This blog is the second in a series of three articles on conversational marketing written in collaboration with Rebrandly and SocialBee. In the series, you’ll learn the basics of conversational marketing, the importance of it, and how it can work with your social media strategy. To catch up on the first installment, The Website Chatbot: The Evolution of Conversational Marketing, click here.
Now we know that using chatbots is a possibility, but should we use them?
It seems that most businesses are fascinated by the idea of finding the best chatbots and artificial intelligence development. But, where and when are chatbots most efficient? Is it just on websites, on mobile, or in apps? Can chatbots be efficiently built into our Social Media platforms? And how do they help with our social media experience?
So many questions, yet maybe still not clear enough answers.
When should we use chatbots?
Well, if you are a business, and you want to improve your customer experience, the most obvious thing you should do is get in line with everyone else who is already successfully using chatbots and get yourself one of those fascinating chatbots. Or should you?
Maybe we should focus on discovering when it is beneficial to use chatbots, and when it’s better to leave the conversation to the emotional intelligence experts, humans.
Businesses that use human online chats along with chatbots will be able to streamline customer queries faster and more efficiency. After all, chatbots are the fastest and easiest way to fix a problem.
And, while there’s a lot of excitement around using chatbots, there are some concerns as well. Let’s dive into consumers perception of both the positives and negatives of interacting with one.
What do consumers want in a chatbot?
Here’s what consumers might be worried about when it comes to chatbots:To define if a chatbot would be beneficial to your business, first consider consumers overall views on chatbots, and how they expect to use and benefit from them.
Although many businesses and consumers are excited and about chatbots, there is still some hesitancy around the topic. However, not everyone shares the same opinion or excitement.
Do consumers really want chatbots for customer care services?
People prefer communicating through messages because it’s faster, frictionless, and it gives them the feeling of actually having a conversation. As a result, there’s no wonder that 90% of consumers opt for using messaging to communicate with companies.
According to an Aspect Software Research study, 44% of US respondents would favor using a chatbot, however only if the company could provide them with a positive user experience.
88% of respondents to the survey were interested in having a chatbot conversation as long as it eventually leads to a human one. So, this result could contradict the hype regarding the desire to replace human customer service representatives with machines. Instead, the best chatbots should provide a hybrid approach to customer service which eventually leads to human conversation.
Chatbots are actually the easiest way to solve a problem when it comes to consumer expectations. The fact is, consumers expect to get an immediate response and chatbots can offer it, with no delays.
In fact, over at Intercom, they’ve been experimenting and deliberately designed a bot that didn’t start conversations. Instead, the bot waited for when people had a question and there were no humans around to answer. Testing this bot out, Intercom found that people knew it was automated and didn’t expect it to do the same job as a human would. However, bots are becoming better and better at imitating humans. They’ve come a long way, and today’s chatbots can be warm, personable and human-sounding. They’re using natural language processing to parse text from users and determine how to respond.
In fact, some of the best chatbot marketing campaigns to date haven’t been about customer support or answering questions, they often provide entertainment and service in themselves.
In time, most websites will have chatbots. And, customers will simply learn to engage with businesses via social networks or an artificially intelligent system with a voice or vision interface.
This shift is already seen clearly with the use of Amazon Alexa, Google Home and Facebook Messenger for search queries.
Here are some interesting statistics about chatbots – according to Ideal:
- 37% of people expected to get quick answers to questions in an emergency
- 35% expected to get detailed answers or explanations
- 34% of respondents used a chatbot as a means for getting connected with a human
Ideal also found some benefits that chatbots can bring to business:
- 64% of respondents believe that the top benefit is the ability to get 24-hour service
- 55% believed that the top benefit is getting instant responses to inquiries
- 55% believe the strongest benefit of chatbots is getting the answer to simple questions
While there are some who are still reluctant about adopting chatbots, the majority of consumers are ready to learn more.
Therefore brands should try to identify segments where this technology can solve issues for consumers faster than a human, and then start implementing chatbots as a way to improve the customer experience.
