Zaheer Dodhia is a serial entrepreneur who has a passion for graphic design and biz investments.
Recent studies show that the global chatbot market is projected to reach $1.23 billion by 2025. The fast growth, according to expert reports, is fueled by the ever-increasing number of consumers excited to engage chatbots in sales conversations.
Chatbots are capable of conducting conversations like humans. Whether you’re looking to engage consumers via text or voice, the bots will come in and handle some parts of the conversation just like a human sales representative would.
With this in mind, every SMB needs to consider chatbots for customer engagement and improving brand experience in general. A type of experiential marketing aimed at “manipulating” the feelings of a customer towards a particular company, brand experience comes with many benefits including increased brand loyalty and creation of new growth opportunities. Essentially a company tries to create a general atmosphere of goodwill, trust, and dependability. This, in turn, helps to draw customers towards the brand.
Intelligent chatbots can help you create a strong brand for long-term success. The following are a few ways innovative businesses are using chatbots to improve brand experience.
Use it for seamless live chat
Most digital consumers now want to ask a few questions and even compare products before making a decision. Chatbots are an excellent way to answer your customers’ questions as they seek useful information about both your brand and products.
Many chatbots use natural language processing algorithms. They can analyze customer questions and deliver an appropriate response. Also, chatbots can be integrated into the company’s website or mobile application. This way, customers don’t need to search online for the company’s resources. They can also contact your brand at any time. Even in the middle of the night when you’re asleep, concerned customers can call and get answers.
Facebook’s chatbot stats represent just how meaningful these live chat interactions can be. In April 2019, Facebook revealed that eight million messages had been exchanged between Facebook users and small businesses using the platform’s chatbot feature. What’s surprising, though, is that less than 1% of SMBs on Facebook use the chatbot feature. As you implement engagement strategies including SEO and brand design, don’t forget that chatting via bots too can have a valuable impact on customer experience.
Use it to provide 24/7 customer support
Exemplary customer support has become the hallmark of successful SMBs today. When customers know that they can always count on you to help whenever they have trouble with either your brand or a product, they’re more encouraged to buy from your business.
You can leverage chatbot technology to provide full-package customer support. Your customers will, for example, be sending you lots of text messages and calling your business line 24/7. Chatbots might not be able to handle all types of calls yet, but they can be incredibly useful in answering specific calls. They can also reply to certain messages, allowing you to prioritize more critical parts of the conversations.
A good example is when a customer calls because they’re having trouble installing an appliance they bought from one of your stores. An intelligent chatbot can help the caller through the installation steps without your intervention. However, if it becomes apparent that the chatbot can’t answer all the questions, it would ask the caller to hold while the call is routed to the next available human customer representative. Chatbots can also send automated emails and text messages.
Use chatbots to create a strong first impression
Not many SMBs are using chatbots for this purpose yet, but it remains another opportunity worth exploring. There is always a chance that the consumer knocking on your door is visiting your business for the first time. They might have never heard about your brand. With good use of chatbots, you can make that customer’s first-time experience fun and unforgettable.
Disney used this strategy to terrific effect when they were promoting the movie Zootopia. To grab attention, they used Officer Judy Hopps on Facebook. People curious about Zootopia would ask the officer (a heroic rabbit) questions and work alongside her to solve cases. Believe it or not, the trick worked! Within weeks, millions of fans had engaged the rabbit, with tens of millions of messages exchanged. What’s even more surprising is how much people enjoyed speaking to Officer Hopps. Users averaged a whopping ten minutes with the bot!
SMBs can use the same approach to reel in new customers. When launching a new product, for example, consider using a chatbot that users can engage with to learn about the product. If they have a question about the product, they should be able to ask the bot and get answers on the spot.
Use chatbots as sales assistants
Several tech-first businesses are also using chatbots to take orders and offer other sales-related services. In restaurants using chatbots, for instance, customers no longer have to call to reserve a table. They also don’t have to wait for staff to attend or tables to clear up. Bots can be programmed to handle most of these tasks – with zero downtime.
Take an example of a customer ordering a steak. Rather than call the restaurant and wait in a queue for the customer representative to pick their call, the customer can use the restaurant’s chatbot to make the order. After processing the order, an intelligent bot would even have sufficient information to offer suggestions on pairing that steak with red wine. Or, it can pull up different types of wines available at the restaurant. If this is an order for delivery, the bot may also be programmed to handle payment processing! It is an excellent arrangement with few, if any, hiccups.
Domino’s Pizza is one of the global food chains already using this strategy to process more sales without diluting customer experience. On Facebook, those who follow Domino’s Pizza only need to type Pizza in the restaurant’s chatbot feature, and the order is processed right away. Alternatively, you can use your Google Home assistant to place the order.
Leverage bots to conduct dynamic surveys
In the past, customer surveys consisted of a static series of questions. Chatbots allow businesses to marry the methodological consistency required of traditional surveys with the adapting consumer demands.
Today’s customers aren’t excited by long survey forms that take 30 minutes to complete. While they are open to answering questions from their brands, they want to answer just a few questions at any given time. The difference is that even if you feel like asking a new question every day, they’re all for it.
Why not take advantage of this valuable opportunity to collect the views of our esteemed customers? The best part is that there are already several chatbot companies specializing in chatbots for surveys! Among other things, these survey chatbot platforms allow you to develop bot-powered surveys and seamlessly deploy them to social media platforms such as Facebook. You can even segment your Facebook fans by their attributes and demographics. This way, you can distribute the surveys to the followers based on age, location, gender, and so forth.
Some of the surveys to consider here include ones where you ask respondents to rate a product or service. For example, after trying one of your dishes, a restaurant can use a chatbot to ask the consumer rate it out of ten. The feedback can then be used to improve services.
Gartner predicts that by the end of 2020, a whopping 85% of enterprise-customer relationships will be managed without human interactions. The survey also shows that 89% of consumers prefer to engage with businesses through text – rather than voice or in person. This points to a pending AI takeover in the area of customer engagement. Chatbots can help position your business strategically, so you’re not left behind when this takeover happens.
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