A report on eMarketer reveals an interesting insight: In 2015, 1.4 billion people interacted with a chatbot. Unlike popular belief, chatbot communication is not a new concept. In the 1960s, ELIZA was created, which was an early chatbot designed to psychoanalyse people. Surprised?
A chatbot is essentially a computer program created to mimic intelligent human conversation. Sephora, Weather Channel, Kik, Uber, and H&M are some brands using chatbots to improve customer experience. If you’re a business, you cannot afford to ignore chatbot marketing.
Massive investment is not necessary to establish a chatbot-based marketing ecosystem. Begin experimenting with Facebook bots. Relentless and aggressive, Facebook is extensively expanding its Messenger platform usability by allowing businesses to automate their customer engagement pipelines.
Brand like Fynd’s Fify, Burger King, Spring, and Wall Street Journal use the Messenger Bots to connect with their audiences. WSJ shares breaking news, Fify share ecommerce deals and customer support and Spring helps buyers to make the correct choice. With more than a billion users, Facebook is increasingly turning into an automated business system. Hubspot has a detailed 101 guide on setting up Facebook bots.
If you were to create a chatbot, what would be the crucial aspects to focus on?
#1 Experiment with chatbots marketing
Experiment with the bot ecosystem before launching. With a chatbot, you’re essentially creating
possible scenarios of interaction with the customer. Remember that bots are intelligent: they learn and improvise based on previous interactions. Therefore, create the communication scenarios as intelligently as possible. Ask team members to interact with the bot, analyse the feedback, and improvise before the launch.
#2 Choose a Professional Solution
Don’t spend money, yet, to create an in-house chatbot solution. There are companies offering chatbot infrastructure for a monthly fee. Choose a professional online solution that you can customise. Explore all the possible scenarios and onboard the system into a high-end DIY platform. It should be responsive on all accessible devices.
#3 Payments Simplified
You can collect payments through chatbots in the Facebook Messenger system. Depending on your product line, establish a cutting-edge payment collection system with chatbots. There is Snapcash, introduced by Snapchat in 2015, which creates a virtual wallet for the users to store credit card details and send payments, for personal and commercial use.
#4 Customer Engagements
The chatbot can be your point-of-contact with customers. Typically, a couple of hours are spent every day to answer emails and phone calls. Onboard a chatbot system with all the common FAQ, and let it become the first point-of-contact with the customers. You can save countless hours while keeping your customers satisfied.
#5 Buying Decisions
Ultimately, you want potential customers to buy your products, right? As an entrepreneur with a zillion things to do, you can’t afford to give undivided professional attention of potential buyers even if you wanted and chatbot presents a dynamic solution. It can recommend products to buyers based on customer preferences. An example here is the chatbot system deployed by H&M clothing retailer. Their chatbot quizzes buyers about their preferred style and recommends outfits based on their answers. Isn’t that amazing?
#6 Generate Sales
Chatbots simplify the sales and marketing process. Take the instance of TacoBot, a system deployed by the Taco Bell food chain to enable consumers to place food order through a quick message via the Slack communication app. Similarly, you can setup a resource section on your business website where visitors can interact with the business through a hands-on chatbot messenger and even place purchase orders.
#7 Understanding Customer Intent
Personalisation generates sales. The popular consumer perception is that “nine out of ten consumers say personalisation has an impact on their buying decisions.” Therefore, if chatbots can boost your marketing efforts, what’s the harm? For example, if the chatbot calls consumers by their first name, it lends a more “human” experience and better engagement. As they collect information about consumers, it’s easier to understand the target market and deliver products or advertisements accordingly.
#8 Leads Qualification
Not all leads convert into sales and as such, hours are spent on understanding and pitching products potential buyers may not need. You can improve the lead qualification or filtering process with a chatbot. Train the chatbot to ask appropriate questions and only when the answers match certain criteria will the bot mark it as a qualified lead, and forward the query to the Sales / Support team to follow up.
#9 Ecommerce Central
You can create a shopping bot to embed on your e-commerce store and Facebook. Using the Messenger chat, people can discover products and purchase. The chatbot becomes a shopping guide, interacting with the buyer real-time about various available products and assisting with online purchases.
#10 In-house Communications
A chatbot can propel your team to enhance productivity. It could be the core of in-house communication. It can schedule meetings by scheduling calendars, act as a virtual HR agent, collect resumes, book projects, send sales pitch and more.
If you want to learn more about chatbots potential, read the 50 Chatbots Use Cases for Brands by Exponea – the first Facebook Messenger chatbot based full-fledged marketing automation platform.
If you are interested in Chatbots marketing, why not sign up to our programme and get some digital marketing experience. Check it out, you won’t be disappointed!