Congrats! You’ve done the research, you’ve seen seen all wonderful ManyChat Case Studies and amazing results others are getting with Messenger Marketing, and you’ve finally decided that it’s time for your business to hop on and start surfing the chatbot wave! Your timing couldn’t be better!
At this point your head is probably going crazy over all the possibilities! Can my chatbot have AI? Can it integrate to my CRM, or my ordering system? Can my customers make orders and pay directly on the bot? Can I send a message to a customer whenever they do X or Y?
The answer to all of those questions is: YES, it’s all possible with ManyChat and Messenger Marketing.
But let me give you a suggestion before you keep adding more features to your wishlist. My suggestion is: STOP RIGHT NOW!
Nowadays, Messenger Marketing and ManyChat can accomplish almost anything that traditional marketing can. As the saying goes, before you fly you need to learn to run, and before that to walk. And no one can walk if they can’t stand up first.
If you’re reading this, I’m guessing you’re at about “sitting” level, and if you try to fly on your first attempt you’ll likely get hurt and won’t see the results you need to keep the project alive. You might lose the motivation to keep working on and improving your bot. You and your business will miss out on the opportunity of a lifetime that is chatbots right now — “right now” being “the ground floor”.
So if you’re just getting started and don’t have infinite resources in your business (really, who does?), follow these steps to get going and see results fast with your chatbot.
1: START SMALL. SMALLER. SMALLER!
One of the great things about ManyChat is that it’s completely modular! So don’t get overwhelmed trying to get everything done in your first try. Instead, start small and simple, and grow your bot over time.
First, pick one objective for your bot. Not two or three, just one. Pick your most painful pain that you believe a chatbot could help you alleviate, and use that goal to build the first version of your chatbot.
Next, determine your end goal. What would a successful interaction look like? What information do you need from your subscriber? What information do you need to give them?
For example, if your objective is to generate leads, your end goal could be to get the customers’ contact information. Or if you want to spend less time answering the same questions over and over again, your end goal would be to give the user all information they are looking for as quickly as possible and avoid that they try to contact personally.
Now that you have that, imagine how that conversation would go with your customers to get to your end goal. What questions do you have to ask? What questions will they have? Do you need to give them some information, an introduction, or anything else before reaching your end goal?
The key to making a successful bot is not so much learning how to use the tool (ManyChat), but learning how to take our human interactions and translate them into an automated flow that your customers will love using and find useful. To do that you need to really focus on the conversation, not so much on the technology!
2: Execution, execution, execution.
Now that you have your goal and the conversation thought out, get ready to implement. To perfection!
Well, okay, no need for perfection on your first try, but you do have to make sure that the user experience is excellent, that there’s a real conversation is taking place, and that there are no dead ends and that you’re achieving your end goal and objective. You only have a few seconds to make your first impression, and if your audience cannot get what they want in those few seconds they’ll dismiss this tool and they won’t come back.
So once more my suggestion is to keep it simple. Make sure that each interaction has a purpose and that it’s helping you reach your end goal. Keep the conversation flowing, as we would if we were talking person to person. To do this, here’s a short list of questions you can go through when creating your bot conversation:
- Is this necessary? Whatever is not necessary to help you reach your end goal will likely cause confusion and hurt the user experience. So if it’s not necessary, remove it.
- Does the answer options correspond to the question I’m asking? Have you ever seen bots that say something like “ Hi there, how are you?” and then give you 3 options “Shop”, “Contact” and “ View Offers”? If you do that, your subscribers will get confused, start typing and mess up your whole flow. So make sure that the options you give your subscribers follow a natural flow from the whatever you asked or told them.
- Would your granny understand it and follow along? If not, it’s probably too complicated and you need to work on getting your content right. And most likely, if your granny doesn’t get it neither will your audience. Always think about granny!
So when executing make sure you keep it simple, avoid any distractions and give your audience the best user experience possible.
3: “Can I talk to a person?”
Even the most extremely complicated and complete chatbots cannot answer all requests. At some point a real person will have to step in to get some situations solved. This will also happen to your bot. No matter how perfect and detailed you are, some people will need (or want) to talk directly to a person. So make sure you consider that from the start. Define a means of communication for human takeover, and implement it from the get go.
It doesn’t have to be complicated; in most cases it gets solved by giving the contact options in the Default Reply and other bits of the bot. And for small businesses, this is usually just explaining the limitations of the bot and giving the audience (very simple!) “Call” or “WhatsApp” button available to communicate with your business.
Now rest assured that this can get much more complicated, and it has been shown that hybrid bots (machine + human) are the ones that give the best results. But for now, having a simple and straightforward path to talk to a person — instead of leaving the audience in an infinitely annoying loop of “ sorry, I didn’t understand” — will be more than enough to delight your audience.
4: Get the data!
ManyChat has an awesome and simple feature called tagging. It simply lets you add a tag to whatever user action. TAG EVERYTHING!
At first you won’t know why you’re doing it, and in the long run you’ll realize the tags aren’t enough, you need more. But it’s important to start collecting that information from the start. Tagging will give you insight into each users’ actions and simple but effective stats to let you know in what content your audience is most interested in.
Trust me on this one: once you start getting some traffic and analyzing and optimizing your bot, you’ll be glad you tagged everything from the start.
5: Repeat the process.
Remember that I said ManyChat was modular? Well, once you’ve achieved your first objective it’s time to start expanding! Your bot can do almost anything you can imagine. Use a step-by-step, LEGO building blocks approach and start getting more done with your bot. Just test test everything “offline” (as in not available for the general public), and once you’re happy with the result it’s easy to make it available for all.
Just make sure to follow these steps so that, whatever you add, you know you have a real business motivation to do it, and that you are achieving real goals, without distractions, and maintaining an excellent user experience.
Now you have the best tool (ManyChat), an action plan to get you going (this one!), and if you need some training checkout ManyChat’s awesome free course…
So what are you waiting for? Now is the time, your audience is waiting!
Gustavo Boregio builds chatbots when he’s not playing Legos with his 2-year old son. He’s lived in 4 different countries and 15 different homes, and enjoys craft beer and good barbecue. He is a Certified ManyChat Messenger Marketing Expert.