Engage and sell on autopilot: How a chatbot can help your small business

If you’re a small-business owner interested in streamlining and automating your social media marketing and customer service, then using a chatbot is something that’s worth taking a closer look at.

Chatbots are not new technology. They’ve been around in some form or another for years. But lately they’ve become more dynamic, easier to set up and integrate and, most importantly, affordable for small businesses, particularly Facebook Messenger chatbots.

What exactly is a chatbot

I like to think of a chatbot as an artificially-intelligent and intuitive answering machine service for your business’s social media pages and / or online store. 

You can set up a chatbot to automatically answer common questions that people visiting your Facebook Page or online store message you about. You can use a chatbot to direct people to important pages on your website or popular products on your online store. You can also use chatbots to capture important lead-gen information such as phone numbers and email addresses for your service-based business. Plus you can link your chatbot to a calendar or scheduling tool like Calandly to make it easy and fast for people to book appointments with you.

This is all streamlined and automated; resulting in an engaging, faster, more personal experience for your business’s social media audience and less customer service and sales work for you and your team.

Chatbots work beautifully for both service and product-based businesses.

Real-life examples of a chatbot helping a small business

Restaurants and cafes

If you own or manage a Facebook page for a restaurant or cafe, you know that one of the biggest pain points is having to be on the ball 24/7 with answering common messages such as ‘Can I see you menu’, ‘Can I make a booking’ and ‘What’s your location’.

A Facebook Messenger chatbot can automatically and instantaneously answer these common questions and point the person in the right direction by linking to a website url where the menu is located, providing a seamless table reservation experience or linking to a Google map location. That means you no longer have to be responding to Facebook messages 24/7.

Hotels and B&Bs 

Chatbots make it easy for you to instantaneously and automatically direct people’ who message you on Facebook to the right places. Set up a chatbot that allows someone to book a room, book an event or view packages, rates and special offers that your establishment is running.

Professional services such as coaching, consulting, hair and beauty salons

Answer common questions sent to your Facebook Page instantaneously and automatically about your rates and allow people to make a booking by connecting your chatbot to a calendar / scheduling tool such as Calendly.

Online store

Here are the awesome things you can do:

  • Connect your online store to Facebook Messenger so as to offer a live chat feature on your online store so visitors can chat directly with your team. Plus, with Shopify’s in-built Facebook Messenger sales channel, you can even sell products from right inside Facebook Messenger live chat – from your Facebook page and online store front!
  • Set up an automated chatbot that answers store visitors’ common questions about payment methods, shipping, delivery estimations and products.
  • Use a chatbot to automatically send out abandoned cart reminders using Facebook Messenger. Facebook Messenger open rates are around 80%, so it’s much more effective than sending abandoned cart reminders via email, which has a much smaller open rate.
  • Send exclusive offers, discount codes, promotions and event news to your store’s Facebook Messenger subscribers.

Interested in getting a chatbot?

I would love to help you figure out how a chatbot could help your small business. And I can help you create one. 

Email me at meg@nutmegstudio.co.za to find out more.

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