How to Set Up a Chatbot for Personalized Interactions
Marketing  -  Dec 10, 2021

Personalized interactions are the ultimate goal of marketers in the early stages of using chatbots within their campaigns. A seamless customer experience drawing on as few resources as possible – this is what chatbots are designed to achieve, and at their most sophisticated, they are able to realize this aim.

However, reaching this point does take time, and the process needs to be started off in the right way. Making a bot feel personal in relation to your audience and your brand is something all marketers should find straightforward, leading naturally from your target personas and a feel for your organization’s personality. While this is important, we’ve decided to focus on the technical side of setting up a chatbot capable of personalized interactions, including using analytics, integrations, and how to get started with AI and NLP (natural language processing). Getting these things in place early on will make it much easier to end up with a chatbot and conversational marketing channel that sets you apart from competitors and provides an incredible return on the resources put into it.

Capturing data makes personalization possible

Turns of phrase with a personal tone go a long way towards making users feel comfortable interacting with chatbots. However, in order to add details which are genuinely personalized, including addressing users by name or directing them to resources they’ll find particularly useful, you need to have some kind of analytics platform that records and can use the information that goes through your chatbot each time it’s interacted with.

Choosing a chatbot with built-in analytics features should make this easy. Alongside native analytics capabilities, chatbots can be integrated with other analytics platforms, including Google Analytics. Then there is the question of using the information you have from other sources – this is where the potential for personalization quickly becomes real. Integrating your chatbot with your CRM and marketing automation platform is essential if you want to create personalized interactions. They provide the data needed both for real-time personal touches and for your chatbot to learn about your users via the power of AI.

Conditional logic and custom properties

It is possible to use basic chatbot features to create conversation flows that feel personal, without drawing upon AI or NLP. Conditional logic is a feature that comes with most chatbots and offers a lot of potential – a feature that doesn’t require any specialist knowledge to use, but when used intelligently can lead to impressive results.

Conditional logic can be applied to message contents to determine your bot’s message responses, so you can program your bot to follow a path determined by what the user says or does not say. Some chatbots also provide the ability to apply the same logic to user information, so you can program responses based on what you know about past user behavior.

Custom properties are another chatbot feature that can be set up and used quickly to provide personalized interactions. Combined with a database of contacts, either within your chatbot platform or via an integration with your CRM, custom properties allow you to populate messages with personal information like first name, company name or contact details. Custom properties are essentially stored information fields that can be pulled through and combined with other information streams. This requires the use of some custom text snippets, which may seem technical at first, but most people will be able to set this up quickly with the right resources given to you by your chatbot provider.

These kinds of features are often where those new to chatbots start to appreciate how powerful they can be. Even without machine learning and NLP, it’s possible to set up your chatbot to automatically send messages containing personalized content, and set up the right conditions for your chatbot to become an integral part of your automated marketing process.

Training your bot to know your users

AI and NLP is where the potential for personalized chatbot interactions becomes fully realized. It’s also the most daunting and potentially complex part of getting things set up.

However, it’s not necessary to dive straight into AI and NLP from the beginning of your conversational marketing journey. In fact, your chatbot will require “training” before it can start managing its own conversations.

What this means is that a basic bot flow has to be set up first, in order to start recording interactions and understanding typical user requests in context. The more information that comes through the bot, the better it becomes at understanding what users are saying, and therefore understanding the best ways in which it should respond.

All you have to do when you first set up a chatbot in order to use AI and NLP further down the line is to set up initial conversations, using some of the features we’ve described above. Then you can connect to an NLP library, for example Google’s Dialogflow, and start to collect data. At this stage you can leave the AI to use the information you’re providing it, and when enough data has been aggregated, you can start to think about launching your first AI-powered bot.

Instabot is platform-agnostic, meaning it can connect to any natural language processing API. Connecting your chatbot to an API might sound technical, but it’s something that only takes minutes. And as soon as you’re connected you’re on the way to having a chatbot capable of providing users with an experience that feels personal, human, and natural, regardless of how an interaction starts.

Set up your chatbot for success

Personalization is how chatbots become an essential part of the impression you make on potential customers, as well something that can be used to transform customer support or add new levels of functionality to a website, app, or piece of software.

Creating a chatbot that provides a genuinely personalized experience is more accessible than ever, but it’s important to be set up correctly from the start. If you’d like to know more about how to set up a powerful chatbot capable of providing personalized interactions, then book a demo with Instabot today.

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