Like it or hate it, technology is being used to automate just about everything possible to make life easier.
Think about some of the everyday services we now rely on to make it through our ever-so-difficult lives.
You can take pictures of checks to deposit in your bank accounts, eliminating the need to go to the bank.
You can get a ride to just about anywhere in just a few clicks on your smartphone without ever talking to the driver nor pulling out any form of payment.
You can now buy a car and have it delivered to your house, totally bypassing the hassle of haggling with a dealership.
There are a countless number of additional examples we can insert here.
As consumers, we are constantly searching for the next best widget that is going to make life easier.
Easier = Better
The Marketing World is No Different.
Consumers want easier ways to communicate with companies.
They don't want to call and ask for help. They don't want to fill out a form and wait for someone to hopefully call them back.
They want answers to their questions now... and want to have control of the conversation.
Chatbots are the "easy" alternative that consumers are attracted to.
What is a Chatbot?
A chatbot is a programmed chat interface a website visitor can interact with.
They are programmed to closely mimic human behavior and interact with the website visitor in a conversational manner.
Chances are, you've used a live chat tool on a website. Chatbots are basically the same thing except the questions and responses are programmed rather than dependent on a human reading and responding to each message.
Chatbots help customers get from point A to point B as quickly and smoothly as possible without them feeling left behind or lost.
Think of a chatbot like little guides helping consumers find their way in and out of your website information. Chatbots are website assistants.
Let's further our knowledge a little more before we dive into why we need chatbots.
There Are Two Main Types of Chatbots:
- Simple Chatbots
- Advanced Chatbots
Simple chatbots respond to pre-written keywords or commands programmed by a developer. These bots are simple and limited when it comes to communication. For example, if a website visitor were to ask a bot a question, or type in words that didn’t hit any of those specific keywords or phrases the bot was programmed to recognize, the bot would fail to understand.
Unlike simple bots, advanced chatbots use AI (Artificial Intelligence) when communicating with online visitors. This allows them to understand basic language and communication and respond with multiple suggestions, without the need of pre-programmed keywords or phrases being entered.
An AI chatbot isn’t a human, but your online visitor will be able to have a natural back and forth conversation, making them feel as if they were chatting with a person in your office.
Why Use a Chatbot?
You may be filled with questions, wondering how a chatbot can help when it comes to improving your marketing strategies.
Are They Really Worth the Hype?
What if my company is small? Are they still useful?
What can chatbots really do when it comes to adding value or enhancing marketing strategies?
The answer is: Lots of things, actually.
1. Chatbots Simplify Things
Your website is a wealth of information, providing everything the customer could possibly want to know. However, even though the information is readily available at the customer’s disposal, today’s busy customer doesn’t want to go digging around for information or answers.
Rather than waste valuable and often limited time searching, what they really desire is a magic button they can press and abracadabra, all of their questions and problems are easily solved.
Chatbots keep things easy for everyone involved. It may not be able to pull a rabbit out of the hat, but it will sure feel like magic to your customer, without the need to keep any difficult tricks or gimmicks up your sleeve.
Chatbots are tailored to providing information consumers are looking for. It’s their primary job focus and they do it well.
Plus, you worked hard to make your website what it is today, so why not let chatbots take some of the load off?
2. Chatbots Talk the Talk
Bots may not be human, but that doesn’t mean that they aren’t au natural to some degree.
Chatbots don’t need a fancy filter or a screen full of make-up in order to engage and converse appropriately with customers.
They keep the conversation flowing the same way they conduct business: natural and organized. So natural in fact, that you may temporarily forget that you’re chatting with a bot, and think it’s your long lost bestie from summer camp.
Since bots aren’t human, they don’t have the emotional hang ups that humans deal with, allowing them to keep customers feeling cool, calm, and collected.
Even if the customer gets worked up a bit, a bot doesn’t mind.
This can diffuse some of the problems that arise from human error. For example, we’ve all spoken to a representative who appeared to be having a bad day, or maybe had an unpleasant or rude tone in their voice. Bots treat everyone equally with undivided attention and respect, giving your company the upper hand when it comes to providing superb customer service.
3. Chatbots Are Always There For Us
Unlike a narcissistic ex who drains your savings, leaving you high and dry never to be heard from again, a Chatbot will never abandon you or do you wrong. They were raised, err, programmed better than that.
Chatbots are always there when you need them, day or night. Have an urgent question you need answered at two in the morning? Chatbots will be there waiting and willing to assist, guaranteed.
Bots can be extremely helpful for smaller businesses with limited staff that simply don’t have the manpower to keep a live representative on call, 24/7.
While live chat is also great, it isn’t always possible and comes with limitations.
With a chatbot always on call and ready to help, you don’t need to hire around the clock support staff.
4. Chatbots Make Things Better
Chatbots are like a warm, fuzzy blanket on a cold winter’s day, or a strong cup of caffeinated coffee on a Monday morning.
Bots provide valuable customer service, support, comfort, and in some cases a dash of entertainment.
This in turns gives your online visitors and potential customers a more personalized and positive experience, making them feel valued and important.
Bots can answer questions promptly and effectively, especially those frequently asked ones. This is particularly helpful, considering many customers have the same inquiries when visiting your site. No more waiting around for answers or feeling ignored.
Bots won’t leave you hanging.
Bots can help navigate customers through your website, even assisting them during the checkout process.
Bots can act as a virtual assistant, making product suggestions and recommendations, which will increase sales and profits.
Finally, bots can help in ways that your customer maybe wasn’t even aware that they needed help with when they first arrived on your website.
People don’t know what they don’t know, meaning bots can help bring new information about products and services to light.
5. Chatbots Convert Visitors Into Customers
Chatbots make it quick and easy for consumers to find what they are looking for, turning visitors into time sensitive leads.
Gone are the days of waiting for the consumer to fill out and submit a contact form and wait for a response.
Chatbots respond with lightning fast speed, eliminating lost or misplaced leads.
Since lead quality degrades as time goes on, swift responses and actions are critical.
Bots can schedule meetings and appointments on the spot, route potential clients or customers to members of the sales team, or even turn visitors into paying customers by helping them to purchase products or services.
Better yet, bots can handle the qualification process for you as well. By collecting data from the prospect’s visit, bots can separate qualified leads from those who aren’t. This drastically reduces dead end leads and wasting valuable company time.
6. Chatbots Build Brand Trust
Chatbots can build credibility and trust in your brand.
AI chatbots are often the first interaction a potential customer has with your brand, making it the perfect opportunity to educate the potential buyer about your products and what your services can do for them. Bots really make a positive impression, leading to a powerful bond between the consumer and your brand.
It’s Time to Figure Out if Chatbots are Right for Your Business
Still need a little more convincing that chatbots are good for business?
Let’s Revisit Some of the Highlights and Benefits of Using a Chatbot on Your Website:
- Improve customer service.
- Available anytime.
- Capture the interest of a buyer while they’re on your site.
- Generate more leads.
- Eliminate the need for a live representative.
- Build trust and loyalty with your brand
- Keep visitors engaged and entertained.
- Personalize the customer experience.
With all that a chatbot has to offer, it won’t be long before you’re left wondering how your company ever managed to survive and function without one.
So, go ahead and use technology to your full advantage. This is one relationship you won’t regret.