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Chatbot Scripts: A Step By Step Guide (With Examples & Templates)

Chatbots aren’t going anywhere. In fact, if you haven’t had an encounter with a chatbot in your own online user experience, you’re in the minority.

  • More than a quarter of the world will use messaging apps by the end of 2019 (eMarketer)
  • 15 percent of American adults have used a chatbot. 16 percent own a smart speaker. (State of Chatbots Report)
  • People are most interested in using chatbots to answer simple questions, resolve a problem, make a reservation, or pay a bill.
  • BUT …. 43 percent of adult Americans say they prefer to deal with a real-life assistant, rather than a chatbot. (Convince & Convert)

That last statistic is key.

People like the quick response time and 24/7 access to chatbots, but at the end of the day, they want a human making the final sale.

Get to know more about chatbots below and learn how to get started with scripting your first bot.

Highly advanced bots are powered by artificial intelligence, constantly learning from user requests and improving its knowledge base with each interaction.

However, the majority of bots in use today follow a simple phone-tree like simulation: A+B = C, based on if/then logic, or by offering selections from which to choose.

chatbot example if/then logic

 

Does your brand need a chatbot?

Hmm, good question. Do you have a simple task or a common inquiry you get asked repeatedly on your website? If the answer is yes, then you need a chatbot. An easy to write, easy to install chatbot could save you valuable time and money by helping you with a repetitive, time-draining task.

Beyond managing simple, repetitive requests, you can also build in logic that can help you acquire quality leads and pass them directly to a salesperson in live chat, to close the deal.

So the real question is, why DON’T you need a chatbot?

How to Get Started with Chatbots

First, you’ll need to select a chatbot platform. With so many third-party plugins, you have a plethora of options to help you get started, here are a few we’re familiar with:

  • Hubspot conversations
  • Drift
  • Chatfuel
  • Pandorabots
  • AgentBot
  • ManyChat

In addition to the platform you’ll use to implement your bot, you’ll need a method to write, edit and share your bot scripts before implementation. Here are a few programs to consider:

chatbot sequence example

Did you ever read a pick your own adventure book when you were younger? If so, you can build a chatbot inside HubSpot Conversations. As a non-technical marketer, it's so easy to build useful chatbots that leverage data in my CRM.
-Connor Cirillo, Hubspot

What To Consider Before You Start Writing

The script writing process starts with an understanding of the business process.

  • Where is additional support required?
  • What questions can a bot or artificial intelligence answer to support user experience?
  • How can a bot filter MQLs towards SQLs?

Chatbot execution starts with:

  • Finding the logical question and answer needs within the buyer journey.
  • Crafting the narrative first.
  • Building the bot second.

Crafting the narrative first is perhaps the most important chatbot consideration. Trying to fiddle in your bot platform adding and editing questions will just lead to frustration. Write the script for your buyer journey, leading MQLs to SQLs, and build the bot sequences second.

How to Write Chatbot Scripts

Here are our top tips on how to write your first chatbot script.

Remember your goals

As you write chatbot dialogue, always keep in mind the goals of your chatbot -- what is the purpose it serves for user experience?

Be clear on the context

Copywriters often follow this advice: imagine you are writing for a specific person, not for a vague target audience. This is where existing buyer personas can come into play: who are you talking to and more importantly, how do they want to talk to you?

Stay consistent

Stay focused on your message, stick to your brand. Once you’ve created a unique personality for your bot, make sure you stay in character. This means you’ll need to remain consistent in your speaking style, vocabulary, and tone of voice.

chatbot scripts with personality

Photo Courtesy: Ripley's Aquarium of Canada

Be concise

Each message should not exceed three lines of text on mobile devices (60 to 90 characters). Much like any content these days, users don’t like to read long blocks of text and every additional line you add has the potential to tank engagement. Tip: break up your messages into a number of responses, mimicking a real conversation.


chatbot script template

Photo Courtesy: collect.chat

Vary responses

Consider adding a number of answers to a singular question in your script. Identical answers are sure to cause a poor user experience. Tip: this is only needed with AI bots, where users type in questions.

Finish strong

After the conversation is over, take advantage of your visitors’ attention by adding in a personal touch. A simple “thank you” or wishing them well, will only add to their positive experience.

chatbot script example

Sound natural

Make every effort to talk like a real person, representing your brand voice, and how you’d imagine your brand might be personified. However, never pretend your bot is a real person.

