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Chatbots: What Every Marketer Should Know

The marketing world isn’t new to the idea of technology lending us a helping hand. The incredible agility of AI-driven tech is just one of the latest trends making a big impact within the fast-evolving digital landscape—and that includes chatbots. This tool is leaving a lasting impression on consumers with its ability to enable real-time responses and seamless connectivity to web applications (and to your business overall).

Bots aren’t here to take over the world, but they are here to help better serve your customers where it matters most.

What is a Chatbot?

In basic terms, a chatbot is an automated software tool. Have you visited a website, and almost instantly a small box popped up with a message asking if you need assistance? That’s a chatbot; a tool programmed to work independently of a human to meet your needs online.

Perhaps you are in a place where you can’t speak on the phone, but you need to address an issue or are pressed to gather information. More companies are utilizing chatbots as a path to expand their communication, meet customer demands and ultimately drive sales. The convenience of this real-time connection helps improve customer service and the overall customer experience.

The Value of Chatbots by the Numbers

Bots aren’t the newest tool on the scene, but they are rapidly gaining visibility. Data from Google Trends shows over the last five years, search volume around “chatbots” has grown 19 times larger. According to Sprout Social, Facebook Messenger recently released a host of data proving the value of bots for your online business:

  • 2 billion messages are sent between people and businesses monthly
  • 56% of people would rather message than call customer service
  • 53% of people are more likely to shop with businesses they can message

So, where are chatbots most valuable, and why should your business utilize them?

Streamlining customer communications are proving to be the best application for the modern business. Drift’s report “The State of Chatbots” noted that the top predicted use cases for chatbots are:

  • To get a quick answer to questions
  • To resolve a complaint or problem
  • To get a more detailed answer to a query
  • To connect to a human customer service agent

The most important point to remember is that chatbots are intended to enhance customer support services by proxy, which can directly make a big impact when it comes to increasing sales.

How to Use Chatbots to See Greater Efficiency

Companies looking to stay competitive and streamline business processes are turning to automation more often. The effective utilization of bots in particular can aid B2B efficiency through:

  • Effective Data Mining – Your sales and marketing team often have to manually wade through copious amounts of data to make sense of what is working and what isn’t. For example, how do you determine what and who are the most qualified leads? AI-powered chatbots can help automate the process of mining through the high volumes of data to map it for optimal organizational results.
  • Intelligent Sales Enablement – Predictive analytics powered by AI and machine learning can help study website traffic to provide insights into each visitor’s journey, create behavior analytics and develop a profile. This, in turn, helps translate website visits into qualified leads.
  • An Agile Sales Process – Knowing the persona of your buyer is the secret sauce to driving sales. Chatbots entice and track consumer activities to enable your sales team to design custom interactions with each lead. Which, in turn, helps them transform quality leads into customers.
  • Next Gen Communications – Chatbots can offer seamless collaboration between departments, as well as company-wide communication like updates, happenings, changes, etc.
  • Innovative Administration – From documenting time sheets to setting calendar reminders, this automated path effortlessly merges into our digital, day-to-day workflow.

These are just a few examples of how chatbots are helping businesses to sore to greater heights. But the list continues: here are 22 reasons why the use of chatbots could be a game-changer for your company.

So, who are some of the big players successfully leveraging chatbots? According to Marketing and Entrepreneurship, here are the top ten:

  1. Starbucks
  2. Lyft
  3. Fandango
  4. Spotify
  5. Whole Foods
  6. Sephora
  7. Mastercard
  8. Staples
  9. The Wall Street Journal
  10. Pizza Hut

Here’s the thing: chatbots have their unique place in the future of marketing and customer support, and it seems like they are here to stay. And, they just might be the path to take to leverage your customers’ needs and further drive business.

Let us know how your company is making waves in the chatbot space. What’s working? What isn’t? If you aren’t using chatbots now, are they a consideration in your 2020 marketing or customer service plan? Let us know in the comment section below or reach out via our Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn! 

Author: Erin McMahon, Senior Account Manager

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