What Are ChatBots?


What are ChatBots? 

A chatbot it is very simple, everybody. It's software that talks to people through their chat apps. 

Chat apps like Facebook Messenger, Snapchat, WhatsApp, Slack, Kik... the list of chat apps out there is as long as your arm, and getting longer every day. 

You may use all of those, you may use just a few. No matter which messaging apps you use, you're most likely to be on Facebook Messenger. And if you're a solopreneur, that's also where your potential clients are. Messenger is where the eyeballs are. 

Cognitive Dissonance

Now when I say"Bots", most people think automatic robotic communication. Something that sounds more like a machine than it does a human. When I talk to people about building a chatbot, I can see the confusion in their eyes.

I get it, believe me. I'm talking about making personal connections with potential clients. I'm talking about creating messages that people care about getting. 

And I'm talking about doing it all with a bot - something that evokes images of impersonal machinery. It's the very definition of cognitive dissonance. How does that even happen? It's like trying to plant marigolds in a parking lot - it just doesn't work. 

A big part of chatbots is automatic messages, that's true. But automatic messages are only part of the conversation. 

The Cocktail Party

Think about it like a cocktail party. You wander around with a beverage in your hand, chatting up strangers and acquaintances. The first parts of the conversation are rather automatic, aren't they? The same five to seven questions you've heard at every cocktail party you've ever attended. "What do you do for a living? What part of town are you from? Where did you go to school?"

You answer the questions, and respond with similar questions of your own. By the time the questions are finished (usually long before then), you know whether or not you want to continue the conversation. You either keep talking to that fascinating person, or you politely excuse yourself for another beverage.

What would you give to be able to skip directly to the interesting part of the conversation? How much time would you save?

Skip The Small Talk

Chatbots follow the same pattern. You create messages and questions for your potential clients to respond to. You tag great responses and save them for later. You quickly identify who who would be great clients, who might be someone to talk to further, and those who don't need your services at all. 

Chatbots allow you to move directly to the interesting part of the conversation. You can rely on the automatically generated messages for the "small talk". Then you can continue the conversation live, either in the chat feature or in person. 

 And that, Grasshoppers, is what bots are all about. Starting conversations with many, and filtering down to the people who are interested in you. 

If you'd like to experience a chatbot for yourself, click this link and let's start the conversation!

RJ Redden