10 Benefits of Using Chatbots to Shape Your Marketing Plan's Future
We’ll explain to you what chatbot marketing is, give you a few examples of successful incorporation, and outline the biggest benefits. By the end, you’ll have a good understanding of how you can use these simple but useful tools to engage with your customers and boost your business.
Defining Chatbot Marketing
Data from 2016 suggests that customers are 53% more likely to make purchases from businesses that deploy chat apps. This is because customers like to have support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and this appetite for constant connection is increasing among users.
Chatbot marketing is a strategy where businesses use bots to engage people who have questions, concerns, or would like to know more about your brand or business. Chatbots work on your website, social media platforms, or in your apps. You could set your chatbot to deliver information to users, direct people to specific products or areas of your website, nurture leads, start conversations, answer questions, and upsell your products.
Many businesses choose to have a chatbot active outside of normal business hours. When customers want answers, they want to interact with someone right away. If they can’t reach anyone, they may take their business elsewhere. Chatbots help to prevent this by engaging the person and helping them find the information they need. Even if the bot can’t answer the person’s query, they can direct them to your contact page or set up a callback during normal business hours.
One study predicted that roughly 80% of businesses will use chatbots by 2020, so jumping at the opportunities available now will ensure you stay well up-to-date with the latest processes. But, before we get into the benefits of chatbots, we’ll give you examples of companies that are already using them to great effect.
Five Examples of Companies That Skillfully Embraced Chatbots
Companies in almost every sector have taken the idea of a chatbot and molded it to work wonderfully for their own brand and mission. Whether they want the bot to answer questions or help people pick out the best products, these businesses are already achieving great results.
1 - Sephora
Sephora was one of the first retail companies to deploy an automated chat within their marketing strategy, with the goal of improving their customer service and enhancing user experience. The Reservation Assistant bot lets customers make appointments with dedicated beauty specialists. Color Match helps customers pick pallets using augmented reality. The user holds their phone’s camera to their face or an image and Sephora’s algorithm will pick the best products based on the visual. You can use this tool to match outfits to cosmetics too.
2 - Starbucks
Coffee is an extremely competitive market, and finding new ways to stand out from the competition by simplifying the ordering process is key. Starbucks launched a chatbot within their MyBarista app that allows you to place your order using messaging or Amazon Alexa. The bot tells you when your order is ready to pick up, and allows you to tip and make payments, so all you have to do is show up and claim your drink.
3 - Duolingo
Hailed as a leading language learning platform, Duolingo provides both an app and a website outfitted with a chatbot. The success of Duolingo’s bot is due to the premise that one of the best ways to learn a new language is through conversing in, and actively using, the language. Users interact with the bot with no pressure or fear of judgement. The bot can learn new ways to say different phrases and respond to new dialogues. The idea is to make communication sound more human-like and responsive to keep the conversation flowing.
4 - HealthJoy
HealthJoy uses a chat-based app to allow employees to manage their health care benefits. The bot will explain individual benefits and providers to give users different options when it comes to their healthcare. The team can support the bot by helping to book appointments, contact doctors, and find less expensive healthcare alternatives, while the bot supports the team by handling more menial tasks and reducing their workload. It helps employers reap the rewards as well by lowering their insurance costs and helping them have fewer claims.
5 - Lemonade
Lemonade is an insurance company that deals with renters and homeowner’s insurance. It incorporated chatbots with the hope of supporting their human customer service processes and reducing costs. Lemonade uses a scalable bot framework with three different chatbots. Maya is Lemonade’s policy chatbot that can onboard customers in 90 seconds. Jim is the claims chatbot, and it’ll help settle claims in seconds instead of days to improve the customer experience.
The Biggest Results Chatbots Bring to Your Company
If you’re still not sure whether or not you want to incorporate a chatbot into your business, these potential benefits can help you make up your mind. There are benefits for both the company and customers alike. We’ve picked out the biggest ones below.
