7 Ways You Can Use Chatbots for an Amazing Customer Experience
Sometimes, seeking answers in unconventional places is the best way to identify innovative digital marketing solutions. Chatbots, or artificial intelligence programs designed to carry on conversations with humans, may not be the first things that come to mind when you’re trying to deliver a better customer experience, but their strengths could surprise you. Here are seven reasons why they might be key to enhancing the customer experiences that you provide.
Chatbots As the Face of Your Company
Chatbots have a long history. From their use in academic AI experiments to less-prestigious stints in the chat rooms of the early internet, they’ve demonstrated their ability to engage with humans in a fashion that’s often indistinguishable from the real thing. Businesses have caught on, and they’re taking advantage of the humble chatbot’s capabilities in fascinating ways.
1. Making Payments Less of a Hassle
The whole goal of online marketing is to get someone to complete a transaction, so why do most companies make it so abysmally difficult? The digital payment process is constantly improving, but for many consumers, it’s still fraught with stressful ambiguity and burdensome complications.
Including chatbots in the process can make payments far more natural and thus encourage people to finish purchases. For instance, PayPal created a bot that lets people make payments to their peers within the Slack centralized messaging platform without leaving their conversations simply by typing a special “/PayPal” tag in a message. Although this is a niche example, it’s easy to surmise how other companies might learn from it by creating bots that let people make purchases using linked accounts without having to re-enter payment information or use a cumbersome shopping cart.
2. Targeting Consumers With Social Media Marketing Messages
Nothing says that chatbot conversations must follow the back-and-forth flow of regular dialogues. Many marketers use bots to reach out to individual audience members via platforms like Facebook or Instagram in a nonaggressive fashion.
How might this work? Instead of the chatbot’s first interaction being prompted by something that a user says, you could configure it to respond to one of their actions, such as a “Like.” The bot can message the user at a similar time the next day with a special offer related to the item that they expressed a preference for. At this point, the bot might also be equipped to respond to any further inquiries from the person regarding the sale or promo.
3. Handling Vital Customer Service Interactions
When consumers have problems, they want to speak to live representatives. Unfortunately, you don’t always have enough staff to make this possible. Fill the gap with chatbots.
Similarly to the way phone routing trees use prerecorded messages, chatbots can help you keep consumers happy. For instance, if you create a chatbot that’s linked to your ordering system, people might be able to confirm the statuses of their shipments without having to go through an employee, which many consumers actually prefer. When you’re fielding a heavy volume of inquiries, chatbots that gather basic account information can shorten overall resolution times and ensure that questions reach the right personnel.
Will chatbots completely replace human interaction? It will probably take a few years before the AI gets good enough to cut people out of the process entirely. In the meantime, however, bots can make the typical customer service experience far pleasanter for you and your patrons alike.
4. Sharing Relevant News and Media
Are you not getting anywhere with email lists? Although this is still a potentially viable method of promoting the things that you’re proud of, it can be hit or miss at times. Why not share the same kind of content across multiple channels with a bot?
Imagine that you’ve just released a new technological marvel. You’re sure that you’ll garner interest from anyone who sees it in action, but you have to get them to watch the video or check out the promo site first. Using chatbots to publish related posts or links in news article comments might be the easiest way to drum up attention and expand your brand footprint.
How does this differ from sending an individual a promotional message via a social platform? Here, you’ll be targeting entire segments, and you might not do so in response to social media interactions. It’s also worth noting that these posts typically employ language that makes them less overtly promotional. A chatbot tied to your company’s social page and your sales back end can work to share on your firm’s behalf, respond to interested parties and gather data about potential prospects.
Sentiment analysis that helps the bot understand the semantic meanings associated with different user responses can also inform your future outreach efforts. Remember that bots can track lots of data, such as the timing, contents and history of conversational interactions. Apply such information to determine the best way to personalize your automated engagement efforts for the audiences you’re trying to target.
5. Improving Conversion Rates
When used properly, chatbots might help you bring your conversion game to new heights. To promote a movie, one studio hired a company to build a chatbot that assumed the role of a fictional character. Fans interacted with the bot to discover insider details about the film’s story, and the AI was designed to stretch the conversation out by sharing choice tidbits over the course of multiple days.
Could a retailer do something similar? Using bots to lead people into extended conversations is a good way to heighten anticipation for a product launch. The fact that consumers don’t get all of the information at once may even make them feel more emotionally and mentally invested in the item and increasingly inclined to convert.
6. Building Loyalty Through Concierge Service
Someone just purchased an item from your site. Why not use a bot to reach out and offer them a coupon in exchange for an honest review? Or follow in the footsteps of airlines like Qantas by deploying a bot that serves as a more literal concierge by letting users modify orders and purchase associated perks.
Gauging satisfaction is easy with bots because they can integrate with a host of messaging services and platforms. Making your service more comprehensive also engenders brand loyalty by giving customers the ability to interact and obtain immediate results at any time instead of having to wait for your regular business hours or a call center queue.
7. Getting to Know Your Base
One of the most overlooked capabilities of marketing chatbots is their ability to help you learn more about the people you serve. Releasing a promotional chatbot into the wilds of Facebook Messenger, Kik, WeChat or other platforms certainly garners attention, but at the same time, it reveals a host of valuable information.
Marketing chatbots represent the next evolutionary stage of data scraping programs. For instance, you can find an appropriate voice by testing responses to campaign elements and promotional content, such as messaging or slogans. It’s also possible to get a bead on existing interest in seconds by sharing links or embedded images.
Since many chatbot programs accept instructions that involve call-and-response chains and similar ordered conversational guides, you can even run tests to learn how typical audience groups respond to slightly different content in a sort of rapid-fire A/B testing. This might be an effective means of honing campaign elements prior to publishing them.
Is Your Brand Ready to Start Chatting?
Before jumping onto social media to deploy a chatbot, it’s important to remember that these are just programs. Like any other pieces of code, they come in an infinite range of flavors.
Although it’s easy enough to build an extremely simple bot that carries on basic conversations, doing so may make your results seem awkward and spammy. There’s no quicker way to annoy the people you’re trying to appeal to with your content.
Create a chatbot that has a positive impact on customer experiences. Reach out to TA Digital to get the conversation moving along naturally.
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About TA Digital
TA Digital is an innovative digital transformation agency, specializing in delivering digital experience, commerce, and marketing solutions. For nearly two decades, we have been helping traditional businesses transform and create dynamic digital cultures through disruptive strategies and agile deployment of innovative solutions. We are known as a global leader in the digital technology industry for helping marketing leaders achieve their revenue targets, create profitable, omni-channel customer and commerce experiences. TA Digital has high-level strategic partnerships with digital technology companies Adobe, Microsoft, Sitecore, Acquia, Marketo, SAP Hybris, Elastic Path, and Episerver. The company was named on 2013, 2014, 2015 Inc. 5000 list as one of the fastest-growing technology companies in the United States.