The Unexpected Value of a Chatbot Platform

"Hi! I'm a bot that was created to help you." This statement also applies to product development.

“Hi! I’m a bot that was created to help you.” This statement also applies to product development. At first, I was hesitant about using a chatbot, not understanding the value of the platform on a website. I am one of those webpage visitors that is more likely to close the chatbot and ignore its notifications than to give it a chance.

The reason for this is I have not seen the benefit. I associated the functionality more to the infamous paperclip icon in the right-hand corner of the screen rather than a useable tool. 

That was until I became the person on the receiving end of the chatbot. 

In the short term, companies can provide immense value in utilizing the tool, which connects a team member to a webpage visitor, resulting in an immediate human response to an inquiry. 

  • A visitor has a question, one can answer it before they move on. 
  • A potential customer needs more information, one can provide links or documents immediately. 
  • A client is in a panic, one can address the issue and provide responsive service. 

In doing so, a company can provide clarity to an issue and support to a bug before the inquirer moves on to a competitor or writes a negative review. The customer gets their issue addressed. Win. The company provides a positive experience. Win.

In the longterm, what other wins can come from a chatbot platform?

Being on the ground level of supporting a user experience provides many (unexpected) benefits.

Firstly, it provides the opportunity to see a company’s product or service from a different perspective. This can positively impact product development and strategy. For instance, a little-known advantage of your product can be highlighted in future marketing content. Simultaneously, a constraint can be identified and discontinued furthering product development for a better user experience. 

Secondly, it’s a chance to identify missing information in the product’s support documentation. For example, if one can get a question answered via a webpage, this saves the company’s and the customer’s time. So, from this experience, instructional content can be produced and added to the company website thereafter.

Additionally, a chatbot platform can be used to qualify incoming leads. It can be the pathway connecting salespeople with high-quality leads, which will initiate longer and more-prepared conversations with potential customers. At the same time, it can identify low quality leads. In this case, barriers can be developed in response to eliminate them. 

As a product manager, incorporating a chatbot platform provides a constant “fresh eyes” perspective that a company can consider ensuring a better user experience and stronger product management. 

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