Can a virtual assistant enhance your digital experience?

Countless small music shop businesses have recently added chatbots or virtual assistants to their websites. When they were first introduced, they appeared to be an excellent way for visitors to get answers to their questions.

Chatbots became less valuable over time as most customer interactions with them appeared off, unhelpful, or, at worst, completely useless, especially when using preprogrammed chatbots.

Here’s what you need to know to provide a chatbot experience that users will enjoy while not giving them a negative impression of your music store.

Why do some chatbots drive customers away?

Before I explain how to create an effective chatbot, I’ll go over the factors that cause them to disappoint—or, worse, enrage and frustrate users.

  • Vague user profiles. Companies frequently deploy chatbots without a clear picture of who is interacting with them. Bots use words, phrases, and messaging that website visitors don’t understand. This is because they were created without a clear user profile in mind. Your chatbot should respond to queries in a tone, voice, and style that appeals to your customer base. If you’re unsure who they are, spend some time developing or updating personas or customer profiles.
  • Mishandling customer complaints. Customers frequently perceive using chatbots to handle issues as preventing them from speaking with a “real” customer service representative. This usually makes them irritated and frustrated. It’s a method of turning a complaint into a negative online rating and review that could last forever. Chatbots should only be used to provide simple guidance. When people need help with an issue, make it simple for them to contact a customer service representative. It will aid in the prevention of virtual crises and meltdowns.
  • Misunderstanding. Even chatbots powered by artificial intelligence can only handle a limited number of queries. Your music store customers can enter the most basic questions or comments in infinite ways. Consider misspellings next. Users who must enter their queries manually frequently give up and move on to competitors who provide a better experience. After launching a virtual assistant, check its back-end records regularly to see if—and when—users are leaving. Then make changes to provide a better chatbot experience.
  • Seniors using chatbots. Older people may not trust or understand virtual assistants. Providing a more straightforward contact method for older customers, such as phone or email, is a good idea.
  • Unresponsiveness. When a virtual assistant has to search through a large amount of data to respond to a query or when it becomes overloaded with chats, it responds slowly. Sluggishness gives impatient website visitors a reason to leave and visit your competitors. A cloud-based virtual assistant with back-end architecture can quickly sort through any amount of data and handle temporary usage spikes.
  • Privacy concerns. Many people are concerned about interacting with chatbots because countless platforms are controlled by BIG data companies such as Google, Amazon, and Microsoft. They’re concerned because these conglomerates can use chatbots to collect private or sensitive information. The best approach is to go beyond simply posting a standard privacy policy on your digital properties. Make it clear who your chatbot provider is, what data is gathered, and how it’s used. Being completely transparent will help you gain the trust of nervous chatbot users.

Create a virtual assistant that adds value.

Here are my top tips for creating a virtual assistant that your music business website visitors will rely on and enjoy using.

  • Ensure a valuable and helpful chat. Whether it’s products, services, or information, your chatbot should make it simple for your music store customers to find and link to what they’re looking for.
  • Chats should be clear. Communicate your virtual assistant’s responses and statements in a way that your target audience can easily understand. Nothing is more difficult to read or understand than a lengthy or complex chat response on a small smartphone screen.
  • Reserve chats for simple tasks. Does your music shop customer service team take numerous calls for recurring things like instrument orders or appointment requests? Why not delegate those simple issues to your virtual assistant? It will give your customer service representatives additional time to deal with more complex issues.
  • Always have human backup. If you decide to run your virtual assistant 24 hours a day, seven days a week, ensure you always have real people on hand to step in as needed. It’s infuriating to go through a lengthy and complex chat and not be able to connect with someone to finish it. If you can’t provide in-person realtime customer support, disable your bot and direct website visitors to return during business hours. Alternatively, request that they leave their contact information (name, email address, or phone number) so that a company representative can contact them when available.
  • Use a high-quality translation service. If you offer chat in multiple languages, have each language tested by native speakers. This helps avoid embarrassing translation errors.
  • Chats should easily handle usage spikes. Before directing a significant amount of traffic to your music store website, ensure that your virtual assistant system can handle it. Your service provider can help you with this.
  • Don’t rely on chats for too much cross-selling. Allow your chatbot to mention products and services that musicians and other customers may find useful, but don’t go overboard. Customers will lose trust if they perceive a helpful chatbot as a sales bot.
  • Offer incentives in exchange for chatbot purchases. Offer discounts, coupons, and promo codes through the chatbot to encourage purchases. People may even tell their friends about it, which may entice them to visit your music store and use your bot.
  • Know your target audience. Ensure that your chatbot’s personality, tone, messaging, and wording meet your users’ expectations. If you give it an avatar, make sure it’s someone they’ll like interacting with.

It’s time to try a chatbot to increase sales.

Finally, it’s time to decide whether or not to use a virtual assistant. If you add a chatbot to your music shop’s website, make sure you avoid the common pitfalls and take steps to safeguard your visitors’ engagement with it to benefit from the experience.