Dreaming of a way to automate interactions with your website visitors and customers? Say hello to chatbots. And don’t be surprised when they talk back.
A chatbot is a computer program or service that sends automatic replies to people’s messages or inquiries. Chatbots can be powered by a set of predetermined rules for delivering responses to users. They can also use artificial intelligence (AI) to learn how they should interact.
They can converse with humans via a chat window placed on a website or can be integrated into existing messaging systems such as Facebook Messenger.
Chatbots are becoming widely popular, appearing on a variety of business websites and e-commerce sites. They can provide live customer support any time of the day, automatically respond to customer inquiries, collect email addresses, influence customer decisions, direct people to help articles, or just provide friendly conversation for website visitors.
There are a variety chatbot plug-ins available for people running a website on WordPress. Many of these are designed for specific purposes such as collecting feedback or guiding customers to specific products. Others can be built and edited by you to do and say whatever you like.
Chatbot Plug-ins for Live Customer Support
Chatbots allow companies to offer live chat services to website visitors without requiring customer service staff on hand at all hours. Being able to provide 24/7 customer support can increase sales and improve customers’ experience with your brand. Customer service chatbots give people immediate answers to the questions they need in order to make a purchase from your store.
This free plug-in works best in combination with a live support agent. In order to learn, this chatbot first requires you to answer customer questions yourself. Based on your responses, the chatbot develops response sets and learns to match user questions with the relevant keywords that you provided in previous interactions.
After this, the chatbot can answer user questions on its own. As a result, it allows you to offer 24/7 customer support to your website visitors.
You can switch back to live support with one click whenever you want. This is useful if you want to help a customer out with a more intricate problem. The bot will also provide response shortcuts that it has developed, giving live agents options they can use to quickly reply to customer inquiries. Additionally, the bot will automatically transfer a question to live support if it doesn’t understand something.
This popular plug-in lets you run a hybrid chatbot and live agent customer support system or keep it completely automated.
Watson Conversation is a chatbot service offered as one of IBM’s many AI services. It allows you to create your own chatbots to place on your WordPress website. From your plug-in settings page, you can choose which pages and posts you want the chatbot to appear on. You will also be able to customize the appearance of the chatbot.
This chatbot is designed to talk to your website visitors about anything you want. It could be used for:
- greeting customers
- helping them navigate your website
- assist them in finding products, or
- answering their simple questions.
You set the rules for the chatbot responses when you build the bot.
This plug-in will require you to create your own chatbots on IBM Cloud (formerly called IBM Bluemix) using the Watson Conversation service. Although you don’t have to know how to code to do this, it will require you to follow some slightly technical instructions. For this reason, perhaps it is not the plug-in for people with little technical knowledge.
VirtualSpirits is a paid chatbot but can be tried out for free with their 30-day trial. The company offers different plans depending on your business size and how many site visitors you receive.
This chatbot provides automatic support to customers in multiple languages — English, Spanish, French, Russian, German, Dutch, Hebrew, Arabic, Italian, and Portuguese. This makes it an excellent addition to any non-English website. Chatbot plug-ins in languages other than English are rare.
VirtualSpirits gives you many templates to choose from to fit your specific goal. For example, they have templates for:
- lead generation
- customer service
- conversion optimization
- e-commerce assistance.
Lead generation chatbots will collect phone numbers and email data from your visitors that you can use for following up with potential customers. Their e-commerce template will help customers find products in your store.
Virtual Spirits, like many other chatbots, offers customers the option to click on a
pre-written question, and they receive a pre-programmed answer.
You can personalize your chatbot with your choice of colors, images, and logo. Make the chatbot fit the voice of your brand by editing the existing provided scripts. Monitor your bot and switch to live chat whenever you want to intervene with your automatic responses.
Overall, VirtualSpirits gives you many options to fit their chatbot to your brand and goals.
Chatbots for Collecting Information
Chatbots designed to collect data can deliver valuable information to you about your website visitors. For example, you can ask your visitors questions about what kinds of products they want to see in your store. Or if you’re a blogger, a chatbot can talk to your readers about what kinds of posts they like best. Chatbots can also be used to collect email addresses for building up a mailing list.
Collect.chat was designed specifically for collecting data from your website visitors. Using this chatbot, you can gather customer feedback and opinions which will enable you to better provide them with what they want. Design and script your own chatbot using a simple drag-and-drop interface. You can make it look how you want and say what you want.
For example, ask your website visitors how they like your site’s navigation or what they think of your store prices. Your collected data is then visually displayed through Collect.chat’s in-depth analysis. Using this data, you can improve your services to meet the needs of your customers.
Installing Collect.chat is easy. All you’ll need to do to get set up is copy and paste a snippet of code into your website.
The basic chat interface is available for free. However, this free plan will limit your responses to 30 per month. If you reach this limit or want more integrated features, such as email notifications when you get a response, consider Collect.chat’s paid plans.
Gobot is a chatbot used to automatically solicit email addresses from your website visitors. Use the chatbot to present your visitors with forms, surveys, or polls for collecting valuable information. The chatbot plug-in also acts as automated customer service and a meeting scheduler. You will require a paid Gobot account to take advantage of some of these features.
