Why Chatbots Cannot Be Ignored For Better Customer Engagement and Marketing
Every business wants to improve their engagement with the customers. From a brick and mortar store to big brands, every business wants to communicate with their customers for better engagement.
Business challenges for customer engagement
A website or an app for a business is a traditional way that a business adapts to showcase their services to the audience. However, an app or website might not be accessible to everyone. Moreover, not all your customers would be open to download your mobile app to avail some offer or resolve their issues.
So what happens when the consumers need someone to solve their queries? They reach out to the customer support. But not every customer support call results into a satisfied customer. Not to mention the long waiting time to reach to the customer service representative.
3 in 5 Americans (59%) would try a new brand or company for a better service experience. — American Express Survey.
42% of service agents are unable to efficiently resolve customer issues due to disconnected systems, archaic user interfaces, and multiple applications. — Forrester.
Customer engagement and customer retention becomes difficult for the businesses with a wider audience to cater. Even, for smaller businesses, it becomes difficult to reach the targeted audience.
Chatbots will prove to be a boon
“Artificial Intelligence is the broader concept of machines being able to carry out tasks in a way that we would consider ‘smart’.” — Bernard Marr
A chatbot is an AI-based chat option that can be used by the businesses as their own chat representative to tackle any reasonable queries by the customers. It is chat-based software that interprets anything you type or say and accordingly responds by answering or executing the command.
Advantages of chatbots over consumer mobile apps
Unlike mobile app, chatbot development is platform free. It can be used inside the chat application itself. It has the advantage over the app that it doesn’t need to be downloaded and the user doesn’t need to be authenticated.
Chatbots let consumers seamlessly interact with brands through the messaging service they prefer. This eliminates the hassle of downloading multiple apps or going to a brand’s website. Moreover, the customers can chat with the brand in real-time rather than leaving a message and waiting for the representative to reply.
Chatbots offers you an interesting point of continuity. A single chatbot can engage with customers not only over many different chat channels but also over various devices (mobile, desktop, etc.)
According to Gartner chatbots will power 85% of all customer service interactions by the year 2020.
Enhancing your marketing strategy via chatbots
Chatbots will create more profitability for the business world by offering the below benefits:
Gain Customer insights
A key benefit of developing chatbot is it helps you to gather insights of your customers. Chatbots enable you to track your customers’ purchasing patterns and analyze their buying habits. By observing your customers’ patterns, you can predict which products or services they might be interested in.
Personalize Your Marketing
Gaining insights of your customers and their buying behavior leads you towards personalized marketing. Giving your customers a personalized experience is one of the best ways to inspire loyalty. You can develop a chatbot that uses a customer’s first name to address them. Moreover, it can use the information gathered from your customers to market other products and offers they might be interested in.
Engagement is a crucial part of your marketing strategy. If you can get your audience to engage with your brand, they will be more likely to buy from you. You can build brand loyalty with your chatbot by shooting viable questions to your customers and engaging them in valued conversation.
Use cases of chatbots for customer engagement and marketing
Chatbots for retail
A retail store can offer customers the ability to manage and use loyalty points via their chatbot. Moreover, they might also allow the users to make certain payments through the bots. Users can also purchase and share gift vouchers. A chatbot can also allow customers to engage with the store by giving feedback and suggestions on various product items or services.
Chatbots for hotels
It is important to create a meaningful and personalized experience necessary to make a booking happen. Chatbots with a call to action can help the customers to check the room availability and book as well. Moreover, by augmenting geo-location service along with bots gives the users a personalized experience of browsing through the property of a hotel and avail discounts and offers that the restaurants offer.
Chatbot for banking
According to a report, it is expected that there will be around 1.2 billion mobile banking users worldwide by the end of 2016.
Banks can offer investment advice on a large scale and with better impact by using chatbots that can learn about user habits. A banking chatbot can help the customers understand and plan their investments and have a look into their account for a detailed summary. It can also enable the customers to make their credit card payments.
Chatbots for education
Educational chatbots can help the students solve their queries related to the syllabus or courses. They can also help parents manage the process of moving their kids into the college dorms. Chatbots can also help the students that have opted for online courses to get the exam dates and schedule.
Chatbots for entertainment
A business can develop chatbots that can engage users in games and fun activities instead of a typical conversation that consist questions and answers.
Companies leveraging chatbots for their marketing needs
Marriott launched its first Facebook Messenger bot in May 2015. The bot is enabled to answer the queries of the customers. It also launched a ‘Marriott Rewards’ chatbot with a focus to make it easier for people to link their Marriott and Starwood rewards accounts.
Hyatt has been using Facebook Messenger bot since November 2015. It accounted about 10% of customer service messages via social channels from Messenger. The bot is aimed to answer the customer’s query along with giving them an option of ‘book now’ or ‘book later’.
A popular food chain, Burger King, launched its Facebook Messenger bot ‘Niki’ that places a customer’s order and responds to their requirements.
Before releasing the movie ‘Zootopia,’ Disney created an ‘Officer Judy Hopps’ bot on Facebook Messenger. It created a fun experience for customers. On average, users spent more than 10 minutes speaking with the movie character.
Bank of America
Bank of America is beta testing its AI based chat assistant named ‘Erica’. It uses artificial intelligence, predictive analytics and cognitive messaging to help customers make payments, check balances, save money and pay their debt.
Georgia Institute of Technology
‘Jill Watson’ is a Knowledge-Based Artificial Intelligence (KBAI) by Georgia Tech and is based on IBM’s Watson platform. It is used to solve student’s queries. It was developed specifically to handle the high number of forum posts by students enrolled in an online course that is a requirement for Georgia Tech’s online Master of Science in computer science program.
Bots have the potential to revolutionize customer engagement. They give the users the ability to do things directly via chat channels. They boost the brand presence across multiple platforms and enhance the brand recognition. Why is this so great? It is great as it allows you to give the most relevant information to your customers even without your involvement.