The self-service trend shows no signs of slowing down – earlier this year Amazon opened a store with no checkouts or cashiers. The trend is very much alive in the web design industry as well. Since Apple introduced Siri way back in 2010 the race has been on to make the technology more accessible and easier to deploy on websites.

Amazon Go's checkout-less store.

Modern chatbots are now extremely capable and flexible, and given the right script and deployed in the right ways, they can provide fantastic extra value for your users. That being said, they’re not for everybody, and we see far too many websites that have them bolted on for no apparent reason. As we’ve talked about before, less is usually more in web design.

Here’s some reasons you should consider a chatbot for your website:

Automation Means Money Saved

Everybody likes saving money. Modern businesses thrive on efficiency savings and chatbot technology offers the opportunity to do just that. Automating your customer-service queries, for example, could save your employees countless hours that they could be spending on more productive activities. If your business commonly receives a lot of customer service requests – think subscription services, software providers, or retailers – then using a chatbot as your first point of contact could be hugely beneficial.

Chatbots may not be able to resolve the more complex or technical problems but if properly scripted they’ll gather all the information your team members will need to deal with it in a timely manner. No more time wasted scrolling through lengthy, vague email chains or trying to get a customer back on the phone.

MongoDB use a Chatbot to answer basic questions about their platform.

Treat Your Customers Better

Chatbots will also allow you to serve your customers better whilst they’re on your website. You may think that the best way to personalise your service to your users is through human-to-human interaction – but who’s got the time or resources for that? Your users will be more than happy to speak to your chatbot. Over 60% of people surveyed said they had used a business’s chatbot in the last 12 months.

Giving your users a channel in which they can have any questions or queries answered immediately and in detail is fantastic customer service. If you force your users to pick up the phone just to answer a simple question you may lose their interest permanently. Bear in mind also that your phone lines aren’t available 24/7 (unless you have a call centre!) but chatbots are.

This can be incredibly effective if your business sells products with lots of features or pricing options, again software springs to mind. Travel websites would also stand to gain a lot. Given the choice between asking a chatbot to find the information for me or resorting to manually searching hundreds of time to find the right combination of dates, I know which one I’d go for!

Qualify and Engage Your Users

What if chatbots could make your lead generation or sales process easier? Just like they can be used to gather initial information from your users for customer service issues, the same applies for qualifying prospects. Using a chatbot to ask your users why they have visited that page, for example, can be a great way to engage them, set them on a conversion path, and provide more info to your sales team if it gets to that point.

Websites that engage their users tend to convert more and have better outcomes for the business. A conversation can be a great way to engage users with your site. Depending on your site you may choose to start that conversation as soon as they land, or as soon as they spend a bit of time on a product page for example. Lead Pages used a chatbot on a pricing page to almost quadruple their conversions over a month!

Lead Pages used a chatbot on a pricing page to almost quadruple their conversions over a month.

 There’s not a lot of things more engaging than a direct conversation. A website that answers your direct and specific questions and does so in a personalised way is far more likely to hold your attention and give you an enjoyable and productive experience. If you want to give your users a unique experience to match your unique product or service, then chatbots could be the missing piece.

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