You aren’t alone if the idea of chatbots makes you cringe. Speaking with a chatbot even just a few years ago was an unpleasant experience because it was obvious that you were talking to a robot and not a real person.
Conversational marketing with chatbots is a customer-centric approach to marketing automation that uses chatbots to engage and convert customers in conversation, at scale, on their preferred channels, and at their preferred time. Potential customers can now talk with a chatbot that feels no different than speaking with a real-life person online.
Because chatbots have come a long way, they have the potential to provide your business with some serious benefits when you use them on your website.
Answer Common Questions in an Instant
Unfortunately, the time we have isn’t infinite. You only have so many hours in the day and so many hours you spend at work. The last thing you want to do is spend that time responding to a deluge of messages that contain questions that are easy to answer.
Chatbots can help. Instead of sending a message that has to be answered by an employee, customers can ask chatbots how much shipping costs, or they can ask about the specific details of your particular products.
Not only should your chatbot be able to answer fact-based questions, but they should also be able to engage in some small talk. Just a few questions you may want to prepare your chatbot to answer include:
- Are you a robot?
- What’s your name?
- How is your day?
- I want to speak to a human
Doing some research can be very helpful. What questions do customers ask most frequently when they call or send emails? Make sure these questions are programmed into your chatbot so they can be answered easily.
Personalized Product Recommendations
Not only can chatbots answer quick questions, they can actually help customers make purchasing decisions. When programmed with the details of your products, they can ask customers questions about what they’re looking for and provide them with recommendations.
For example, a chatbot may ask customers what features they look for in a lipstick, or what they plan on doing in their new shoes. Based on those answers, the chatbot can provide links to recommended products.
Worried about what kind of answers your chatbot will get? Preprogram clickable options so your chatbot can provide the most accurate suggestion possible.
Collect and Organize Large Amounts of Data
Companies use our personal data all the time. Even if you’re a small business, you can take advantage of that data too, and you don’t have to bend over backwards to find it.
There’s no need to build email lists or collect phone numbers manually when you use chatbots. If you allow customers to sign in using their Facebook profile, you suddenly have access to all of that information. Chatbots can also request email addresses and names in order to receive responses, and that information can then be used in the future for marketing purposes.
They Can Save Your Business Money
When you market to customers using chatbots, you are able to provide them with a better customer experience, but you are also able to save money.
Chatbots have the potential to reduce customer service costs by as much as 30 percent. That’s because employees don’t have to spend a large chunk of their day interacting with and responding to simple customer questions. They can instead use their time to respond to more complex queries, and they can learn about a customer’s issue from a chatbot before beginning their conversation, which can better prepare them to provide quality service.
Increased Customer Engagement
Customer engagement is extremely important to your brand. With more engagement, you can increase loyalty and purchases. Not to mention, serving customers who are passionate about your brand can make doing your job more fulfilling.
Although you may think chatbots would hinder meaningful customer engagement, when done right, they can actually improve engagement. A chatbot enables you to offer 24/7 service, personalized shopping advice, and when programmed to be more conversational, they can provide customers with a quick and easy point of contact without the need to compose a lengthy email or wait until business hours to call in.
Worried that chatbots will make the customer experience impersonal? Make it easy for customers to be referred to an actual customer service agent and they won’t mind speaking with a chatbot first.
Don’t automatically think that customers roll their eyes as soon as they are confronted with a chatbot. There are many ways they can make the shopping experience better, all the while providing your business with some serious benefits.