As a business owner, time is of the essence when it comes to answering prospective customer questions and existing client concerns. Often times, it’s the tipping point in determining whether someone will buy, as well as if your customers will actually stick around.
At the end of the day, however, we are all human, and simply can’t be available 24/7. So, as a small business owner, what can you do?
Enter, the business chatbot.
A chatbot is a piece of software that is pre-programmed to interact with people on your behalf, with little-to-no oversight. They are extremely popular with Millenials and Baby Boomers alike, and when you consider that there are 5 billion – yes, billion – monthly users on messaging apps, it’s pretty easy to see why you need to have a chatbot presence.
Here are a few ways they can help your business.
1. Build Your Sales Pipeline
Leads – and subsequently sales – are the lifeblood of any business, and chatbots are turning the lead generation game on its head.
Regardless of how someone first interacts with your chatbot, they present a non-invasive way to start a conversation. And thanks to the power of technology, even if someone doesn’t initially buy, there are ways you can still try and capture that sale.
Here are a few ideas to get the proverbial juices flowing:
- Run retargeting ads to people who bounced off your website without buying anything, and present them with some type of special promo
- Set up a chatbot so that any time someone comments on one of your Facebook posts, they receive an automated message
- Run Facebook Lead Ads for things like free downloadables. Then, push these new leads directly into your Facebook chatbot for more information, which can be delivered automatically
What’s more, the amount of segmenting you can set up is insane. So, if you want to build out highly targeted audiences, it doesn’t get much better than this.
2. Up-the-Ante on Your Marketing Strategy
When used properly, chatbots can be incorporated into your overall marketing strategy, and with fantastic results. In fact, over 50% of customers are more likely to buy something from a business they can message.
Looking for a way to build out sales funnels that’ll send response rates through the roof? If so, chatbots are the way to go. Think about this for a minute: the average email marketing campaign has an open rate of roughly 24%, with a click-through rate of just a little over 4% and a conversion rate of 1-2%. In some instances, live chat has improved conversions by up to 20%. That’s powerful stuff right there.
This is not to say that you should jump ship on email marketing all together, however, since it’s still extremely effective from a lead nurturing standpoint. It’s simply to say that a multi-faceted approach will yield you better results and a much higher ROI.
3. Offer Better Customer Support
With a great chatbot, you’ll essentially have a customer service agent on standby, 24/7. Thanks to the power of AI, your chatbot can analyze what someone has written, and then respond accordingly. This can great improve customer satisfaction, as well as amplify brand loyalty.
Think this is all newfangled fodder?
Better think again.
According to a recent Business Insider report, 28% percent of top-performing have embraced the power of AI, with many more making the switch every day. What’s more, 90% of consumers prefer working with companies that offer 24/7 customer support, and 35% of the population prefers chatbots over live customer support reps.
Oh right, and let’s not forget that using a chatbot can cut customer service costs by up to 30%.
4. Run Surveys and Collect Valuable Feedback
Let’s face it, it can be a pain to manually conduct surveys to collect feedback. Often times, people aren’t anywhere near as honest when talking to a live person on the phone as they are when there’s no human interaction at all, which doesn’t always yield the most accurate results. And trying to collect data via automated phone surveys makes for a poor end user experience.
So, why not use a chatbot instead?
Just want to collect some quick information from people to help gauge their sentiment about your brand? If so, ask them to complete short surveys towards the end of their interaction with your chatbot.
Interested in collecting deeper insight to test market viability for a new product or service that you’re going to be offering? Create your own survey chatbot that people can take at their convenience on Facebook Messenger.
Love Them or Hate Them, Chatbots Are Here to Stay
Are chatbots perfect? No. Any time you remove the human element and rely on technology, there’s always a risk that things will go sideways. The best way to combat this is to ensure you take the time to properly build – and test – your bot.
Also keep in mind that not everyone is on board with the AI trend. In a perfect world, everyone would love chatbots. But we don’t live in a perfect world, and some people simply don’t like that. At the end of the day, however, you can’t please everyone, and you’ll need to carefully weigh the pros and cons of using one in your business.
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