Pace it out

Intentionally pace how fast a user receives your messages to make the experience feel more natural. Adding a slight delay, like a real texting conversation, helps with engagement. Consider a 0.2 or 0.5-second delay between messages.

Chatbot Script Examples

It’s easier than you think to get started with a chatbot script. The most important thing you need to remember is that chatbots are for filtering, not for closing sales.

In 3-5 questions, you should be able to take an MQL through your chatbot messaging and (hopefully) pass them over to a real human to close the deal.

Here are some good places to start (with examples):

 Awareness Phase 

Your Launch Message
Your chatbot launch message needs to jump out at visitors and make them want to respond. With that in mind, don’t say “Hi, do you want to chat today?” because the answer will be no.

Instead, understand what website page they are on, understand where they are in the buyer journey and ask them a question that makes sense to encourage a response. Check out this awesome tool that shows you all sorts of launch message examples: collect.chat.

Remember, your goal is to qualify these leads in just 3-5 questions and pass them off to a live agent. Or, for folks who just aren't ready to commit, your goal is to get them to the right source of information to learn more about their inquiry.

  • Hey, there. Can I help point you in the right direction? (list 2-4 options to click)
  • It’s getting cold out there. Does your drafty house need new windows? (YES or NO)
  • Are you interested in sales or support? (Sales or Support)

chatbot example messages

Photo Courtesy: collect.chat

Knowing what to say first can be awkward when you meet someone new in your personal life -- and businesses, too. Use quick replies to remove the friction from what a visitor should say first. On HubSpot.com ... it increased the engagement rates by over 40% compared to live chat alone. - Connor Cirillo, Hubspot


You might be familiar with those pop-ups that try to make you feel really bad for not accepting an offer, that might be the right option for your brand.

  • Do you want to save money on your monthly bills? (YES or No, I like paying more than I should)
  • Hey, it looks like you need a software update, do you want some help with that? (YES or No, I like being behind the times)

Consideration Phase

Your next task is to break down conversations based on the selections chosen above. You’ll need to create an individual chat tree for each option listed, and try to delve a little bit deeper into the intent of your visitor. Remember, your goal is to qualify them further with each question.

Let’s use an example from above:

  • It’s getting cold out there. Does your drafty house need new windows? (YES or NO)
  • YES - Sounds good! What type of window strikes your fancy? (Vinyl. Wood. Replacement.)
  • WOOD - Great! When are you hoping to replace your windows? (Right Now. Six Months. Next Year.)
  • RIGHT NOW - Would you like some help getting started? (YES or NO)
  • YES - Perfect. I’ll pass you along to someone who can help, right now!
  • Handoff to live agent

Now, had the visitor mentioned that they aren’t hoping to replace their windows right away, here’s what your script could look like:

  • WOOD - Great! When are you hoping to replace your windows? (Right Now. Six Months. Next Year.)
  • SIX MONTHS - Sounds great! Would you like some information on how to prolong the life of your current windows? (YES or NO)
  • YES - Great! Here’s a link to get more information [add link]. If you need any additional help, just fill out the form on the page and we’ll get back to you.
  • Is there anything else I can help you with today?

Decision Phase

As you can see, the last phase of your chatbot script could go one of two ways: they want to talk to someone right away, or they want more information.

Creating a chat tree diagram can help you develop exactly how users might navigate through both options. In some instances, you may need to create a custom landing page with a free download, or an offer with a form, so you can obtain leads and nurture via email.

In the example above, having a landing page about wood windows with a free download and ‘Contact Us’ form could help educate your buyers and build trust with your brand.

Here’s another very simple example of how to drill down on the visitor needs and obtain contact information:

  • Hey, there. I'm here to make sure you get the information you need today. Can I help point you in the right direction? (Sales, Marketing, Service)
  • SALES - We can certainly help with that!
  • How would you prefer to proceed? (Online Resources. Email Me. Call Me. I’d like to Keep Chatting)

chatbot flow chart

 

  • ONLINE RESOURCES - Great, thanks! Here's what I'd suggest for you ... (LANDING PAGE / CTA / DOWNLOAD based on the area of interest)
  • EMAIL ME - Perfect! Kindly tell me your email address so that we can get in touch. (Please enter a valid email address (if an invalid email address is entered)) Thank you, we'll be in touch soon!
  • CALL ME - You bet! Please tell me your phone number and we'll give you a call shortly :) (Please enter a valid phone number (if an invalid phone number is entered)) Thank you, we'll be in touch soon!
  • KEEP CHATTING - That's great! I'll connect you with someone now. (Oops. Looks like they are tied up at the moment. Kindly tell me your email address so that we can get in touch.)

