Chatbots. You know those smiling face icons or photos of a helpful-looking individual that usually appear on the bottom right-hand corner of your screen when you enter a website. Marketers have different opinions of the value they add, but we’re not here to argue the merits either side. We’re here to give you an objective understanding and practical applications of chatbots.
What are chatbots, actually?
Chatbots are computer programmes built and designed to engage primarily with customer questions and queries as well as handle comments and complaints. You’ll see when you open the chat window of a particular website; you sometimes need to select the department or type of message you want to discuss. The overall aim is to help grow businesses by streamlining communications. They can be programmed to
- Respond in the same way regardless of the message.
- Respond based on keywords that are used in the message.
- Respond according to the specific situation.
Chatbots also leverage chat mediums such as SMS text and social messaging services across popular social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter to receive and respond to messages.
Case study as published by Facebook for Business
“KLM developed an AI system to answer customer queries using their preferred channel – Messenger. The system is trained to answer more than 60,000 questions and, with ongoing feedback from agents, improves over time.
- 40% increase in customer interactions
- 15% of all boarding passes sent via Messenger
- 5-point higher Net Promoter Score (NPS) score than the goal.”
You can imagine the positive effect this had on customer satisfaction, which translates into revenue growth.
Are chatbots a valuable asset to a marketing strategy?
The majority of industries, and markets within, are highly competitive. Businesses need to have an agile marketing strategy that leverages their unique selling proposition (USP) in a way that is more appealing and convenient for consumers. It’s such time-consuming work that automation tactics have become the norm. A chatbot can do the job for an entire business, not only a department, saving you time and money.
Two key valuable benefits of chatbots
- Streamline the customer experience (CX)
It’s fair to say that customer experience is one of the most significant business performance measures. Chatbots can give customers a roadmap by answering qualifying questions, gathering information to send prospects to where they want to go, satisfying their expectations quickly and effectively.
- Promote engagement
Prospective customers are spending time on the website or messaging platform, subconsciously engaging with your brand. Every answer that the chatbot provides can elicit thoughts about the brand that may have never occurred to the prospect before.
Insights from an expert
In an article published by the Social Media Examiner called Chatbot Strategy: How to Improve Your Marketing With Bots, chat marketing expert and co-founder of School of Bots, Natasha Takahashi, discusses Facebook chatbot marketing strategies. Do yourself a favour and listen to the podcast.
What to consider when setting up a chatbot system for your business
Natasha comments, “Ultimately, the people who are going to get the best results will be those who understand marketing funnel concepts. They just understand the marketing game and how all of that supports the rest of the business.”
Natasha also outlines the types of people with expertise to make it happen successfully.
- A marketing agency can develop a marketing strategy to set performance metrics to assess the business’s chatbots’ ROI.
- A sales team to monetise the chatbot marketing strategy.
- A copywriter and content developer. “Copywriting is the most important element of a chatbot experience. Of course, the bigger strategy needs to be there. Still, even if you have no images, media, or videos, and nothing fancy going on, if you have great copy, it’s going to convert because they’re reading something,” she says.
From these four points, it’s evident that businesses need to acquire the services of professional marketing and software development companies. It’s best to speak to a business consultancy that has access to both of these essential divisions.
Messaging apps are overtaking social media as the number one platform for customer interaction with a company. Like businesses, people want to save time and money and aren’t willing to download a string of native apps to chat with every brand. A well-designed chatbot that can provide valuable answers to common customer questions and lead them to their destination quickly is the future of a streamlined customer experience.
Business Insider makes a pertinent comment, “Chat apps also have higher retention and usage rates than most mobile apps. Finally, the majority of their users are young, an extremely important demographic for brands, advertisers and publishers.”
Chatbots offer the quickest solution and route to conversion. Customers are going to trust and be loyal to brands whose chatbots don’t make mistakes. However, this means that business owners don’t cut development and design corners – this is a long-term investment that can make or break your brand’s performance and credibility in the customer’s eye.
A successful chatbot gets the customer to their desired destination quickly, effectively, without any fluff. Are you ready to integrate chatbots into your marketing strategy?