Easiest Way to Create a Chatbot For Your Business
Most businesses are starting to use text messaging as the preferred way to communicate with their customers, especially through chatbots and SMS. This makes sense as it’s the only 2-way communication channel that hasn’t been spammed (like email), isn’t cumbersome (like calling) and reaches everyone (unlike most messaging apps).
SMALL BUSINESS: If you’re a small business owner looking to set something up fast, the easiest way is to download an app called Messages Improved from the Play Store. The app allows Android users (sorry iPhones) to use their existing phone number to send bulk messages, set up auto-replies & chatbots and manage notifications to avoid being overwhelmed with texts…basically everything you need to start automating texting with your customers. Best of all, the app acts as your default texting app so there’s no need to even switch between apps to manage your personal and business messages.
Keep in mind this is only fit for those who expect text volumes under 200 per day (the usual cap for personal numbers) and either have a 2nd number or don’t mind mixing their personal number with their business.
LARGE BUSINESS: For those looking for a cleaner separation or higher volume, there are a whole range of services that could do this. It can get pretty involved depending on what you want to do. Our upcoming article “How To Text From Your Business?” outlines how to set up a new number and sign up for services that would be fit for large businesses/volumes.
Folders & Notification Muting
One problem with mixing your personal number with business is getting a flurry of messages. But email has managed to filter a lot of the noise by filtering into folders automatically. The app has a built-in folder system that separates a text from any contact you don’t have saved on your phone into an “UNNAMED” folder. All you have to do is tap that folder and toggle “Mute Notifications”. Voila! Instant business & spam filter. If you want to further separate out business messages and spam, just create new custom folders and drag each contact into the appropriate folder. Any new messages from them will automatically go into that folder and not bother you if you choose.
Sending Out Blasts
Each folder has a blast ability which sends a message to every number in the list. To do this, drag each contact conversation into a new custom folder [Requires ability to add contact without a previous conversation history – coming soon!] Then tap the folder and select “Blast” and compose your blast message and hit BLAST. The app will then send out each message one by one.
Your contacts are automatically synced with the Google account on the phone so you just need to log into your business account or import your customer numbers to the Google account.
Creating an Auto-Reply Bot
[Requires adding the auto-reply feature – coming soon!] With each of these folders, you can attach an auto-reply bot to an incoming message. For example, tap the “UNNAMED” folder, and select “ATTACH BOT” and type out a greeting message “Thanks for texting David’s Flowers. We have a 10% sale going on right now if you go to our website at bit.ly/xr32n. How can I help you?” Whenever a customer who isn’t saved as a contact texts, the app replies with your greeting. After the customer replies, you can reply and chat away.
Currently the app only allows a single auto-reply message, but soon, it will enable you to build a full multi-message interaction flow that can bring them through an entire customer experience.