Chatbot: The Future of Customer Service

Before we dig in to our subject, have you ever wondered why when you send a message to some Facebook page or any other online stores that they reply so quickly?  Not only that but the responses are usually long and detailed. Yes, these are called “chatbots”. Businesses with a Facebook page, website, or an online store may already know what a chatbot is. Some may be using it for some time now too. But for some of you who’ve just recently had the chance to build an online presence, we are here today, to help you learn what chatbots are, how they work, and how they can help your business.

What are chatbots?

Here’s a brief answer to that question. A chatbot is a computer program designed to reply to messages in a conversation online. Many of them are also created with the intention of making you feel like you’re talking with an actual agent. So why use a computer software? Why not use an actual customer service agent? Well, in some scenarios, both small and large businesses might not have enough staff to handle high surges in customers’ requests and questions. Try to see these chatbots as a reception or information center. They are here to help you answer customer’s questions. However, in some cases chatbots might not be able to guide customers all the way through. As with any other program or tool, they do have limitations.

An example of a chatbot from Digital Playhouse’s website.

We can categorize chatbots by using their workflow into three main types as follow:

  1. Rule-based chatbots – this kind of chatbot is one of the easiest and most preferred types to use nowadays. Just set up the software with predefined questions and answers. Customers can then ask questions that are on the list and receive answers for those questions. This type of bot is most often used to answer “frequently asked questions”. The cons of this type is when customers have specific issues or questions beyond the FAQs, an actual agent will have to step in.
  2. Intellectually independent chatbots – this type of bot uses machine learning to learn and understand the input. In this case – the typed in questions. After the learning phase, the program will be able to detect a word or specific phrase and respond accordingly.
  3. AI (Artificial Intelligence) chatbots – this last one is combining the first two types together. It uses machine learning, AI, and NLP (Natural Language Processing) to learn, understand and remember the context from various conversations. So the interaction between the bot and human is more natural. Although, the flow of the conversation is still based on certain rules. But with enough experience from prior conversations, it could analyze and jump to another point of conversation not following the flow.

How to make use of chatbot to help your business

There are many ways to set up a chatbot. Nowadays many people use chatbot platforms to help them set up chatbots such as Chatfuel, Botsify, and ChatterOn. These platforms have different features and pricing plans to match your preference. Or if you have an in-house developer – you can also create your own. But today we are going to show you an easy way to set up a chatbot all by yourself. No code, no platform needed. And the good news is, it’s free! All you need is a Facebook page.

The easy way we’re talking about is using Messaging Settings and Automated Response on Facebook Messenger. But I’d like to remind you that because it’s a free feature that comes with Facebook, there are some limitations. Because the workflow behind Facebook Messenger’s settings are based by rules like a rule-based chatbot.

How to set up a chatbot with Facebook Messenger Automated Response

  1. First, on your Facebook Page, select “Settings” on the top right menu bar above your cover photo, then select “Messaging” on the left menu bar. Now you’re in the Messaging Settings of your Facebook Page.
  2. On this page you will be able to set up basic settings such as your Messenger’s URL, or a greeting message sent to your page’s visitor once they’ve visited your page.
  3. Scroll down to the bottom and you’ll see the “During a Messenger Conversation” section.
  4. Automated Response is right in this section. Click “Set Up” behind the “Set up automated responses” menu.
An example of setting up an Instant Reply on Facebook Messenger

Once you’re in the Automated Response settings you will be able to set up many types of responses. But one of the most commonly used settings is “Instant Reply”, which is an automatic reply when someone types anything to your Messenger. Unfortunately, we can set up only one response for this setting.

Another setting that is commonly used is “Frequently Asked Questions”, which is basically setting up questions that people like to ask your page and pre-determine the answers for each question. This setting is limited to only 5 to 9 questions. You can choose up to 5 questions for the questions that will be accessible throughout the conversation, and up to 4 questions for the questions that will be shown before starting a conversation.

The Automated Response settings has many more types of responses such as an automatic message sent out when the page’s status is away, or automatic messages for any other Call to Action.

An example of setting up Frequently Asked Questions on Facebook Messenger

That’s it! Now your Facebook page has a chatbot answering basic questions inquired by  your customers. And if you need help on setting up a chatbot, either for Facebook Messenger or for a website, our enablers are ready to help.

Adapt for More Opportunities

In this time where small businesses are growing it’s vital to have presence on the internet and online media. Of course you can grab attention by feeding content that goes viral or having a great word-of-mouth reputation for your good quality product. But don’t forget that beyond that, you can also gain some reputation from your customer’s satisfaction of your service as well. Just set up a chatbot to help you with online customer service, and you’ll be able to focus more with your content and products. And if you need help on bringing your business to the digital world, you can contact us anytime. Our enablers are here to help.