At first glance, an AI chatbot welcome message may appear to be a simple greeting that doesn’t require strategic planning, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. This initial greeting is often the first customer touchpoint. It’s the hook that can determine whether a person landing on your website or social media, Viber or WhatsApp business profile will continue interacting with your brand or go to a competitor.
That’s why your AI chatbot’s welcome message needs a winning personality that reflects your brand and aligns with the expectations of your target market. It’s essential that the opening message sets the scene for a seamless customer journey, manage user expectations and demonstrate that the bot is programmed to meet their needs. The more effective your welcome message is, the higher your chatbot engagement and subsequently your conversion rates will be. If you want to streamline your sales and marketing funnels with an AI chatbot but you don’t want to fall at the first customer engagement hurdle, keep reading for our 11 Top Tips for a great chatbot welcome message.
1. Know Your Goals
On whatever channel your AI chatbot is located and regardless of whether the conversation is initiated by the bot or your customer, your greeting message should have the following four primary goals:
- Make the customer feel welcome.
- Ensure they understand your AI chatbot’s purpose and capabilities.
- Enable them to take an action that will answer their query whilst moving them easily through your conversion funnel.
- Collect relevant data if used for marketing and sales purposes.
In the following sections, we’ll provide additional thins to take into consideration, but let’s look at some good examples you can start with. the Here are some examples you can copy-paste:
General Welcome Message
Hi and welcome to [BRAND]’s chatbot! I’m [chatbot name] and I’ll be standing by in case you have any questions 🤓
Hi there! I’m [BRAND]’s chatty chatbot 😊 How is it going so far?
Hello there👋 I’m [BRAND]’s chatbot and I’m here to help. Did you find the info you were looking for?
Hi, I’m [BRAND]’s chatbot! What’s the challenge you’re looking to solve on our website today?
Busy day? If you’d like to get answers faster, just ask our chatbot here.
Welcome Message with Data Collection
Might be too early to ask, but how are we doing so far? [show five stars or smiley faces for users to rate their experience]
Hi there! How would you use a [solution]? [Answer 1, Answer 2, Answer 3]
Hey 👋 I’m the [BRAND]’s chatbot! Can I ask you a question? [Sure] [Not now]
[If “sure”] What would you say is the biggest challenge [target industry] is facing today? [Answer 1, Answer 2, Answer 3]
[If “sure”] How do you prefer to [solve a problem for which you’re offering solutions]? [Answer 1, Answer 2, Answer 3]
Hi, I’m [bot name], [brand]’s chatbot! If you have a moment, I’d like you to rate our FAQs. [provide the five stars option]
Hello! Hope our website is easy to navigate. Have you found what you were looking for? [Yes No]
2. Persona Grata
In the same way you chose your brand name to resonate with your target market, create a relatable name, personality and tone for your AI chatbot. It needs to embody this personality in look and feel, and from the first welcome message through every customer interaction. Some brands collaborate with an influencer or another celebrity and name their bot after them. If you take this route, ensure that your bot uses the same language and tone as your celeb partner. That said, it’s important that customers know they are talking to an AI chatbot and not a human, so they understand its limitations such as inability to empathise and make decisions outside of its programming or Machine Learning capabilities.
3. Speak Their Language
Select an AI chatbot with multilingual capabilities so you can let your prospects and customers click a box to choose their preferred language. This promotes emotional buy-in from the prospects’ first point of contact with your brand as prospects feel understood and comfortable communicating in their native tongue. It also means that you’re not missing out on potential customers all over the globe who don’t speak your preferred language. This is a powerful competitive differentiator.
4. Live Chat CTA at Top
It may feel counterintuitive, but, if you have live chat functionality, add a call to action (CTA) button at the top of the chat so they can self-select this option at any time. Whilst you’re encouraging customers to engage with your chatbot, you also want to ensure the best possible customer experience. Some people will simply want to talk to a live agent, and you should make sure they can. Others may navigate through your welcome message and convert to exploring your products, but then have more complex questions and need to escalate to an agent. Although your bot may be equipped with sentiment analysis and able to gauge when escalation is needed, you should always allow your customers the ability to instigate it themselves.
