Welcome to the future. What was once about factory robotics and telephone switchboards is now about digital automation. How to find new ways to make easier (and cheaper) those repetitive and time-consuming tasks that don’t truly require our attention. Enter chatbots. Take a look around the digital and social media world and you’ll actually find that a fair number of industries are already widely-adopting chatbots for their businesses and websites. They’re here. They work. And they really do help.

What is a Chatbot?

Seriously, what is a chatbot?

Basically, a chatbot is an interactive technology tool that sits on your website, designed to simulate the experience of chatting with a person. This can be for the purposes of providing basic information before the visitor talks to a person, scheduling appointments, or any other number of interactions that can be automated to your visitors. You design and program a chatbot to ask the questions that your representative may ask someone who lands on your website or your social media page. The chatbot interacts with the visitor and points them in the right direction for the next step in user engagement.

How Can a Chatbot Help Me?

No matter your industry, there are dozens to hundreds of interactions that regularly grabs your or your employee’s attention – that really may not require a personal attention. These distractions accumulates to a staggering number of manhours and disjointed, fragmented workflows.

Available 24/7

Your chatbot is not paid by the hour. It’s installed on your website and it never leaves. Never tires. If it’s built as the right solution, then not only is it a full-time customer-service agent, but also a full-time leads generator and lead qualifier. What’s more, no matter how many simultaneous visitors you have to your website at one time, each chatbot interaction is completely unique for each one.

Train It Once, Watch It Work

With a chatbot, there’s no turnover. Sure you might need to go back to it once in a while and add a new piece of information as your business grows and changes, but it won’t forget what it already knows. Therefore you’ll never experience repeated, costly training.

Put Your Focus Where It Counts

You and your employees are human, and are capable of intelligent, strategic, nuanced thought. Why should hours of each and every workday be dedicated to repeatedly answering the same questions, over and over? Aren’t you better-qualified to focus on the things that really demand your attention? Your time is valuable. Let your chatbot do the grunt work while you focus on what’s important.

Pre-Qualify: Put Someone In Context Before Talking to Them

The human element isn’t going away. It never will. Handshakes and face-to-face interactions are far too important to us, and that’s a good thing. What can change is that we can know contextualized information of our visitor by the time we start interacting with them. What are their needs? What’s their budget? Who is this person and how can I best help them, if at all? Chatbots get that stuff out of the way, and make that introduction for you both. Your chatbot can say “This is Linda, she’s got a real need that we are a great fit for, and I think we can help her.” You take it from there.

Interactivity and Chatting Are Comfortable, We're Used to Them

Users are comfortable in a conversational interface. Most of us spend a significant chunk of our time living portions of our very real lives through back-and-forth-messaging. It feels natural. Compared to filling out a form, it’s much more engaging. And so there’s very little friction at all when we transfer that to a more sales or service oriented context.

Get the Information You Need to Make Smart, Deliberate Moves

For every question your chatbot answers, and every appointment it sets, it can also keep track of who answers what and when. As a well-designed solution, aligned with your business objectives, your chatbot keys in to all of the analytics that can drive your strategy. Essentially, your full-time website representative and leads generator is also a full-time database, data collector and report maker. When your users are willing to share additional information (such as their social media profile), chatbots can significantly personalize the interaction.

What are Some Specific Uses for Chatbots?

Every industry is different, and all have their own unique needs and priorities. Then again, every industry is still a business, so a lot of things stay the same. Here are a few of the ways that chatbots can, generally speaking, help us all out:

Sales and Lead Qualification

Every business needs to qualify their leads before funneling them down to a sales conversation. We touched on this above. Will your service really address their problem? Can they afford you? Is the timeline right? Should you be talking to them or somebody else? These are standard questions, as easily answered by a chatbot as a phone call.

We discuss this more towards the end of the blog. (See how we qualify visitors to apartment websites.)

Customer Service

There’s no industry whose customers and clients don’t require at least some occasional attention. When a user can’t find something on your website, they turn to your phone number. If there isn’t a phone number, they turn to a contact form (or worse, abandon you quietly). There’s no way to be a perfect steward of information for all kinds of people; down that path lies folly. Chatbots, however, provide another path. Another opportunity for meaningful support and resolution. You can trust your chatbot to supply relevant answers to questions, and to direct users to the resources they need.


Chatbots can be in many places at once. For online retailers, this represents relief for a huge pain point. A single representative can get tied up helping a single customer with a detailed, custom order. But those details are still nuts and bolts.

Chatbots offer that much-valued, increased measure of personalization, and also help multiple customers with the specifics of their orders simultaneously.

Scheduling and Digital Assistance

Some jobs require setting a lot of appointments. Like, a lot of appointments. You have to coordinate the time and date with the person, fiddle with all of the details on the calendar, integrate with your CRM or some other tracking application … that’s a lot of time and energy. Sometimes we don’t even use the full suite of powerful features available to us because it’s just so time-consuming and mentally-exhausting to enter and configure things across multiple platforms.

You know what chatbots are good at? Data entry. You know what else they’re good at? Integrations. Full-time appointment setter.

Okay, Chatbots Sounds interesting... What Happens Next?

Integrate a chatbot with your existing website. But that’s just the start. Everything we’ve discussed so far, that’s just what a chatbot can do for you today. Tomorrow is where we kick things up a notch.

As your chatbot does its work, you’re going to see better leads. You’re going to see a growing database of contact information and analytics – the technology world likes to call it “Big Data”. You’re going to see your overall business intelligence and your chatbot’s interactions get smarter with AI. Pour the new lessons learned back into your chatbot, and you’re going to see the whole operation keep getting better. Over and over again.

What happens next is artificial intelligence and machine learning. What happens next is empowering yourself to be as informed about your customers as Facebook and Google are knowledgeable about theirs.

How Does MOBILE-DI Know This?

Talk is good, but what about proof? Well, we’ve already done work with chabots (and property management mobile apps) for the multi-family real estate industry. We called leasing agents, investigated pain points, found inefficiencies in processes, addressed them, got feedback, then did the whole thing over again.

Now we have chatbots sitting on websites, interacting with visitors, and qualifying them as applicants before they even come in for a tour. Tours are an expensive, time-intensive process and can represent or lead to hours and hours invested in an applicant who may not be a fit for a community. Leasing agents or phone answering services have a personal incentive to rush people through their phone process, own the lead quickly, get a tour scheduled, and miss crucial details about the visitor that could save everybody a whole lot of time and money.

Instead – with chatbots – we get pre-qualified, high-caliber leads to leasing agents faster. As a result, agents have more time to engage and build relationships with those qualified leads, rather than spending their valuable time touring everyone. It’s really amazing what you can do with the right digital solution at the right place in the process.

Get Your New Chatbot Up and Running

There’s no corner of the business world that can’t be improved by a well-designed chatbot solution. Chatbot adoption keeps going up, and your competitors may already be reaping the benefits. With proper strategic planning and implementation, you’re sure to see results in no time at all. If you are still not sure how a chatbot can benefit your business, schedule a time to talk with the team at MOBILE-DI.  We will be the first to point out if you have a valid use case to Bot or Not.