Can Chatbots Help Improve Customer Engagement?

Know people who think chatbots are useless? They probably don’t know how to use them effectively for digital marketing.

There are more than 2.5 billion social media users worldwide today. Still, social media is not the biggest thing right now, messaging apps are.

Businesses are taking advantage of that by implementing a way to directly interact with their customers via messaging apps. That’s where a chatbot comes in.

Chatbots are now the go-to choice for businesses to better communicate with their market.

However, a human better understands human, right? Well, not really.

A nicely executed chatbot can deliver better results in conversion and profit margin. Facebook just launched it in Messenger in 2016. Yet, we’re already seeing amazing results even in other messaging apps.

Just what is a chatbot and why is it the best option?

Can Chatbots Help Improve Customer EngagementWhat are Chatbots and How Do They Help Consumers?

Have you ever messaged a Facebook page and received a canned response? That’s a chatbot talking to you.

Social media provided a platform wherein a business can engage customers directly. Chatbots improve upon that and allow companies to provide a service without humans. These bots respond to questions or commands that simulate real conversations.

Businesses now use bots as a way to interact with customers in the most efficient manner. We say “efficient” because they are effective at getting and giving information, and they do so to multiple users at a time.

They can take the place of emails as well by being able to send notifications and updates. Bots can also link to other apps and gather data from them. This allows them to deliver a more personalized experience.

Chatbots can also offer 24/7 communication lines, faster responses, and more. However, with all the benefits to a consumer, do they even like talking to a bot?

Do People Even Like Chatting with Businesses?

People today are so accustomed to using messaging apps that they now feel more comfortable with it to communicate, even with companies.

In the U.S., only 27% of consumers prefer talking on the phone. Globally, 66% of consumers want to be able to talk to brands via messaging apps. In the U.S., that number dwindles down to 33%, which is still relevant enough for companies to take note of.

About 47% prefers to talk using text messaging and 21% prefers Facebook Messenger. Other apps that they use are WhatsApp, LINE, and Snapchat.

Numbers aside, this only means that talking on the phone is becoming a thing of the past now. It isn’t viable now because of problems, such as long waiting times. On the other hand, getting information through bots is easy and instant.

Why Businesses Should Use Chatbots Now

Businesses can get a whole lot of benefits in using chatbots now, if they aren’t already. A chatbot can:

1. Save Businesses Money

The cost of creating and maintaining a chatbot is cheaper than hiring actual humans.

A human can only respond to few messages at a time. This is why companies would also need to hire multiple people. This is to make sure that consumers can talk to someone at any given time.

This easily eats into a business’ resources. Big corporations would not go this route if they accept online orders via messaging.

Meanwhile, one chatbot can respond to any number of consumers 24 hours a day.

As a bot can streamline conversations, businesses can also save time by keeping the conversion time to a minimum.

2. Connect with Customers Easily

Chatbots don’t need sleep, which means it’s always available whenever you call upon it. As there will likely be a customer any time of the day, they won’t need to wait for a human to come into work and get to the backlog of messages.

This also means shorter wait times. A chatbot can simultaneously talk to numerous people and perform tasks at the same time. Without a bot, an influx of messages can easily overwhelm an inadequate staff.

Because a chatbot is straightforward, it can also lead users efficiently through actions. As long as the interface is intuitive, you would get fewer confused customers. This then leads to high conversion rates, giving you more business.

3. Give More Business

Talking to a bot should be a fast and easy experience for the customers. If an interaction between business and customer has no frills, it can easily lead to a sale.

A bot can complete a single order faster than a human can. They reduce the processes needed as they can transfer the customer input directly to the system. They can also process multiple orders at the same time and confirm them in real time.

Note that human interaction is still the best, which might be the only advantage of hiring people. However, bots are now becoming more personal through Natural Language Processing. This allows them to complete a transaction that a human can only do.

4. Gather Data About Customers

A bot can gather data about consumers while simultaneously communicating with them. This action can be instantaneous, so they are able to create a personalized experience for every user.

Not only does this mean great things for customer satisfaction. It also means you can get data you wouldn’t have gotten otherwise.

A customer will tell bots many things in a conversation, especially if it’s engaging. You can use this to your advantage by having your bot “listen” and collect that information. You can then put forward that valuable data towards improving your market strategy.

5. Get Feedback Like No Other CTAs Can

Customers can easily dismiss CTAs in your email and websites. In fact, they may not even see them.

People are more likely to ignore a follow-up email that’s asking for feedback than a bot that they are already in a conversation with. More often than not, giving a feedback is only a click away with a bot. In emails or websites, customers still have to do a number of steps.

Moreover, chatbots can analyze the data within minutes of receiving it. This gives you plenty of time to act according to the reports.

6. Retrieve Details in an Instant

Robots can retrieve data in an instant, which means they can also give that data to the customer in an instant. This is helpful because when customers want information, they want it fast.

A bot doesn’t have to finish conversing with a customer to start talking to another one. As a result, a simple inquiry can get a simple answer in a second. That’s not possible with a human customer support.

