We can endlessly talk about how trending chatbots have become, predict what it’s going to result in, and review the most interesting examples. However, there should be people among us who would question their applicability. They would try to find out how they can leverage chatbots for business. And I totally understand them.
When it comes to the trends in technology, their practical usefulness is probably the first thing we need to figure out.
Are those tech trends going to turn into business trends? The same with chatbots. Probably, the first what we need to ask ourselves – do they carry any real value for a business? Or we just like cool things that look like breakthroughs in technology but in fact contain nothing real for us?
However, active involvement in bot development of such major companies like Microsoft, Amazon, Google, Facebook, later promising startups that are on the wave of popularity – KIK, Slack – pushes to the conclusion that the whole topic isn’t spinning around just a spectacle of technological power. You start to think, well, if such companies are into that probably they know how to sell it.
You don’t necessarily have to work in those companies to benefit from chatbots. You may have your own small business and leverage bots in an effective and profiting way. In fact, the size of your business doesn’t matter. You can even build your business around the great idea of chatbot.
The strategies of deploying bots vastly differ. Further on, we will find out the most interesting and profitable ways.
If you are looking for the great idea of how to come up with the brilliant bot for business. So that people would go directly to you with their money. However, you still haven’t got any. Maybe it’s time to think about examples that have proven their efficiency.
People always need something. But finding that exactly thing sometimes takes a lot of time and personal efforts. And the enormous amount of information that exists on the web is only growing. Therefore finding what you really need will become more challenging. What can you do with that? You can use a bot to help people find what they are looking for.
In such scenario, you get paid percentage of the purchase. People that interacts with bot save time and find what they want. The company who produces stuff acquires new buyers. Everyone gets his benefit.
If you produce something and want to sell it to right people – the ones who are going to appreciate it and find it useful – you need to show people how good the thing is. First what you need is the first impression of interaction with the service. Chatbot can help your business with this.
There is a number of shopping bots of different brands available now on different messaging platforms. No, they don’t just show you what kind of new sale the brand proposes but they do much more work. From the one point of view, this kind of a chatbot can talk with a prospect to find out what he is interested in, which kind of style he prefers. So further the chatbot can come up with the example that would be a good fit for him.
From another point, the chatbot can serve for automation and optimization of the search function. Therefore, a user will be able to find what he needs in a short period of time. Remember that automation is useful not just for routine business tasks.
Of course, you know how much time it usually takes to find something proper in a scope of clothes. As for me, it’s a true disaster. But if you have bought the clothes in a certain shop and you know which size there fits you best, you can skip. And chatbot can help with this.
There’s no perfect case for you among those that are already working. If you want to make something great, you need not only to look up the existing examples of successful use of bots for business but also to rely on your inventing capacities. For example, you want to teach people something or to tell them stories or whatever makes you tick. But you how would you monetize it?
Consider ads. Let’s say you’ve created the bot that helps people dive into hand-made crafts. Connect with the local shops, tell them the idea, invite them to try it, and finally propose them to place the ads of their shops in your bot conversations. Therefore, from time to time user is given the options where he (she) can buy different stuff for a lesson.
When advertising is performed in this way users can even like it as they can avoid searching for needed stuff by themselves.
Let’s be honest. One of the major reasons why people like bots is about their entertainment part. You can make it educational and funny at the same time. In fact, you can do anything your mind comes up with. The more innovative and human-like it’s – the greater the work you have done. But don’t put ads in a straightforward way – you always can make it natural.
Yes, chatbot can be a tool. You know all these recent references to applications. And you know what? Some of the applications are paid. But if you want your bot to be like that it should be extremely helpful.
There’s a lot of automation tasks that bots can handle. Even small businesses can benefit from such tools (I say small because you are not starting to sell it to huge companies). And I wouldn’t say anything about companies. They already have a lot of tools. But you can be outstanding and get all fame.
The first law is to think about targeted user, particularly about each step he performs and try to make it easier for him. Carrying about user brings great services. And chatbots can help you to make those.
