GROWING YOUR BUSINESS THROUGH CHATBOTS
Have you ever tried contacting customer support for several minutes instead of using a chatbot only to be disconnected before getting assistance? Pushes you over the edge, doesn’t it? In this scenario, Customer Experience (CX) surely gets compromised, which means bad news for any business as it plays an integral part in a company’s overall performance.
As much as it is a key metric, however, it’s dreadfully challenging to keep customer satisfaction high. After all, it demands quite a budget which can prove to be a dilemma for most businesses. Thus, most companies simply go for the wiser and more cost-efficient option: a chatbot.
What are chatbots?
Chatbot systems or chatbots are AI-driven computer programs that enable automated dialogues between users and digital devices. This technology allows text or voice interactions that simulate real-life conversations. Its level of complexity depends on what’s needed from the software and its assigned purpose.
For better context, there’s a good chance that you might have experienced using chatbots without realizing it. Booking for a ride to a friend’s place, ordering food through your phone, or even contacting customer support for a broken product are all normally assisted by chatbot systems. That being said, chatbots have grown to be a major component of the convenience we experience today.
Where can chatbots be used?
While Cleverbot is one way of enjoying this new technology, chatbots are ultimately not for entertainment purposes only. In fact, there are numerous uses for this program that could help even the largest companies grow further.
Whether it’s a local clothing brand or a massive automotive business, chatbots have proven themselves effective in generating sales, information gathering, and more. Over 100,000 bots are being used today on Facebook Messenger alone. Social media bots are designed to perform and automate many of what used to be traditional marketing tactics, including:
Spreading awareness about upcoming and existing promotions
If you’re trying to highlight your brand’s promotion online, a trigger-activated chatbot is one of the best ways to create noise about it. Trigger-activated chatbots send out automated messages or responses to users as soon as a certain action is executed. Visiting a website, for instance, is a trigger action that can activate a pop-up on the user’s end.
Domino’s Pizza shows their list of current and upcoming promotions as soon as you click the “Promotions” button.
Getting information from customers (e.g. name, address, contact details) to build a client database
Creating tickets for customer concerns can be a tedious job, especially if they course their complaints through social media. Imagine having to respond to clients one by one via Facebook to get their account details so you can extract their information from your database. Sounds tiring? That’s because it is! Thankfully, you can now use chatbots to perform basic functions like ticket creation to minimize work and organize customer concerns.
Converge ICT Solutions, Inc. is an Internet Service Provider (ISP) that uses a chatbot on their official customer support page on Facebook to acquire basic information from their clients.
Answering Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Once is enough. Twice is too much. Thrice is…well…you get the picture. It takes time and a whole lot of manpower to answer queries online. A good strategy to reduce grunt work like such is to analyze the questions mostly asked by your customers and create automated responses for them.
Ginger Snaps & Co. is an accessory and jewelry shop. It uses a chatbot to connect users to agents and answer FAQs.
Improving user engagement by allowing instant automated responses 24/7
If you’re going for a 24-hour customer service operation, you would most likely need multiple teams. With a chatbot, on the other hand, you need not worry about your agents getting some shut-eye. Simply set your chatbot’s content or responses, the trigger actions that prompt it to send those messages, and voila!
On-the-spot troubleshooting for products and services
While chatbots can’t really perform extensive troubleshooting (yet), they can instruct users to accomplish initial fixes such as plugging and unplugging their devices to reboot, checking if their power supply is fully operational, or conducting speed tests for their internet connection. This comes in handy if many of your clients have the same problems concerning your product or service. Automatic responses are very helpful, especially to tech or IT businesses.
Automating comments on social media posts for increased online presence
There may be mixed feedback on social media engagement bots. But in good hands, they can be a powerful tool that can amplify a business’ online presence. These bots are designed to create pre-composed, automatic comments on social media posts to increase engagement. They make posts more visible to other users, attracting and capturing their interest.
Above are just some key tasks accomplished by social media chatbots. It is known that there is a growing need for digital adaptation and the desire to innovate cost-efficient, hassle-free marketing. Hence, more functions are sure to come as the market for chatbot technology continuously expands.
When was the last time you got out of bed to buy something in a physical store over whipping out your phone and taking a few clicks to make an online purchase? Probably only when it was extremely needed. That’s because 90% of customers rate ‘an immediate response’ as important or very important when they have a marketing or sales question. 65% of people say they are more likely to shop with a business they can contact via a chat app. Chatbots are heavily used, especially on e-commerce websites. They provide the fastest, easiest, and most flexible way of doing transactions.
While website chatbots can also perform the same fundamental capabilities as a social media chatbot, they are more intelligent and could fulfill more complex commands such as:
Placing, tracking, and completing online orders
Gone are the days when you browse through a catalog if you want something new to wear, pick up your landline phone, punch in the keys to dial, and talk to a salesperson to order. Now, it’s go to a website, click “Order,” and wait for the delivery. Chatbots allow users to choose from a wide selection of products and services and place an order without breaking a sweat.
