One question I've been asked a ton recently, and seemingly 40% of all web projects is about adding an automated chat feature to a website.
1. Paul, does it work?
2. Paul, how should we do it?
The answer to the first question is, yes, it CAN work, but you have to nurture it just like your other digital marketing and customer service initiatives in order for it to work.
For example, an office receptionist can work, if he does his job well, paying attention to people who walk in, asking them immediately how he can help, offering them something to drink, asking about how their day is going, and then directing them to the right place, and even occasionally asking them for their contact information so they can follow up.
If you treat your chat bot initiative on your website in this manner, it can be one of the greatest customer acquisition tools in the history of digital.
However, if your office admin (in this analogy), is NEVER at his desk - always off doing something else - and when he actually is sitting at his desk he's too busy to look up from his computer, your chat bot initiative will FAIL.
To answer question 2, I'm fond of a third party service called TIDIO.com.
Paul Hickey, Founder / CEO / Lead Strategist at Data Driven Design, LLC and founder of The Voice Event, and The Voice Designer, has created and grown businesses via digital strategy and internet marketing for more than 15 years. His sweet spot is using analytics to design and build websites and grow the audience and revenue of businesses via SEO/Blogging, Google Adwords, Bing Ads, Facebook and Instagram Ads, Social Media Content Marketing, Email Marketing and most recently, Voice App Design and Development – Alexa Skills and Google Actions. The part that he’s most passionate about is quantifying next marketing actions based on real data.