with or purchase from is stuffy and uptight.

And using some relaxed language in your chatbot greeting can put prospects at ease. It also makes people feel more comfortable about making a purchase or pursuing your services.

Some chatbots also support the use of rich media. This is another way to put visitors at ease and informally engage them. If your industry calls for it, don’t shy away from using emojis or GIFs in your chatbot. Images and videos can be helpful, too, especially if illustrating answers to pertinent questions.

Chatbot greetings for retaining customers

Photo by Jason Leung on Unsplash

The greetings you configure for returning site visitors are going to be different than those you use for new site visitors. Let’s take a look at a few ways to use greetings that boost engagement on chatbots with previous site visitors and/or retain customers:

1. Leverage customization and personalization

A really good way to retain customers on your site is to make full use of personalization options in your chatbot. You can accomplish this by:

Configuring it to greet returning site visitors or customers by name.
Referencing a returning customer’s previous purchase(s) as a part of the introductory text.
Offering suggestions related to the customer’s previous purchases.

Something like the following chatbot greeting could work well:

“Welcome back, Customer Name!

Since your last visit, we’ve added [item name] to our store.

Are you interested in this [item type]?

If a returning visitor lands on your site after making a purchase but before it’s been received, your chatbot can address this scenario as well:

Hi, Name! You recently ordered [Product Name] and we’re happy to let you know it has now shipped and is on its way to you.

Your mileage may vary, but leaning into personalization can make all the difference to returning customers.

Related: How to use personalization to increase sales

2. Acknowledge returning visitors

This tactic is related to the above but warrants a mention on its own. Chatbot greetings are often quite generic and greet first-time site visitors as such.

If you wish to retain customers, offering a more personalized greeting for returning visitors is a must.

Phrases like “Welcome back!” and “It’s nice to see you again!” make return visitors feel wanted and appreciated.

3. Ask a question

Another way to boost engagement on chatbots with returning visitors is to ask them a question. Even something as simple as, “What can I help you with today?” can get the conversation started and readily move the customer toward making another purchase.

4. Thank the site visitor

Thanking returning site visitors for coming back or for being a customer in the past (if contextually relevant) can make customers feel appreciated. It also builds brand loyalty over time, especially when coupled with a positive shopping experience and/or customer service experience.

5. Offer a coupon or discount

Lastly, you can work to retain customers and make return site visitors feel appreciated by offering a coupon or discount code simply because they made the effort to return to your site. The gesture can go a long way toward making visitors feel appreciated and can also encourage those on the fence to go ahead and complete a purchase.

Related: How to use discounts and coupons to increase ecommerce revenue

Next steps

Chatbots can be an invaluable tool for website owners and entrepreneurs looking to save a bit of time. They’re fantastic automation tools. However, they can also boost engagement considerably. And if you’ve been reluctant to implement this technology, take this as your sign to start.

Image by: Jason Leung on Unsplash

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