A 2016 Business Insider report discussing emerging technologies in business predicted that chatbots would be a dominant force in marketing by 2020. This prediction has proven accurate. But are companies using chatbots effectively enough to engage with consumers and drive sales? That’s another story completely.
Today, most consumers can say that they’ve interacted with a chatbot. Those encounters might have been for a customer service or a pre-sale issue. These intelligent automated helpers now handle a massive portion of the over 2 billion messages that travel between customers and businesses daily.
Here is what you need to know about chatbot marketing, its benefits to your business, and the different ways you can use it to increase sales.
What is Chatbot Marketing?
Chatbots are website or social media plugins or apps that run off of artificial intelligence (AI). They interact with customers in real-time to answer questions, provide suggestions, and collect information.
Chatbots can use the data they collect, both in real-time and cumulatively, to make informed decisions about appropriate responses. In most cases, the interaction with a chatbot will be unique to the individual customer.
The Benefits of Using Chatbot
In today’s marketing world, the goal of most businesses is to deliver the most personalized customer experience possible. Consumers no longer want to feel as if they are just another number to a business. Chatbots solve this issue and provide your business with several benefits:
Save Time and Money
Relatively speaking, chatbot technology isn’t costly when you consider how much time and money your business is going to save. According to a study by Retail Dive:
- By 2023, chatbots will save a combined $11 billion for the retail, banking, and healthcare industries.
- The companies in these three industries alone will save over 2.5 billion hours by 2023, thanks to chatbots.
Offer a Smoother Customer Journey
If you’ve been paying attention to digital marketing priorities over the past year or two, you know that it’s all about the customer experience. Even Google is now ranking websites according to how positive a user experience (UX) they deliver.
One of the biggest benefits of chatbots is the ability to improve the customer journey. Prospects are less likely to disappear at any point in the sales funnel because there will always be a place for them to get insights or information that align with their interests.
7 Chatbot Marketing Techniques to Boost Sales
If you want to boost your company’s sales, using a chatbot is an excellent start. Here are some of the chatbot marketing techniques you can use to achieve your goals.
1. Know Your Most Frequently Asked Questions
One of your first considerations should be the content that your chatbot will contain. Since the aim of your chatbot is to deliver speedy responses and help visitors, it’s a good idea to take a look at the most frequently asked questions your brand receives.
Reach out to your sales and customer service team for this information. Once you have the data, you can make sure your bot is as useful as possible.
2. Make Your Bot Available 24/7
It should go without saying that your chatbot should be available 24/7. This is one of the benefits of chatbots and a key way to drive sales. When a customer has a question in the middle of the night, they can often speak with your chatbot and get the answer they need.
3. Let People Know That They Can Reach a Human
Even if your bot is available around the clock, not everyone is going to be happy engaging with something that’s automated. It’s vital that you give them a choice.
If the interaction is taking place during business hours, have the bot tell the customer how they can reach a human being. If it’s outside business hours, let the visitor know when they can reach live help or might expect a return contact from someone on your team.
4. Give Your Bot a Warm Welcome Message and a Voice
Your bot may be automated, but it should reflect your brand’s voice. Similar to your content and social media marketing, your brand should have a certain voice and tone. Is it playful, formal, or casual?
Whatever tone you choose, make sure it is consistent throughout your chatbot’s content. And make sure you include a warm welcome message when a visitor uses the chatbot. For example, give your chatbot a name and say something like, “Hello, my name is Pete! What’s your name, and how can I help you today?”
5. Enrich Your Bot With Personalization and Data
Chatbot marketing has advanced by leaps and bounds over the past several years. Here are few examples of things chatbots are now able to do:
- CheapFlights lets you know the best options for your price range and dates.
- Domino’s helps you order a pizza.
- Universal Studios tells you the wait time for different rides.
These things are possible due to the Big Data that these brands leverage to deliver personalized experiences to customers. For example, many businesses use chatbots to make product recommendations based on the data they collect about customer activity and preferences.
6. Let Your Bot Offer Discount Codes
Your chatbot can be one of your biggest sales allies when it comes to communicating with customers who are migrating through the sales funnel. Sometimes, all a customer needs is a small incentive to convert. You can program your chatbot to offer discount codes at certain intervals and even create a sense of urgency with limited-time offers.
7. Allow Your Chatbot to Process Payments
What many businesses don’t realize is that some chatbots can now process payments. This offers customers a seamless experience. When they are engaged with the chatbot to learn more about a product and decide to “buy,” they can complete the purchase within the chatbot itself.
Chatbots are an excellent way to engage your audience and increase sales. But there’s a right and wrong way to approach this type of marketing. We can help.
At Connection Model, we offer results-driving digital marketing solutions to clients and are one of the top Drift agency partners. Our team can help your business integrate chatbot marketing in a way that meets the needs of both you and your customers. Contact us today to learn more.
Written By: David Carpenter