A chatbot is essentially a program that is designed/built to engage with website users/buyers/visitors. They work by responding to messages and queries in real-time by providing appropriate answers from a pre-designed catalog of solutions.
They are built to respond differently to different kinds of messages by recognizing certain keywords. Chatbots use Artificial Intelligence or AI to better understand a user’s language so they can adapt accordingly to different kinds of queries and provide the most relevant response.
Chatbots leverage mediums like a website chat window, SMS text, and social messaging platforms to respond.
What Does it Mean to be Conversational?
Being conversational or conversational marketing refers to the use of a more personal approach to connect with customers at different stages of their sales journey and it’s usually a big part of the demand generation strategy for many B2B companies.
Here’s one example – instead of getting users to fill a form and then make them wait for a monotonous response, users can now instead talk/interact with brands in real-time. By communicating via an IM-like interface, they can get whatever help or answers they need.
This shift from a robotic response mechanism to a more humane form of brand communication is what we call ‘being conversational.’ You can use all kinds of instant communication software for this purpose.
They can be messenger or text-based. But, the most powerful ones use AI to offer automated solutions.
Benefits of Conversational Marketing
Better Understanding of Customer Personas
Using the power of conversations, conversational marketing can get a better insight into the kind of people they interact with. They can learn about their most frequent concerns, what pains them, what they want, and most importantly what they are seeking.
Conversational tools like chatbots can monitor users so brands can develop a better understanding of their customers.
Discovers a New Source of Leads
Because the interactions happening on chatbots are human-like, companies can strengthen their relationships with customers.
By recognizing whether or not a particular lead could convert into sales, it can redirect them to the relevant departments for further queries.
What’s more, based on a series of questions, chatbots can recognize and capture new and valuable leads. Based on that information, companies can take an appropriate series of steps.
Creates a More Human Buying Experience
A huge number of people miss the element of ‘human interaction’ while shopping or browsing online. But, conversational marketing has taken out this pain point out of the equation. Using AI, chatbots can walk the visitor through a series of inquiries in real-time.
The whole thing feels much like working with a shop assistant. The responses are quick, relevant, personalized, and there’s no waiting time involved.
Shortens the Sales Cycle
Conventional methods can take a long time in capturing the lead and converting them into a sale. Because of so many steps, any delay in-between can cause the lead to fall out in between by losing interest due to the long and tiring process.
But, with chatbots – because all conversations happen quickly in real-time, they can be directed to a suitable sales department within no time. The demos can be scheduled without wasting any delays.
Most people today lead a busy lifestyle. Being occupied with their day job – the ability to connect with their favorite brands during nights and on the weekends can be a major convenience. It can be frustrating to call up customer support at midnight – only to be told that they are only operational during weekdays. The frustration is real.
With conversational marketing tools, support is no longer hampered by day or night. It’s available round the clock. Companies can pick up and respond to inquiries regardless of what time it is.
How Chatbots Benefit Brands:
The biggest advantage of chatbots is that they put a lot of manual work on automation. Look at it like this – instead of spending countless manual hours replying to hundreds of messages across ten different channels, you can simply use a chatbot.
This approach is also a lot more cost-effective and affordable. It also saves a ton of money and time as everything is handled by automation.
Chatbots pick from a collection of pre-decided responses. Combine that with the power of AI, and together it can increase leads and improve customer satisfaction.
Chatbots allow customers to send direct messages to different places like Facebook, Twitter, etc. For example, they can directly ask by simply typing in (When are you guys open? How can I return my product? How do I opt-out of service, etc.)
Website owners get the freedom to compile a list of pre-written friendly answer templates. The collection of answers is enough to answer the most frequently asked questions by users.
Redirect to Relevant Department
There can be some complex questions that cannot be answered within the chatbot. For such queries, AI-powered chatbots can notify the relevant departments/managers to handle the conversation.
Cut Down on Workload
To serve the customers better, chatbots need a bunch of basic information. Based on that information, they provide the necessary support. For example, most chatbots would ask a visitor questions like “What brings you to this page”?
Similarly, there are a bunch of common questions that are asked in almost every engagement. By putting that initial interaction on automation, companies can eradicate the workload on their staff. This arrangement also helps capture email addresses and basic customer information as some answers are shared via email in the form of a book or a guide.
There are only so many executives you can employ. As your business grows, it can be tough to instantly meet the growing staff requirements to handle the increase in workload.
But, chatbots are highly scalable. Meaning, they can handle interaction with any number of people no matter if it’s 50 or 5000. Limited resources will no longer be a concern. Every customer receives an equal amount of attention. In this way, you can scale your growing business’s needs.
AI (Artificial Intelligence), automation, and conversational marketing are three ingredients to creating a highly scalable and profitable business.