Also, bots can give instantaneous replies that emails can’t. A customer would have to wait for a while before customer support sees the email. A bot can “see,” “process,” and “deliver” the information in a blink of an eye.

7. Work Better Than an App

Making apps isn’t cheap and it’s not a one-time big-time thing. You need to update it constantly to maintain its compatibility across all platforms.

Furthermore, people don’t like downloading apps when it’s not a necessity. As they now become aware of chatbots, using apps just to order or get a service now seems like a chore.

We can relate, because who would want to download an app when you can do the same thing with your messaging app? Especially with a messaging app that you already have?

Programming chatbots instead of an app is also more beneficial for businesses. It costs less to create and maintain.

8. Put Everything in One Place

Chatbots can function like an app, which means it can perform a variety of functions. Of course, this all depends on how the business programmed it to be, but at the least, you can make inquiries.

A chatbot of a sports page, for example, can allow you to subscribe. They will then give you real-time updates on your favorite team’s scores. News sites like CNN can give you news based on certain keywords.

Bots can now also take orders and process payment safely. All of these and more, you can enjoy in the messaging apps you currently use.

Because of all these benefits, 80% of businesses want to have chatbots by 2020. However, there’s one thing that they should be careful of.

How Using Chatbots Can Go Wrong

A chatbot can’t analyze data like a human can. This is why talking to one may be frustrating if you don’t know the right things to say.

For example, a large number of chatting robots don’t even know how to respond to a “hi” or “hello.” This is bad because those are the most common ways that humans initiate conversations even to a bot.

A business will lose a potential customer if their chatbot doesn’t even respond to it. Some bots also respond with error and “did not understand” messages.

Another common phrase that people use when chatting with chatbots is “help.” Surprisingly, not every bot has a response to this, even if its goal is to help the customer.

Other messages that seem to surprise a number of chatbots are “stop” and “thank you.” Some bots can give updates at regular intervals. But without the “stop” functionality, users get left with no other option but to block it.

In all fairness, the latter phrase doesn’t even need a response from the bot, but a simple “welcome” can leave a good impression on the customer. You can also take this opportunity to incorporate CTAs.

How to Implement Chatbots Correctly

If you’re thinking that a chatbot is right for you, and it probably is, make sure you do it right. A chatbot can only benefit you in a lot of ways if it works as you intend it to.

Follow these guidelines to ensure maximum customer satisfaction:

Make Sure It Responds Appropriately

We’ve discussed the implications of a bot that can’t respond to a simple word or phrase, so let’s start with that. Your chatbot should at least be able to anticipate and react to some basic responses, such as “hello,” “help,” “stop,” and “thanks.”

When the customer asks for help, the chatbot should give a list of options. The bot can also offer some kind of assistance, like talking to a human representative.

You can also give the bot stop and mute options, for when the user doesn’t want to hear from it. These actions may save your chatbot from getting blocked altogether.

Incorporate Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Depending on your business, your chatbot may only need to respond to certain commands. However, the bot will be useless beyond a specific list of commands.

AI chatbots can hold a conversation like a human can, albeit in limited ways. They can answer inquiries and take cues from the customers’ messages.

If the bot is smart, consumers may even enjoy talking to them. That might not immediately convert to a sale, but users enjoying your service will eventually turn into a customer.

They may even urge others to try your brand.

Add CTAs

Smart Call to Actions can drive more customers to provide feedback. When chatting with a bot, people are more susceptible to responding to its request. If the user enjoyed their interaction with the bot, a business can easily get feedbacks this way.

Take advantage of that by incorporating CTAs at the end of every interaction or even during. Encourage the user to take another action, like a page, rate the bot, or visit your website.

You may also get the email of your customer this way. This increases engagement and opens up more opportunities for digital marketing.

Of course, apart from these, your bot should be fast, accurate, and presentable. You wouldn’t want to turn away potential customers just because of bad grammar.

Learn More About Modern Digital Marketing

The digital marketing landscape is changing rapidly with the invention of new tools every day. To keep up with them, visit our site now for more digital marketing guides. We have plenty of resources to keep you updated on the latest trends in marketing.

Still not sure about using chatbots? Do you want to get a full review of your company’s current digital marketing strategy? Contact us and we can provide optimal consultation and more.

Owner and Chief Marketing Officer, Jason Hall, and his team specialize in creating brand awareness / traffic and lead generation / marketing funnel and conversion optimization, while utilizing the appropriate marketing channels available within your industry. With diverse clients throughout the world, Jason's team is well connected within many industries to assist with your marketing strategies. With no long term contracts and various levels of service, Jason's team will increase the quality of your online traffic, leads, and sales.

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About the author...

Located in the heart of the Emerald Coast - Destin, FL, founder and Chief Marketing Officer, Jason Hall, and his team specialize in creating brand awareness / traffic and lead generation / marketing funnel and conversion optimization / and PR campaigns, while utilizing the appropriate marketing channels available within your industry.

With diverse clients throughout the world, Jason's team is well connected within many industries to assist with your marketing strategies. With no long term contracts and various levels of service, Jason's team will increase the quality of your online traffic, leads, and sales.

Jason Hall

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