Chatbots are the future of conversational marketing and we shall witness that in 2018. Chatbots for marketing automation is one of the most popular use cases. Brands like Burger King, KLM and Sephora have already tapped into the power of chatbot and you should too!
What’s a chatbot? What does it do?
A chatbot is programmable software that can solve user queries on any messaging platform such as Facebook messenger or Telegram bots. They answer questions, provide recommendations, give updates and more – all via text message. The bot learns from previous conversations with users to deliver better results each time they interact. A chatbot works 24×7 without holidays or weekends, never gets tired and beats humans on most tasks.
What are the most popular use cases for chatbots?
Marketing automation, customer service and e-commerce are some of the common use cases where brands are using chatbots to meet their business goals. Chatbots can also be used as a temporary line when your call center is overloaded or to train new agents on the latest products and services before they start talking with real customers. Here’s an insightful article by Leila Janah on 7 ways smart companies use bots to boost productivity.
Why build a chatbot? How does it benefit marketers?
(you may also like: The Comprehensive Guide To Chatbot Marketing )
Businesses have started seeing success through marketing automation and customer service via messaging platforms such as Messenger and WeChat. This trend of marketers investing in chatbots for marketing or customer service is expected to continue in 2018.
These are some of the key benefits brands can get from using chatbots:
– Customer Interaction: Chatbots allow you to automate engagement on your Facebook page by answering common questions and solving user queries. It allows people to find the answers they need and then encourages them to convert into customers via newsletter subscriptions, product purchases etc. – Sales Lead Generation: Chatbots can be programmed to answer FAQs on your website and move users up the funnel by providing relevant content like whitepapers or case studies on particular topics (think how KLM bot works).
Personalized Communication: Communicating with a chatbot allows for a unique experience – just the way you want it. They provide brands with an opportunity to connect with customers on a more personal level that’s not possible through email or phone. – Powerful Analytics: Chatbots track customer interactions and behaviors so you can easily gauge what works best for your audience and fine-tune marketing campaigns accordingly. There are many tools available today to analyze chat data from bots such as Facebook Messenger, Telegram, WeChat etc.
What does it take to build a chatbot? Who should do this?
A team of designers, marketers and engineers is needed to build an automated bot for Facebook messenger (or similar platforms like telegram). A mix of technical expertise (coding) and creative skills (design, copywriting) is required for this task.
What are some best practices to follow while creating a chatbot?
Here’s a detailed article by Leila Janah that answers that question. We recommend you read it here – 7 ways smart companies use bots to boost productivity . To summarize the key takeaways, we suggest:
1. Be Transparent and Honest:
When people interact with your bot for the first time, they may not know what to expect – like whether it’s automated or if there’ll be a real person on the other side. So make sure your bot looks and feels like an actual human would – be transparent about its capabilities and let people know that they’re chatting with a robot.
2. Be Responsive:
A chatbot is useless if it’s down or not working. Ensure your bot is up 24/7 with the latest updates so you don’t lose potential customers due to technical glitches. – Test Your Bot Before Going Live: Before you launch the bot on Facebook Messenger, test it rigorously on multiple devices and browsers to ensure there are no bugs or broken code anywhere. – Add Value To Users Everyday: The purpose of a chatbot is to provide value first – before users expect something back in return for their time and attention. So have compelling conversations that help people solve their problems instead of just being transactional (like providing product prices for e-commerce bots).
Use Chatbots To Enhance Existing Sales and Marketing: Don’t fall into the trap of using a chatbot just for the sake of having one. Use it to improve your sales and marketing efforts by providing customers with one-to-one personalized conversations that lead them down an educated path to conversions
3. Add Personality:
Your chatbot should be fun and engaging – not annoying and frustrating (like most customer service bots on websites). So choose a good name, write witty copy and make sure you use emojis! – Leverage User-Generated Content: This is something we do very well at Vibbi where our chatbots share images, videos, GIFs etc.- generated by users themselves in their comments (and this has garnered us an average CTR of 3.33% on each post!) – Play Trending Songs: Spotify is one of our favorite chatbots that incorporates this technique to perfection.
4. Create Personalized User Profiles:
Chatbots offer brands an opportunity to learn more about their customers than they ever did before. By using powerful algorithms, these bots can understand user interests and behaviors to provide them with customized experiences across channels (like Facebook Messenger, websites etc.). For instance, when you sign up for Vibbi’s chatbot, the app automatically saves your name and email address in case you forget them later on.- Provide A Mobile Experience On Desktop/Web: Make sure your chatbot works seamlessly on both desktop browsers as well as mobile apps so customers can engage with it on any device they like.
