How to use chatbots on your site

Most of you must have heard of chatbots. They are programs that are built to automatically engage with received messages. According to Sprout Social (2019) they can be programmed to respond the same way each time, they can even respond differently each time to the messages depending on certain keywords, or even use machine learning similar to AI to adapt their responses to fit the situation. Sounds intimidating doesn’t it but robots aren’t here to dominate the world, they’re here to make life easier for us. It may take some refinement though according to this popular Super Bowl LIII Ad for Amazon’s Alexa.

Robots also makes mistake

There are types?

Types of Chatbots Pyramid
Types of Chatbots Pyramid (Source: Casey Phillips 2018)


Menu/Button-Based Chatbots

The most basic types are menu/button-based chatbots. They are used for mostly FAQs that makes up 80% of support queries. The only downside with these chatbots are that they are only used for basic scenario. If there are extra variables at play, it’ll be too hard for them to predict and get a specific answers. It’s also worth noting these are the slowest at getting the desired result for the user.

Keyword Recognition-Based Chatbots

For these chatbots, they will listen to what users type and will try their best to respond accordingly. They utilise customisable keywords and AI with your program to determine how to appropriately respond to users. The downside to this is that they will start to break down when they are too many keywords between several related questions.

Contextual Chatbots

According to Casey Phillips (2018), these chatbots are the most advanced in the way they use Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence to remember conversations with specific users to learn and grow over time. They are so smart that based on what the users are asking for and how they are asking it, they can tailor the response. The key is that they are data-centric.

What are the benefits?

A hand writing the word "benefits"
Benefits Image (Source: QMS, 2015)


  • Save Time and Money – Instead of having your workers spend time answering questions they can reallocate their time to proactively completing other important tasks
  • Generate Leads and Revenue – Gather information for your database that leads to better customer support and generate more revenue
  • Productivity – Provide assistance or access to information quickly and efficiently for customers
  • Provide After Hours Support – Businesses don’t offer 24 hours support when office is closed so it’ll still allow customer to gain access to information they need
  • Entertainment – Engage users in unique ways, kills time and can provide funny tips


How to set up?

1. What are your Goals and Use Case?

First define your goal and then start to build your use case. It could be to improve customer service, promote a new product, generate more revenue and more. Also, who will be the main customers/consumers? It will also affect your goals and use case as well.

2. Choose your Platforms?

Here are some options:

  • Your website
  • Facebook Messenger
  • Twitter Direct Message

It all really depends on what your goals are, as someone who uses your website is likely to be more knowledgable on your product/service than someone who saw it on social media. This will differ your chatbot conversations on the platforms depending on your audience. You might also want to study social media demographics to get a better understanding of the demographics on each individual social networks.

3. Plan out your content strategy

Find out what content your customers engage with, think about what questions your customers are likely to ask your chatbot similar to FAQs. Ask your team, such as the customer service, sales and marketing team or even ask other people using tools like Quora.

Paintbrush representing personalisation
Personalise Image (Source: Mori, 2019)


4. Personalising your Chatbot

Bring in a creative team for this. Personalise your bot’s voice and personality. Giving them a personality humanises the experience for your customers and you can also name your bot as well to build rapport with customers. Set clear guidelines and consistent voice for your chatbot. Lastly, write a great opening message for your chatbot for engaging users and getting them to respond to your chatbot. It must be compelling, set expectations and ask questions.

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Sprout Social. (2018). The Complete Guide to Chatbots in 2018. Retrieved from

Anadea. (2018). What is a Chatbot and How to Use It for your Business. Retrieved from

Casey Phillips. (2018). The 3 Types of Chatbots and How to Determine the Right one for Your Needs. Retrieved from

QMS. (2015). What are the real benefits to a business that certifies to ISO? Retrieved from

Mori. (2019). Gift of Sleep. Retrieved from

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