When people hear the term “chatbot,” they typically think of an automated text-based response program—and while they’re not wrong, this is a big underestimation of bots’ capabilities. As more and more businesses are deploying chatbots, they’re beginning to see them for what they really can be, which is a powerful marketing tool.
The ways in which bots are being used by businesses today make up only a small section of the potential of these communication services. When used correctly, bots can offer brands exciting marketing benefits, like providing current information directly to users, spreading brand awareness, and collecting data on customers’ trends and issues.
If your business hasn’t yet implemented a chatbot to help your brand, now is the time to do it. Here are five ways in which bots can give a brand an edge in today’s market.
1. Converting users to customers
As the demand and popularity of chatbots increases so do their intelligence and capabilities. Today’s bots enable a brand to augment engagement on their social media pages in order to attract more users. For example, in 2016, Facebook opened its messaging platform to third-party bots; offering a branded bot on Facebook Messenger, which sees a monthly user base of more than 900 million people, creates a huge opportunity to draw users to your brand. We can expect to see the capability of bots to convert visitors to customers to make leaps and bounds in the near future.
A striking example of converting users to customers is a new feature developed by the SnatchBot team called the broadcast message function, which allows a bot to send marketing notifications to all users. Each time a user chats with your page via any channel—for example, Skype—they become a subscriber. With a broadcast message, you can essentially message thousands of subscribers at once to notify them of content updates, news, or anything else pertinent to your business.
2. Endlessly available
This may seem like an obvious point, but bots don’t sleep. They don’t require breaks and they don’t punch out. A chatbot provides service to customers twenty-four hours a day, regardless of circumstances. Moreover, they are quick and efficient; when a customer messages your branded chatbot, they, in turn, receive an informed, fast response.
That sort of anytime availability can greatly boost a brand’s reputation.
3. Automated customer service
As consumers, we’ve grown weary of the term “automated customer service,” because in the past this has meant being met with an outdated phone system—the age-old “press 1 for billing, press 2 for tech support,” etc. In this digital, instant-gratification age, a pre-recorded phone message is desperately outmoded.
Chatbots have already made huge strides in automated customer service. Studies have shown that up to eighty percent of any industry’s customer queries tend to be repetitive—which means that even a simple bot could handle up to eight out of ten customer service communications, and direct more complex issues to a live representative.
Using SnatchBot enables you to choose whether you want your process to be fully automated, or to add a human input at any point. Not only does this increased efficiency, but it also streamlines the customer service hierarchy, lessening the need for escalation, long hold times, and erroneous transfers.
4. Record and log communications
Many companies record and log conversations with customers—the all-too-familiar phrase “this call may be recorded for quality assurance”—and those communications are often later used to identify customer pain points and increase efficiency. However, someone has to create those call logs, review the information, and note key points.
Chatbots can automatically log communications between a company and consumer, which enables a customer service representative to quickly review information and address customers’ concerns in a more direct way. Furthermore, the data collected by bots can be used to create personalised communications, improving customer relations and the overall service experience.
5. Increase user engagement
Simply put, chatbots are interactive. Any potential customer could search a website or social media page for information, but a bot allows the brand to communicate with not only their customer base but users that may become customers as well. Chatbots have been proven to inherently increase engagement by giving a user the impression of being personally serviced, which is something that even the best videos and websites simply cannot do.
At a glance, a chatbot may not seem like the best fit for your brand’s needs, but the functionality of bots is ever increasing as more companies deploy them to help with their service needs. Even if it doesn’t seem like it is right for you and your brand, odds are good that competitors will be implementing a bot in the near future.