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You've probably encountered chatbots online before – but has your business considered using chatbots for marketing?
Although they have historically had a bad reputation, chatbots are becoming more popular. In fact, 87.2% of customers report positive experiences when interacting with chatbots. If you're struggling to generate leads, up-sell products, or keep customers, marketing chatbots could be the solution you need.
But with so many chatbot options on the market, it can be hard to know where to begin. Keep reading, and we'll tell you everything you need to know about integrating chatbots into your marketing strategy. You'll see serious results in no time!
What Is a Chatbot?
In the simplest terms, a chatbot is a robot that can hold a conversation with a user. They are usually integrated with a business's app or website. Most chatbots can make conversation in both spoken and written language.
Chatbots offer customers a way to get information and carry out simple processes. There's no need for users to wait for a live support agent; chatbots make service instantaneous. And with the technology behind chatbots developing all the time, we're only seeing the beginning of what chatbots can do.
The market for chatbots is huge, and it's still growing. By 2030, the chatbot industry will reach a value of over $3 billion! That's a testament to the value they can offer businesses like yours.
Types of Chatbots
Not all chatbots are created equal. There are two broad types of chatbot, each with its own use case. If you're wondering which type of chatbot is right for your business, we're here to explain how they work and what they can do for you.
Rule-based chatbots are the simplest chatbots available. They work according to a series of if-then statements. Those statements then inform the chatbot's response to questions asked by your customers.
As you might expect, rule-based bots have a limited number of possible responses. They aren't able to respond intelligently to customer queries. But they can respond to common questions and can save your customer service agents some time.
For example, if a customer typed "Can I pay with my debit card?", a rule-based bot would pick up on the keywords "pay" and "debit." It would then be able to return a response directing the customer to a payment portal. But if the customer used keywords not recognized by the chatbot, they would be invited to rephrase their question.
Artificial Intelligence Chatbots
For more complex customer interactions, an AI chatbot could be a great investment for your business. These bots rely on a semantic engine with multiple AI layers, deep learning, and sentiment analysis. All these incredible technologies work together to provide a lifelike conversational experience.
Through deep learning, a chatbot can learn from previous conversations and make better decisions in the future. Natural language processing ensures that the chatbot responds in ways that feel human. And sentiment analysis allows the bot to gauge how a user is feeling and provide an appropriate response.
When a chatbot uses all of these elements to provide an experience that feels real, we refer to it as a conversational AI. Conversational AIs are among the most advanced bots currently on the market.
Why Use Chatbots for Marketing?
When it comes to marketing, chatbots have a wide range of uses. If your business needs to encourage sales or improve its customer service, you'll find that marketing chatbots are a great investment.
Here are just a few ways in which chatbots can support your marketing strategies.
Support Your Customer Service Agents
Your support agents get frustrated when faced with the same basic questions over and over again. Your customers get frustrated when they have to wait in a long queue to speak to a support agent. It's a serious problem, and chatbots could be the solution.
Even the most basic chatbots can help to resolve frequently asked questions. With the right training, they can pick up on relevant keywords and point customers to the answers they need. This saves customers from waiting to talk to a human assistant, and it saves assistants from the busywork of a simple query.
With more advanced chatbots, customers can get answers to more complicated queries, too. And in either case, transferring a query from a chatbot to a live agent is simple. Chatbots can create a truly seamless customer experience, and give your support teams room to focus on urgent queries.
Improve Customer Retention
As chatbots become more advanced, they can gather information on customer behavior. They can learn about purchasing habits, browsing times, and other important aspects of the customer experience. They can then use that information to provide highly personalized responses to individual customers.
For example, chatbots can identify and automate recurring orders. They can retain the information they need to calculate shipping costs. And they can even offer coupon codes and discounts if you want to reward your customers for their loyalty.
Customers want a smooth experience with great customer service. With a chatbot, you can be confident that your customers will receive the best service possible. That's the kind of experience customers will remember – and it will encourage them to keep coming back to your business.
Up-Sell and Cross-Sell
Chatbots can automate the up-selling and cross-selling processes easily. What's more, they can do this while still providing highly personalized customer service.
Depending on your customers' purchases, your chatbot could suggest related products also purchased by other customers. Most eCommerce websites have a similar function, showing related products that customers might also want to buy. But with a conversational AI chatbot, the suggestion will feel more personal, and customers will be more inclined to take it.
Chatbots could also up-sell customers on warranties, insurance policies, and other related products at the point of sale. This could boost your profits even further, while also giving your customers peace of mind.
Acquire Customer Feedback
Most customers don't respond to pop-up invitations to complete feedback surveys. But when asked to provide feedback by a chatbot, they are much more willing to engage.
This can be an amazing way for your business to acquire feedback on its products and services. This is particularly important when planning marketing strategies, because in marketing, data is everything. Input from your customers can help you to plan better, more targeted marketing techniques in future.
Save Money for Your Business
Let's be realistic: a chatbot can be a major up-front expense. Particularly if you're opting for an advanced conversational AI, you could find yourself spending serious money on the right product.
But it's important to consider that chatbots can generate an amazing return on your investment. They can encourage sales, generate leads, and provide the kind of customer service that makes customers want to come back to your business. Over time, all these things will generate profit.
Effective Chatbot Marketing
Chatbot technology is developing fast, which means there aren't always clear standards for how to use them effectively. While a chatbot can help you market your business when used correctly, they can hurt your business's reputation if you don't use them well.
First, chatbots should be easy to use. If you want your customers to get the support they need from your bots, don't overcomplicate things. Spamming customers with bot notifications – even if they're notifications for coupons and bargains – will leave users alienated.
You should also try to anticipate your customers' questions so it contains all the information they will need, specially when providing that information requires integrating your chatbot to other platforms such as your CRM or E-commerce store. A chatbot should be a platform for them to ask what they need but also for them to manage processes and solve issues.
Lastly, remember that chatbots aren't just for your website! You can also integrate chatbots with social media platforms, including WhatsApp. This can offer your customers a more wide-ranging experience and enable them to access support on their terms.
Only the Best Marketing Chatbots
Using chatbots for marketing can help your business to stand apart from its competition. But not every chatbot meets the same high standards of customer service and lifelike conversation. If you're hoping to provide your customers with a seamless chatbot experience, consider a conversational AI.
Aivo offers conversational AI solutions for websites and social media alike. Whatever your industry, we're ready to work with you. Our specialists can help you to choose the chatbot solution that will jump-start your business.
Book a demo with Aivo's team today, and learn more about what marketing chatbots can do for you!