How to Earn Money with a Messenger Chatbot: A Guide for the Philippines

By - Angela
06/04/21 09:00 AM
How to Earn Money with a Messenger Chatbot: A Guide for the Philippines
Are you looking for a way to earn money? Using an online Facebook Messenger chatbot may be the answer. Chatbots are becoming more and more popular, since many people use Facebook Messenger as their main means of communicating with businesses.

Here in the Philippines, people are very active on Facebook, and it's common to purchase things via chatting on Messenger. This makes Messenger and chatbots a great, cost-effective, and affordable way to sell items or services online.
Facebook and Messenger are in the top 3 most-used social media platforms for the Philippines, and can be tapped by businesses in the Philippines
Facebook and Messenger are in the top 3 most-used social media platforms for the Philippines, and can be tapped by businesses in the Philippines. Source:

There are more ways for chatbots to help you earn money. But it's important to understand how they work before you start implementing one on your website or business in order to avoid any problems. In this article we will go over how to earn money with an online Messenger chatbot in the Philippines!

What are Chatbots?

It's everywhere these days, but sometimes it's difficult to figure out what exactly chatbots are and what they do.

Put simply, chatbots are applications that you can use to have conversations with your customers. They look and act like a person, but they're actually run by a computer. This computer tries to understand what the customer wants to do and responds as if it's another human being.

The most advanced chatbots try to understand a person through "natural language", through a normal-sounding conversation with them. Many chatbots aren't as complicated, but still get the job done. These chatbots rely on keywords and prompts to get what the person wants to do.

Regardless of which method the chatbot uses to understand the other person, they can respond appropriately. How appropriate? That depends on you, the one "training" the chatbot. Just like how you would teach your staff what to say to your customers, you can "teach" your chatbot how to interact, too.

These days, chatbots are used by many businesses and individuals to do pretty much everything:

Chatbots are already part of our everyday lives, even if we don't know it yet.

How Can Chatbots Help Me Earn Money?

There are many ways that chatbots can help you earn money. It all depends on your creativity! But there are some very popular ways to use chatbots to earn money. We'll share the top three ways right here:

Earn Money through Online Sales

Earn Money with Chatbots through Online Sales
The most obvious way to earn money with chatbots is by making online sales.

For example, if your business sells clothes online, a chatbot could easily take customers' orders for you right from the Facebook Messenger window. Your customers won't need to go to a separate website or platform to buy from you--they can stay on Facebook and just chat with your business directly. Less hassle for the customer means more chances that they'll buy from you.

That's not the only advantage, though. A good chatbot isn't there just to take sales orders. You can also program your chatbot to give recommendations. Your chatbot could answer questions about what color to wear with different outfits or how to pick out something for a special occasion. If your customers have a question they always ask about your products, your chatbot can easily answer all those questions without extra help from you.

If selling online is not your thing, there are other ways, like...

Earn Money through Booking Appointments

Earn Money through Booking Appointments using a Messenger Chatbot
Maybe you're a service provider. You might be a health professional, a grooming service provider, a caterer, or an agent. Chatbots can take appointments for you easily, so you won't have to worry about getting customer details until they've confirmed they need your expertise.

For example, if you have a dental practice, your chatbot can easily book appointments for your clinic easily. But that isn't the only thing it can do. Yes, your chatbot can take your customer's name, contact details, and preferred timing. But it can also get more information that will help you service your customer better. 

For example, your customer is booking an appointment for dental cleaning. You can have your chatbot ask them how long it's been since their last cleaning. If it's been more than six months or a year, your chatbot can suggest that they book an hour of your time, instead of just 30 minutes. Do you need to check for antibiotics allergies, or check for braces or any other details? Your chatbot can easily get that information for you.

You can even have your chatbot remind previous customers to book a dental cleaning service with you six months after their last booking. How's that for initiative?

But selling online and booking appointments is not the only way.

Earn Money through Recommending Products

Earn Money through Recommending Products to others through your chatbot
If you don't have products or services of your own, you can still earn money using chatbots. You can partner up with other people who do have something to sell...and get a cut when you send paying customers their way. You can earn money through commissions this way -- you can team up with other people to provide the service, and reach more people through your chatbot.

For example, you can create a fun little chatbot to recommend gifts for people. This can be a hit for occasions like Christmas, birthdays, weddings, and other holidays like Mother's Day.

Your chatbot can initially get some information from your customer, like who they want to gift to, what their recipient likes, and all those small details. Afterward, your chatbot can give them recommendations based on the information they have and what you've trained them to say.

If your customer purchases any of these items based on your chatbot's recommendation, your partner can give you a commission based on that sale!

