A chatbot is a software program that lets you automate communication and interactions with your audience through predefined messages. The chatbot industry was valued, in 2020, at USD 17.17 billion and it is estimated that it will reach a valuation of over 102 billion by 2026.
Marketers worldwide have started using these applications on their social media channels or websites for a while now – a 2013 study showed that 83% of online shoppers need support to make an acquisition, so brands must be available at all times to answer their requests. In 2016, Facebook announced that chatbots would be coming to Messenger, which translated to over 30.000 bots being created. In 2020, Google launched their own AI chatbot and also in 2020, WHO launched a Facebook Messenger version of their Health Alert platform in order to offer information about COVID-19.
The adoption of this trend is even stronger now, with so many people changing their buying habits and using the online environment more and more. Chatbots are available all the time and on top, they offer relevant insights, promote the brand and can generate new leads.
Marketers can use these tools to simplify and efficientize many of their processes.
Chatbots help you generate more leads
Implementing chatbots means increasing your level of engagement and being present whenever a potential prospect is interested in your brand. This can have an extremely powerful impact on your conversion rate, so integrating bots and personalizing them for various channels and buying journey stages can actually help you convert more qualified leads into clients.
People want accessible, transparent information,that is available whenever they want it, but that is also easy to find and tailored-made for their specific needs. Initiating a conversation at a convenient time for them means, first of all, not losing potential clients who might give up if information is too hard to find. If they have already invested some time and effort in communicating with you, even via a bot, and have felt it was worthwhile, they might be willing to continue and book a call or even buy from you.
Taking about calls, you can also use bots to help you schedule meetings, calls and even demos – especially if you work in B2B, the buying decision happens harder and requires more details.
Here’s a nice example from HubSpot:
Chatbots can save you money with customer service
As many marketers know, your relationship with a client doesn’t resume at the buying process alone.
A company must be there in the awareness phase as well as after an acquisition is made and bots can even help them save money – according to Business Insider Intelligence, chatbots can save businesses up to USD 23 billion in customer service representatives, and according to a MIT review, 90% of businesses reported faster complaints resolutions with bots!
Chatbots enable better digital experiences
Besides being present and active for your potential clients, you can also personalize your bots so that you address their specific needs. According to an Adlucent research, 71% of respondents said they preferred ads that are tailored to their interests, and 44% of them said they are willing to give up personal data to get more personalized advertising.
Keeping this in mind, you can adapt your bots to meet most recurrent questions or problems, use a voice of tone that is aligned to your overall communication, address a user by their name and so on.
Furthermore, we are living in a mobile-first environment and the same aforementioned Business Insider study also showed that “Chatbots are particularly well suited for mobile — perhaps more so than apps. Messaging is at the heart of the mobile experience, as the rapid adoption of chat apps demonstrates.”
Chatbots improve Social Media communication
Are your customers on social media? Regardless which channel we are talking about, they are probably using one form or another of social networks. Your brand just being present and creating content is not enough if you are not ready to interact and engage at any time with potential clients, and chatbots can make this task easier for you.
I.e., KLM implemented a bot, called BB and and with a personality that is defined female, helpful, friendly, and professional that lets you book flights, sends confirmations and even handles payments.
Having a series of predefined questions can also help you better filter users and make more pertinent decisions regarding which fall under the category of qualified leads and which ones you cannot help.
Having an autoresponder keeps people connected and delivers a way better experience than no answer at all (your autoresponder can even tell them when you are going to get back to them so that they know they’ll hear from you soon).
Chatbots can also be used to ask for feedback – according to ChatbotsMagazine, “Traditional surveys over emails have a 10% open rate, and a less than 5% completion rate”. Given the fact that 69% of customers prefer communicating with chatbots for simpler support queries, you might want to give them a chance in order to gather feedback from your clients, on social media or other online platforms.
Chatbots can improve communication within your team
Creating close connections between marketing, sales, customer service, HR and other company departments is the way for a coherent brand strategy. This means having all these departments aligned and up to date with your marketing tactics, but it also means keeping people close together (especially now, when so many of us are working remotely).
Using bots for your internal communication (on Slack, i.e.), can facilitate project management, streamline processes, boost creativity and even make people feel more engaged and connected.
So there you go, 5 arguments to convince you at least to give chatbots a try. Hope you’ll find them useful and that they’ll make your work – and your life – easier!:)