Marketing trends are constantly changing: we’ve seen the boom of email marketing, Facebook and Instagram Ads.
Now… it’s the age of chatbots!
Why? Today’s marketing is all about customer experience (or CX)- and chatbots are the perfect tool to improve your customers’ CX.
The rising demand for a personalized CX has made chatbots a natural choice; they’re changing the way industries offer their products or service to the market. Chatbots offer a low-cost solution for 24/7 customer service, and when properly deployed, will be adaptive to each visitor’s needs.
Every industry is embracing the utility of chatbots, and the growth continues:
- Chatbots can reduce up to 30% of the company’s costs for communication with customers according to research done by Business Insider Intelligence.
- Gartner forecasts that by 2020, over 85% of customer interactions will be handled without needing a human.
Just like any AI application, chatbots are only as good as their programming. Fortunately, chatbots are becoming more advanced, intuitive to build, and user-friendly every day- you can create multiple sets of triggers for your bot to engage a visitor, and even learn from your customers (depending on how advanced your chatbot’s AI is). In most cases, chatbots are easy to customize for your CX needs- and you don’t have to be a coder to do it.
Because of their high level of customization, chatbots can be deployed for a wider variety of purposes than you might imagine- anything from Q&A to account servicing to sales.
Here are a few ways you can start using chatbots in your marketing strategy.
1. Conversational Marketing
Conversational marketing is engaging an audience (website visitors) to gather feedback, then using this information to personalize customers’ buying cycles and generally improve your CX.
Chatbots save you the time otherwise spent giving visitors the same answers over and over, and clarifying product information without filling your website with walls of text. You’ll need to set up your chatbot’s responses to the most common inquiries- here are some ways to get started:
a. List the questions your customers usually ask when visiting your website- and the best answers. This will be the foundation of your bot’s knowledge base.
b. If you don’t have a lot of information from your customers yet, that’s ok too- have your team go through your website’s buying steps and craft questions and answers of the steps where they got lost, or things weren’t clear. Asking people uninvolved in the design process of the site is best, as they’re “naive” users, just like your visitors will be. Everyone responds to a UX differently- this is where diversity in your site testing is essential!
c. After putting your bot to work, don’t forget to do constant rounds of optimization- this by far is the most important step. It’ll help you improve your conversational marketing strategy, and it’ll also help gather valuable feedback on how your visitors live their experience on your website.
Here’s one example from the Australia Open 2018 for instance:
Chatbots have something to offer during your entire lead cycle: Acquire, Qualify and Convert. But don’t wait until you have a lead on the hook to start harnessing their power- chatbots are also a great way to share important news regarding your business!
We’re all sick of receiving 500 emails a day with promotions, news, and messages from multiple brands. Chatbots are a better way to approach your website visitors and to share things that matter to our brand.
Think about a webinar for instance (and I’m speaking from experience) – I absolutely love webinars, but I often miss emails inviting me to ones I care about because I get so much spam every day.
On the other hand, if I visit your website, and I get a friendly message (presented in a very human way) from a chatbot about a super-awesome new webinar next week, inviting me to subscribe and add the event to my calendar on the spot, I’m very likely to do it!
Chatbots are a great way to approach your visitors without being too invasive. If properly executed, this tactic will do wonders for you and your brand!
Bots can be used in this way to effectively share promotions, new collections, or news your audience should know- while simultaneously building your database! It’s a win-win for both you and your audience.
3. 24/7 Support and Sales
Need I say more? Chatbots give you a 24/7 sales cycle! You’ll never miss sales opportunities- every visitor to your site can get the product or sales support to make their decision IMMEDIATELY.
Chatbots can be programmed to offer specific products to specific website visitors and even offer other product suggestions. In other cases, bots can suggest great complimentary products to visitors who’ve already purchased something- think of the “you may also like..” feature usually appearing at the bottom of a sale page, this time presented in a more timely, social, personal manner!
4. Get your chatbot to qualify your leads
If you’re in the B2B business, bringing your chatbot to quality prospects is the best way to go. If you’re familiar with Intercom, you probably know they’re the perfect example of how to qualify a lead.
Once you go on their website and browse for a few seconds you get the following message from their chatbot:
Notice how the chatbot provides all the meaningful responses to drive the conversation forward as choices, rather than a text box- this is a powerful way to use chatbots to drive visitor behavior in meaningful directions.
As a visitor answers the chatbot’s questions, it’s qualifying them as a lead- and handing the information to the sales team, if they represent an ideal customer profile.
5. Increase Your Database By Providing The Right Content Offers
Does content marketing drive your traffic? Your chatbot can help you build a large database by providing similar content offers to what your audience is currently reading.
The real magic is when your chatbot can offer website visitors a downloadable item (such as a PDF or ebook) or even a link to one of your videos similar to the topic they’re reading. Best of all, you can set your chatbot to start a conversation with the user, offer the relevant content, AND ask for their email in return. You’ve built your database and helped your visitor with even more useful content- completely hands-off!
As you can see, chatbots can do so much for you and your visitors- and their power and versatility is only increasing. They’re easy to set up and one of the most cost-effective CX solutions out there.
Have you started implementing a chatbot strategy for your business? If so, what are the strategies that have worked out the best? Share your opinion in the comment below!
Last, but not least: Don’t forget to make your chatbot sound human!