Chatbots are revolutionising the digital marketing landscape. They’re altering the way that customers engage with brands, improving the customer experience and giving more value to both you and your clients during different exchanges.
Big brands such as Spotify and Starbucks have already implemented chatbots, utilising them to generate new and high performing leads while keeping current customers happy. They can work through a variety of channels, including the likes of Skype, Facebook Messenger, Whatsapp and, of course, your website, with simple bots responding to enquiries with ready made responses. But as chatbots become more familiar and user friendly, more and more smaller companies are starting to adopt chatbots into their business models too, to help free up time and resources for employees.
Through the use of AI and machine learning, chatbots are learning how to take part in conversations to a much more complex level, responding with personalised responses after tapping into customer information.
But how does this benefit the customer experience?
Chatbots are available on a variety of platforms that are used on a daily basis, such as Facebook Messenger, helping customers to enquire about products and services without having to jump between apps and web pages. This makes for a seamless and very easy process within the users day-to-day life. Furthermore, chatbots also help in driving traffic to your site. Instead of conducting a Google search and being faced with millions of answers to their questions, users will be directed to a solution on your site, without the need to trawl through your content to find it.
With many customers dreading the more traditional channels of communication, chatbots help to reinvigorate the current negative state of customer service.
According to digital customer service software provider Helpshift, 70% of people would prefer to use a chatbot over calling or emailing a customer service agent. It’s also proven that interactive voice response (IVR) systems leave consumers feeling angry and frustrated - especially when the technology can’t identify their response and there is no way to reach a real person.
Chatbots eliminate this stress, acting as a simplified online version of IVR, but one that is far more user friendly, helping to maintain a better overall brand image.
While chatbots can’t always provide the in depth and astute responses that a human can, they can still provide a personal response. They can immediately identify different bits of information about the customer to use both in conversation and in it’s response to their enquiry, making use of the existing data available on the customer.
In addition to this, many bots now also come with the ability to be programmed with a variety of conversational styles that range from the simple ‘friendly’ characteristics, right through to sarcastic personalities that are full of humour. Using the different personalities to target the right audiences can see customer satisfaction increase, and encourage them to return again and again.
One of the key ways of getting information from potential leads is by getting them to fill in an online form. But, forms are often off-putting for new customers as it’s not always clear what will be done with their information, it could remind them of any potential negative past experiences where they’ve been inundated with irrelevant spam mail.
In addition, many users may simply not feel ready to make a commitment to your company by providing you with their details. But, chatbots can be very useful in encouraging users to handover their info. They provide a much better experience, leading people to trust the bot as it feels a lot more human and personal. It also simplifies the process as, in most cases, the information is automatically stored where it's needed, lacking the need for information to be passed around different softwares and systems.
As well as supporting a positive user journey, chatbots also open up benefits for you as a business. It can reduce the hours you need to spend on customer service, giving you back valuable time and money to reinvest elsewhere. They can also provide you with more warm leads as they can help to warm up cold contacts on your database.
Also, chatbots can recreate the live chat experience without the requirement of having staff on hand all day, every day. These means customers will be able to receive answers to their inquiries 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
It's obvious why chatbots have been so successful so far; they provide an experience for customers that is both simplified and personalised, allowing customers to fulfil their goals quickly and efficiently. Overall, this results in an increase in customer satisfaction which will reflect positively on your business as a whole.
Looking to implement a chatbot on your website? Get in touch with the team today to see how we can help.