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When used right, chatbots can be an effective way to improve your marketing strategy.
Although some marketers still view chatbot marketing as “uncharted territory”, a lot of businesses are getting on board and using bots as a way to strengthen their marketing efforts.
One of the reasons chatbots are becoming so popular is that there is a growing need for conversational commerce.
While some marketers may consider bots to be too impersonal or "cold", industry research shows that sometimes customers prefer to communicate with a chatbot as they offer timely answers and solutions.
If you're ready to start experiencing improved results, then read on to discover how to use chatbots as part of an integrated marketing campaign.
Choose the Right Chatbot for Your Needs
When planning to use chatbots as part of your marketing strategy, your first step is to determine your goals.
For instance, do you need:
The type of bot to choose should be aligned with the objectives you want to achieve.
For instance, if all you need is to answer some of the most frequently asked questions, a simple chatbot will do the trick.
A bot like that is easy to design and implement.
It will recognize keywords and phrases in the customers’ questions and then provide appropriate answers from a pre-programmed list.
An example of such a bot is the one used by the Marriott Hotel.
It's relatively unsophisticated, and answers FAQs pertaining to basic information such as payment options, hotel check-in policies, etc.
When using a bot like this one, make sure you use natural language for the answers, such as,
"How can I help you today?", Or
"Is there anything else you'd like to know?"
If you require more complex engagement, you can use environmental scanning to determine if you should use an AI chatbot that is more highly sophisticated.
That type of bot is able to learn from dialogues so it can engage customers at a more advanced level.
AI chatbots are particularly effective because they can be used at every stage of your marketing campaign.
For instance, you can use them to evaluate leads so that only qualified leads with genuine potential to become customers are sent to your sales reps.
In fact, you can even use the chatbot for the initial sales approach, giving you the opportunity to analyze customer responses.
Bottom line: Your chatbot should be aligned with your specific needs.
Use Chatbots to Answer Customer Queries 24/7
This is the easiest and most effective way to use chatbots as part of an integrated marketing campaign.
As explained in the Marriott Hotel example above, your chatbot can provide answers to some of the most commonly asked questions.
The best part is, it's always available - whether your sales team is at work or not.
So, rather than hiring extra staff to handle after-hours inquiries, you can simply integrate a chatbot into your business website using a built-in messenger tool.
This will give customers a convenient way to make direct inquiries without the need to call or email you. This way, your chatbot can support real-life sales staff.
And, as previously stated, the majority of customers prefer this type of back-and-forth interaction as opposed to a traditional FAQ page on the website.
Mall of the Emirates is an example of a website that uses a chatbot to answer customer queries round-the-clock.
The problem with Mall of the Emirates was that they had an increasingly high volume of incoming customer queries. Engati stepped in to assist them and not only did they create an 87% reduction in response time, but 53% of the total questions were answered by the bot itself.
Not only does this increase customer happiness, but it saves them money in customer service costs.
This is a great chatbot marketing example because it meets all the criteria of what an effective bot should do. It makes the customer happy, increases retention, and saves the business money.
In order to really improve customer experience, it may be best to combine chatbots with live chat when the situation calls for it.
Instacart is a great example of a company that does both well.
With Instacart, you can ask a question on Facebook and their chatbot will explain how to reach their customer support to get the help you need. While that’s great, in the midst of an employee doing a shopping trip for you, that may not make sense.
That said, Instacart takes it a step further and allows Instacart shoppers the ability to have a live chat connection with customers while they’re picking the groceries for their order.
Use Chatbots to Provide an Enjoyable Customer Experience
It's obvious that chatbots can deliver helpful information to customers.
But, did you know that they can also be used to make communication with your brand more fun?
Whole Foods is an example of a brand that uses its chatbots to create a more enjoyable experience for its customers.
Users can search for recipes using simple emojis on their Facebook Messenger chatbot. This makes for more fun and interactive marketing. And, it leaves a lasting impression on users.
Another example is Universal Studios, a company that primarily sells experiences.
Their bot provides customers with information on booking reservations, buying tickets, and even practical information while at the park.
This bot can even give guests information on ride wait times - in real-time!
As you can see, the information provided by the bot makes it a lot easier for park guests to adjust their plans of attack accordingly when selecting what to ride next.
This type of real-time information on demand is what makes chatbots like these so valuable in marketing.
Use Chatbots to Auto Qualify and Generate Leads
Qualifying leads is a crucial part of any business's lead generation process.
This is typically done by sales reps, but more and more businesses are deploying chatbots or using other tools to automate the process of qualifying leads in order to scale their efforts.
The chatbot asks relevant questions to prequalify visitors and customers.
This is a more engaging way for customers to submit contact information, as opposed to the traditional contact forms.
You can use chatbots to enhance the lead generation process in your own business.
The right bot will help you:
And the best part? All of this happens in real-time which means that customers don't have to wait for days.
Use Chatbots for Personalized Recommendations
Personalization has a huge impact on the overall user experience.
This is especially true in chatbot conversations where your business can have two-way conversations with customers at scale.
This gives you the opportunity to gather the information you need to design personalized experiences for your users.
For example, when a visitor has a customer care query, it can be answered by the chatbot quickly and accurately.
However, the bot can take the conversation even further by offering the visitor personalized shopping advice, sending them an invite to a webinar, or discounts based on their past purchasing behavior and preferences.
An example of a brand that does this well is GoPro.
Go Pro is known for its stunning visual content on social media.
Their chatbot certainly does well in maintaining the brand’s reputation by providing engaging conversations to customers.
The bot asks questions to help customers find the perfect camera based on their individual needs.
The brand even goes the extra mile by adding social video and GIFs throughout the responses.
This combination of imagery and personalization helps to maintain visitor engagement and also serves as social proof to help further their marketing objectives.
Using chatbots in this way makes users feel valued and understood.
It also helps to incentivize customers to buy your products or services by offering discounts during the interaction with the bot.
To wrap up, chatbots are here to stay. Conversational eCommerce demands it.
The businesses that have adopted them as part of their marketing campaigns are the ones that are experiencing the many benefits of conversational marketing, such as:
If you are ready, follow the advice in this article to join the masses of businesses that are successfully using chatbots as part of their integrated marketing campaigns.