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Best Chatbots for your Website

Best Chatbots for your Website

What are chatbots?

Chatbots (originally known as chatterbots) are software applications or computer programmes that simulate human conversation via text or voice interactions.  They can aid customer service, engagement and support by replacing or assisting staff or human support agents.  In this article we look at the best chatbots for your website.

 

Why would I need a chatbot for my website?

There are multiple reasons why you might want to install a chatbot on your website including:

  • If you find yourself answering the same questions over and over again then you can teach your chatbot to automatically deal with routine queries and this frees you up to answer the more complex calls and emails.
  • A chatbot is available 24/7.
  • Chatbots can act as lead generation tools, capturing information which is usually not available to the sales team and in turn leading to increased sales.
  • Chatbots can channel your brand in their personality, grammar they use and the way they look.

You can read more reasons in this Synthetix article.

 

Best Chatbots

We work with WordPress websites, so we have picked Chatbots which are compatible with WordPress.  With 439 WordPress chat plugins there are many to choose from.  Here are four to consider:

 

Tidio

Tidio came up on many recommendation lists.  You can test out this chatbot by using the free plan which is suitable for new businesses looking to start offering great customer service.  They are so confident that you will enjoy it that this plan is free forever!  It includes: free chat, ticketing and social media integrations.

LiveChat

This chatbot starter package is suitable for small businesses or those with a home-based business. For $20 a month you will get: 1 agent, 60-day chat history, basic widget customization, availability and data security.

ZenDesk

This is a name that many of us recognise and if we contact businesses then we are often channeled through the ZenDesk helpdesk function. Their chatbot will allow you: mobile access, integrations, NLP technology, customisations and templates.  You can try for free and then move onto a paid subscription starting from £15 a month.

Collect Chat

You can either test out Collect Chat’s Lite plan for free or just opt for their Free plan which comes with unlimited chatbots, 50 conversations per month, analytics and an appointment booking function.  Paid-for plans come with more features and conversations per month.

 

We’d be interested to hear which chatbots you prefer.  However if you can’t decide then please contact us and we will liaise with our web designer and pick the best one for your needs.

 

 

Should I Join Threads?

Should I Join Threads?

In late October 2022 Elon Musk finalised the Twitter takeover and appointed himself CEO.  This move hasn’t been without controversy. There have been many changes, most notably the name change to X and the introduction of paid subscription services.  Many organisations left X (Twitter) in search of an alternative social media platform.  You can read about three alternatives here.  However, the newest app on the block is Threads.  Let’s take a look at whether it is worth joining Threads.

 

What is Threads?

In July 2023, Meta (Facebook and Instagram’s parent company) launched Threads.  It was built by the Instagram team and is used for sharing text updates and joining public conversations.  Meta have made it easy to sign up to, and you can use your Instagram account to log in and create posts of up to 500 characters long with links, photos and videos of up to 5 minutes long.  You can read more updates about Threads here.

 

What are the main differences between X (Twitter) and Threads

If you are thinking of joining Threads then it is important to understand how it differs to X (Twitter).  Here is a comparison list:

Availability – You can access X (Twitter) from practically anywhere (web, phone, etc) as it has adapted to public demands since its launch in 2006. As Threads is fairly new, up until recently it was only available via an app on a smartphone or tablet and not in every EU country. Pocket Lint has a guide on how to use Threads on your desktop.

Character Limits – X (Twitter) post character length is 280 (although Twitter Blue is 10,000). Threads currently allows 500 characters.

Drafts – You can save a draft post in X (Twitter).  This isn’t currently available in Threads but it is inevitably something they are working on. In the meantime, if you might be able a social media scheduler then you can save drafts in there.

Direct Messaging – You can send messages privately in X (Twitter).  This isn’t currently available in Threads but Hollyland has quite a good work around.

Hashtags – This has been a key component of X (Twitter) and Instagram.  Threads has done away with hashtags but instead uses tags.  The notable difference is that you can only use one tag per post on Threads vs 30 on Instagram. You can read more in this Evening Standard article.

Accounts – X (Twitter) is a stand-alone account.  Threads and Instagram are closely tied and you can’t currently have a Threads account without an Instagram account.  Threads relies on a lot of Instagram’s features including its messaging inbox.

Usernames – You can change your name on X (Twitter) as many times as you like and you won’t need to verify your identity. As Threads and Instagram are linked, they share the same username.  You can then only change your name twice within a 14-day period.

Search Function – X (Twitter) has a more advanced search function than Threads.  However, as things evolve Threads search functions will have more features. In September 2023, The Verge reported that Threads allowed to search through posts more widely.

Trending Topics – One of the main differences currently is that X (Twitter) has a trending topics section where you can click on various hashtags and see what the hottest gossip is.  Threads will be rolling out their own version of this shortly, according to 9to5Mac.

Should I Join Threads?

Now that you’ve read how Threads compares to rival X (Twitter), do you think you will be joining?

Lifehacker gives lots of reasons NOT to join Threads.  However, if you have an Instagram account then there’s no harm signing up.  As you’ve seen, the platform is evolving and adding new functionalities all the time. Early adopters of Instagram and TikTok have gained an edge over other brands who joined those platforms later on.  Therefore, it might be just the thing to give your brand on social media.

Red Desk Virtual supports small businesses with their social media, from set up to monthly management. Email mel@reddesk.co.uk for more information.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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