Could chatbots have a positive impact on website visitors?

Last updated on 21 July 2023

Website visitors often benefit from the presence of a chatbot to help field questions and queries. [Source: Shutterstock]

Time is one of the hardest things to create when you’re busy, so finding the time to respond to aged care consumer queries is no easy feat. Even the most well-resourced team has other things to worry about before typing out what could be a time-sapping message with no lead generation.

Chatbots are a helpful tool as the first port of call for aged care consumer questions. They help automate tasks while offering upfront engagement, so you have the time to finish other jobs before personally responding to your clients. Thanks to the chatbot, you already understand the situation when following up on a lead to better support consumers.

While chatbots and live chat functionality are commonplace in other industries, only a select number of aged care providers have introduced the feature to their websites. So Hello Leaders is closely looking at chatbots to see how they could help the aged care industry.

How does it work?

There are three main approaches you can take when incorporating chatbot or messaging tools on your website:

  • Live chat software: Unlike the following chatbot options, live chat software is person-oriented, so you need someone at the other end to type out responses. It’s great if you have dedicated resources for answering questions in real time via your website.
  • Rule-based chatbot: This is the first incarnation of the chatbot. Responses are predetermined through set rules or scripts, meaning it’s not conversational, just answer and reply. 
  • AI-based chatbot: With the sudden increase in accessibility to artificial intelligence, AI chatbots are the next generation. The chatbot can learn and handle complex conversations in a true conversational style. 

How can chatbots benefit aged care websites?

So, how exactly can chatbots benefit aged care when its target audience isn’t digital natives? Could there be issues using artificial intelligence to communicate with an older generation who might not even be aware they’re not talking to a real person?

Before answering those questions, you need to define the purpose of your chatbot. For the most part, think of it like an interactive FAQ page; people have questions and you have answers. AI-based chatbots can offer additional engagement as some are coded to resolve matters while delivering human-like responses as well as generate unique responses for every customer. 

Now, aged care isn’t like other industries since there’s no straightforward exchange of services. So this is where your bot needs to be about engagement and lead generation. You can use them to:

  • Guide consumers to relevant pages or resources: If you have a website visitor looking for information – but struggling – they can use a chatbot to help direct them to the right page or contact number.
  • Solve simple queries: When the question is straightforward, your bot can quickly answer. It can filter out simple but time-consuming calls or queries by offering answers linked to your most common FAQs.
  • Notify the right staff: Some AI chatbots are smart enough to recognise when a staff member more suited to answering complex queries needs to be notified. 
  • Improve time management: Lead generation requires plenty of time and effort, but you can cut that down considerably for your staff. Some chatbots can schedule appointments, meaning your staff spend less time setting up meetings with potential consumers and more time planning for the meetings most likely to result in sales.
  • Offer 24/7 support: Plenty of consumers and family members will spend their time after-hours scouring websites if there’s something they want to find out. Your chatbot can be there 24/7 to provide engagement or capture feedback. 

Does aged care need bots?

Aged care consumers want a website not littered with pop-ups; it should be clean, user-friendly and informative. So the presence of a chatbot shouldn’t impact the overall style of your site. This is where you can incorporate a live chat button into the home page that’s unobtrusive and encouraging, not pushy (flashing lights, bouncing icons – you want to avoid that).

The chatbot also needs to be clear about its intent; have a clear opening message explaining whether it’s a real person responding, an automated response or an AI-based bot. Also offer simple query options to start as you want to provide direction for consumers, e.g. ‘are you interested in home care support services’ or ‘do you want to know more about our residential care homes’. Functionality can be extended as time goes on based on evidence and data.

Taking the right approach to your chatbot means it can be a critical tool for your staff who are otherwise fielding repetitive questions and losing valuable time. As for the consumers, the option is there if they want to use it. You’re providing choice, engagement and solutions for those seeking new information.

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