Mobile messaging applications have gained an immense importance for brands to reach consumers. In the wake of this, it’s no surprise why chatbots have become so popular these days. Traders and retailers having a stream of interactions are investing in chatbot technology to enjoy a quick and practical automated customer service, solve their small problems, and avoid demands caused by personal service.
Chatbots or bots can be characterized as services powered by AI (artificial intelligence) or rules that automate interactions through a chat interface. Bots are now showing up everywhere. People are using their automated technology to perform simple tasks. Interestingly, chatbots are also viewed as the new generation of apps.
The significant evolution of chatbots in recent years is conditioned by the evolution of AI and NLP (natural language processing) that powers them. Bots have turned into extremely sophisticated and versatile tools that are able to automate a variety of business processes. Studies in the field show that mechanizing customer service positively impacts marketing and sales.
Chatbot functionality offers a number of possibilities, which are quite appealing to lots of companies in different sectors worldwide. Recent market surveys show that nearly 75% of profitable businesses are planning to invest in chatbots for customer service.
Chatbots provide immediate answers to real customer questions, which can’t be said about emails and calls. Emails can have a long response time, and calling can be limited to certain hours. Moreover, chatbots can gather data from each interaction, which can be quite helpful in gaining insight into consumer behavior.
When used in marketing and sales, chatbots can help:
*Offer your target audience a personalized experience based on the customer’s purchase history and preferences
*Keep your customers entertained for longer, thus providing larger engagement capacity
*Reach vaster audiences by tapping into new demographics and being integrated across multiple messaging applications
*Capture and analyze customer feedback and data
*Develop relevant messaging and send relevant notifications
*Make your brand interactions more fun
*Reach out to customers proactively
*Keep your social media presence fresh
*Move the sales process smoother
It’s important to note that though chatbots can deliver great customer experiences, their operations aren’t limitless. Chatbot technology should be integrated with live human agents. When the chatbot reaches its limit or the customer wants to interact with a human or wants empathy, the live agent can deliver a complete solution.
Chatbots can be integrated into marketing efforts and initiatives of companies to help them push customers seamlessly through the sales funnel. Using a messaging app or chatbot in your marketing strategy can help you learn more about your audience, customize your marketing efforts, and reach a new customer base.
The pizzerias network Pizza Hut, cosmetics brand Sephora, transport company Uber, interactive health company HealthTap, multinational e-commerce corporation eBay, American multinational financial services corporation American Express, American coffee company and coffeehouse chain Starbucks, and others are already using chatbots.
According to a recent report, 93% of companies are ignoring the 5-minute rule. Only 7% of companies surveyed responded to sales inquiries in 5 minutes or less. 55% of companies took over 5 days to respond.
InsideSales.com reports that the odds of qualifying a lead if called in 5 minutes are 21 times higher as compared to 30 minutes. Marketing consultant Kelly Abner notes a 10% improvement in lead quality can account for 40% improvement in sales productivity. Importantly, there’s no need to increase your human capital costs to enjoy these results.
Using chatbots is a win-win-win for companies, their customers, and for the business’s bottom line. Businesses can integrate chatbots into their marketing strategy to collect information about prospects, personalize marketing efforts, improve target audience reach, and generate more sales and revenue through social media.
What’s the biggest advantage of using a chatbot in marketing and sales to you? Feel free to share your thoughts with us in the comments below.