Think back to the last time you used a messaging app. Was it Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, a chat window located on a company's website, or maybe Kik? No matter which of these you used last, or if you used one that wasn't mentioned, how do you know a customer service representative is a person? Well, unless you personally know the person you are chatting with, there really is no way to tell if you are interacting with a real person or a chatbot.
Chances are, you interact with a chatbot more frequently than you think and this is a good thing for businesses and the demanding consumers we have all grown to become. Consumers can reach out to companies with customer service complaints 24 hours a day and never have to wait in a queue to ask a simple question and companies are gathering insightful analytics and data that help them better serve their customers.
Here are a few reasons why chatbots are beneficial to your company and your customers.
Wikipedia describes a chatbot as:
"A chatbot (also known as a
Remember AOL's Instant Messenger? Well, those annoying spam accounts that sent automated messages to you were an early form of chatbots. Also, the annoying automated operators we all spoke to when dialing an 800 number can be qualified as early chatbots. However, I am not advocating or attempting to persuade you to believe that these old and clumsy forms of chatbots are beneficial for you or your customers. I am here to let you know that chatbots have taken major steps in the right direction. They are now marketers and salespeople's sidekicks that help ensure companies are reaching out to the right people, with the right message, at the right time.
Take a look at how chatbots function today and once we all understand the type of bot I am talking about, I will tell you just how this tool will not only benefit your sales, marketing, and customer service departments, but they will also leave your customers happy and coming back for more.
This video of Octane AI's chatbot shows the capabilities today's chatbots have. However, when you take a chatbot, like Octane AI or Motion AI, and combine it with a messaging app, like Facebook Messenger, you can unlock data that you have never seen before, and you will be able to access this data in real-time.
There are three major forms of chatbots and each of them serves a specific purpose because although these bots are smart, and powered by artificial intelligence, they are nowhere near smart enough to take on more than one specific task at a time. These bots are coded to complete a specific set of tasks via conversation and negotiation.
If you have visited a company's Facebook page and message them via Facebook Messenger from the page, you most likely were speaking with a branded chatbot. Facebook now allows companies to use branded chatbots within their Facebook Messenger app and this is very important for you to note, and take advantage of, because Facebook's Messenger app has become extremely popular.
Facebook recently announced that Messenger has more than 1.3 billion monthly users. Also, Facebook's own researchers have found that 53% of people are more likely to shop with a business they can contact via a chat app.
That may be hard for some people to believe because after all, don't we all dislike speaking with chatbots in the form of phone operators? Apparently not. HubSpot found that 40% of people surveyed in a recent study actually don't care if they chat with a person or an AI bot via online chat.
This type of chatbot can aid your customer service team. Whenever you use a chatbot to make a complaint or ask a question about a service, you are speaking with a service chatbot. This form of bot can help your customer service team in many different ways, but one of the most beneficial aspects of this bot is its ability to keep your customers happy. Service chatbots allow your customers to find the answers they need without dialing a number and waiting on hold for an extended period of time.
This form of chatbot has no connection to marketing, sales, or customer service. Its sole job is to provide users with the information they are seeking. Types of informational chatbots we are all used to using are, Siri, Amazon Echo, and Cortana.
Chatbots and their interactions with humans are an excellent way to gather and store data that can be used by marketing and sales teams almost instantly. These real-time data feeds can help your business find out what products or services need to be tweaked for ease of use, which products need to be promoted more, or less, and what parts of your website need extra attention.
As mentioned before, chatbots offer you the ability to help your customers, or potential customers, with issues before, during, and after the workday without ever having to put someone on hold. Helping everyone instantly will shine a light on your brand and create customers that are confident in your ability to help them when it is needed.
Another aspect of chatbots that can help your customer service team is their ability to reach out to users without them initiating a conversation. Once someone enters your site, a chat window can be instructed to pop-up immediately to ask visitors how they are doing, or find out if they need help/guidance. This feature gives your company the ability to learn things about your customers and visitors that you have never had the chance to learn before because the bot is asking to find an issue, or help before a problem arises.
Chatbots, much like forms, give your company the power to create personalized ads for your audience. Once you find out your visitor's name, issue, and other demographic information, you can create specific personas based on the traffic and data your site is seeing. Once this information is logged, you can now create ad campaigns to target groups of people that have the same issues, interests or other demographic characteristics.
Finding out how your customers feel about your brand and what you provide them is essential to keeping your customers happy and generating new customers. Chatbots can be set up to contact each one of your customers, either by chat window after a purchase is submitted, or an automated email post-purchase, to ask for customer feedback. These bots can ask either one question at a time when used in a chat window, or send emails with surveys attached. Gathering feedback from your customers is very important, but often times overlooked or generic. With chatbots, you can customize and automate all of your customer's surveys to gather as much valuable information about your products and services as possible.
Marketing and sales teams everywhere can use the analytic data supplied by chatbots to nurture leads through their buyer's journey. Having an open dialog with leads and asking exactly what issue they need to be solved is a great way to judge where your lead is in their buyer's journey, and help guide them to the next stage. Leveraging chatbot technology can also help your company decrease the time it takes to create a customer from a lead. Chatbots give you the ability to find out exactly what it is your visitors and leads are asking for and that can make your sales team very happy.
Written January 30, 2018 by
Marketing Maestro with a hint of savvy syntax. Five-year plan: Mick and I are going to wing on over to London and jam with the Stones!