This way, even if you don't have any products on-hand, you can earn some passive income on the side. As long as you keep your chatbot updated with the best products to recommend, you can keep earning money while your chatbot does the work.

Other Indirect Ways to Earn Money through Chatbots

We mentioned three of the top ways to directly earn money through chatbots. Of course, there are more indirect ways, as well.

A chatbot can be a great help to your business if you get a lot of questions for your customer service staff to handle. If your online business is swamped with messages, a chatbot can help you handle some of that load.

These chatbot tasks won't directly put money in your pocket. But having a chatbot help out your staff can result in faster turnaround times and happier customers. This can lead to more recommendations for your business and more sales in the future.

With all of these, does this mean that a chatbot is all you need to run your business? The answer is not so straightforward.

Pros and Cons of Chatbots

As with everything in life, there are advantages and disadvantages when it comes to using chatbots to earn money. You need to know these pros and cons so that you know how to best use your chatbot.

Chatbots Can Answer Quickly...

When it comes to the majority of the questions your customers might ask you ("hm?" "What are your bestsellers?" "Will this fit a 9-month-old baby?" "Where are your branches located?" "Do you deliver to _____?" "How do I return a defective item?"), your chatbot will be able to answer that question quicker than most human staff.

After all, the chatbot won't sleep or go to the restroom, and doesn't get distracted with other work that needs to be done. Your customer won't have to wait for your staff to be available before getting an answer to their question.

...But Complicated Questions and Issues Need a Human Touch

That said, some of your customers may have more complicated or difficult questions that require a human touch. These might include:

Specific order or product issues and defects that they have receivedTracking exactly where their order is (if you don't have automated tracking and/or your chatbot doesn't have access to that information)An irate customer who needs careful attention

In these cases, it's best for them to contact customer service directly and have someone address their concern specifically. Chatbots aren't as good with determining mood and emotion and the finer nuances of communication, after all.

Don't ditch your customer service staff! They'll need to answer the questions that your chatbots don't understand.

Message Your Customers Easily With Chatbots...

Have a new product or service you want to launch? You can tell your chatbot to message your customers first thing tomorrow morning about it.

It's been six months since a customer's last dental appointment? Your chatbot can keep track and give them a reminder to book an appointment with you.

Did your customer purchase a great product? Your chatbot can drop them a message a week or two after their purchase. You can share tips on how to use your product, and an invitation to leave a review for your item.

...But They Might Feel too Spammy or Robotic

You need to find an appropriate balance between active messaging (messaging that people will respond to) and inactive messages like reminders or announcements. Otherwise, people will just get annoyed with your chatbot and your brand.

A chatbot that can automatically message your customers on your behalf is great. But sometimes a human touch is needed when it comes to building your brand and relationships with your customers.

Don't fall into the trap of looking too "robotic" or "automated". Many people respond better to a heartfelt message that they can relate to.


Most People Are Used to Chatbots These Days

With so many people doing everything online these days, people are getting more and more used to talking to chatbots. This is all thanks to all the businesses who have started implementing chatbots to handle customers: it's quickly becoming the norm.

Having chatbots so commonplace is great for small businesses that don't have the money to invest in customer service. This means customers are more open to talking to chatbots, whether in handling common questions or ordering online. Many people are seeing the advantages of chatbots: it's easier to get things done quicker, as long as their orders and questions aren't too complicated.

...But There are Still Those Who Prefer Humans

There will always be people who prefer talking to a human being instead of a chatbot, even for what you might think is a simple, common task. These people could be easily annoyed at having to interact with a chatbot and end up with a bad experience with your business.

You will need to manage these cases as they come. But a good rule of thumb is to always have a way for your customer to switch to a human being instead of your chatbot. This way, even before they get frustrated, they'll be able to get the service they expect.

Now that you know the top advantages and disadvantages to having a chatbot help you earn money, the only decision left is:

Is having a chatbot the right move for you?

How to Get Your Own Chatbot

If you're keen on using a chatbot to help you grow your business and earn money, the obvious next step is getting your own chatbot to work for you. There are two ways to go about this.

How to get your own chatbot

Information You Need to Know Before You Start

If you're getting your own chatbot, there are a few questions that you need to answer before you start. This can help you narrow down what you need to do.

  1. Where do you need your chatbot to be present? Do you have a website that you'd like your chatbot to be present in, so that your customers can quickly message you for any questions? Are you planning to focus on Facebook and Messenger sales and will need your chatbot to be integrated with your Facebook Page? Are you selling on a different platform that you need a chatbot to be available in?
  2. What kind of chatbot do you need? Do you need help taking orders? Is appointment booking important for you? Is providing recommendations or customer service inquiries the biggest portion of your online messages? It's best to focus on one goal at the start, and then expand your chatbot afterward. This way you can get quick ROI on your chatbot!