5. Find Bots Where People Are Already Talking:
Microsoft, the company behind the most widely used bots today (like Tay and Xiaoice), suggests that businesses should find out where people are already talking about their product and join in the conversation by creating a chatbot for that particular platform.- Leverage User Generated Content: Vibbi is a prime example of how brands can use user-generated content to their advantage through Facebook Messenger; we leverage each and every comment our customers share with us to create awesome visual media for them! – Personalize Each Interaction: According to research from Lattice Engines, 74% of consumers want personalized experiences when speaking with customer service agents. So make sure your chatbot is capable of understanding each individual’s needs and preferences for the best experience.
6. Use Facebook Messenger As A Marketing Channel:
Social media has become one of the most important marketing channels today, especially because it provides businesses with a platform to engage directly with their customers (like providing product updates in real-time). – Target Based On Behavioral Traits: Businesses can use behavioral traits like location, demographic information about users etc. to determine the most effective strategies to market their products on social media.- Provide App Installs Via Messenger: Many brands are already leveraging Facebook Messenger as an effective way to acquire new users. PlayStation 4 just recently announced that they’re using this technique to provide instant support along with app installations to their new and existing customers.
7. Support Customers In A Timely Manner:
According to a recent survey from Oracle, 88% of consumers have expressed frustration with companies that fail to provide them with good customer service when they need it the most.- Offer Self-Service On Mobile: Consumers are often in a hurry when they’re looking for quick solutions on mobile devices, so chatbots should be able to help them find what they’re looking for without making them wait.- Be Personal Despite Automation: Bots may seem cold and heartless at times even though they offer personalized experiences to consumers. But humans can always step in to save the day if things don’t go as expected. So, make you have a team in place to step in when the bot fails to deliver good service.
8. Track Customer Interactions And Resolve Issues:
Once chatbots are integrated into the customer support team, they can be used for a wide range of functions like handling customer complaints and issues, tracking overall chats, improving overall customer satisfaction etc.. Offer Real-Time Resolution: AI-powered chatbots can offer real-time resolution to each consumer complaint by looking up the issue on different public, private and social media platforms. Make Sure Chatbot Can Transfer The Conversation To A Real Person With Relative Ease. There are many bots that are still unable to transfer conversations between human representatives or other bots seamlessly.
9. Find Out What Customers Want Without Asking Them:
According to a survey from Accenture, 47% of customers would like businesses to proactively offer them personalized offers based on their profile and location. Provide Personalized Deals: Brands can leverage AI-powered chatbots to suggest highly personalized deals as you browse the web (on your mobile device or desktop).
10. Speed Up Customer Support:
Chatbots don’t require breaks, sick days or holidays so they can answer more customer queries in less time. Manage Multiple Channels From One Platform. Brands can use chatbots for customer service across different social media platforms, websites and sometimes even physical stores/kiosks! Use Chatbot To Access Log Data From Different Channels And Devices For A 360 Degree View Of The Customer’s Journey. Chatbots can use this information to offer better service throughout the customer journey.
11. Determine If The Customer Is Satisfied With Support:
Brands can measure customer satisfaction by providing surveys at the end of each conversation with a chatbot. Offer Different Channels To Reach A Human Agent At Any Time During Or After A Chat Session: It’s always best to give customers different options for contacting brands because some people are more comfortable talking on live chat while others are happy just sending an email.
12. Provide Product Recommendations And Enhance The Shopping Experience:
According to VentureBeat, “67% of shoppers who have made a purchase using mobile messaging apps report that they appreciate receiving product recommendations via these channels”. Deep Link Messages Directly To The Product Page. Make sure chatbots can provide direct and accurate links to products on your website.
13. Remind Customers About Their Upcoming Support Appointments:
According to a survey from Alignable, 41% of small businesses currently do not use appointment reminders. Send Appointment Reminders Via Chats And Other Mediums Like SMS And Email. Chatbots can help you manage appointments by helping customers book appointments through chats on websites or mobile applications. Reach Out To Customers Before Their Appointments So They Can Check In On Time. Remind them about important things like directions to the store and billing information so they don’t forget anything before their scheduled appointment.
14. Prevent Customer Service Inquiries By Anticipating Questions:
According to a survey by LivePerson , 48% of consumers expect brands to answer their questions before they even ask it. Offer Troubleshooting Guides And Product Information Articles. Brands can use chatbots to offer troubleshooting guides and product information articles in response to frequently asked questions. Use Charts, Graphs And Other Visual Elements To Make The Conversation Easier To Follow. Types Of Channels Chatbots Can Be Built For: Forums, Q&A Platforms, Social Networks, Messaging Apps.