Have you considered adding Chat Bots as part of your marketing strategy?
There are some really interesting ways chat bots are being used by companies of all sizes, and don’t let the fact that they’re based on technology scare you away – once a bot is set up, it can often run itself seamlessly.
1. Chat Bots can improve your customer experience
Chat bots can allow you to automatically ask a series of questions that can help you understand what your customer needs, and then offer them the best solution based upon their answers.
This helps even more when customers don’t exactly know what they need from you or which products or services you have that might meet their needs.
Think of the most common questions your customers already ask, and then carefully think through what questions YOU could ask that would help you provide the best answer. The great thing about chat bots is that questions can be set up on a sequence depending upon what multiple choice answer is selected, or provide responses in relation to keywords the customer types in an open-ended answer.
Your exact questions will vary, but here are a few starter ideas:
- Where are you located?
- Would you like human support or just a link to the solution?
- Are you interested in buying or selling?
- What size are you looking for?
- What problem are you trying to solve?
Take, for example, an automobile dealership. Most dealerships have several departments: new cars, used cars, parts and service.
The chat bot could start by asking a question with two answer choices: whether they’re looking to 1) buy or sell a car, or 2) for parts or service. Based upon the answer, it may then take them through if they’re interested in buying new or used, and from there gather more information such as if they’re interested in trucks, cars or SUVs.
If the chat bot is tied to inventory, it could ask enough questions that it could boil down to showing that there are 10 cars in stock that meet the client’s needs (color, price, it could get detailed), and then ask them when they would like to come in for a test drive?
Think through this scenario. This is probably MUCH different than the last time you went in to buy a car, especially if you encountered a stereotypical “used car salesman”. When the customer walks in at their pre-determined appointment time, the salesperson already has recommendations on exactly the types of vehicles the buyer wants to see, and has keys ready. Both can talk through some more qualifying questions to narrow test drives down to the 2 or 3 vehicles that best meet the customer’s needs, and they’ve only been in the dealership for about 5 minutes so far.
That takes me into the second way adding a chat bot marketing strategy can be a great marketing tactic for your business:
2. Chat bots can help generate leads
Most chat bots, no matter how simple or how involved they are, all do one thing the same – they collect prospect information such as name and email address or phone number, so that staff can follow up.
The chat bot collects the information, and because the information was voluntarily provided, it often means the lead is better qualified. These qualified leads are then automatically available to your business.
The data is also immediately available to everyone in your organization (when your full system is set up properly), so that no matter which staff member that car buyer from above speaks to later, their answers about what type of car they are looking for will be readily available. The customer won’t have to waste time repeating themselves, and the staff won’t have to take time to ask the questions that have already been asked.
That leads us into the third reason why chat bots can be an excellent marketing tactic:
3. Chat bots can save time and money
Chat bots allow for the automation of conversations and actions that would otherwise require personal interaction with your staff. This time savings means that your staff is free to be performing more of other duties that can more directly impact your bottom line.
Instead of spending all of their time asking or answering questions, your staff can now reallocate that time to finding additional leads, or activities that further the prospect along in their buying journey.
Say, for example, the prospect of the car dealership above answered questions about what type of car they’re interested in buying, and received some suggestions of vehicles available for sale,. but they haven’t gotten around to making an appointment for a test drive. Today the dealership gets a trade-in, and this used car meets all of the prospect’s criteria. The salesperson could now follow up with that prospect, let them know about this vehicle just in that is a four-door sedan, red, with less than 50K miles, and within their budget range. Your staff has not only the time, but the information to do this efficiently.
Let’s not forget, the customer saves time too. Instead of taking time to perform a search again, they’ve been handed a possible solution to their problem.
4. Chat bots can provide 24/7 support
One popular use of chat bots is by providing support. Most companies only provide support during their office hours, and if you have a problem after that time, you have to wait until the next day for a response.
If you have already set up a robust chat bot and connected it to some of your most common answers, you will be able to provide 24-hour support, even if you are a small company. Your chat bot can work when your staff doesn’t, and provide customers with the access to information they need.
This is becoming more critical as consumer expectations have shifted. Customers expect a response time between 0 and 4 hours, while most businesses typically take 10 hours to respond. Chat bots help you bridge that gap and decrease your overall response time, which helps you fulfill the expectations of your customers.
Chat bots are part of the emerging marketing strategies that can help your business use technology in a way to make your business more efficient and effective. The time required for the initial setup and making sure that the bot flows effectively is well spent on the ongoing automation it provides.
If you’re interested in learning more about how chat bots could be a great option for your business, contact us for a free marketing consultation.
Vicky is the CEO and Chief Creative Strategist of Vicky Wu Marketing. She draws from 30 years of experience at the CMO level, the CEO level, marketing for Fortune 500 companies and multi-million and multi-billion-dollar organizations, PLUS strategies learned helping startups and nonprofits with limited budgets … now focusing on providing SMBs with effective and efficient marketing strategies – giving them access to the same level of expertise as the really big guys with deep pockets, that they may not otherwise be able to access.