Companies of all shapes and sizes must aggressively pursue opportunities that are unique to their sector, yet one of the universal opportunities centers on online engagement.
Whether you work for a small startup or a large corporation, you and your team must continuously think of ways that you can better connect with your audience.
One cost-effective and effective way to do so is through the use of chatbots. A chatbot is a piece of artificial intelligence software that simulates a conversation with a human being.
To do this, it uses natural language processing and communicates through websites, messaging applications, mobile apps, or even through the phone.
Ultimately, chatbots can play a large role in your online engagement strategy. In fact, this online engagement can be so effective that it can drive further sales for your company.
You may be asking yourself, however: “How does chatbot technology actually do this?” We will explore why chatbot technology is so powerful in increasing your online engagement and increasing your revenues.
Why chatbot technology is so effective
Chatbot technology offers round-the-clock availability and real-time responses. Because chatbots leverage artificial intelligence, customers can get substantive answers to questions at their own convenience.
As long as they have a stable Internet connection, your business can automatically answer questions and solve issues that your users are encountering.
This is extremely powerful, as you don’t need to have a dedicated customer service representative online at all hours.
Chatbots have much higher open rates than emails which increases the chances of a user making a purchase on your website or app.
When interacting with potential customers, chatbots offer real-time responses to user queries. They can even provide updates on shipping and tracking if the user has already made a purchase.
This type of interaction not only makes users happier, but it helps prevent them from leaving your site to visit competitors.
Chatbots have higher engagement because they can establish personalized customer interactions. Several years ago, this type of interaction simply wasn’t possible.
The technology – particularly in the field of artificial intelligence – wasn’t as advanced or widespread.
Now, artificial intelligence that powers chatbot technology can compile data, analyze it, and then make decisions off of that data – all at a quick speed.
This process allows chatbots to offer credible opinions and advice based on customer history and preferences.
Let’s analyze this example.
If a customer starts communicating with your chatbot about a problem they are having with your product or service, the chatbot can look at similar interactions and come up with a solution that will serve the user’s needs.
Chatbots can even lead interested customers to relevant purchase pages where you can close the sale.
Ultimately, the technology underlying chatbots can help drive higher user engagement no matter the problem or question that they have.
Chatbots can also drive sales without being frivolous. Well-designed chatbots can drive sales in a number of ways. They don’t push or expect a certain reaction from the user.
Instead, well-designed chatbots provide help when the user needs it. From there, it simply presents potential options to those users without overwhelming them.
Let’s say that a user is ready to purchase a product or service on your website.
That user has been stuck on the purchase page for some time and isn’t proceeding with the purchase. A chatbot can then appear, asking the user if they have any questions about the product.
It can also present other targeted options if the user is looking for a different way to solve their problem.
Essentially, chatbots are great at identifying specific interests and targeting those interests. By doing this, they can drive further sales on your website or app.
With chatbots, you can lead customers through all three stages of the buying process. The three steps are awareness, evaluation, and purchase.
As for awareness, chatbots can help your business attract new customers through email campaigns, bot marketing, and homepage engagements. They help prospects understand what your company is about and how it can help them.
For evaluation, chatbots can ensure that everything is running smoothly on your website or app. They can address user questions and ensure that users are satisfied with your customer service.
And as for purchases, chatbots can interact with your soon-to-be customers when (and after) they click to buy. Chatbots make suggestions on abandoned cart items, can offer coupons to nudge users to buy, and can even suggest similar items and provide shipping details.
Ultimately, chatbots can be an integral part of cultivating customer relationships throughout the entire buying process.
Best practices for implementing chatbots
With these benefits in mind, using chatbots in your business can be a true game-changer. But how can you best incorporate them into your operations?
There are several things to keep in mind.
Think of specific applications where chatbots could provide real value. It is better to provide significant value on a certain number of things compared to minimal value on a wide swath of things.
Think about common problems your customers face. Think about how chatbots can help you better engage with your customers and leads. Pick the most compelling opportunities and proceed from there.
Don’t hesitate to involve your sales team with chatbot technology. There’s nothing wrong with having your sales team take control over chat conversations and manage them if you feel like the bots are no longer helping the customer.
Your north star is providing significant customer value. If you feel like the bots aren’t cutting it, don’t hesitate to take over.
Make it easy for your customers to leave. It can be extremely frustrating if a user doesn’t want to engage with your chatbot, and can’t figure out how to close it.
Make this easy, and you’ll have happier, more satisfied customers.
Chatbot technology unlocks many exciting opportunities for you to take advantage of.