Facebook Chat Bots and Your Business

By Jason Hulott | Articles

Are bots the compliant way to run client social media communication in the insurance industry?

One of the worries for insurance companies in using social media is not to get themselves into any trouble with the FCA. While there are FCA published guidelines on using social media, it is still seen as a grey area. One way you may be able to structure your social media client or new customer enquiry engagement on Facebook is to use bots. This article looks at what a bot is, how you can easily create one for your business, and how you can use them on Facebook.

What is a chat bot?

A chatbot is a small piece of software that is configured to interact with users who can ask simple text based questions and the bot will respond with prewritten responses that can include links, images and videos.

They can be multi-level – so if the user asks something, they get a response and then you can have the bot follow up with another question based on the previous answer so that can be presented with something else – so it can be quite a complex interaction but based on a simple flow of questions and answers. Think of it like an interactive flowchart.

Even simple bots can free up a lot of time dealing with easy questions and move potential clients further along the buying process.

How to use a chat bot?

As they can be accessed by clicking on a web link, you can easily share a link to your bot in your marketing and support materials.

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These work really well on mobile devices as it is basically a Facebook Messenger service. This can be a great value-add for claims support, perhaps. Or, could work fantastically well for real time chats for travel clients looking for initial help with claims outside of office hours for example.

Other uses for a bot include:

  • starting a conversation around a product or service
  • using it as a virtual assistant to deal with basic user enquiries
  • handling frequently asked questions
  • educating customers on a new product or service and then handling any enquiries

Right now the only limit to your bot is your imagination. The beauty from a compliance point of view is as each action and response is pre scripted, so these interactions can be compliance checked and approved before putting your bot live.

Want to see a bot in action?

Try one of these bots:

How to build a Facebook Bot

There are a growing number of services you can use to easily build a bot. There are a number of free solutions. We have played with two of them and they are listed below. Both work in similar ways and their output via Facebook is similar.

The key to success is the time and effort you put into structuring the bot sequences. Also it should be said, you don’t have to have one bot doing it all.

You could have a number of bots doing specific tasks for you.

Promoting a chatbot and building an audience

Once you have built your chatbot, you should look to promote it in the same way you do with other marketing tools or content.

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Clearly Facebook advertising is a key way as it is a Facebook messenger based bot service we are highlighting, but contact your customers via email to say you now have a Bot available to help them manage their claims enquiries with a link to it can be a great way to build up an audience. Write about it on your blog. You can even send them a SMS message with a link to it if you need to.

Also add a link to it on your website at the relevant key points. Share it on your social media channels and you can even submit it to bot directories so those people looking for a bot can find you. Here is a bot directory you can submit your bot to in order to get you started.

The added benefits of both Manychat and Chatfuel is they will show you who is interacting with your bots so you can see how effective they are at carrying out their tasks for you.

Summary

Facebook is really the tip of the iceberg with bots. There are facilities and technology so you can build a standalone bot, but for now there is a huge amount of scope for bots interacting with Facebook users. It could be a great way to attract new business or help maintain customer service with existing ones.

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About the Author

Jason Hulott is Business Development Director at Digital Marketing Specialists, Speedie Consultants. He is Google Partner certified. His role is to identify and implement traffic generating and revenue increasing ideas for our client base.