Basically, a chatbot is a programme that’s been designed to mimic and have conversations with real people. This can sound a little bit HAL 9000, Skynet or Ultron depending on your preferred AI baddie, but the reality is far less sinister.
They can answer questions instantly and give buyers the information they’re looking for in a fast and efficient way. Here are just some of the reasons why chatbots are a useful marketing tool to add to your arsenal.
People Are Ready For Them
It’s as simple as that. Many consumers prefer the quick and structured way of communicating with a brand that a chatbot offers. There’s no need to call and be transferred from person to person. You can receive all the information you want without having to speak to anyone.
Today’s digitally-savvy customer has access to everything they could ever need at the touch of a button - whether it’s clothes, food or news. So it makes sense that they’d appreciate brands that use chatbots.
Open For Business 24/7
Your customers don’t stick to a 9-5 so your business shouldn’t either. Chatbots don’t stop working when you leave the office for the day. They're able to answer customer questions and nurture leads 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
If you’re hoping to expand your business into international markets, it’s crucial that your business is open and accessible when customers need it to be.
Personalise the Customer Experience
Chatbots offer a personalised buying experience for customers. They can be part of a wider conversational marketing strategy, helping buyers to find what they’re looking for as and when they want it.
You might have created a CTA for visitors to use in blogs and on landing pages. The problem is, everyone is seeing the same CTA, regardless of where they are in the buyer’s journey and what their intentions are. It might tell them to download a brochure, when in fact they already know exactly what they want.
Chatbots will help you to better identify your users. It gives you the information you need to understand what they’re looking for, where they came from and whether or not they need help from you.
Chatbots are a little more helpful than HAL 9000
Obtain and Use Data for Retargeting
Use a chatbot and you can gather valuable customer information without a member of your team ever needing to get involved. Set up a chatbot that signs visitors up to newsletters, schedules appointments or guides customers to landing pages.
To do any of this, the customer must first input some basic information - just the simple stuff like name and email address. However, this data can then be stored and organised in an internal database. It can then be used to retarget them at a later date.
Show That You’re Willing to go the Extra Mile
Customers will have certain expectations of your business before they deal with you. They’ll have a general idea of the customer service you offer and the lengths you’ll go to help them with an issue.
A chatbot is a great way of surpassing expectations and really delighting the customer.
For example, they can first be used to let someone know that their transaction has been confirmed. Then, they can send further updates that contain shipping details, allowing the customer to track their items.
Receiving this information via a quick automated message is much easier than them having to find their reference number to input online. It’s a convenient and effective way of keeping up to date with their package without you ever having to do anything difficult.
Develop Relationships and Build Trust
With every business trying to shout louder than the next, you need a way of standing out and reaching your target audience. By answering all of the questions a customer may have, you’re building trust and establishing yourself as an authority within the industry.
When they’re ready to make a purchase, they’re going to remember which business previously helped them and offered value. If you’re thinking of creating a chatbot, consider adding questions you’re asked most frequently so the bot can anticipate a visitor’s needs and give them the information they’re looking for.
Building trust is a key part of conversational marketing, allowing you to move customers through the different stages of the buyer’s journey quickly and seamlessly. For ideas on how to integrate conversational marketing best practices to your next campaign, download our guide.
The Conversational Marketing Playbook: Everything You Need to Know
For more information on chatbots and conversational marketing techniques, download our free guide now. It’s packed with tips and ideas to help you create your own chatbot to make sure it’s healthy, engaging and effective.