“Away” Message Ideas
Your live agent is likely not going to be available at all times, and it’s good to be prepared. Here are a few sample messages to start with.

  • Oops. Looks like they are tied up at the moment. Kindly tell me your email address so that we can get in touch.
  • We're not currently online right now but if you leave your email, we'll get back to you as soon as possible!
If you ever get a 'No' response
  • No problem. Just know we are here if you need us. Thanks for your time!
  • No worries. Whenever you’re ready to take the next step, we’ll be ready to help you!

Other Considerations
You might want to consider having some backup messages in the can, in case users don’t follow directions:

  • Please enter a valid email address (if an invalid email address is entered)
  • Okay, it might be easier if we just take some time to talk. How would you prefer to proceed? (Email me. Call me.)

How To Use Chatbots For Sales Support

Chatbot development begins with a clear understanding of the need a chatbot will fulfill for an organization, product or service. In the sales process, chatbots should be used to qualify leads and pass them along to someone real who can make the sale. Within the sales cycle, consider these best practices for chatbots:

  • Chatbots are for filtering not for closing the sale.
  • Reserve for pages that need deal-closing conversations.
  • Trigger chat on or after multiple visits.
  • Place bots on key pages, like BOFU content, pricing pages, thank you pages.
  • Chatbots should filter visitors through select criteria, and pass them along to a live person.

How to Use Chatbots In Email

If you have email campaigns tied to lead generation material, you have a perfect opportunity to build in a custom chatbot. After a visitor downloads your amazing whitepaper, eBook or offer, you likely send them a sequence of emails.

What if your first email response just said “Are you still looking for information (or help) on XYZ? We’re ready to chat when you are.” Wow. Seems like a personalized email (thank you personalization tokens) and your company really knows what prospects want. What next? A link leads users to a landing page with a chatbot, ready to inquire further about their individual needs and after a series of 3-5 qualifying question, it goes right to a live agent. One email can drive MQLs to SQLs and a live person, quickly and easily. Better yet, your one line email could include a few options and opportunities for engagement:

  • Reply to this email
  • Give us a call
  • Or, let’s chat in Facebook

Using a Facebook link, you can even drive prospects right into Facebook Messenger. Let’s dive into that below.

Chatbots in Facebook Messenger

Do me a favor, test this link out: m.me/streamcreativefacebook chat template

Yeah, right!? Takes you right to our Facebook messaging account where you can ask a question. Now replace our Facebook page name after the “ / ” with your company -- it’ll work for you too. If you have access to your Facebook Messenger account and you want to give prospects a fast and easy way to talk to you, consider adding it to your email campaigns, product pages, MOFU and BOFU offers and even in your lead generation campaigns. The best news, by using a Chatbot program like Chatfuel or ManyChat, you can build out Facebook Messenger chatbots to help qualify your leads and pass them along the chatbot journey to a live agent. Letting prospects know that you are available and willing to talk directly to them shows that you really care.

"We maintain a self-serve platform for building Facebook Messenger bots. It's easy to use and made for people with no experience or coding skills — so anybody can build a bot! But we also provide enough flexibility for coders to implement integrations and apply complex logic.” - Chatfuel Team

Offering chat solutions in various platforms, especially in Facebook where they are likely comfortable, means you offer increased opportunities to connect with your brand.

 

Chatbot Script BIG Takeaways

If you learn anything from this post, I hope it’s that chatbots don’t have to be overwhelming and with only 3-5 questions, you can help streamline your sales process.

Chatbot Quick Start Guide

  • Select a chatbot platform and understand its capabilities
  • Download our 1-Page Tip Sheet: How to Write Chat Scripts
  • View our Chat Tree Sample now and get started writing!

Good luck with your first chatbot script, and reach out (via chat) if you have any questions :)