Is your organization having trouble generating leads? Or maybe you’ve got leads, but you’re having issues with converting them to sales. Either way, your sales funnel will benefit from the use of chatbots. Thousands of companies have already found success doing so.
But what is a chatbot exactly?
In simple terms, a chatbot is an automated response system. It takes questions from users and generates answers based on artificial intelligence. While it might feel impersonal to first-time users, it is steadily gaining popularity.
In fact, Gartner predicts that by 2020, 25% of customer interactions will be handled without any human intervention.
Chatbots are slowly taking over tasks that only humans used to do. The question then is how do you use chatbots to generate revenue by converting interactions into sales? The key to this is using chatbots to push users through your sales funnel.
Here are a few chatbot examples that show how you can help convert prospects into hard sales.
1. Chatbots Can Generate Leads
Lead generation is pretty much the most critical part of the business development process. This is no surprise, since as many as 80% of sales require at least five follow-up contacts after the initial interaction with the customer.
Despite this, many companies don’t make any effort to follow up.
The simplest way to do this is using chatbots to encourage users to sign up to your mailing list.
Chatbots can also help sustain leads by generating data about consumer behaviour. This allows you to create effective email campaigns. You can even program a chatbot to send a follow-up based on how a customer behaves, including when they’re most likely to check their email.
Thanks to chatbots, you’ll never miss a lead.
2. Chatbots Provide Customer Service On Demand
Let’s talk about brick and mortar stores for a minute. Think about a time when you’ve been happily browsing, and a clerk has followed you around the store. While this is annoying, they do it for a good reason. That is, they’re trying to encourage you to make a purchase
Chatbots can play the same role. With online shopping getting more popular, you can increasingly interact with a company, from the moment you land on their website to when you get your delivery. There’s no need to talk to a single human being.
Starbucks were early adopters of this kind of chatbot. Their My Starbucks Barista app takes orders via IM or voice recognition. You can even specify the Starbucks branch you’ll visit.
Starbucks took their user experience to the next level when they revealed the “Starbucks Reorder Skill” for Alexa. This allows Alexa users to re-order from Starbucks with just a voice command.
Another advantage of using chatbots for proactive customer service is that customers won’t ever feel ignored. Chatbots almost always come back with useful and informative answers, even with thousands of customers accessing them simultaneously.
The response time is also much better than those of humans, allowing customers to make decisions on the fly.
3. CHATBOTS IMPROVE THE OVERALL USER EXPERIENCE
Chatbots have inherent traits that make them better at sales than humans. For example, they can track customer buying trends and interests, allowing them to make suggestions that are more likely to result in sales.
One brand that has benefited from chatbots is SnapTravel. This travel booking site launched a chatbot that asks users for their destination and trip dates. The app then helps them find great deals on hotels and allows them to book a stay – all on Facebook Messenger.
A similar app, launched by clothing and lingerie manufacturer Aerie, uses chatbots on the Kik messaging platform. The chatbot asks users what they are looking for before asking a series of follow-ups to make product suggestions. It also relies on the options “this” and “that” to help users narrow down their choices.
Aerie’s other unique selling point is its ability to mimic how younger consumers say what they want through machine learning.
These applications show how much chatbots have improved in terms of elevating the customer experience. People appreciate the accuracy and quick turnaround time that chatbots bring to customer service.
While certain customers still prefer actual human interaction, we are getting close to a world where humans and chatbots are close to indistinguishable.
4. CHATBOTS GENERATE ANALYTICS AND ALLOW YOU TO PREDICT TRENDS
Chatbots generate a lot of data. As such, it’s not surprising that they also make excellent analytic tools. Chatbots can be designed to monitor customer data and purchasing patterns, generating a wealth of data without seeming invasive or annoying.
Where most companies rely on surveys and focus groups to determine customer sentiment, chatbots generate information from customer chats. They can even be “told” to determine which products customers are more likely to click or scroll down on.
This data can be used to determine customer behavior and even suggest items when a customer returns to the site, based on previous purchases.
5. CHATBOTS CAN TAKE SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING TO ANOTHER LEVEL
Chatbots are also useful for social media marketing. Let’s say a chatbot offers a free report about content marketing.” You’d probably say yes, since we all love a freebie.
Next thing you know, you’re already downloading a report the chatbot sent to you through Facebook Messenger. After that, the chatbot sends promotional messages to you, touting the next big product or just wishing you happy holidays.
This strategy might seem like a nuisance to you, but it does work.
You may also encourage people to comment on your business’s Facebook post. As they do so, the bot would watch out for replies then gets in touch with those who comment.
The key to good chatbot marketing is to make the conversation seem natural and not at all pushy. At any rate, the more a chatbot learns, the more natural the conversation becomes.
6. THE BEST TOOLS TO KICK-START YOUR CHATBOT JOURNEY
Chatbots have already changed the landscape of e-commerce, and they will keep on changing the way business is done. If we’ve piqued your interest enough, you might want to look into these platforms to get your business chatbot-ready.
- Facebook Messenger – Facebook has a dedicated chatbot development platform. You can use the app to order items and to send automated promotional messages. However, it might be a bit difficult to create bots on Messenger without developer experience.
- Chatfuel – This is designed for non-developers. Instead of hard-coding your bot, you simply set the dashboard to recognize certain conversational rules, automatically understand common phrases, and send predefined answers. This also lets users link to external sources via plug-ins and seamlessly integrates with your favorite services.
- Chattypeople – For a free chatbot platform, Chattypeople packs a lot of power and control in one simple, easy-to-use package. Even without any coding experience, you could create, test, and manage your chatbot and measure its performance. It could also be integrated with leading e-commerce platforms such as Shopify.
- Smooch – Do you use multiple collaboration platforms in your business? Smooch connects messaging apps, such as Facebook Messenger, and collaboration tools, such as slack, and integrates all chatbot conversations. It reduces the need for multiple applications and makes chatbot marketing coordination a breeze.
- Beep Boop – this is designed for more experienced chatbot developers. Users need to post and launch their bot source code on GitHub then integrate it with either Facebook or Slack. Once it has been integrated, the Beep Boop chatbot will take over your business’s Facebook Messenger account and interact with potential customers.
You can find more chatbot There’s no denying that chatbots are here to stay. They make business development and lead generation easier, enhance the customer journey, and allow you to make better business decisions through analytics.
While chatbots are not yet in their full maturity, they have the potential to replace more and more human functions. In turn, this will lead to better leads and higher conversion rates.