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Is the chatbot an online entrepreneur’s best friend?

Bots, bots everywhere! It seems that every time we access a company’s Facebook page or click on a landing page, there’s a corner where we can directly ask for help. Also, while this help once used to come from real people, nowadays more and more conversations are started and closed by chatbots.

If chatbots were once considered a much-hyped trend, they seem to be here to stay. Not only that, they seem to be intent on taking over, with the aim of simulating human conversations so well that people will soon be unable to know whether they’re talking to a bot or a person.

But before we get into sci-fi territory, a software that answers questions and shows people around your online store can help online entrepreneurs generate leads, implement a customer care system, and generally make a visitor’s stay on your website more pleasant.

Chatbots are taking over

As the saying goes, “you can’t do it all by yourself.'' Think of a chatbot as your personal assistant that’s there 24/7 to talk to visitors and learners on your behalf. If there are certain issues, such as customer complaints, you can intervene at any time and talk to people yourself. It helps you save time as well as money.

Sure, the downside is that you need to know their limits (at least until they become smarter) and choose the best one that works for you. For example, there are rule-based chatbots that use scripts to talk to people or Artificial Intelligence (AI)-based ones, that use machine learning to communicate much better than their scripted counterparts. In fact, AI chatbots are so popular now that they’ll probably replace rule-based ones soon.

Other things to know about chatbots for businesses are:

What a chatbot can do for your online course business

Pretty impressive right? Before you jump into installing a chatbot for your website, here’s a handy list of things that a chatbot can do for your online course business:

Make navigation a breeze

People can get frustrated easily if they don’t find what they want on a website. At the same time, they’ll be more likely to stay if they get a good first impression. A chatbot is your friend here as it can be proactive in its approach by greeting visitors and making them feel welcome.

In fact, you can choose a simple “hello, welcome to my website!” or personalize messages to make them feel as if they’re talking directly to a person!

It can also guide people through your website, offering them pointers such as where to start, how to buy courses or enroll in them. Since you don’t have the time to answer FAQs, bots never get tired of answering the same questions over and over again.

Close sales much faster

A chatbot message is much less disruptive than a pop-up, for example. Let’s say that a visitor has added two new courses in their shopping cart - and then they just leave them there. A chatbot can then send prospective clients a reminder and encourage them to click “Buy”. Remember: it’s better to offer a discount than having lots of abandoned carts!

They can also stop visitors from leaving as a chatbot can send them a message or a question to keep them engaged.

For much more cautious shoppers, the ones that do a lot of research before they buy, chatbots can be a great resource as they can inquire about courses or special offers and ultimately be convinced to make a purchase.

Read more: Mastering upselling to increase your profits

Help with marketing online courses

Your assistant can encourage visitors to buy, tell them about discounts, pricing, and offer valuable info about your courses. This function alone is great for marketing purposes. But did you know that you can also use it as a tool to improve your marketing strategy?

We all know how great it is to communicate with clients. A chatbot has a conversation with people for you so it can also gather valuable feedback.

For example, a chatbot can find out why clients have clicked on a course landing page and left without buying or clicking to find out more about a course. User data can also be used to track consumer behavior and suggest the best products for them. For example, if they clicked on a course landing page and are planning to leave, a chatbot could suggest another related course or even a subscription plan, depending on what they need.

Read more: 7 Must-have elements on a converting landing page [INFOGRAPHIC]

Establish a relationship with customers

As a course creator, you want to be one step ahead of your competitors. That also means putting in some effort after the sale of a course! You can’t be there all the time, but you can be present sometimes to take over from the bot, thank people personally for buying courses and answer a few questions. Plus, you’re much better off addressing any complaints before the situation starts to escalate and you’re left with a bad review.

Read more: 6 Awesome tips to get more customer reviews for your online course [INFOGRAPHIC]

The key concept here is personalization. A chatbot can be very useful when you’re dealing with international clients that are located in a different time zone. Even if your courses are in English, there are always non-native speakers that could be interested in them. Sometimes just greeting them in their native language can make a world of a difference!

Hello, how may I help you?

You want people to know that you care, and while you can’t divide yourself into different people to do the job for you, you’ve invested in a tool that can offer a great experience for them. Visitors want to have as much information before they purchase, and they sometimes need assistance with navigating and choosing the best option for them.

A chatbot can be your best friend, as long as you choose it wisely and know that there are limits to what it can do. Don’t think of it as a replacement for communicating with learners. Think of it as a helping hand — or a helping bot.