A chatbot is an artificial intelligence (AI) program that can stimulate a chat with a user through messaging applications, websites, mobile applications, or by phone – all in natural language.
Use chatbots to transform your digital marketing strategy
Chatbots are integral to your digital transformation and inbound marketing strategy because they streamline and automate interactions and tasks between people and services, greatly improving customer experience. Chatbots enable your customers to feel that they are at the forefront of your business, which will fuel your sales funnel and keep them coming back.
Kinds of Chatbots
Customer Service chatbots: In almost any industry, you can see chatbots at work helping customers easily navigate through a company’s website, answering questions, and directing them to relevant information about products and services.
eCommerce chatbots: Retailers and telecommunication companies employ chatbots as an additional communication portal with their customers. The chatbot is designed to lead the customer down a linear path from website entry to purchase.
Virtual Assistant chatbots: Personal voice-activated assistants like Siri, Alexa, and Cortana have risen in popularity due to their accessibility and ease of use. People use them to get information quickly, interact with smart home features, and schedule appointments or set reminders.
How they work
There are two different tasks at the core of a chatbot’s configuration: user request analysis and returning the response.
User request analysis is the first step in understanding a user’s query by analysing the user’s request to identify the user intent and to extract relevant entities. This step is the most important part of the interaction because the chatbot needs to understand the nature of the request in order to provide the most suitable answer for the user.
Returning the response occurs once the user’s request has been identified, wherein the chatbot will provide a relevant solution/response.
Chatbots not only enhance customer service and the customer experience, but they also allow organisations to spend less on their customer service department, amplifying operational efficiency through cost reduction. In this sense, less company expenditure equates to more automation, and more automation equates to more happy customers, which will subsequently increase ROI.
Chatbots also help establish trust between companies and their customers by demonstrating a commitment to customer service. Chatbots are available around the clock and can be the differentiating factor between attaining a new lead or losing them to competitors. In addition, they simplify online shopping and payment processes while providing information and solving customer-related problems. Chatbots can also perform searches, provide similar products for consideration or even process payments from the chat itself.
WhatsApp as Instant messaging ChatBot
WhatsApp Bots are a great marketing tool if your buyer persona operates primarily over WhatsApp. These bots are easily able to integrate into the customer’s everyday life because they contact and chat with the customer over their most-used platform.
Messenger Marketing is a fast, direct, and personal form of communication because unlike emails, it has a higher open rate and it allows you to command the user’s complete attention. WhatsApp chatbots supply your company with a competitive edge – with messages popping up directly on the user’s phone screen, you can offer immediate contact and immediate support.
A Facebook chatbot is a chatbot that operates within Facebook Messenger, meaning it converses with the 11% of the world’s population that uses Messenger per month. FB chatbots help you scale your Messenger marketing strategy by making it possible to reach your target audience while saving costs. For example, utilising FB chatbots are much cheaper than if you were to build an app to communicate with your customers. In addition, prospects and customers are much more likely to open a FB message than a marketing email, giving you the possibility of a higher conversion rate. Facebook chatbots further enable you to:
- Save time and money on customer service
- Identify leads
- handle e-commerce transitions right from your Facebook Business page
- Re-engage customers
Once built, integrate your bot into your overall Facebook marketing strategy. While these chatbots aren’t enough to fully replace email marketing, customer service agents, or apps, chatbots have the potential to increase sales and further promote your brand. Chatbots are only going to get smarter and more powerful, meaning companies should learn to incorporate them into their respective strategies to stay ahead of the competition.