Chatbots have been used in IM (Instant Messaging) apps for quiet some time now but have recently made their way into B2B and B2C sales and services. In sales, chatbots can be used to assist customers to make purchase decisions by answering their queries and directing them to either make a purchase or a human service agent.
With Facebook having introduced Chatbots on their platform around 2016, businesses have been trying to build the best chatbots for their requirements. As of 2017, only 4% of businesses have launched chatbots but the number is set to increase to a staggering 80% by the year 2020.
Why consider chatbots?
- Facebook Messenger has about 1.2 billion monthly active users.
- People prefer messaging apps to communicate with each other over email. The average email open rates are roughly 20%, that is 8 out of the 10 people ignoring your marketing efforts. Click rates are even lower, at about 4%.
- A report from Business Insider show the top 4 messaging apps surpassed the amount of monthly active users on social network
- Chatbots are the ideal medium to educate your potential customers, build trust, and sell to them.
When comparing chatbots to various other means of communicating with potential customers, the following results were derived.
Chatbots are way more effective than the conventional methods having been followed over the years. Though phone seems to have a bigger impact on marketing efforts as compared to chatbots, it won’t be long until chatbots gain the upper hand.
As of 2018, Facebook Messenger is the best platform to build a chatbot as it is aggressive and ever-developing. No matter what business you run, you can get a bot custom-made for your business depending on what your objectives are.
Better Engaging your customers
Step 1: EMBRACE THE CUSTOMER JOURNEY
Map the customer journey and jot down the questions that a potential customer would have about your brand / product / service. The ultimate aim of employing chatbots is to guide the customer through the sales funnel and finish it off in a sale.
Step 2: PROVIDE A HUMAN SERVICE AGENT WHEN REQUIRED
It is no doubt that the AI programmed chatbot is a great way to engage your customers but it is a good idea use your chatbot to welcome customers, navigate them through your site as per their requirements, answer their queries but there might be times when human assistance is required, make sure to have a human service agent ready to provide seamless customer experience to the user.
Step 3: BACK IT UP WITH DATA
Always have a database of the experiences your customers are having with the chatbots to improve performance in the future. Refine your chatbot based on live chats, search terms and interactions other users are having with the chatbot, emails and customer calls. No chatbot is perfect when built, it takes a lot of refining and experimenting to perfect it.
As consumers continue to move away from traditional forms of communication like emails and messages, chatbots and AI based communication methods are expected to rise. Implementation of chatbots have led to saving cost and providing customer service during hours where human service agents aren’t available.