Chatbot Development

6 Reasons Your Chatbot Doesn’t Convert

Chatbots can be an effective tool when used shrewdly and tuned to your business objectives and audience. Customer conversion is an important end goal for many chatbots.

By Anastasiia Bilous
May 9, 2019

You’ve probably read everywhere that chatbots are the future. You’ve seen case studies that showed how chatbots make companies more client-oriented, cultivate customer loyalty, increase sales and, more importantly, facilitate upsales. You decided to implement a chatbot, but the results are far from expected. This is what might have gone wrong and what you can do about it.

1. You Don’t Have a Detailed Strategy

You can compare a chatbot with a landing page. It attracts audience attention and either makes them interested or makes them leave. A landing page has to sell.

What does a chatbot have to do? Start with the goals that you want to achieve with the help of your chatbot. Think out the strategy of interaction between a chatbot and your potential customers. Answer these questions first:

  • Who is your chatbot’s target audience?
  • What main functions does it need to have?
  • How will it help your customers?
  • What kind of interactions can occur between your chatbot and audience?

Approach your chatbot development as a separate marketing and sales tool. Parameters like target audience, goals, and KPI are relevant here, as well.

2. You Try to Cover Too Much

two mobile phone screens showing process of buying flowers


Less is more. If it tries to sell more than one or two products, it will confuse visitors. The same applies here, so don’t try to cram your chatbot with all kinds of features and answers to every question. Choose one or two features, and make them perfect.

Let me give you a few ideas of what a chatbot can do:

  • Client service
  • This includes FAQs, checking order and delivery status, and sending additional data. For example, your bot can remind a customer about an order he or she left in the shopping cart or can allow a client to change the delivery destination.

  • Product marketing and promotion
  • Your chatbot can become an active tool in your sales funnel. You can use it at any step of the funnel—remind customers about a discount, or give them a link to your new webinar.

  • Explaining and complementing your product
  • This means making your chatbot a personal manager that supports clients at every stage of using your product or service and helps customers to understand its abilities and functions.

3. You Don’t Test Your Chatbot

Even if you are sure that you thought out every tiny detail, you still can miss something. Testing for a chatbot is just as important as it is for any other digital product. Or any product, really.

These are common problems you can avoid with quality testing:

  • Your bot might work incorrectly because of mistakes in functions and code.
  • Clients can misuse or misunderstand your chatbot. If you know your bot from the inside out, some things may seem obvious to you. However, they are not always obvious for your clients. Use a focus group to test your bot from a UX perspective
  • You forgot about important functions because you thought they weren’t essential.
  • Or, on the contrary, you added too many features and made your bot confusing.

There are lots of issues that can make your chatbot less helpful for a target audience, and testing can help you fix the mistakes. Create a focus group out of your colleagues and potential clients, and let them communicate with your bot and suggest improvements. Find out what’s lacking in your chatbot. Then implement your findings.

You’ll need at least three or four such testing rounds before you can release your chatbot. But, even after this, don’t stop improving it.

4. Your Bot is Too Annoying

“The more you write to your audience, the more it will react.” Wrong. If there is any reaction, it will probably be negative. It’s a great idea to reassure your users that your bot won’t spam them. This is how TechCrunch does it:


screenshot of bot conversation from TechCrunch


Despite the fact that the chatbot is a new instrument, treat it like an email—don’t send too many of them or you’ll drive clients off. They will mute notifications or unsubscribe from receiving messages from your bot. Apart from losing audience, you can be banned from Facebook, for example, if you use your chatbot there.

Send messages rarely, but make them stand out. Create offers that will resonate with your target audience.

5. You Cannot Guess What Your Client Is Asking

screenshot of bot not understanding a conversation


The main goal of any chatbot is to automate communication with potential and actual clients. I’ve already told you how important it is to know your target audience, and I want to stress it once more.

You need to know what questions will arise when people use or consider your product. For this, you need to have a thorough investigation:

  • Consult with your Client Support and Marketing departments. What questions do they often receive from clients?
  • Examine personal messages you used before automating communication.
  • Survey your existing clients.
  • Learn your competitors’ websites, and pay attention to what their clients ask and the answers they get.
  • A great way to gather all this info is to create a document and write all of your customers’ questions there. Break them down into categories, and put this information to use in your chatbot.

    6. You Don't Understand How Messengers work

    Chatbots exist in a messenger environment, whether it’s Facebook, Telegram, or WhatsApp. Note, however, that (for now) WhatsApp only has a beta version of APIs for creating chatbots. I hope soon it will give a full opportunity for businesses to create chatbots on its messaging platform.

    The deal is, all messengers are different, and you need to know their peculiarities and functions to use them effectively. For example, Facebook is perfect for generating leads, while WhatsApp or Telegram is more suitable for increasing customer loyalty.

    Make sure your ad campaigns correspond to messenger platforms, and find out where your target audience spends most of its time.

    Even with all the benefits, do not imagine the chatbot as a magic pill. The chatbot indeed can be an effective tool when used shrewdly and tuned to your business objectives and audience.

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