Chatbots Marketing

Sending the right users, the right message, in the right way, at the right time.
Digital Bloom

by Vlad Kuryatnik

What is a Chatbots?

With billions of daily users, it is no wonder Facebook’s chatbots are captivating the tech world. They have now been recognized as a powerful marketing tool among companies of all kinds, across the globe. Given the versatility of chatbot tools, their tasks can be programmed to retain data, respond to specific keywords and know when to offer an additional product to a consumer. It is also a method of increasing consumer interaction ratings and improving overall consumer experiences for increased sales. The ability for a chatbot to assist a customer right away markets the company’s sense of urgency in consumer relations. Loads of brands – including KiK, Uber, Sephora and more – are now using chatbots to interact with their customers and drive engagement. They’re becoming an incredibly powerful marketing tool, but only for brands that know how to use them. Until today.

Why Chatbots Are Such A Big Opportunity?

You are probably wondering “Why does anyone care about chatbots? They look like simple text-based services… what’s the big deal?”

The answer is very simple – people are using messenger apps more than they are using social networks.

“People are now spending more time in messaging apps than in social media and that is a huge turning point. Messaging apps are the platforms of the future and bots will be how their users access all sorts of services.” — Peter Rojas, Entrepreneur in Residence at Betaworks

Chatbots increase user engagement, are easier (and cheaper) to launch than traditional websites and apps, and reduce your marketing costs drastically compared to other mediums. Chatbots boast a cost per click (CPC) of $0.07, compared to mobile at $1.80 and web at $0.93. The personalized experiences that Chatbots create for your users is one of the things that makes them so valuable and unique.

How Chatbots Can Benefit Marketing Strategy?

Customer service

How often have you sat on the phone, listening to Muzak, waiting over a half hour for a customer service representative to pick up the phone and answer your question, which takes you five seconds to ask? You know the score: Most businesses have terrible customer service.
But some of us are getting impatient. We have a younger generation, for instance, used to be able to do everything online – ordering food, doing banking tasks, shopping, and more – and they don’t want to sit on a phone waiting to speak to someone who reads a script and provides little benefit.
This is especially important, in light of the fact that most customer service calls and complaints are simple to resolve. This is where chatbots come in. Instead of having to call and sit on a phone waiting to ask a five-second question, you can simply message a customer service chatbot and get your answer in a flash.
By providing this option for customers, you will lower the stress of dealing with customer service and increase customer satisfaction with your brand.

Consumer analysis

Chatbots can play a large role in analyzing customer data and optimizing sales and marketing strategies in light of this analysis.

According to Forbes, “Chatbots can be programmed to track purchasing patterns and monitor data from consumers. This tells a company which products to market differently, which to market more and which to redevelop for the relaunch.”

This means that you will save money by not having to hire another analyst and that the analysis will be a higher level due to the lack of human error.

Personalized ads

Another chatbot strategy that’s proven to be successful is the creation of personalized ads.
These work as follows: When a customer reaches out to your chatbot with a customer service inquiry, the chatbot will greet the customer, gather some preliminary information, then ask that the customer holds for a moment. During that interval, the customer’s name and other information can be used to generate personalized advertisements. Personalized ads are often useful in sales conversions.
An important point here is that while chatbots can be a great backup for real employees, as an alternative to call waiting, they have to appear real. If the chatbot is low quality and the customer can tell it’s not human, the result may be damaging customer feelings toward the brand.

Proactive customer interaction

Most brands employ passive customer interaction, i.e., they only respond to customers and do not reach out. But, instead of waiting for Chatbots are ideal for these “reach out” initiatives. To do this, the accompanying action should be something small, like inquiring whether or not the customer needs assistance — which lets the customer know that the brand is present and available to assist as needed. This alone will boost the customer’s feelings of closeness to the brand.

Site feedback

Chatbots are great for reaching out to customers via simple questions and the gathering of feedback. This strategy is useful, especially for website optimization. Garnering feedback from customers will help you fix low converting pages and improve your site all around.
For example, if you have a landing page that receives huge numbers in organic traffic, but no one is buying, you could have your chatbot reach out with a survey, to glean information as to why people are leaving the page without purchasing.

Lead-nurturing

Using the information that chatbots collect about a customer, you can create customized messaging that guides the consumer along his or her “buyer’s journey,” ensuring movement in the right direction that achieves higher conversion rates.
You want to be careful to not be annoying with customized messaging, however. There is a fine line. It would also be wise to do some A/B testing on your customized messages to see what types of copy work best.

Sell Your Products & Services

If you’re a small business owner, you’re probably short on free time. As in, you have none at all. You’re busy closing deals, managing your team, and performing various other entrepreneurial tasks. Unfortunately, this means you don’t always have the time to give your customers the attention they need.
You’re only one person, right?
It may not be possible to clone yourself, but when it comes to marketing, Chatbots can get pretty close, allowing you to (finally) be in multiple places at once.
Customers get frustrated when they ask the same question, again and again, lodge a complaint or make a suggestion, and then don’t receive a response for days. As a business owner, you also understand the frustration of trying to be both responsive and thorough but being criticized regardless of your effort.
The chances of losing a customer are instantly reduced by replying through an automated chatbot.
A great example of this is the clothing company H&M. When customers interact with the company’s bot, they’re quizzed about the style of clothing they prefer. Then, when the bot has enough information, it can make recommendations that are tailored to the customers’ tastes.
Depending on the types of products and services you offer, you can use your chatbot in a similar fashion (no pun intended). Your bots can sell your products for you, and because they’re online 24/7, they can actually make good on the phrase “make money while you sleep.”

