Senior Content Writer
I've built quite a few chatbots now (including our own, down in the corner). One thing I always throw in? Allowing the user to ask a custom question.
Here's why. Generally, I remove the ability for a user to type freely into the bot. It's easier to guide the user where they need to go when you set up quick replies instead — user open input for when you actually need it, like grabbing a name or an email address.
But I still want a chatbot to be able to handle questions.
Build in your most common questions
Any business is going to have questions it gets over and over.
- "What materials do you manufacture with?"
- "How much do your services cost?"
- "What compliance standards do you adhere to?"
And so on.
These are great applications for a chatbot. Take the most important questions from your FAQ and just put them in your chatbot. Then, with every answer, loop back to the questions so they can ask another (and include a quick reply to go back to the start).
Handle Any Inquiry With a Custom Question
If you just let people write anything — they'll write anything. And you have no hope of building a bot that could actually answer it in any economical way.
But you can blend the immediate convenience of a chat bot and the expertise your company has — along with capturing contact information! — by allowing people to ask a custom question.
Let's dig into InBot down there.
To keep our quick replies down to just a couple of options, I've sorted the built-in questions into Sales and Marketing. Then, I've got the "Other" option.
If you actually go to the Sales and Marketing questions, you'll also find that if your question isn't listed, you're also able to pick "Other". All three of these "Other" options bring you to the same spot. Here.
You'll see that "Question Confirmation" also brings you here. Below, in the Question Confirmation box, you'll see why.
I save the user input as the contact property ChatBot Question. Then I play it back to them and give them the opportunity to redo if they made a mistake.
And it's after they've made the investment of typing in the question that I get to the good stuff: the ask for the name and email address.
Sending the Notification
So we've got our question saved, but we want to make sure the right person receives it. For that, I've got a simple workflow and an email.
In the chatflow, we enrol the contact in the workflow and let them know we've got it. As a bonus, we can now refer to them by their name. I never want to leave someone without an option to keep engaging with the bot, so the reader's free to go back and maybe ask some other questions or get other resources.
Meanwhile, in the Workflow
There's nothing special about this workflow. It just sends an email to the staff members we want to know about the question so they can follow up promptly.
Nice and simple, just relays the information.
There it is! A quick way to let people ask a custom question to your chatbot and actually get an answer — in exchange for their contact info.
Want us to make a chatbot for you? We do all that and a lot more — and have done for more than 80 B2B companies across Canada and the US. Talk to InBot yourself, contact us on the traditional form — or just read more at the resource below.