Hebe is an e-commerce apparel brand that uses a chatbot system to receive both customer technical concerns and product orders.
Accommodating intricate client requests
Whether it’s to request a quote or book appointments, chatbots are capable of processing comprehensive client demands. This feature serves well for businesses that have a very particular and meticulous target audience.
Pulsar is an audience intelligence company designed to create messages by combining conversational and behavioral data using AI.
Connecting to customer support agents via live chat
When chatbots are not sophisticated enough to accomplish a task, chatbot systems can be a bridge between human agents and end-users instead. Still pretty helpful if you ask me.
HubSpot, a CRM platform, uses a chatbot to connect an agent with a user.
Retargeting users who previously visited the website
Another great example of trigger action is when a user revisits a website. When a chatbot detects this activity, websites usually offer the most suitable content based on the user’s previous objective or intent in visiting the website. This increases the chances of converting the user into a lead.
Mapping keywords indicated by users to respond based on information stored in a knowledge base
Sometimes you’re looking for a specific answer but you just don’t have time to have a long chat with an agent. The good news is that chatbots are capable of creating context out of the keywords you just typed in to provide answers based on your message. Intuitive!
Buzzsumo, a content marketing platform, uses a chatbot to collate and filter customer inquiries from the keywords they input to provide targeted answers or solutions.
Without chatbots, the majority of the tasks above will take time in achieving and would unlikely be completed simultaneously. It means that overhead is more likely to happen, incurring costs and slowing down productivity.
4 reasons why your business needs a chatbot
If you still haven’t realized how important chatbots are to a business, then these might give you clear-cut pointers that hit the nail on the head. With a chatbot, you can improve on these important performance metrics to extend the reach of your business.
Accuracy and precision
Through chatbots, human error is minimized. Since all data provided to end-users are only based on data fed to the system, inconsistencies in processes are immensely avoided. Reduced mistakes in all stages of the business cycle eliminates unnecessary costs and missed deadlines.
Timeliness and urgency
Say your customer requires immediate assistance and reaches out in the middle of the night. What would happen if your workforce only operates 9 hours a day? With chatbots, you no longer have to worry about exhausting your employees for long hours of work. Chatbots are usually on 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Real-time answers or resolutions are provided as soon as a customer contacts support.
Convenience and flexibility
Nowadays, customers prefer asking for assistance via their mobile phones while on the go and doing something else on the side. Your business needs to be swift and flexible in responding to this. Otherwise, it might turn into bad feedback. Because more digital devices, communication channels, and platforms are covered by chatbots, users find it easier to seek help from you.
Cost-efficiency and boosted sales conversion
Hiring a platoon of employees versus subscribing to a chatbot surely requires a bigger budget—not to mention the unnecessary effort exerted to close sales among mistargeted leads. One of chatbots’ great subliminal benefits is that they take a user closer (if not directly) to the point of purchase. They offer 2-5x higher and faster conversions than traditional landing pages + email funnels. They provide straight answers ending in call-to-actions, thus preventing customers from changing their minds about buying your product or availing of your services. It’s a sure sale!
Starting chatbot integration with your business
If you’re the type of manager who loves walking on the operations floor, roaming around to make sure that everything is in place and everyone is doing their best to help the business grow, then automation might not come as a priority to you. If you’re the type of entrepreneur who values time and money while competing with larger brands, on the other hand, chatbot automation is the perfect way of gaining leverage against your competitors as you expand to a bigger business empire.
Identify your intent
Before you decide on getting a chatbot for your business, ask yourself why you need it or for what purpose. While chatbots were used by 67% of global consumers in 2021, it doesn’t make it automatically feasible for all businesses. Once you have figured out what you want to do with this technology, weigh the pros and cons to identify whether it’s suitable for your line of work or not.
Plan your content or conversation flow
Make sure that before launching the program into operations, you have already strategically crafted your bot’s content. Analyze your customers’ journey and usual concerns to prepare detailed responses. End your conversation trees with powerful actionable messages to convert leads into actual sales.
Choose a suitable chatbot provider
You have countless options out there, but make sure you choose the one that best suits your needs and your business process. Compatibility with your existing tools, for example, is a crucial consideration in picking the right chatbot. Cost is another deciding factor. Some chatbots are free, while more sophisticated ones are paid. Determine your business’ level of need to decide more accurately.
Plan out a seamless integration process
Three words: don’t force it! If you think that a drastic change in your business process would affect your performance, settle for gradual amalgamation. Take time and sit down with your managers or business unit heads to agree on this big decision.
Set your success metrics
To find out whether your chatbot has increased your value as a business or not, you have to establish your Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). Lead generation, ticket completion, and traffic are the best ways to quantify its success.
Do a post-mortem report
To ensure that you have made the right decision in subscribing to a chatbot system, analyze your business performance after the integration. Check if your metrics have improved or if there were affected components in your business cycle that need attention.
Remember that with this new technology, it is important to take your whole business formula into consideration. The key to a successful chatbot integration, much like any other business innovation, is careful planning and strategic execution.