Most small businesses have a limited budget.
So, finding ways to automate customer service and marketing is vital to gaining traction and securing new customers. While bots sometimes get a bad rap, they actually can engage customers and impart vital information to keep the person moving through the sales funnel.
According to a recent survey of marketing professionals and consumers, 65% of customers prefer to use a self-service system for simple problems. Since the pandemic, many have increased their use of automated customer service for various reasons.
You likely see the advantages of utilizing a machine to handle customer service volume, but how can you align your chatbot with marketing goals for a seamless experience? Here are some of the ways you can make a bot work for your company and marketing team.
When you’re running a promotion, you might get an influx of consumers wanting information about your product or service. Your regular sales staff may quickly get overwhelmed. Fortunately, a chatbot can fill the gap by engaging the user and answering simple questions before routing them to a live agent.
In addition to answering some of the repetitive questions, chatbots also improve customer experience (CX) by sharing the collected data with the real customer service rep, saving the consumer time and effort as they won’t have to repeat themselves.
The customer doesn’t have to wait for a response from a higher level manager or for the person to look up a response in their customer service guide. Instead, the answer is almost immediate.
You’ll likely choose a third-party vendor to host your chatbot. Figuring out which one meets the multiple needs of your organization saves time and money in development. One of the top considerations should be omnichannel and if your chosen bot can get the job done across the places your business has a presence.
With the use of chatbots, you can offer customer support around the clock. While the bots do the heavy lifting, you can keep a skeleton crew of agents to personalize answers and delve into the tough topics.
Keeping your service desk open 24 hours a day becomes much less expensive and stressful when you rely on the help of machines. Your marketing department can advertise 24/7 support as one of the features of your brand.
One of the most time-consuming activities for your sales staff is filtering through all the inquiries to find the qualified leads. Instead, program your chatbot to ask the questions to see if someone is truly a good prospective client.
Rather than using up resources on site visitors who aren’t truly interested in what you have to offer, you’ll save interactions for those most likely to convert into customers. Improving your lead generation saves your sales team time and results in more revenue for your company.
Each person has their favourite platform, but the largest contenders include YouTube, Facebook and Instagram. Utilizing a bot on your social media can keep your followers engaged and show potential consumers you’re on top of customer care. Since most queries on social media are preliminary in nature, you can program the bot to answer questions about a new product launch or your company’s policies.
You do need someone monitoring things. Bots are notorious for occasionally giving ridiculous answers to questions. Should this occur, immediately jump into the conversation. Delete the bot’s response and comment that a better answer would be something else. People don’t mind you using bots as long as they work, and you fix them when they don’t.
You can even use bots to collect data, which you can use in your marketing efforts. Whenever someone interacts with your brand on social media or your website, engage a bot and ask them some survey questions.
The more information you have, the better you can develop your buyer personas. Know who your target audience is and your marketing messages will always be on target.
Chatbots are frequently deployed on social media. Use them to gain new customers in new audiences you haven’t yet tried. Individual marketers are limited in the things they can do and how much time they devote to engaging with users. A chatbot doesn’t have these limitations.
Spend time programming your bot to ask the right questions to see if people are a good match for your products or services. Use the bot to inform others and engage them in a conversation. The more times customers see your brand name and have a positive experience, the more likely they are to buy from you.
Now that you understand the benefits of using a chatbot, you may wonder which type you should implement. Choose a live chat, rule-based bot or artificial intelligence (AI)programs. There really isn’t a right or wrong answer, but keep in mind AI learns from your users and grows more adept over time.
The only wrong type of bot to use is none at all, so go ahead and start programming and see the many advantages of engaging your users via machines. As the bot takes over repetitive tasks, your marketers will have more time to focus on the creative aspects of growing brand awareness.
Eleanor Hecks is editor-in-chief at Designerly. She was the director at a marketing agency before becoming a freelance web designer. Eleanor lives in Philly with her husband and dog, Bear.