Timing Is Everything With Messenger Bots

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We spend a lot of time here on The Bot Signal talking about getting the right message to people, but it's just as important to get people the right message at the right time. So how do you do that? 

Sending the right message at the right time is actually easier than you might think and no, you don't need mind reading capabilities.

What To Avoid

So first of all, let's look at avoiding sending messages at the wrong time. There are a couple of ways you can do this within the ManyChat interface. (Manychat is a product that I use for my bots and all my clients bots.) 

There are a couple of things you can set in the background technologically. You can make sure that you're not sending messages in the middle of the night, for instance. There's also a function in the broadcast section that helps you send out messages on silent mode (as opposed to regular push, which includes a sound and a message on your lock screen). I really recommend that because more than two to three broadcasts per week, every week gets a little bit overwhelming.

Focus On Keywords

So now that you've gone back and fixed all those back end things to make sure that you're not sending messages at the wrong time, it's time to focus on using keywords to anticipate and answer questions that your users might have. Timing is everything. Wouldn't it be cool if your Messenger bot could answer questions as they occur to people? 

Because no matter what kind of sequence you write, be it an onboarding sequence for new clients, an online class that you're delivering through your chatbot, a challenge that you're delivering to your facebook group... No matter what kind of sequence you write, people are going to wander off that beaten path. I guarantee it. Let's anticipate and embrace that for a second.

Wandering Off The Beaten Path...

It's totally okay that people wander off the beaten path because you are taking my suggested 20 minutes a day to learn to deal with questions inside your bot, to have conversations and start to move some of those conversations offline.

You're doing your due diligence, so it's totally okay that people wander off the path once in a while. Every time you write a sequence, think about what kind of questions people might have. Also, when you're delivering information, a file or a pdf or a video, people are almost always going to ask for that thing again later, not realizing they've already gotten it.

Answer Questions Ahead Of Time

So let's set up an example for answering somebody's question ahead of time in your bot so that you are ready when they type in the words: "where is that video on {insert topic here}?" 

Use keywords to anticipate an answer. Say you are delivering a challenge to your Facebook group and as part of the challenge, there are certain videos that cover different topics  for every day.

On day three of the challenge, there is a person who wasn't exactly able to keep up. They're back doing day two and they ask for the video that you delivered on day one. It's perfectly easy to set a little watch phrase in your keyword section that just teaches the bot to listen for this question. "Hey, what happened to the video on day one?" Or this: "Can I get the video on weight loss?"

Setting A Watch 

You can set set the bot to watch for certain phrases and keywords. Then you set a string of messages (including the video) that will deliver when these particular keywords are typed.

This is the key in customer service. And you don't have to anticipate absolutely every single question. People you're having conversations with in your Messenger bot will teach you what you need to set as a keyword. They ask your bot questions, you answer them and set up a new keyword with that answer.

Establishing Trust

Being there for people to answer those questions as they occur is one of the most important things that you can do in your bot. Why? Because it establishes trust. Once people make that trust bond with you, that's the kind of bond that creates a relationship. Maybe it's a transaction, maybe it's a referral, or maybe it's a collaborative relationship.

All of those relationships are excellent outcomes for your bot. Where it starts, where the seed is planted is your ability to deliver the right message at the right time, answering questions as they occur. It's huge.

Keep Those Keywords Updated

One note of warning as we wrap up is this: when you write these keyword messages, do keep checking them over time to make sure that the responses still make sense. If your person is asking a question about a pdf that maybe you've recently made an edit to, make sure your messages deliver the updated pdf.

Keep checking those messages to keep your answers fresh. If you change a program, or a policy and you've got a keyword related to it, make sure that you update your response because it will make you look awesome, and establish much needed trust. 

 

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RJ Redden