Conversational agents, or simply known as ‘Chatbots’ are software programs capable of executing an automated chatting. Although the history of chatbots traces back to the 1950’s, a profound development was witnessed only in the digital era i.e. along with the development of internet and information technology. A landmark In 2016, Facebook encouraged developers to create chatbots that could interact with the users through a messenger platform. As a result, about 34000 bots were created within a year that provided a wide range of utilities. This rising trend has led to what is known as ‘conversational marketing.’
The Definition of Conversational Marketing
At Adsyndicate, we define Conversational Marketing as a specialized approach to marketing, intended to know your customers better, minimize the sales cycle period and thus enhance customer experience in terms of buying and interacting with your brand.
A lot of drawbacks of traditional marketing can be surpassed through conversational marketing. For instance, the use of chatbots in conversational marketing enables real-time messaging as well as precise targeting. As a result, customer experience is enhanced where the message is ‘relevant’ and the response is ‘quick’.
The Benefits of Conversational Chatbots
Employing a conversational chatbot as a part of your marketing strategy will yield many benefits, which is not possible otherwise in traditional marketing. The benefits of conversational chatbots include:
- Real-time Response
In the modern world marketplace driven by high competition, retaining a customer interest has become highly challenging. Especially when a customer asks a query, or posts comments about their unsatisfactory experience, it is very critical to respond as quickly as possible. Human errors and delayed responses will result in loss of customers. This is where chatbots come to your rescue since they have the ability to respond in real time.
A recent study suggests, when a website makes the navigation easy and assists users to find intended information, there is a 76% possibility that the user will like the website on social media or give positive reviews. And when you converse with your audience using a chatbot and help them find what they are searching for, then the ratings of your website will go high.
- Understand your Customers Better
Even in the olden days, marketers knew the importance of listening to their customers. Great content is generated not by marketers, or copywriters or business executives, but by customers alone. By keeping a track of how does your customers communicate, you can come up with the best content that will appeal to them. Experts believe that a copy is not written, but rather assembled, indicating that the best lines that catch their attention can be discovered by analyzing their way of communication. This can be accessed through chat logs. Once you craft the perfect marketing copy, you can use it in your emails, websites, landing pages, social media ads, PPC ads, live chats etc. Thus conversational chatbots helps to understand your customers better.
- Humanize the Conversation
It may sound contradictory, but conversational chatbots give a deeper human touch to the ways in which audience are approached and interacted. Customers do not want to feel like they are being “sold to”. Moreover, some customers are hesitant to talk to sales person and resolve their queries. In this regard, conversational chatbots are of great advantage. Not only will it helps a great deal to eliminate the hesitation of the customers, but also helps to humanize the conversation with the help of chat logs by approaching them in the manner they speak.
Personalization is an integral part of every effective digital marketing strategy, and chatbot communication is no exception. Although ‘personalization’ is a buzzword, the concept is very simple i.e. to provide individual attention to every customer and making them feel special. Chatbots can help a great deal in providing individual attention to millions of your customers at the same time. This not only saves your time and money, but also enriches your chat logs and delivers content of more precision in the following days.
Case Study: Intercom’s Chatbot (And How to Build a Chatbot)
Intercom is the world’s first customer platform that helps online businesses to accelerate their growth by developing messaging-first products. Interestingly, the company itself has an exclusive conversational chatbot named ‘Answer Bot’ that is designed to converse with the website’s visitors. Answer bot is capable of resolving your customer’s FAQs instantly and automatically. This helps to scale your business, allowing your team to focus only those questions that requires human attention.
Intercom reveals the steps on how to train a chatbot to fulfill your requirements. These sequential steps are listed below:
- The first step is to prepare your chatbot to recognize a question. This can be achieved by identifying common questions from chat logs. However, you must ensure that the chatbot is capable of identifying potential variants within a question. The best method to achieve this is identifying multiple ways of asking the same question.
- The second step is to create content for a large spectrum of related topics. When the database is enhanced, it increases the scope of chatbot knowledge.
- Amass large information related to a single topic. This will help to frame various questions related to the same topic. Larger the database, higher the chatbot efficiency.
These steps enable you to build an effective chatbot. Once this is done, the next task is to effectively utilize your chatbot in conversational marketing.
How to Use Chatbots in Marketing?
Organizations such as Kore have started giving access for others to develop individual chatbots based on customer requirements. The prearranged menu options have made the development highly structured, simple to create and easy to use. As a result, many chatbots are being created for the purpose of customer interactions. Here are some tips on how conversational chatbots can be included in your marketing strategy to maximize business:
- Communicate with website visitors. Provide them with website information. Help them make a purchase.
- Integrating chatbots with messaging platforms saves a lot of time in email marketing.
- Sell your products using chatbots. 71% of people like personalized ads. Chatbots can persuade them better!
- Gain consumer insights to improve the quality of customer services.
- Increase proactive customer engagement, since it’s a critical part of marketing.
- Build brand loyalty by offering customized services.
- Customize chatbot, based on geography to target the appropriate audience.
- Upgrade the chatbot regularly and fix technical glitches.
Some of the chatbots have already been successful in marketing products. For instance, Sephora, a beauty and cosmetic store released a chatbot that would conduct quiz on request from the users, and provide them beauty tips. Similarly, Bank of America released a chatbot that guided the users on their bank details and spending habits. Pizza Hut has also released a chatbot to take delivery orders.
Conversational chatbots helps a great deal in automating the process of marketing. Since ‘personalization’ is the core of effective digital marketing, conversational chatbots can contribute immensely by knowing your customers better, reducing time taken to make a sale, enhance customer experience and provide instant response in real-time. The limitations of traditional marketing are resolved by conversational marketing through chatbots. In terms of chatbot development, content remains as the primary key. An enriched sea of information is the only way to enhance the depth of chatbot communication. Once this is taken care of, chatbots can be implemented in marketing through trial and error process and constant upgrading of the database.