Digital marketing is an ever-evolving field. In the beginning, there were banner ads, soon to be replaced by infographics and promotional figures, but the latest innovation in digital marketing is the chatbot.
Chatbots have a variety of functions, but they’re especially useful in growth marketing strategies, lead conversion and qualification, and customer engagement. An underrated business tool, chatbots have been shown to boost the user experience when interacting with an online merchant. In this article, we’ll learn what chatbots are, how chatbots work, and how chatbots can help your business.
What are Chatbots?
Chatbots are artificial intelligence software programs that mimic human conversation and communication in a private, text-chat forum. Though they’ve been around for decades, they didn’t enter the mainstream until the past five years, and even then, their use in business was very limited. However, that all changed in 2016, when Facebook Messenger updated to allow the use of chatbots in their software. With this move, the chatbot software, integrated into a familiar setting, could interact with users on behalf of the company in a meaningful way, whether it was answering questions, providing technical support, or reminding shoppers of an item left in an online cart. By doing so, Facebook’s platform became available for businesses to use in not only the promotion of their products, but also as a means to boost both conversion and retention rates for leads.
Chatbot technology is everywhere on the internet. The year 2017 saw Facebook Messenger alone record 1.3 billion active users each month, and in response, companies stepped up their investments into Chatbots. According to Medium Corporation, in 2020, about 85% of customer interaction will be facilitated through a non-human agent. In a successful endeavor, Facebook noted a 230% increase in Chatbots on their platform over a six-month period after their initial launch. The need for Chatbots is more real than ever before, but how exactly do they work?
How do Chatbots work?
By using the artificial intelligence programmed into Chatbot software, the bots can answer questions from living, breathing customers in real time without the necessity human to dedicate their time to serving as a help desk. In the case of Facebook Messenger, users can, from the comfort of their own social media account, send written questions or comments regarding a product or service to Chatbots in a medium with which they are already familiar. No extra steps are needed on the part of the consumer, creating a path of least resistance for customers to get in contact with businesses. Isn’t that what we all want?
When a customer visits a chatbot website, the bot itself is not a dominant feature on the layout, allowing for an easier, simpler user experience on the page. Most chatbot functions are tucked away into the corner, prompting the user to engage by asking to provide some kind of assistance. If the user engages, a dialogue is opened, and the merchant can collect information in a minimally invasive way. The chatbot might then prompt the user for an email, so that the user will be able to receive further help or instructions directly to their inbox. In processing the information, a chatbot lead has been established. The chatbot operates on the front-end of a Customer Relationship Management program (also known as a CRM), and after engaging with users on the website, it submits this data directly into the company database, and a lead is born!
How can Chatbots help your business?
Chatbots are a must-have technology for companies seeking to boost and maintain their online engagement, and while artificial intelligence can seem very complicated, chatbots are far from it! Chatbots are relatively simple operators to build into a website, and they can be tailored specifically to your company’s needs. Whether you’re looking to simply engage with more customers online, improve your website’s user experience, or increase your sales conversion rates, chatbots are fully customizable parts of your growth marketing strategy that can serve as a major asset to your business.
Everyone in the sales world knows that leads are the birth of an opportunity- so why let those leads slip away? Chatbots have many functions in the sphere of digital marketplaces, but they’re especially effective in retaining sales leads. When the chatbot engages with the user, a new opportunity to close on a chatbot lead is created, without the need for a human employee to do any work. By collecting customer contact information and gauging interest levels, chatbots can provide information that helps your business create a targeted approach, helping to increase those lead conversion rates across the board.
Additionally, chatbots have been known to create a positive user experience for anyone engaging with a given platform by making critical information more readily available, at any time. When speaking to a human being isn’t an option, the chatbot fills the role of the customer service representative by using its artificial intelligence to anticipate and respond to common questions. It is also able to provide references and redirections when necessary, making is a valuable tool to respond to customers when your team isn’t around to do so.
In a 2018 survey conducted by State of Chatbots Report, it was found consumers feel chatbots are 35% better at answering both quick, and complex questions than applications. The growing utilization and need for chatbots is clearly demonstrated, but do you know how to go about setting one up for your own needs? This is where Mole Street comes in!
At Mole Street, we work with your business to create, program, and utilize chatbots to help foster growth and generate leads. As part of our website development and maintenance, we can work with you to develop a chatbot function that’s apt to serve your company’s unique needs. Our specialists take a comprehensive review of both your current growth marketing plans as well as future goals in order to create a solution that fits best for you. We work with HubSpot’s chatbot interface to create a product that engages with customers your way. Looking to target anonymous visitors for data collection? Check. Seeking to build a bot that can answer questions about a service? Absolutely. Not sure what you want the bot to do, but have a feeling it can help? Been there, done that.
With successful chatbot technology in play for your business’s online efforts, you can boost your outreach, conversion rates, and lead generating capabilities, and Mole Street can help you get there! Whether you’re looking to provide more support for visitors to your website, or you want to expand your outreach through a top-notch growth marketing strategy, Mole Street can assist your business in reaching its marketing goals. Get in touch with our team today to see just what you can do with chatbot technology and much more!