Data indicates that chatbots can help your business save as much as 30% of customer support costs. Gartner adds that AI will be a major customer experience income stream in the future, with a large percentage of organizations deploying virtual assistants for marketing automation and support.
The age of the bots is upon us. But where are you placed in this revolution?
Chatbots for Business
Is a chatbot right for your business? If that’s a question that has been plaguing you, the answer is a yes, especially if you wish to improve your customer experience, streamline support and optimize revenue in the long run.
But what really is a chatbot?
In layman’s terms, a chatbot can be defined as a virtual assistant (essentially a computer program) powered by Artificial Intelligence (AI) and programmed to respond to various queries in specific ways, based on certain keywords.
With further advancements in AI, modern chatbots use Natural Language Programming (NLP) to understand commands, questions, and vocal cues contextually, independent of keywords, to provide more human-like responses. Besides, chatbots improve with usage, which means they stand to become even more intuitive in the future – giving early adopters a significant advantage over others.
Talking about business relevance, chatbots can revolutionize the way customers interact with your firm by taking it right where all the action happens currently – on messenger apps. Generally speaking, chatbots create new and more straightforward ways for customers to interact with your business and find the solutions or information they need swiftly and seamlessly.
Happier and satisfied customers, which leads to improved customer loyalty, increased sales, and reduced churn. No wonder businesses often equate chatbots to growth machines. Below, we have identified four ways to transform your chatbot into a growth machine for your business.
1. Provide Real-Time Support and Marketing Information
Modern-day customers want seamless brand experiences on digital touchpoints, 24/7/365. But that’s not humanly possible to achieve, is it? That’s why chatbots are your competitive advantage because they work all the time to answer queries and generate leads for your business.
Chatbots are ideal for providing real-time support on your site, ‘round the clock, in a reliable manner. A chatbot can answer 80% of straightforward queries without human intervention – leading to time-saving at both ends. Customers feel satisfied as they no longer have to wait to connect with live agents while your support team faces significantly reduced call volumes – leaving them with ample time to focus on complex queries and solve them efficiently.
Besides query-resolution, customers are increasingly using messenger-based apps on social media for product research, buying products, scheduling meetings, and more. Marketing-focused chatbots can facilitate these tasks and guide prospects down the sales funnel to close more sales in a shorter period.
2. Boosting Loyalty with Chatbots
Conversational bots improve user experience by reducing friction or eliminating the roadblocks in a user’s journey. However, if you think that the main benefit of your chatbot is answering frequently asked questions – think again. Customer service is only a small part of what chatbots can do, but they do it really well. That’s because chatbots draw information from millions of data points to answer queries in a more personalized manner instead of dishing out mechanical responses to users. Thus, not only do bots improve customer experience, but they also save the precious time of your employees, which can be used to focus elsewhere.
But what can you do differently to gain more from your chatbot? The key lies in responsiveness. Therefore, it is vital to optimize your bot’s responses to ensure they are clear, conversational, and even fun or quirky at times to match your brand personality.
Coming back to personalization, chatbots can increase sales and boost brand loyalty by sending highly targeted offers, recommendations, and suggestions to users by analyzing their past interactions and browsing history. Such recommendations not only improve the browsing experience and save time but also improve engagement, leading to better brand recognition and loyalty over time.
3. Make Regular Connections with Users
Out of sight is out of mind. Messenger-based chatbots can help you overcome this hurdle through unique engagement opportunities that are both relevant and personalized.
For example, many individuals follow motivational or inspirational Instagram accounts to brighten up their day. But it doesn’t really make sense for brands to share motivational messages or quotes on their handles every day, even though it is a great option for keeping at least a part of their user base engaged.
If you have something similar in mind, you can always use your social media messenger bot to send quotes or fun messages to loyal followers or interested users instead of blasting out these messages for everyone out there. Your bot can also send links to interesting blogs, videos, e-books, etc., depending on how a user interacts with your site and product information online.
4. Get Regular Feedback
Customer surveys are central to improving your brand. Whether you need feedback from users on your product or specific features, or simply want to know their thoughts on new ideas, a quick survey is the best way to glean the information that you need from multiple sources without too much effort.
But emails only have an open rate of about 15%, which reduces your reach significantly. Understandably, emails are easy to miss out, considering the sheer volume that one receives every day. However, delivering your surveys via a chatbot on social media can cut through the clutter and drive more results as users need to click and answer a short survey compared to the rigmarole of opening an email and filling out a survey form. You may even send NPS surveys with an additional comment box using your chatbot after every transaction or interaction to gain quick feedback on various aspects of the user journey.
Before closing, let us remind you that collecting feedback is only one part of the process – you must also act on it and close the loop by responding to users with personalized messages to update them about the changes you have made basis their feedback, to make them feel heard and valued.
Customers are the lifeblood of your business, and chatbots help you connect better with your target audience in several creative ways. In addition, bots can automate a lot of marketing and support-based tasks, leading to time and cost savings, which are essential for growth. If you still haven’t implemented a chatbot as part of your growth strategy, it is time to rethink. Here’s a set of best practices to get your bot off and running for maximum success:
- Define your chatbot’s purpose and goal for the best experience. For example, should your bot be informative, or is it meant to facilitate the sales process?
- Train your bot to imitate your company’s voice by optimizing the answers to FAQs accordingly
- Integrate your chatbot with third-party software like your CRM and helpdesk for maximum productivity
- Enroll for proper support, testing and maintenance to keep your bot running smoothly and securely, 24/7