How Chatbots Can Improve The UX Of Your WordPress Website

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Website standards keep changing. How much? Think about what we’d accept when the internet was still fairly new. Slow pages, odd designs, missing images, malfunctions… it was all tolerable because users couldn’t realistically expect better, but now the situation is very different.

After years of progress, today’s UX (user experience) standard is very high. Users expect speedy loading, convenient layouts, and directly-relevant content. If you want to stay competitive, you need to keep pace with the best websites in the world — and a WordPress installation is entirely capable of that, being extremely flexible and easy to expand using plugins.

But what plugins should you try first? Well, if you get any decent amount of traffic, I strongly suggest installing a chatbot. It’s easier than it sounds, and while it won’t solve all your problems, it will give you some serious support. Here’s how chatbots can help you boost your UX:

They can offer strong 24/7 support

Your website visits aren’t going to be limited to traditional office hours, allowing you to shut down all forms of support after 5pm. One of the core advantages of online business (particularly online retail) is that you can visit websites and place orders whenever you like — even in the middle of the night should the mood strike you.

Should one such nighttime visitor encounter a problem using your site, what should they do: wait until a more convenient time to ask for help, or ask immediately? The former would be easier for you, certainly, but it would also constitute a missed opportunity to impress them with the accessibility of your support.

So should you have some wearied employee fielding queries at 3am? No, because you can simply use a chatbot instead. Chatbots don’t care what time it is, or how long they’ve been working. They don’t tire, or get frustrated with visitors. They just use the resources available to carry out the tasks assigned to them, making them perfect for handling low-level queries.

All you need to do is make a comprehensive list of the questions you’re asked most commonly, and add that list (along with all the corresponding answers) to the chatbot process. You’ll want to provide some kind of escalation option for when a question can’t be usefully answered, calling for human oversight, but even if chatbots can handle 50% of all queries, that’s still both invaluable for you (saving you time and effort)and great for the user (responding so quickly).

They can make smart recommendations

Personalization matters, particularly for online retail in which treating someone with a unique approach is one of the keys to winning them over. We all want to feel that we matter to the businesses we frequent — that we’re more significant than just statistics — and receiving targeted offers and recommendations makes us feel valued (and saves us time).

In principle, the best way to offer a personalized experience is to have a human assistant learn about distinct customer preferences and cater to individuals accordingly, but this is highly inefficient — not to mention dangerous. Not only does it take time to have people read through account histories, but it’s also a delicate matter, and you can easily presume too much (the avoidance of human error is a big reason why automation is so great).

A chatbot, though, is dispassionate. Trustworthy, in a sense. It can rapidly analyze recorded user data, factor in all other information sources, and produce a strong range of viable product suggestions, all without leading the user to feel violated or seeming presumptuous. There’s little sense in getting angry with an algorithm, after all.

Deployed well, an ecommerce chatbot can be a powerful driver of conversions, recommending relevant items, advising regarding stock levels, providing dynamic discounts, and even helping to push referrals using the strong UX as a motivating factor. Here are some options aimed specifically at WooCommerce — if you’re running a store and you’d like to see how slick you can make your sales funnel, do some research to see which one best suits your style.

They can reinforce your brand

In a time of near-unlimited options for those browsing the internet, having a clearly-defined brand is an underappreciated (though challenging) task. You’re not going to stand out through your CMS — WordPress being the most popular platform on the planet, for good reason — so you need to pull out all the stops to present a distinct (and consistent) brand image.

Something that can go overlooked about chatbots is their potential for comedy (or whatever else you’re trying to achieve tonally). By catering the language suitably, and adding a selection of stylized lines to the chatbot’s set of responses, you can subtly communicate the spirit of your brand even when no one is around to talk to the users.

Think about something as simple as the opening line in a chat window: should your chatbot say “Good morning/afternoon/evening” or simply “Hey!”? How formal should the text be? Are slang terms advisable? Ideally, when it’s necessary for a human to step in to help, there shouldn’t be a major tonal disconnect between the chatbot copy and the following conversation. If you can achieve that level of smoothness, your website will feel like a much more welcoming and convenient place for people to visit.

Offering superb UX is a must if you want to keep your site’s visitors coming back to provide you with more value, and a chatbot can give you a major performance boost without much cost or effort. Through providing 24/7 support that’s both dynamic and personable (without actually requiring people), it can do the work of a large team of well-trained assistants. Whywouldn’t you want to try that?

Digiprove sealThis content has been Digiproved © 2019 Antonie Potgieter

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