Make Payments Easier

Some chatbots these days are even able to take and process payments (and it’s always good to make it easier for customers to give you their money, isn’t it?).
Use your chatbot as a payment tool so that, if a customer needs to make a payment, the chatbot can handle the transaction for you. It only takes a few clicks.

So... what is a Chatbot?

A chatbot is a service, powered by rules and sometimes artificial intelligence, that you interact with via a chat interface. The service could be any number of things, ranging from functional to fun, and it could live in any major chat product (Facebook Messenger, Slack, Telegram, Text Messages, etc.). Here’s an example to help you visualize a chatbot: If you wanted to buy shoes from Nordstrom online, you would go to their website, look around until you find the shoes you wanted, and then you would purchase them.
If Nordstrom makes a bot, which I’m sure they will, you would simply be able to message Nordstrom on Facebook. It would ask you what you’re looking for and you would simply… tell it. Instead of browsing a website, you will have a conversation with the Nordstrom bot, mirroring the type of experience you would get when you go into the retail store.
NordStrom Chatbot

Detailed Example - Chatbot for Customer Service

The ability to respond immediately

Customers get frustrated when they ask the same question, again and again, lodge a complaint or make a suggestion, and then don’t receive a response for days. As a business owner, you also understand the frustration of trying to be both responsive and thorough but being criticized regardless of your effort.
The chances of losing a customer are instantly reduced by replying through an automated Chatbot.

Unsatisfied Customers Do Not Return To The Brand

Customer service has always been a crucial determinant of success for any business. Did you know that 91 percent of unsatisfied customers will not return for a repeat purchase or service? That’s not a stat you should take lightly.
Simply acknowledging your customers with an automated chatbot lets them know that their complaint or inquiry has been received, and this can go a long way towards gaining a customer’s goodwill. Even if it’s just a chatbot greeting the customers, clarifying their issues, and then giving an approximate time period of when they should expect a response.

Waiting Time Is Eliminated

Calling the company for product issues is boring and time-consuming, especially when there is no one to answer your queries. This kind of issue is solved by Chatbots.

Chatbots Can Save Up To 30% In Customer Support Services

The figure below suggests that a potential savings of $23 billion can be achieved in the U.S. because Chatbots have the potential to automate 30% more of the tasks done by today’s contact center staff.

Chatbots Savings

What about other industries?

Restaurant and Retail

Famous restaurant chains like Burger King and Taco Bell have introduced their Chatbots to stand out from competitors of the Industry as well as treat their customers quickly. Customers of these restaurants are greeted by the resident Chatbots and are offered the menu options- like a counter order, the Buyer chooses their pickup location, pays and gets told when they can head over to grab their food. Chatbots are not only good for the restaurant staff in reducing work and pain but can provide a better user experience for the customers.

Hospitality and Travel

Customer service has always been a crucial determinant of success for any business. Did you know that 91 percent of unsatisfied customers will not return for a repeat purchase or service? That’s not a stat you should take lightly.
Simply acknowledging your customers with an automated chatbot lets them know that their complaint or inquiry has been received, and this can go a long way towards gaining a customer’s goodwill. Even if it’s just a chatbot greeting the customers, clarifying their issues, and then giving an approximate time period of when they should expect a response.

Health

Chatbots like ‘HealthTap’, Amazon’s ‘Alexa’ are some of the examples of Chatbots evolving in the Health Industry. Chatbots are a much better fit for patient engagement than Standalone apps. Through these Health-Bots, users can ask health-related questions and receive immediate responses. These responses are either original or based on responses to similar questions in the database. The impersonal nature of a bot could act as a benefit in certain situations, where an actual Doctor is not needed.

E-Commerce

Mobile messengers- connected with Chatbots and the E-commerce business can open a new channel for selling the products online. E-commerce Shopping destination “Spring” was the early adopter, as it was one of Facebook’s launch partners. The E-commerce future is where brands have their own Chatbots which can interact with their customers through their apps, Facebook messenger, or any other messaging apps.

Fashion

Chatbots, AI, and Machine Learning pave a new domain of possibilities in the Fashion industry, from Data Analytics to Personal Chatbot Stylists. Fashion is such an industry where luxury goods can only be bought in a few physical boutiques and one to one customer service is essential. The Internet changed this dramatically, by giving the customers a seamless but very impersonal experience of shopping. 

How Chatbots Work

There are two types of chatbots, one functions based on a set of rules, and the other more advanced version uses machine learning.
What does this mean?

Chatbot that functions based on rules:
  • This bot is very very limited. It can only respond to very specific commands. If you say the wrong thing, it doesn’t know what you mean.
  • This bot is only as smart as it is programmed to be.
Chatbot that functions using machine learning:
  • This bot has an artificial brain AKA artificial intelligence. You don’t have to be ridiculously specific when you are talking to it. It understands language, not just commands.
  • This bot continuously gets smarter as it learns from conversations it

Can I build a Chatbot not only for buying shoes?

Sure, look who already uses Chatbots for Messenger Marketing:

  • MTV – American cable and satellite television channel.
  • Adidas – The largest sportswear manufacturer in Europe, and the second biggest in the world.
  • BuzzFeed – Social news and entertainment company with a focus on digital media and digital technology.
  • Volkswagen – One of the world’s leading manufacturers of automobiles and commercial vehicles and the largest carmaker in Europe.

With chatbots, the possibilities are endless.

It looks cool, it’s using some super-advanced technology, but can my business benefit from chatbots?
How can you use bots in marketing:

Media

Whether you’re a big publisher or a small agency, chatbots can make your audience’s experience-rich and frictionless.

Services

Enable customers to quickly and easily check dining choices, or chat directly to make a reservation.

Business

Share info about your company and its services, set up an FAQ, and even let users chat live with the manager.

Event assistant

Set up notifications for upcoming events, hot deals, parking info, and more.

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