Modern technology has enabled us to develop various types of software programs such as chatbots that are powered by artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms. Chatbots a.k.a ‘chat robots’ can interact (chat) with people almost like a real human being. In recent years, chatbots for business have surged in popularity. It is not uncommon for businesses to use chatbots in marketing or for offering customer support by integrating them with facebook messenger.
Messenger chatbots not only act as digital assistants but also help to convert leads into customers by providing better customer experience and helping them to solve their queries. Some benefits of using chatbots in marketing and other purposes for your business are listed below:
1. Chatbots for business can improve customer service and experience
According to a survey, over 80% of customers need support when they are shopping online. From navigation issues to requiring help in selecting a product within their budget, potential customers may require help for solving various types of issues.
Chatbots can act as virtual assistants and help customers in real-time. They can communicate with them via text or voice and asking suitable questions to offer extensive customer assistance. Based on the queries of the customers, chatbots can answer simple FAQ questions, provide links to tutorial videos and images, compare products, etc.
Also, instead of providing ‘passive customer interaction’, chatbots communicate with customers proactively. This results in better customer engagement and an increase in customer satisfaction.
2. Chatbots for business are available to offer support anytime
In this age, people expect instant gratification and anything else is as good as unacceptable. Thus, if nobody is available to chat with a potential customer when they require it the most, the business may lose the customer to a competitor which can offer solutions almost instantly. The same will be the case if they have to wait for minutes or contact the support through email.
Fortunately, unlike human customer support, chatbots can provide support 24X7 and come up with several solutions instantly. Although chatbots cannot offer help with complex queries, they are enough to solve the most common problems. In fact, just the act of interacting hooks the customer and provides time for a real-human representative to come online.
3. Chatbots for business can improve the reputation of a brand
Chatbots, due to their design is much more efficient at their work than human employees. They don’t get tired of repetitive work such as replying to common customer questions or get frustrated when they encounter a customer who is not so nice. They also help cut down human errors such as spelling mistakes when typing or forgetting things. Plus, some chatbots can be pretty funny to chat with if they are programmed to give humorous responses to certain playful questions.
They can also act as sales professionals and let website visitors know of online promotions or deals that are currently running. All these can create a good impression of the business in the minds of the customers and help businesses to improve the brand image of their company.
4. Chatbots for business can help collect important data and provide insight into the target audience
Although chatbots for business are primarily used as an alternative to human employees for offering simple support, they can also be programmed to monitor consumer behavior, purchasing patterns, frequently asked questions, etc. By monitoring consumer data, it will help you to gain better insight into the thinking patterns and needs of your potential as well as current customers.
As a result, with the help of chatbots, you will be able to offer a personalized shopping experience to certain customers based on their queries or by asking them certain questions. For eg., chatbots can suggest better alternatives to a product that is currently out of stock.
5. Chatbots for business can automate split testing, lead generation, qualification, and nurturing
Human employees need to be trained in marketing strategies, lead generation, support, etc. However, each human being will learn at their own rate and be able to apply their understanding in a different way. This can produce inconsistent results when different strategies need to be tested or implemented.
Chatbots in marketing can be programmed to respond to customers with different welcome messages depending on the time zone, location, previous information, etc. For eg., chatbots can be programmed to interact with people in different languages. This will reduce the requirement for multilinguistic employees.
They can also be used to split-test price changes, discounts, coupons, or deals, solutions to specific questions, etc. much more efficiently.
Thus, using chatbots in marketing products or services can improve the open rates as their responses will be optimized over time to offer better engagement and personalized experience.
By engaging with customers, chatbots can generate leads, qualify them by asking several personalized questions, and nurture them so that the leads turn into paying customers.
6. Chatbots for business can help cut down costs
At first, using chatbots in marketing or offering support may seem costly. However, after the initial investment in building the app, a company will save much more money in the long run when compared to hiring human employees. Whether you hire a part-time worker or a full-time employee, they need to be paid 365 days a year.
Chatbots for business are automated solutions. Thus, apart from the cost of building them, you only have to pay maintenance or improvement costs periodically. And ultimately, the algorithm of that chatbot will only improve whereas each human employee will gain experience at a different rate.
Of course, you will still need some human employees to handle complicated matters as you cannot rely solely on chatbots. However, the cost savings will still be huge which you can reinvest for growing your business.
According to a survey, more than one-third of Americans are ready to buy products following the suggestions of a chatbot. Thus, it is a wise idea to use a chatbot in marketing your products or services if you don’t want to miss out on generating additional revenue or lose to the competition. Just make sure that the chatbot is bug-free and developed by a professional. Be sure to align it to your brand and improve it with time to increase its effectiveness.
Also, understand that although chatbots for business can be very helpful, they cannot replace human employees completely, at least not yet. Software programs using AI are best utilized as a supplementary aid, not a replacement.