What are Chatbots?
They are a form of conversational AI that responds to human input – spoken and written language. Chatbots are the new ‘voice’ in customer communications that allow conversations with customers and prospects. In a nutshell, a chatbot engages in a conversation with customers just like a real person. Not just words too. Chatbots as a marketing channel also enable you to have highly interactive, media-rich experiences that guide your customers through a funnel to reach a desired outcome.
How Do Chatbots Work?
Advances in Natural Language Processing (NLP) and AI have contributed generously to improving chatbots’ conversational abilities. NLP allows chatbots to translate common language into a form that the chatbot can understand. From a sentence, a chatbot can derive your intent and respond accordingly. It can understand what you are asking and provide an appropriate response. AI enables the chatbot to learn through its interactions with people. Paired with human supervision, this AI can help you develop a better understanding of your customers and provide instant responses to their needs and wants.
Benefits of Chatbots
Chatbots have numerous benefits for businesses. Here are some of them.
Increase Customer Engagement
Did you know that engaged customers account for 23% of your business’ profitability, revenue, and relationship growth? Also, enterprises that engage their customers on social media report an increase in customer spend by 20-40%. Chatbots facilitate customer engagement by offering customers relevant information. Also, they make conversation with customers proactive as opposed to reactive.
Cut Operational Costs
Research shows that chatbots reduce operational costs by 30%. With chatbots, you don’t need to employ many customer support employees, and hence decrease labor costs. With 70% of incoming messages on social media being pre-purchase, there’s also a big opportunity to turn those operational costs into revenue gains.
Gather Customer Insights
Increase Employee Productivity
Chatbots answer standard and repetitive customer queries so that customer support agents can handle more complex issues. Research shows that chatbots allow 64% of customer support staff to resolve challenging customer issues. Also, by 2023, they will save 2.5 billion customer service hours.
Deliver Error-free Service
How to Leverage Chatbots
1. Social Messaging Bots
These bots are employed to start conversations with customers and prospects online on social media. You interact with customers on a personal level. On their social messaging apps and at their moment of highest intent. You may be asking, why invest in social messaging bots?
- Chat messaging has better open rates than other forms of digital communication. One chat messaging campaign recorded an 88% open rate and a 56% click-through rate. The average is around 80% and 30% CTR. This is unheard of on other marketing channels.
- Consumers prefer to communicate with enterprises using chat. According to a Nielsen survey, direct messaging is the second most common communication form with companies. Chatbots offer direct messaging and real-time interactions.
- Allow for segmentation and targeting: social messaging bots gather information about prospects and customers, so that businesses can segment and target them effectively.
2. Guided Shopping BotsThese bots allow you to delight your customers with seamless shopping experiences. You can also recommend products to customers in real-time. Guided shopping chatbots prompt your customers to answer a few questions about what they’re searching for and then respond with the most relevant products in your inventory. With guided shopping bots, you can move customers from the awareness stage to purchase with a single conversation. You increase chances of conversion and minimize chances of abandoned carts.
3. Conversational Display adsThe days of ads talking ‘at’ consumers, not ‘with them’ are gone. Conversational display ads allow brands to talk with prospects and customers directly within the ad unit. Imagine one ad unit for all of your cohorts. Unlike in the past, when a user clicked on an ad and was redirected to a landing page, conversational display ads let you stay at your current page while starting a chat with a brand’s bot. They are embedded directly within the websites and mobile apps that your customers use every day.
4. Lead Generation ChatbotsThese chatbots identify potential consumers, evoke interest in your offerings, and develop a relationship with the prospect. They help your business generate more qualified leads by initiating personalized conversations. With the lead generation chatbot, your customers get;
- Tailored experiences based on their needs
- Increased engagement, which contributes significantly to turning a visitor to a lead.
- Unsurpassed convenience because they get the information they need promptly
- Real-time interactions
Chatbot Future Trends
- By 2021, 85% of customer interactions will be tackled without human agents.
- 61% of consumers perceive chatbots as the future of customer service.
- 50% of companies plan to invest more on chatbots as compared to mobile apps.
- By 2022, investments in chatbots will be approximately $5 billion.
- Chatbots will save enterprises $8 billion per year by 2022.
The use of chatbots has been on the rise in the last couple of years. Thanks to chatbot AI, NLP, and machine learning, today’s chatbots have more conversational capabilities to engage customers. Chatbots have many benefits for businesses. Put simply. They offer your customers a better way to engage with your brand. For marketers, they offer a treasure trove of declared data about customers and an easy way to personalize every experience from ad click to purchase. It’s no big surprise that chatbots are quickly becoming the future of consumer communication and marketing. Contact us to learn how our conversational marketing platform can help your business leverage chatbot technology.