Chatbots as a Valuable Addition to Your Marketing Strategy
Chatbots have been seen as a fad by some marketers, or as little more than a tool for supporting customer service. However, the idea of adding this technology to your marketing efforts should be considered as an opportunity to gain real business value. There are a number of ways that chatbots can accomplish this, entirely separate from customer service. Here are some of the ways that this technology, still largely in its infancy, can benefit your organization.
Make Your Brand More Exciting
With the help of modern programming techniques like AI, chatbots can be far more than canned responses. They can actually be fun to interact with. It all depends on how entertaining your marketing concept is and the capabilities of your chatbot platform.
For instance, your chatbot may be able to take on the personality of your spokesperson and hold charming conversations or just greet every customer as a professional nonetheless oozing sympathy and concern. And unlike human agents, it will do so unfailingly to your exact requirements even when there are hundreds of simultaneous contacts.
While amusing characters may not be the right fit for every brand and every occasion, with a little imagination they can breathe new life into your marketing in an almost unlimited variety of ways. Your unique, customized chatbot, or an array of them, could guide callers through games, information gathering, brand storytelling, surveys, and many other marketing functions.
Customers also love to test chatbots. They may even be delighted with a bit of cheeky humor or a colorful remark.
Expand Customer Outreach
Often, marketing emails are ignored or labeled as spam, and sometimes correctly. Misleading subject lines or the same old promotional phrases can almost guarantee that your emails get deleted without being read and your efforts are wasted.
But chatbots make a deeper connection with audiences since by nature they include a level of interaction. Click-to-chat and similar links offer consumers the opportunity to engage with anonymous but friendly digital assistants. They become a personalized tool always available online that audiences will find more helpful and intriguing than any one-dimensional sales pitch.
Chatbots can make shopping a much more rewarding experience. For instance, a chatbot on a shoe retailer’s profile will utilize a customer database to greet people by name and recommend the brands and styles they like in their own size, without having to perform searches or sift through pages of irrelevant products. By improving the shopping experience, this technology is poised to improve sales numbers.
Keep Your Team Organized
An effective marketing strategy usually requires multiple channels, such as SEO, social media, blogging, and paid advertisements in the right places. But, unless you’re operating solo and trying to do it all alone, one of the most important elements to success is how well your team works together. Their performance is directly related to how well they are able to communicate and manage responsibilities.
There’s always some friction among team members who have human egos, doubts, and different reactions to pressure. They will accomplish much more when their efforts are coordinated and focused.
Bots have been developed not for communication with customers, but for tracking progress and relaying it between team members. This is especially effective with remote teams. Workers can simply connect and get their questions answered in a chatbot platform that’s generally much more efficient than verbal conversation, yet easier than sifting through files for updates.
Support for Sensitive Issues
In some industries such as healthcare, chatbots are extending their outreach and bringing in more clients. Many people undergoing therapy or other sensitive medical treatments find it more comfortable to converse with inhuman robots than with humans. It’s also much more convenient for the patient to simply log into a web portal to interact with a chatbot than to wait for what could be weeks to speak to a busy professional counselor.
It’s true that a chatbot cannot and should not replace an experienced therapist or medical professional. However, they can encourage patients to open up and speak freely on minor or peripheral issues, while also performing functions like answering questions on billing, prescriptions, or scheduling appointments with human professionals. In the increasingly overburdened healthcare industry, chatbots provide a safe and confidential platform where patients can communicate at a more meaningful level than scouring some static, impersonal knowledge base.
Bots can also take a lot of work off your hands by qualifying leads. Developing each new lead can be a time-consuming process that doesn’t always pay off in the end. Managing multiple leads through the sales process can be complicated and frustrating.
Bot solutions can be programmed to ask the questions necessary to identify where each prospect is in the sales journey. They can also give responses designed to help move your customers forward in the sales funnel. Implemented properly, a chatbot can qualify each customer and pass them off to a human agent to make the deal.
Many of these prospects will never even realize they were chatting with a robot.
In summary, chatbot technology continues to undergo advances that can add considerable value to your marketing and branding. They allow you to demonstrate your expertise while affordably building out your services for greater customer satisfaction.
Jasmine Williams covers the good and the bad of today’s business and marketing. When she’s not being all serious and busy, she’s usually hunched over a book or dancing in the kitchen, trying hard to maintain rhythm, and delivering some fine cooking (her family says so). Tweet her @JazzyWilliams88.