Once you have these two simple questions answered, you can start looking around on how to get your own chatbot.

Get Your Own Chatbot by Making Your Own

There are many services available online where you can make your own chatbot. You can code your own chatbot, or put together your own conversation tree and design your own chatbot script.

This can give you the greatest flexibility in what you'd like your chatbot to do. You have control over everything your chatbot will say and do, and you can change things as often and as quickly as you like. There may be some limitations depending on the platform you choose for your chatbot, but you'll have the most flexibility if you make your own chatbot.

However, making your own chatbot can be complicated. Even if the chatbot platform you choose says it's easy, there is still a learning curve to it. It also doesn't include coming up with exactly what your chatbot will say. It can be challenging to figure out the common conversation flows you need to watch out for and other setup details.

Additionally, it takes time to set up a chatbot, even if you know what you're doing. Aside from setting up the script for your chatbot, you also need to test and re-test your chatbot to make sure it's saying the right thing. That time could be spent working on other aspects of your business.

Get Your Own Chatbot by Hiring Someone To Do It For You

If you don't have the time or patience to create a chatbot, there are professionals out there who can do it for you, like Chatbuddy. These professionals know how to design and set up chatbots because they specialize in doing just that! This is an attractive option if your business is still new and needs all of its resources focused on growth.

They are also likely to have ready templates for many common chatbot interactions, such as order taking, appointment booking, frequently asked questions, and so on. While you can (and sometimes should) tweak this according to your market, having something like this at the start is quite valuable. This will save you a lot of time and guesswork.

Make sure the developer or provider you use have the features you need for your chatbot. These might include:

  • Order management
  • Booking management
  • Online payments supporting your payment methods
  • Automatic delivery booking and tracking
  • Promotions and drip marketing functionality

Chatbuddy has all the above, but regardless which developer or provider you choose, make sure they can help you reach your goal for your chatbot.

Once you've got your chatbot set up and ready to go, it's time to get started earning money and growing your business.

Powering Up Your Chatbot

Once your chatbot is working for you, it's important to remember that the work doesn't stop there. While it will do the job you asked for it to do, it's important to treat your chatbot like any other employee you have. You have to continue to train it so that it improves and works better.

Why do you even need to continue to train and improve your chatbot? Setting it up already takes time, after all. But when you're starting off, you are bound to have some assumptions about what your customers will expect from your chatbot. At least some (or most) of those assumptions may be wrong, and you need to correct your chatbot if that happens.

Additionally, your market will change over time, and your chatbot needs to stay current. Your chatbot will also need to improve as technology advances and new products or services you sell are released.

Tracking How Your Chatbot Is Doing

Improving your chatbot means that you'll have to track how your chatbot is doing over time. Remember that goal you selected when you decided to get a chatbot? That will help you determine how your chatbot is doing.

In addition to this, remember that tracking chatbot effectiveness is more than counting how many orders it's taken for you. Think about things like:

  • How correct is its understanding of what your customers want? Are there times when your customer keeps repeating themselves because your chatbot can't understand?
  • How quickly does your customer get to their end goal (i.e. completing an order or booking)? Can it be shorter, quicker?
  • How many times does your customers leave the chatbot without completing their goal? Is there some spot in the conversation flow that you can improve or make clearer?
  • When your chatbot hands over the conversation to a human being, what are the most common queries and concerns given by your customers? Can you train your chatbot to take over these queries too?
  • Are there any common words that your customers keep using that your chatbot can also use, or needs to learn? What about outdated phrases that you should remove, or words that your market don't understand?
  • Are there new products or services that you should include in your chatbot? Keep a look out for new features from your chatbot provider that you haven't used yet. Perhaps these can be added on to your chatbot, too.

Upgrading your chatbot is one of the most important things you can do to maximize the benefit your chatbot can give you. Make sure you regularly review how your chatbot is doing so that you can improve it as soon as possible.

Final Thoughts

Chatbots are becoming more and more commonplace. Especially here in the Philippines, where people are very active on Facebook. People don't mind purchasing things by messaging businesses on Messenger, and sometimes even prefer it. Because of this, a chatbot can be used to earn money or grow your business quickly.

If you're a small business owner, or just want to learn how to earn money on the side with only a little capital, using a chatbot can be enough to get you started. Make a chatbot yourself, or get one made for you from a provider like Chatbuddy. Put it on your site or focus on Facebook Messenger, and start selling and booking with a chatbot tailored to your needs.