5. Keep it Short & Sweet
The secrets to a great AI chatbot welcome message are relevance, brevity and simplicity. Divide your opening message into three snappy sentences for a short-scroll user experience. Time the messages to give the customer a few seconds to read each message before your chatbot delivers the next one in the sequence. In the first message in the sequence, get your AI bot to introduce itself, using its name (you should always personalise it) and your business name. As we want to build trust and boost conversions, the second message should manage the customer’s expectations and outline the AI bot’s function. This mitigates frustration as customers understand the bot’s purpose, capabilities and limitations. In the third message, your chatbot should provide a range of specific calls to action, allowing the customer to pick their preferred one.
6. User -friendly Navigation
To help move customers seamlessly through your funnel, it’s important to present the chatbot’s functionality in the right way. This will depend on the complexity of your products and services, your brand persona and your industry. For a banking chatbot where professionalism and efficiency are key, you might decide to display CTA buttons that encapsulate each product and service in one or two words, simplifying the navigation to the next conversation point. For an eCommerce clothing brand where you want the consumer to buy into the brand personality and ethos, a more conversational, solution-based approach is likely to be more effective.
7. On Good Form
If your primary goal for your social or website bot is to capture contact details for new prospects, your welcome message can take the place of an opt in box. These forms are static, and frequently over- complicated in a bid to get maximum data, which can lead to high bounce rates. In contrast, chatbots are conversational and provide a more enriched experience, which can lower your bounce rate and increase your conversions. The average bounce rate across all industries is 30.5%. However, a great chatbot welcome message and follow-up engagement can reduce this to as low as 2%, which will have a significantly positive affect on your opt-in conversions.
8. Visual Stimulation
Rich media like emojis, images, GIFs, audio and video, humanise your AI chatbot and engage your customers’ emotions so they buy-into your brand. You may, for example run a restaurant chain with a venue in several different towns. If your chatbot is sat on your Viber channel, you can make great use of Viber’s carousel images emblazoned with the restaurant location, showcasing your food or restaurant interiors. Make the images clickable so the user can select their desired location and move to the next stage of your conversion funnel to book a table. Don’t overuse emoji and GIFs, and make sure they are relevant, tasteful, on-brand and suit your bot’s persona. Emoji’s have the added benefit of accentuating and breaking up the text and making it more readable.
9. Know Your Customer
The level of personalisation your chatbot welcome message can provide will depend on the channel, the funnel position, and whether the site visitor has opted into a pop-up form before engaging with the bot. Facebook chatbots can automatically import publicly available Facebook data such as a prospect’s name, so your chatbot can personalise the message. If your chatbot is welcoming an account holder back to your website, it will be able recognise the user from their login details and greet them by name.
This can be an excellent opportunity for upsell and cross-sell too. For example, if you run an organic food store and a customer has recently made a purchase, such as a single vegetable box, your chatbot can welcome them back and suggest an ongoing upsell to a weekly veggie box subscription. Your bot could also suggest they buy some other foods to accompany their recent veg purchase and then present them with a range of CTA box es such as [Meat] [Desserts] [Vegetarian Mains] [Gluten Free Mains]. A huge majority of 91% of consumers prefer brands that provides personalised, relevant recommendations and offers.
10. Segmentation Sells
As we’ve seen, your chatbot could be situated on several channels and multiple website pages. You also doubtless have more than one Ideal Customer Profile (ICP). Prospects and Customers will be at different stages in the funnel when they interact with your bot and get a welcome message. To get the right message in each case, it’s important to segment your audience. The most common user types are the:
- New prospect seeking to discover what your brand is about
- Returning visitor seeking to know more about your products and services
- Content lover who regularly reads your blog, eBooks and White Papers
- Hot Lead who likes your brand and is ready to purchase
- Account holder or regular customer who purchases time after time
11. Analyse & Optimise
Our final tip is to split test your AI chatbot welcome messages and analyse your data so that you’re continuously optimising your welcome strategy to increase engagement and maximise your conversion rates. Typical metrics include:
- Chatbot bounce rate
- Escalation rate to live chat (if available)
- Total number of chatbot conversations
- Average conversation time
- Total number of unique chatbot users
- Total number of returning chatbot users
- Missed messages (when your chatbot has to say “Sorry I don’t understand”)
- Goal completion or conversion rate
- Customer satisfaction survey or sentiment analysis scores
To sum up, take your AI chatbot welcome message seriously. Create a proper strategy that considers your chatbot type from sales and marketing to customer care, the funnel position and its location. Get an expert copywriter to create and test the messaging. Finally, follow the 11 tips above and test different messages for your ICPs, collecting feedback and analysing the data to see what really works for your customers.