Five Customer Benefits of Incorporating Chatbots
Your customers are your company’s lifeline, and keeping them happy is a constant balancing act. You have to think about your costs while improving the customer service experience, and this is where chatbots excel.
1 - Recorded Transcripts
If a customer were to talk to a customer service representative, they wouldn’t get a transcript of the call upon the call’s completion. If something were to go wrong, the customer would have to try and remember all of the details of the call. With chatbots, the customer has the option to take a screenshot of the conversation, or they may be able to request a copy of the chat. They can use this transcript to challenge something further down the line, or simply to keep an archived record of the details discussed.
2 - Available 24 Hours
It’s not feasible for many businesses to provide a fully staffed customer support team 24 hours a day. However, your customers or potential customers don’t like to wait if they have questions or a problem. If you deploy your chatbot after normal business hours, you’ll have something there for your customers to interact with. The bot can answer basic queries or direct the person to a specific part of the website. They can even soothe people’s fear by reassuring them they’ll get a callback from a human agent once the business opens for the day.
3 - Consistent Answers
When you have a team of customer service reps working, you have no idea if they’re all giving the same consistent answers. If a customer doesn’t get the answer they want, they could try calling back and getting a new rep to see if they get different answers. Since you program the chatbot, you know that it’ll always give whoever interacts with it similar answers.
4 - Endless Time and Patience
Human agents can lose their tempers or run out of patience when they deal with an irate or rude customer, but chatbots don’t. They’re not on a schedule, and they can spend as much time as the customer is willing to spend sorting through their problem. They’ll have the same tone from beginning to end, and this can help head off larger problems.
5 - Programmability
Bots run on digital platforms like Botsufer, and they have a high level of programmability. For example, you could program your bot to automate common tasks like answering customer questions, arranging meetings, or guiding a customer around your website. In turn, this frees up your human agents to deal with more pressing or complicated issues.
Five Company Benefits of Incorporating Chatbots
Your company should only benefit from adding chatbots to your marketing strategy. But it can be difficult for some people to understand just how the chatbots benefit them. We’re going to outline the five company benefits of incorporating chatbots below.
1 - Cost Savings
Arguably one of the biggest benefits of chatbots is the cost-saving measures they allow a company to take. You can scale down your customer service department by rolling out a chatbot that can handle more complex queries. This can save a business thousands of dollars over time, especially if it cuts back on the number of human customer support agent hours needed outside of standard office time.
2 - Boost Customer Satisfaction
You want every customer to have a positive experience with your company. Their satisfaction levels with your products or services will dictate whether or not they return. The five benefits we outlined earlier for customers can all boost their satisfaction. In turn, these customers may even be inspired to advocate for your business and buy more products or services.
3 - Reach New Customers
Facebook Messenger is a hugely popular chatbot platform that helps businesses of all sizes reach new customers. If a chatbot is continuously active, it can help your company reach a whole new customer demographic that may not want to get in touch by phone or email. In turn, you can boost your sales and your brand awareness at the same time.
4 - Gaining a Deeper Understanding
It’s rare that a customer will actively reach out to your business, and this makes it very difficult to get a good understanding on who each of them are, their likes, and their dislikes. Each time a customer interacts with your chatbot, it builds up a detailed record of their pain points. You can take this record and turn it into actionable results to help improve your company’s products or services.
5 - Boost Sales and Customer Interaction
Bots give you another channel via which to reach out to, and engage with, your customers or potential leads. You can program your bot to offer helpful tips, information about products, and details of discounts, and sales. This will help to increase your customer interaction, and it could boost your revenue. The more people who know about your special offers, the more people will look at your products and possibly convert.
Botsurfer Can Help You Create an Efficient Chatbot
Are you ready to create a chatbot for your business to boost your marketing strategy? If so, Botsurfer has a user-friendly program and platform that allows you to create and deploy a chatbot that benefits your business. Sign up for your free trial and explore our software suite today!