The goal of Gobot is to hold onto website visitors who would otherwise leave your site and never return. Instead, it allows you to collect their emails, so you can nurture them into paying customers through marketing campaigns. Connect Gobot to MailChimp or AWeber to build your email list automatically.
Gobot gives you options of using their pre-written templates or you can write your own chatbot script. Their drag-and-drop bot builder makes it easy to develop intelligent scripts to respond to your customers with.
You can even craft targeted messages to appear in your chatbot based on the pages your visitors are viewing or the point on a page they have scrolled to. Trigger your Gobot to start a conversation with a customer after they’ve been on your website for a pre-specified amount of time.
As a result, you can collect a segmented email list based on people’s interactions with your website, allowing for targeted email marketing.
Chatbots for Facebook Messenger and WooCommerce
Facebook Messenger chatbots integrate with the existing messaging system on the social media platform rather than appearing on your own website. These are useful if you have a Facebook page for your business. Chatbots designed to work with WooCommerce will be optimized to work with these WordPress stores.
WP Chatbot for Facebook Messenger is a WordPress plug-in that sends news and updates automatically to subscribers via Facebook Messenger. Facebook messages enjoy an open rate of 84%, beating out emails in this department. This makes Chatbot for Messenger a useful plug-in for bloggers who want to keep their subscribers updated with recent posts.
Under the settings for this chatbot plug-in, you can select which WordPress post types you want to send to subscribers. You can send recent blog posts, new products posted in your store, or new website pages to your viewers.
For 0-10 subscribers, you can use this messenger chatbot for free. However, for reaching more subscribers, you will have to purchase a paid plan from NewsBooster.
To install this plug-in, you must get a free API key from the NewsBooster website and enter it in the plug-in settings. Then, you’ll just have to select the Facebook Page you want to send messages from. You will also have to configure where to place the subscribe widget on your website, so site visitors can sign up to receive your automatic messages.
This chatbot plug-in, available in English and Romanian, is designed to work on your WooCommerce store to recover abandoned carts. An “abandoned cart” refers to an online transaction that the buyer failed to complete. “Abandoned cart recovery” refers to marketing tactics and technology designed to reach and persuade that person to complete their checkout. The ChatX.ai plug-in collects Facebook information from people when they add an item to their cart, and then sends them a Facebook Message if they fail to complete the checkout.
Six hours after a customer abandons a shopping cart at your store, they receive a message via Facebook Messenger to remind them of the items in their cart. This message congratulates your customer for their item choices and encourages them to proceed to check-out.
ChatX is only free until you reach a certain amount of sales. Once this trial is over, ChatX charges you 2% of the value from the shopping carts they recover for you. Since you would have lost this revenue without their service, this is a fair price to pay.
Note: ChatX.ai is in beta for use in Shopify with additional cool features. For example, a customer can send the bot a photo of a product they’d like, and the bot can respond with one of your products that is the closest match. We hope the full feature set will become available in WordPress after it’s out of beta.
WooWBot is a chatbot to help customers on your WooCommerce store to find the products they are looking for. It works as an automatic assistant to your website visitors. When the plug-in is activated, WooWBot will position itself in the bottom right corner or your website. Users can ask the bot about your store products and they will be directed to where they can find them.
Say you run an e-commerce store selling gardening supplies. Customers could ask the WooWBot if you sell vegetable seeds. If you do, the bot will show the customer your seed products.
WooWBot asks customers what they’re searching for, then displays clickable images that match the query. This is a common feature of chatbots. In this demo, we type that we’re looking for a “canon camera” and WooWBot displays 3 options for us.
Insert your own scripts into text fields in the plug-in’s settings to customize what the bot will say to customers.
Further capabilities for this plug-in are currently being explored by the bot developers.
Last but not least, Giga Messenger is a popular, customizable chatbot plug-in for Facebook Messenger. This plug-in allows you to build your own chatbot and also gives you tools to manage leads and marketing plans. Create your own chatbot scripts and messages to be automatically sent to subscribers via Facebook Messenger.
When a customer joins a conversation, Giga Messenger pulls their contact information into its built-in customer relationship management (CRM). This lets you follow up on potential leads easily.
Giga Messenger supports many message types including text, images, videos, and buttons. So, for example, you could send a Facebook message out to your subscribers containing a “shop now” button. Giga Messenger can be seamlessly integrated with WooCommerce as well.
Try Them Out!
Chatbot plug-ins can add another level of profesionalism to your website. Whether you’re running an e-commerce store, a business storefront, or a simple blog, chatbots can take some work off your hands. They automate customer service, so you don’t have to spend time answering simple questions. Bloggers may find them useful for collecting email addresses to build a mailing list or update people about new posts through Facebook Messenger. Any individual or company can use chatbots to ask their website visitors for valuable feedback. Try out some of these chatbot plug-ins and see how they can enhance your WordPress website. And let me know how you’re doing with your chatbot adventures! I’d love to hear how you’re progressing.