A Deloitte report points out that strong customer experience leads to stronger financial performance and also forms the basis for competitive differentiation. It goes on to say that successfully differentiating a brand in terms of both products and experience has a positive impact on the company’s bottom-line by increasing conversions and customer loyalty.
Quite true! In today’s competitive landscape, no matter how good is your product, if your customer experience is not up to the mark, there’s rarely any scope for growth. Whether it is reaching out to users with information about your product or answering their queries promptly, your brand is not about its logo or mission statement but a reflection of the experiences that users have with your company. Therefore, every interaction matters and automation can help you get on top of your communication with extreme personalization based on user data.
Chatbots and Marketing
Today, a majority of marketing executives believe that artificial intelligence has revolutionized marketing as we knew it. And they were right!
At present, marketing professionals rely on several software and tools to automate repetitive tasks, curate personalized emails, monitor and manage social media campaigns, and more! But, of all the customer-facing technologies that have revolutionized the world of marketing, we decided to focus this blog on the simplest yet most effective AI-based tool that no business can do without in 2020. Well, we are talking about chatbots or AI-powered messengers that are programmed to respond to user queries in a certain way based on pre-determined keywords.
The most advanced bots, however, have moved past this stage and use neural networks to understand complex queries, personalize interactions, and improve their responses over time. Of course, the idea isn’t to replace human marketers or salespeople but to supplement their efforts, which chatbots can do perfectly.
Below, we have identified five ways in which chatbots can strengthen your marketing efforts, right from guiding prospects around your site to providing real-time online support, 24/7.
- Meeting Prospects Where They Are
Messaging apps provide an excellent opportunity for brands to connect with customers at their favorite online hangouts, which is social media. By integrating your social media messenger with a chatbot, you can potentially reach out to a limitless audience, tap into new demographics, and also activate 24/7 service on these channels for better customer experience.
Chatbots can also send extremely relevant notifications or content to your users or social media followers. Most customers hate being bombarded with useless emails, messages, or other notifications regarding your business or product updates. Chatbots, on the other hand, analyze how a user interacts with your page to pick and choose the information they are most interested in and notify them accordingly in a non-intrusive manner.
- Improved Engagement
Humans get tired, moody, or irritable, but machines don’t feel such emotions. Besides, a human agent can only engage a limited number of people at a time, but chatbots don’t face such limitations. In addition to engaging users longer, chatbots can also retain them through personalized offers or content, based on their browsing history and online behavior.
For example, you may have captured a user’s interest in an engaging video. But what after that?
Generally, you would follow the video with a CTA that the user may click or not. However, a chatbot can send some personalized offers or more information regarding the topic once the video ends, holding the user’s attention for a longer time. Depending on the nature of the content, a bot can also use this opportunity to cross-sell or upsell your products in a personalized and engaging way.
- 24/7 Customer Service
Fast, efficient, and reliable customer service is the backbone of any organization. However, increasing customer expectations cannot be met by human agents alone. That’s why you need chatbots in the front line to enable 24/7 service and reduce your live agents’ burden. Data indicates that chatbots can answer up to 80% of straightforward or repetitive queries on their own. For complicated concerns, chatbots can connect a user to a live agent along with a chat transcript so that the user needn’t repeat his or her concern.
Besides improved customer service for query resolution, chatbots in customer service can serve as valuable tools for lead generation, ‘round the clock. Even while your human agents sleep or take a break, your bot will work to capture contact information each time a prospect visits your site. Recently, a Canadian furniture retailer implemented the Acquire chatbot for customer service and saw a marked increase in lead generation efforts, thanks to the chatbot capturing contact information when the team was out of office.
- Pro-active Customer Interactions
Brands often follow a passive approach to customer interactions. Usually, they only communicate with the audience after users contact them first. Chatbots can make your customer interactions more active and personalized by sending a pro-active greeting to users when they land on your site. Based on the user’s interaction, the bot can also give them pro-active suggestions or product offers to increase the chances of conversion.
Chatbots also give you a unified view of customer conversations by collating data from all your customer touchpoints into a single view. This also helps to personalize your customer service, as your agents have a 360-degree view of past user interactions, making it possible to address users by name and offer them better assistance.
- Improved Personalization
Personalization is a crucial benefit of AI-driven chatbots. With a chatbot, you can glean accurate insights into customer behavior to improve the level of personalization in your marketing communications.
For example, your chatbot can begin a conversation with users to inform them about any ongoing sales or promotions. It can also ask them about what they are looking for and accordingly share suitable options and recommendations. Or, if a user lingers on a page for too long without taking any action, your chatbot can reach out to them, offering assistance in case the user is facing any issue or unable to make up his or her mind.
With artificial intelligence, you can also deliver highly targeted messages and recommendations to customers. It is possible to use all the personalization data to build your customer personas and streamline your marketing campaigns accordingly for better interactions. Chatbots can also be used for conversational marketing to engage the audience for feedback. This information can then be used to personalize the entire customer buying cycle and improve the overall experience.
Messaging applications have become the most preferred means of communication between brands and users, leading to the increasing popularity of chatbots. Besides, with technological advancements, the power of bots for marketing and customer service are growing.
What we have touched upon in this article is only the tip of the iceberg. When implemented correctly, chatbots help you learn about your audience, make your marketing campaigns more targeted, find new customer groups, and even help lead generation and nurturing across the sales funnel.
Have you invested in a chatbot for your business yet? If not, get started now to harness the power of automation for your customer service and marketing campaigns.