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10 Essential Features for a Website Chatbot

Are you considering adding a website chatbot to your business page? Here are 10 essential features to look for when choosing one.

5 min read

Do you have a website chatbot? If not, it might be time to consider investing in one. Chatbots have revolutionized the customer support industry and drastically enhanced the overall customer experience.

Chatbots reduce phone time by using automation to answer basic customer questions. This way you free up employees to take care of more complex tasks or address more complicated customer needs. Sixty-four percent of agents who use chatbots are free to spend their time solving more difficult and complex problems. Meaning you and your employees will have more time to provide a better and less rushed customer experience. 

Chatbots can answer 80 percent of standard questions. Imagine how much time that frees up for you and your employees! They also have the ability to pre-qualify support tickets and gain valuable customer insights for your business.

In 2017, 34 percent of consumers preferred to communicate with artificial intelligence in an online retail situation. You might be wondering, why? Well, chatbots offer instant solutions to issues that appease consumers' desire for immediate gratification.

Consumers want the information they're asking for right away and chatbots deliver that speed. Bots are the best at providing prompt and reliable service; they’re always available and they’re programmed to answer commonly asked questions immediately.

This technology helps identify issues, then resolve them quickly without needing any human assistance. Even though it’s an automated exchange, website chatbots can still be on brand and convey your business’s tone and voice while acting as a fully functioning customer service representative.

But not all chatbots are the same. When deciding which website chatbot is right for your business, you should look for the following essential features:

24/7 Customer Service

According to 64 percent of internet users, 24-hour service is the best feature of chatbots. Having a full-time service is convenient and can answer urgent questions of customers who need answers after hours. Oftentimes, without a chatbot, customers will have to wait until the next day to get even the simplest of answers.

Simple User Interface Design and User Experience

live chat screen on a cell phone

Make it simple. The interactions should be straightforward and intuitive. The website chatbot should not be complex or hard to use.

Personalized Conversation

Chatbots should remember information like a customer’s name and reason for seeking support, chatbots can now show empathy through appropriate and personalized word choice and adjust their language and tone based on the context of the conversation. The interaction should not feel automated, but rather natural. The goal is to have conversational AI and UX. Businesses can use AI and machine learning to comprehend what users are saying and respond in real time.

Ability to Learn

Picture how frustrating it is to repeat yourself to a chatbot over and over only to receive the same answer — or lack thereof. Your bot should not only be conversational, but it should also be able to store relevant information for future interactions using progressive profiling.

Acknowledge When Questions are Beyond Their Scope

Chatbots are designed to realize when a query exceeds their abilities. They should be able to acknowledge when they can’t answer a question, send complex issues to human customer service representatives, and record the information so creators can prioritize features to work on for the next update.

Customer Experience Comes First

Chatbots can provide users with a menu of popular FAQ options, sometimes based on their previous interactions. If the chatbot is unable to handle a complex request, it instantly sends the issue to a live customer service representative.

What it should avoid is sending a tedious and unhelpful message like “Sorry, I don't understand” over and over. The bot should use AI and machine learning to understand what users are saying, asking and respond accordingly.

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Chatbot interfaces now must be accessible to all customers, regardless of language proficiency or any visual or hearing impairments. Bots should be able to read text aloud for the visually impaired, provide simple step-by-step instructions for those who are not tech-savvy, and so on. It should also be easy to access on all devices—especially mobile.

Security and Privacy for Customer Data

With so many data breaches, it’s imperative that your chatbot is secure. It’s a good idea to have a fully transparent policy regarding the data bots, such as what they collect and exactly what it is used for. Users should also be given the option to opt-out of data collection (if desired), but make note that this will inhibit its ability to do progressive profiling.

Omni-channelman looking at a computer

Today’s chatbots are able to broadcast important information across different major channels. If a customer provides identifying information like their order number, email address, phone number, or any other personal data, and the chatbot has to transfer the customer to a website, that information is automatically filled into their order form. This makes it convenient and reduces repetitive information inputting for the customer. The information given to the chatbot should be fluid and seamlessly transferred into all other channels.

Analytics and Reporting Tools

You should be able to review key metrics and KPIs as well as common interactions. Some of the key metrics include the number of users (active, engaged, and new), revenue growth, satisfaction perception, self-service rate and more.

All chatbots should be able to suggest and recommend products and services for a user based on current or previous interactions. This helps more customer issues turn into upsells automatically, without involving a customer service representative.

Here are some additional chatbot features to look out for:

  • Knowledge-centered service (KCS)
  • Rich actions and messaging formats
  • Easy FAQ creation and import
  • Integration with existing documentation and software
  • Powerful neurolinguistic programming (NLP)
  • Webhooks and API integrations

Redefine Your Customer Support with a Website Chatbot

In essence, chatbots should make our life easier. With the age of adaptive automation closing in on us, it’s time to invest in a website chatbot. Eighty-five percent of customer interactions will be handled without human agents by 2021.

Chatbots can crawl the internet looking for answers to customer queries. They can answer a wider range of questions with more specific answers, which not only improves the customer experience but reduces the strain put on you and your employees.

You can use a bot to qualify and solve more requests from your users, automatically provide instant support, and answer common recurring questions without ever getting you or your employees involved.

Want to learn more about how a website chatbot can improve customer experience? Discover how with GoSite’s Messenger tool and have higher satisfaction rates than ever before. Get started with Messenger for free below!

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