Creating Effective Chat Experiences with Chatbot Expert Mark Bryson

Overview: In this episode of Digital Conversations with Billy Bateman, Mark Bryson, Consulting Manager at ChatFunnels and chatbot expert, goes over his top strategies and tips for building effective chatbots that can increase sales and help serve customers with conversational marketing. Learn how to use live chat, FAQ bots, and data intelligence to customize experiences and maximize sales.

Guest: Mark Bryson, Consulting Manager at ChatFunnels, is a chatbot and conversational marketing optimization expert who helps clients build, optimize, and use chatbots on a daily basis.




Billy Bateman   

All right, everyone. Welcome to Digital Conversations. I’m your host, Billy Bateman. And today I am joined by the great Mark Bryson. Mark runs our consulting team for us at ChatFunnels, and happy to have him on the team. Mark. Thanks for joining me today. 

Mark Bryson   

Yeah, thanks for having me on the show. Looking forward to it. 

Billy Bateman   

Yeah, this is going to be really good. We’re going to talk a lot about live chat and some best practices for getting people to the right teams in live chat, something your team works a lot with. But before we hop into that, just tell us a little bit about yourself and about what you do at ChatFunnels. Sure. 

Mark’s Background 

Mark Bryson   

I’ve been ChatFunnels for just about a year now. And I run the consulting team where we help our clients and new users use chat the most effectively as they can to achieve their goals. We help them implement best practices and coach them sometimes, you know, actually building bots for them, collaborating with them, to make sure that they’re synching with their other marketing and sales efforts. 

Billy Bateman   

Yeah, you guys work with a wide range of clients, everything from government agencies down to small startups. And what are some of the problems like that you’re helping for different clients? 

Customer Service vs. Sales Support 

Mark Bryson   

The biggest pain point people have is they want to engage more visitors on their website. And so, part of that engagement, of course, is unfortunately, engaging in engaging people that you maybe don’t want down at the sales channel. Yeah, so any customer, or any sales agent can tell you how frustrating it is when they are trying to engage new customers, and they end up in fact, engaging existing customers who are in need of support. 

Billy Bateman   

Yes, sales people definitely never happy when you get the support chat coming into you. And like I feel for him, you know, you don’t necessarily want those. One of the things you guys do an excellent job at is, well, there’s no like magic wand to solve this problem. And there’s no foolproof plan. 

Best Practices in Handling Support 

You guys do a good job of working with different customers to figure out, hey, how should we engage people to get them to the right team? I’ll let you take it on just like where do you what do you see is your high-level best practices? Anyone who’s using chat can use to and they’ve got support and new customers can use to get people to the right team? 

Mark Bryson   

Solving Customers’ Problems

Yeah, absolutely. I mean, as much as we don’t like handling support, we also want to take care of those people, because those are our paying customers, right? My first, you know, word of advice is to look at your website. And do you have a pathway and a channel for people to get support? Do you have health docs? Do you have a way for people to get in contact to solve their problems? 

Effective CTAs

Moving on from that, oftentimes, when somebody needs help, the first place they come to is the homepage. And typically, the homepage is designated to it set up in a way to capture new sales and to explain, you know, the product to potential new customers. And so, we try to put a CTA, or call to action of the bots that we put on home pages that are sales oriented. So hopefully that’s sending a message that maybe that’s not the right thing to click on. If I need support. A CTA might be, hey, we have this new product or Hey, our product helps 77% of government agencies solve x problem or whatever, trying to attract new sales not to attract support shots. 

Billy Bateman   

Focus on Sales

Yeah. So I mean, people still come in and they’re like, Hey, you know, I’ve got a problem. And I want an answer. As a current customer, when there isn’t that clear CTA and they do you know, often that homepage bot either tries to either. I’ve noticed it’s very focused on sales most of the time is a great way to do it. And then also just kind of a general like get you to the right place type of bot. What do you what do you recommend and what do you seen is good ways to make sure that you’re engaging the right people with the with the bot or live chat. 

Redirecting Traffic

Mark Bryson   

Some people are going to click on that CTA no matter what it says, right? We can. We can basically say Click here for sales and there’s a support person is still going to click on it because they might think that’s the fastest way to solve the problem. And so, what we’ll do is if they click on that, we’d like to have different button options for them to click on that. Get them down the right channel.  

The first button might be, you know, connect with a sales team. The second button might be help, I need support. That’s going to resonate with somebody who’s who needs support. Naturally, they’re going to click on that button, and then we’re going to route them to the support team. Other options are playing around with your audience parameters and conditional branching. 

Geographical Redirecting

For example, let’s say that you have, most of your customers, you know, are based out of California and Oregon. You could have certain bots fire for IP addresses coming from those states that has a special message or special options that are a little more catered towards support making that support channel a little easier to get to. Since you know that you have a lot of customers in that area that needs support. 

Account-based Engagement Features

Another idea entirely is using a great feature we have here at ChatFunnels with segments and some account-based engagement tools that we have. And that is the bot will know what IP addresses are coming from your existing customers. You can have special bots fire for people to help them either get to an account representative because they’re interested in buying a new product or a different service, or getting them to that support. Having that a bot or replay built specifically for those returning customers can be a very effective way in deflecting support shots from the general sales channel. 

Billy Bateman   

Yeah, no, that’s something that we’ve seen some good success with is just Hey, like, if we know it’s one of your current customers, like, don’t even give them the sales team as an option, like, take them off, take them out, and then let your sales team just focus on net new business. 

Account-based Marketing

And even you know, going as far as you know, for some businesses, you’re very account focused, we’re seeing more of a shift towards account-based marketing and sales in the b2b world. And don’t even have the bot fire for just unknown visitors. Only fire bots that give an option to direct connect directly with somebody to known accounts that you’re I guess we want to do business with you. Let’s make it as easy as possible to get a hold of you got to get a hold of us and have a conversation. 