Marketplaces are popular nowadays. They are the places where people go directly. They know that marketplaces are full of stuff they’re interested in. The era of mobile applications brought such marketplaces like app stores. Nowadays the power is almost completely taken over by the new mobile messaging era whose marketplaces look like messengers and bot stores. The last ones are only emerging now.
What are bot stores? Loosely speaking, they are bot directories where bots are placed accordingly to the topic. Yes, it reminds normal app store. A pretty straightforward idea, yet the implementation isn’t so easy. Besides, you would need to come up with convincing marketing to draw the attention of developers and users. To get inspired, look at the popular case of the KIK bot shop.
How would you make money? You can set small fee for publishing and promotion of the bot. So developers who would want to spread the word about the bot would have to make a payment.
Where should I start?
Let’s find out the main steps to dive into building chatbot for business.
If you have an idea of making chatbot business, here are some questions to ask yourself. Will it be helpful for anyone? What is your target audience? Would you use it if you were the prospect?
You need to have the clear understanding of why you’re going to build exactly this kind of bot. That’s why you will need another thing (on the next step).
Before jumping into the field you need to find out what people really need – what kind of business trends prevail, whether this particular kind of tool is something that can draw attention, where your prospective users are and what the shortest way to them is. For this, you need to turn to marketing tools and even build the correct business model if you aim at monetizing your bot.
Depending on the kind of audience you want to engage, you will need the particular messenger. For the youngest KIK might work better. For the stuff, people would be interested in doing in their free time – facebook or telegram (that depends on geography). For work-related tools – Slack.
When you realize what kind of messenger you want your future bot to be deployed, you can look for the way how to build it.
For non-developers but tech-related people, it might be a bit challenging. However, there is a lot of open documentation available on messengers and different frameworks. For non-tech guys, it could take too much time that would be a waste of money as well. Therefore, for those who are quite far from programming, it might be more efficient to hire a developer.
Besides, today there’s a lot of interesting stuff like machine learning that you may want to leverage. Specialists would anyway do a better job than you if it’s your beginner stage in bot development.
A. Nobody else but me
You have already worked as bot developer or you’re new to that but you have programming skills. Logically you would want to do it by yourself. Where would you go first? Of course, you need to explore documentation on messenger you have picked (Facebook, Slack, Twitter, Telegram, KIK). After all, the bot is a web application. Therefore, besides even the most complicated systems are POST and GET requests.
Start with the hard-coded logic to make a basic frame. Later, you will be able to add more functionality but don’t hurry up. Take your time to test it as many times as needed. And don’t forget to invite other people to test it in order to get their opinions. In the end of the day, you’re doing it for them.
If you have decided to turn to the professional help, you have few ways: look for someone great by spreading the word among your colleagues and friends (usually it works when you have a tech-related job) or to find a freelancer. The latter can be faster, however, you never know for sure how it’s going to work with someone you have never met before.
However, don’t be afraid. After a consistent research and pair of interviews, you will be able to hire an appropriate person. There are many platforms like Fiverrand Upworkwhere you can find developers who are specialized on bots. Costs depend mainly on complexity and professionalism of developer.
Nowadays, you also can find teams of developers who mainly are into bot development. In such scenario, bots are products that the team sells. Usually, it’s more convenient and trustworthy but more expensive also.
When your bot is ready and it meets your expectations, you need to spread a word and attract people. No difference from other small businesses. You need to define priority traction channels and start promoting your chatbot. Besides, don’t forget to ask people about their impressions and use them for permanent improvements. Remember that bot is a piece of software that needs to be continually updated. Otherwise, it rapidly becomes irrelevant.
Making money with the bot isn’t something unachievable and far from reality. It’s just a question of your purposes and the clear vision of the main steps to make them real. Everything works when structured. It’s the same with bots.
The era of mobile-messaging-over-all sets its rules. Those provide fast and efficient interactions and few clicks distance to get everything you need. Bots are becoming the great fit for this global picture.