What motivates people to use chatbots
According to a study, there are two main reasons that people choose to interact with chatbots:
- Curiosity – We’re always fascinated to try something new, and it can be an interesting experience to explore the abilities of a chatbot.
- Productivity – Chatbots offer access to information in a fast and efficient way
Here’s how Christina Milian describes the future of conversation with brands when it comes to chatbots: “I think chatbots are the future of engagement between a fan and a brand or celebrity.”
Well, the short answer to a long question is, we’ll see…however, focusing on improving customer service through the use of chatbots, certainly isn’t a bad place to start.
If you were wondering what consumers are interested to use chatbots for if they were available, here it is:
Chatbots, although just starting to be adopted by businesses and adapted to by consumers – have a strong potential to lend a hand in multiple areas of your business.
Additionally, if combined with social media, proper branding, email marketing, and lead generation web pages, a chatbot can be of great help in sending out your content and getting the highest conversion rates you have ever expected.
I mean it can be so simple that people can actually add the products they are interested in a shopping list or cart on the go. Completing a checkout in the car has suddenly become doable.
How to implement conversational marketing
When deciding to implement conversational marketing make sure you are playing it smart. What do I mean? Well, just like any other marketing strategy, when implementing this marketing tactic you need to think things through. Otherwise, it can lead to more harm than benefit. And that’s clearly not what you want.
A common mistake marketers do is setting chatbots to instantly pop-up on their websites asking “How may I help?” The mistake here is simple: how could a new visitor on your website know what to ask for before getting the chance to spend enough time to explore your website? The answer is obvious, yet many of us may not even have considered this fact.
So, here are some easy steps to consider when implementing conversational marketing:
- Allow your visitors to spend enough time exploring your content on your website or social media page before engaging with them through chatbots. So, the best thing you could do is to be aware of the trigger to set-off your chatbots and engage in a conversation with a user.
- Pay close attention to what customers want and need – don’t make any assumptions. Customers may want something different from what initial market research may have indicated.
- Try to stay away from specific sales conversations such as: “How may I help you?”. Instead, you could go with: “Hi, how are you today?” or “What obstacles are you facing?” The point is to personalize the conversation, make it unique and so become more efficient in your engagement and one-on-one conversation with your customer.
- To make things even better, ask your customers for feedback when and where possible. You’ll find that your visitors like it when their opinion is taken into consideration regarding how they would prefer to continue their engagement/conversation with your company.
A great example would be eBay. They have built an advanced bot that allows users to connect with Google Home or Google Assistant and explore as well as purchase products on eBay. The cool thing is that the bot will even search for the best deals and then forwards these deals to your mobile device for easy access. How amazing is that?
So, when implementing conversational marketing into your marketing strategy consider the fact that verbal conversation is possibly the most advanced and productive way to implement conversational marketing. Why? Because it is closest to the human conversation experience – it feels more real.
The bottom line is personalized conversations with users can effectively improve and advance the customer experience for any business… big and small. If you are still wondering whether you should go full speed ahead with conversational marketing in 2019, according to experts you really should. Having the possibility to personalize and making each interaction with your users unique is absolutely amazing and beneficial to your company.
And, it seems that even customers prefer conversational interactions with their favorite brand – at least that’s what Accenture’s Personalization Pulse Report shows. As it turns out, brands must move from communication to conversation in order to get a personalized interaction with each user.
So, regardless of whether you are a small business or a large one, revolutionizing your customers’ brand experience through conversational marketing (backed by efficient content marketing) may actually be a must.
Have you already added chatbots to your marketing strategy? How did your customers react? How about your business?
Tune in next Tuesday, March 5th, to check out the next installment in our series on the Evolution of Conversational Marketing with SocialBee, Chatbots for Business.
Catch up on last weeks article, The Website Chatbot: The Evolution of Conversational Marketing, here.
- The Website Chatbot: The Evolution of Conversational Marketing
- 10 ways to optimize your SMS marketing campaigns
- How to Improve Customer Experiences with Trigger-Based Messages
- Google URL shortener: What you need to do before it shuts down
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- Chatbot examples
- Best chatbot
- Messenger chatbot
- Benefits of using a chatbot for business
- Chatbot for business