UX Tip #6: The form is dead, long live the bot
The next UX revolution is right here and it's the Chatbot. These little smart conversational UI applications will replace phone calls, emails, support dialogs, shopping carts, and so many more interactions that we're already doing today using forms.
I tested a new Chatbot platform called Landbot.io and it's simple and easy to use, free (for a chatbot with up to 30 steps), and if you like the concept, it can offer additional integrations to MailChimp (to gather users' details, hand over the chat to a human user, via Whatsup, once the user is validated, and many more).
Here's a quick trailer of Landbot's capabilities
It does not enable free text/voice as an input yet (other than filling in details, e.g. addresses), but rather creates a 'navigational road' with the steps that you, as the chat creator, decide where to take your user to.
You can use it to validate your potential prospects*, collect data, and actually sell them products (it doesn't support Paypal directly yet, but you can use Zappier to integrate it to the bot).
I created a simple chatbot (and called it, Chatty), that gets users' requests for dubbing price proposal, with 2 variants:
Cold lead - Where the user is uncertain of which localization project does he need, so the bot first validates the prospect*, and then collects his/her project details and personal details
Hot lead - Meaning the user is 'ready to go' and knows exactly what s/he needs (a price proposal for a project), so the bot just collects his/her project details and personal details
Each was placed on a different landing page (where different traffic was referred to, generic search from Google, vs direct approach to media companies via LinkedIn). I must admit that the experience of on-boarding the service was awesome (the bot tells a little about himself, how it was born, etc.), and the conversion numbers a bot creates (vs a form) are almost twice (the regular form), but there's still a catch, where you need to explain the user that they need to open the bot panel (the free version misses in that matter 😒).
My 2CENTS tips:
When creating such a bot don't forget to test, test, and then test some more (not to miss out a step, and lose a user on the process), as the flow can get rather complex, very quickly...
Use the 'Email block' to send yourself the data collected using the bot (preferably, at early stage, so if the user doesn't finish the process, you still have their contact details), and get back to the client quickly
Use lots of humor with your micro-copy, as well as funny visuals (lots are available on Giphy.com) to spice up the conversation - Make it fun and surprising to the user (if they don't get a real person to listen to them, at least they could laugh a little, right?)
So what are you waiting for? Test it and tell me what you used it for, and how did it work for you. I'd love to hear what you ended up with.
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* In order to understand how to validate prospects using simple 5 question forms, you should read first ' Ask: The Counterintuitive Online Method to Discover Exactly What Your Customers Want to Buy...Create a Mass of Raving Fans...and Take Any Business to the Next Level' by Ryan Levesque.