As you’re building, as you’re building bots, like let’s go click down, let’s say, you know, I get into it. I’m trying to figure out okay, where do I go? What can I do? You know, you’ve got that support option. One of the things you know, you guys do a lot of with a do a lot with is, is working with FAQ type bots, how do you suggest like organizing that? What should be the flow for somebody that’s, that’s trying to, you know, minimize cost, but still, like serve their customers very well? 

Our FAQ tool can resolve common questions, deflecting 50% of questions and saving SDRs' time.

Using FAQ Bots 

Mark Bryson   

Sure, yeah. Thanks for bringing that up. We get somebody like you say, down, we got him down the right channel. Now we got him into this clicking the support button. But, you know, we don’t necessarily want to get them right into live chat and overwhelm that, you know, those small teams. The FAQ function can’t is so good at answering common questions, common pain points.  

The way to use that the most effectively is to pay attention to what kind of support requests and chats that you’ve gotten in the past. Figure out, you know, what, what are the trends? Or what are the general topics that people need help with? Then using FAQ tool, which prompts people to, you know, ask a question gives the bot, the first crack at answering it before it gets passed on the live chat. We found that the FAQ tool is really effective when it’s been set up to answer those common predictable topics. And oftentimes, in some of our some of our clients, we’ve seen up to a 50% success rate of the FAQ bot resolving common needs before having to pass people on to the live help. 

Billy Bateman   

Yeah, 50% deflection rates pretty, pretty good on just getting people answers and they’re good to go. When you’re when you’re using that FAQ bot in conjunction with some live chat, when do you think is the best time to alert people and say, okay, like, you may need to help this person. 

Bringing in Live Chat 

Mark Bryson   

A lot of it depends on volume. The best practice is to ask the agents if they’re slow to just watch the bots, the conversations that are they’re having that people are having with the bots, but otherwise, it’s pretty busy department. We recommend letting the bot do its job and not routing somebody in until the person the visitor has actually clicked for live help. And so it just kind of depends on the circumstances there. 

Billy Bateman   

Working with the Sales Team

All right. Oh, man. So let me ask you, when we’re working with sales teams and, and I’ll even jump in a little bit, because I’ve done quite a bit of this, you know, like, they’re going to get support chat. No matter how well we set this up, like, it just happens. You know, for some reason, people that that want support, find their way to sales, but people that want sales rarely find their way into the support chat channel. I don’t know why it works that way, but seems to just be part of one of the rules of the universe at this point. 

When you’re working with your sales team, you’re telling them okay, we’re going to do some live chat should open up, you know, that more opportunities for you? How do you, you know, set expectations with them knowing there may, there’s going to be some, some conversations that just are not productive for them. 

Setting Expectations with Sales Teams 

Mark Bryson   

Setting those expectations is all about communication. You need to have a way for those sales teams to connect those people, those support seekers to the support team, we have a great method for that chat funnels on our product, you simply add somebody to the conversation, that’s a designated support agent, and pass it along.  

sometimes you've got to work through support chats to find the right sales opportunities, and it's worth it. It's worth it to stick with it.

And you know, people in sales, you got to know that hey, you know, sometimes you’ve got to work through some of these support chats to find the right sales opportunities, and it’s worth it. It’s worth it to stick with it. And because we’ve seen so many big deals and good deals come through chat, that it’s worth, you know, putting in the time and staying alert and responding to every chat as it comes in just to see what it is. 

leads that come through chat are 4x more likely to turn into a sales opportunity.

Effectiveness of Chat in Driving Sales 

Billy Bateman   

Yeah, I believe. We did a study with one of our customers Pantheon, and they found that the leads that came through chat, you can correct me if I’m wrong, we’re four times more likely to turn into a sales opportunity than other leads. You’re going to have a little bit of you know. Not every chat is going to be a sale, but it’s very likely more of those are likely to be a sale than just a lead that shows up in your, in your cadence, and it’s like, you know, call email this person. If they come through chat, like they’re pretty interested. 

Mark Bryson   

Chatbot Opportunities

That’s right. I mean, if people are chatting with you, they they’re already showing intent. We had another client last week who landed or had the opportunity to land a big deal, somebody from a very recognizable company, had to spend $75,000, in the next two hours on a solution and, and they weren’t about to fill out a form they weren’t about to, you know, send an email, they got right into live chat. And fortunately, that chat agent responded within 30 seconds and was able to create an opportunity there. And you’ve got you got to get in, even if you know, two out of three or end up being support chats, it’s worth it to respond to every chat as quickly as possible. 


Billy Bateman   

I agree. Let’s wrap it up. If I and correct me on anything I’m hearing from you, let’s have a very clear CTA and give people that option to find support even when we have an especially on someplace like a homepage where you’re getting everyone. Make sure you have that, that option to get them into support rather than I’ve got one path that just takes me to sales. Use as much as the intelligence you can around whatever product you’re using, whether it’s ours or another one.

Just trying to be intelligent, knowing where your customers are coming from who your customers are, and cater and experience to your customers that’s different from your prospects and the people you’re not doing business with yet. And in really filter those out and do your best around the automation and then be responsive to chats as they come in.


Did I miss anything that you want to add Mark? 

Mark Bryson   

I think you hit it on the head there. There’s just a lot of great tools we have now to craft that customer experience. People seek Customer Support can find it easily. And salespeople can enjoy a higher deflection rate through, you know, good bot process and best practice in setting these things up. 

Billy Bateman   

Awesome, man. Well, thanks Mark for taking a few minutes and we’ll chat later. 

Mark Bryson   

All right, thanks, Billy.