There was a time when you could visit a website, use the live chat button and have you wait ages for a reply. During those times, most firms used actual personnel. You had to wait until a member of the support team went online, read your message, and give you an appropriate response. There were times when you got the response the next day because the personnel were not around. To resolve this problem, organizations have adopted the use of chatbots.
What are Chatbots?
A chatbot is basically an artificial intelligence program that automatically replies to your queries immediately. It can either type the reponse or read it out loud. Chatbots are used to automate the customer car service experience and also other important business processes that take longer under the hands of a human agent. The chatbots rarely depend on any human support to give you a response. This is why you can get a response from a live chat feed at any time of the day.
Statistically, 67% of consumers depend on chatbots for support all over the world. Future projections already show that the number is likely to reach as high as 85%.
How Companies Use AI For Their Sales And Marketing
Artificial intelligence has made it easier for most people and firms to do business. Every business wants to make more sales and market their brand as much as possible. The use of AI today has made it easier for firms to send useful notifications to website visitors and long-time customers that are subscribers of the company.
If you are familiar with customer interactions, you know that a majority don’t like to be bothered by business reminders and alerts every time. They love their peace of mind. Chatbots are basically programmed to record and analyze data over a period of time. As such they slowly get to learn consumer preferences. This lets them send information that is useful and relevant to every customer. The AI has perfect timing and rarely finds the customer off guard or unwilling to read the reminder.
Examples of Chatbot Applications
A company like Bold360.com uses a conversational chatbot to engage their customers. The artificial intelligence adapts to the customer’s way of speaking. That way, the replies seem more natural and not forced.
Baidu has a chatbot that collects patient information. The bot asks you questions about your medical condition, then it compiles that data and provides it to the nearest physician. That makes it easier for the doctor to make a diagnosis.
Google has a chatbot that helps you do a variety of online actions. You can use Google assistant bot to make an appointment at your favorite restaurant. You can also use it to send emails and create calendar appointments.
How to Promote Products and Services using Chatbots
As a business owner, you may have tried to put in so much effort in trying to make your product and services sell much faster. As a result, you may have turned to SEO marketing, which is still part of digitization. You may have never thought about chatbots because you assume they are only for live support. However, they can do more than that.
A very good example is programming a chatbot such that your viewers or webpage visitors can search for specific products and services using an emoji.
Chatbots can also help you collect relevant customer information based on their searches. This will give you leverage and allow you to send relevant offers and news based on what interests each and every customer. In addition, you can also use the chatbots to share links to your blogs and other content, attracting more visitors to your website.
Steps On How You Can Use A Chatbot for your Marketing
The effort put into marketing by human agents can be hectic and strenuous to some extent. All the same, many companies are guilty of being too rigid with their marketing approach. Most of them will use the same tactic on every prospective customer. Chatbots, on the other hand, will automate the whole process and use a more personalized approach. Below are some of the ways that you can use chatbots for marketing:
# Make your brand proactive
Marketing success can only come as a result of implementing relevant as well as aggressive measures during the process. The good thing about using chatbots is that they will automatically take the initiative to send a welcome message to visitors on your website or social media page. This will make the customer aware of the support, which gives an outward impression that your brand is proactive.
# A Guideline through the Sales Funnel
Nurturing useful leads through the sales funnel is an important step for each and every business. However, it can also be very time-consuming. Every buyer hates having to go through a long buying process that may lead to a delayed customer care experience. The best part about chatbots is that they can gather the much-needed information and create personalized messages for customers within a shorter time.
# Improved Social Media Presence
If you give your customer care employees the responsibility to tackle and answer all customer related queries on social media, the process can be both time-consuming and expensive. You may have to pay someone to be always online all the time so that they can respond to social media messages. On the other hand, if you use a chatbot, the process becomes automatic. Your customers will always get responses on social media.
# Giving customers a more Personal Experience
Earlier we had talked about how chatbots can make communication more personalized. But how do they do this? The chatbot is usually linked to the social media profile of every customer that they interact with. This means that the bot learns everything about the customer. As such, they are more likely to suggest something that the client might like. Your customers will feel more appreciated because you took the time to know them on a much deeper level.
# Increase your Presence
Another way that chatbots can be used for marketing is by expanding your market. Your chatbot is an artificial intelligence program hooked to various social media profiles. This means that the bot can send a marketing message to anyone that’s more likely to be interested in your brand. The reach of chatbots is limitless.
How A Marketer Can Set Up A Chatbot for their Website
The first thing that you have to do before you set up your chatbot is pick a service provider. If you have some coding knowledge, you can use Facebook’s chatbot set up. I personally use MobileMonkey – which is linked to your Facebook chat. Other providers include Chatchamp, Liveperson, Amazon Lex, IBM Watson, and Outbrain.
Next, you have to decide the type of automated messages that the bot will send to visitors.
Then, include a call to action. You have to encourage people to send you texts through the chatbot.
After that, you can sit back and watch the chatbot do its work. You will have to analyze results occasionally and see how you can improve on the marketing and customer engagement.
Using chatbots is a good way to deal with your customers and bring about improved productivity and business efficiency. There’s a lot of buzz going around about artificial intelligence. Use the above ways to take advantage of chatbots in your marketing campaigns.