Chatbots have evolved to become indispensable for businesses in the area of marketing and customer support. They have been regarded as the ‘future of business communication’. This is because businesses can now seamlessly integrate chatbots into their social media channels to build customer relationships, create brand awareness and automate purchase processes.
The word ‘chatbot’ is an abridged form of ‘chat robot’; it is a computer application that communicates, chats or creates conversation. At the heart of chatbot technology lies the highly sophisticated artificial intelligence and natural language processing (commonly known as NLP). The amazing thing about chatbot is that it has grown to become a partner-in-conversation to customers. Chatbots have met widespread popularity and acclaim as it is extensively used in online stores, university portals, fintech technology web applications, social media platforms etc. Through the power of machine learning, chatbots can recognise data and speech; this allows for more ‘human-like’ and natural conversations.
Apart from becoming a solid part of many companies’ customer service strategy because of its wide benefits such as low cost of maintenance, round-the-clock availability and high customer engagement, chatbots have also occupied a place at the forefront of companies’ marketing strategy. Some of these companies include multinational brands like Mastercard, Lyft, Spotify and Pizza Hut.
These successful companies use chatbots to improve their user experience by providing excellent customer support channels. These companies aim to use chatbots to deliver their value proposition.
Chatbots can serve as Facebook auto likers. They can like posts and comments, thereby giving users the confidence that they can trust the business. Here are some important reasons why social media chatbots are the future of communication;
With the growth of technology and fast-speed internet, there is global interconnectivity. This means customers are everywhere. In order to create an interactive and integrated customer experience, your business has to have a presence in and engage with customers in multiple online channels. Whether on email, Facebook Messenger, Whatsapp or SMS, you have to provide a consistently seamless experience for your customers. This is why businesses need chatbots. The integration of chatbot into your customer service strategy will help your business reap the benefit of a stronger customer relationship, positive brand image, increased customer retention, and customer loyalty.
An excellent example of a brand utilising chatbots for omnichannel marketing is Pizza Hut. Customers of Pizza Hut can seamlessly make an order via chat whether on Facebook, Whatsapp or Twitter.
We live in an attention economy. Customers have limited attention, and smart companies know it. This is why businesses should aim to provide hitch-free and seamless user experience in order to drive customer acquisition. You must also take this into account as you plan your marketing and customer service strategy. Prospective customers hate delays and waiting-time; they equally despise lengthy surveys and boring landing page. This is why many businesses have deployed artificial intelligence and chatbots to improve the way customers move down the purchasing funnel.
Here’s how chatbots enhance customer acquisition:
Without brand awareness, customer acquisition is unsuccessful. Brand awareness revolves around advertising your brand. It is impossible to acquire customers who have no idea about your business. Chatbots are highly beneficial in the area of brand awareness and recognition.
Chatbots offer round-the-clock availability, allowing prospective customers to reach your business and product offering any time of the day. This means anyone can learn more about your product in a convenient and timely fashion.
Powered by natural language processing, chatbots can create persuasive conversations that guide your prospective customers to your content. This increases the possibility of lead conversion.
Customers are known to be lazy, but prospective customers are lazier. One of the significant challenges businesses face is how to motivate profitable customer action. This is where chatbots shine.
Chatbots do not only improve customer relationship and loyalty, but they also eliminate encumbrances. For instance, chatbots streamline communication and purchase process, which can be a ‘unique selling point’ for your brand.
With the help of machine learning, chatbots can also provide personalised recommendations from conversational data.
Chatbots can help your existing customers to keep on patronising your business or brand, diminishing the rate of customer defections. This is because chatbots can strengthen your relationship with your customers and improve brand loyalty through capabilities like:
• The acquisition of insight and data about customer demographic and behaviour
• Multilingual capabilities — eliminating language barriers in your business
• Seamlessly gather user feedback
• Streamline direct purchase from chat interface
• Facilitate content marketing