No matter what you’re looking for online, there always seems to be someone eager to assist you. Within seconds of visiting a website, a blog or even a Facebook page, a chat window will pop up, asking if you need any help. What many people don’t realise is that this isn’t a real person sitting behind their computer; it’s a chatbot in action.
What is a Chatbot?
A chatbot is a clever computer program that has been built to automatically engage with website users.
Chatbots are programmed to respond to users, and can be programmed to answer the same way each time or reply differently to messages depending on the keywords the query contains. Some even use machine learning to adapt their responses to fit the situation. Chatbots can be found on website chat windows and social messaging apps including Facebook Messenger and Twitter Direct Messenger.
Why are Chatbots Becoming More Common?
While live chat options have been available for decades, they’re only really beginning to take off. Live chat is expected to grow by as much as 87% in the next 12-18 months. This is because in the last few decades, people’s communication patterns have changed. Now more than half of all customers prefer to speak with someone online, in real-time, rather than call a company for assistance. People have become more accustomed to this type of communication, due to the massive increase in the use of digital devices and communication channels, but more specifically due to the mass uptake of messenger apps.
Another reason users like chatbots on websites is that they make communication easy. Users don’t need to leave the website or open another application; they simply have to click on the conversation window in the corner of the page. Smart marketers have already clued on to this trend and have started implementing chatbots in their digital marketing.
How do Chatbots Work In Digital Marketing?
Improved Customer Service
Digital consumers have come to expect a quick and responsive service online. These services can be provided by a chatbot.
The way chatbots are programmed means that they mimic a traditional live chat, and talk directly with customers. They can ask the customer what they need help with, and respond to any queries that they have. This reduces the amount of time a customer has to wait for a response, and gives businesses better scope to answer queries 24/7.
After Sales Support
Chatbots can do more than answer enquiries from leads. They can also be programmed to manage post-sale relationships by sending and responding follow up communications. This can be very effective in digital marketing as it is vital to ensure your buyers are satisfied with their purchase and send routine follow-ups so they are more likely to become repeat customers.
Build Your Brand
Chatbots can help you quickly and effectively distribute communications that represent the company’s values and start to build a connection with the customer. Chatbots can also be programmed to provide insightful customer metrics, such as engagement levels, brand mentions and conversions, which can help with your overall branding strategy.
While chatbots are interacting with customers, they are gathering a range of invaluable data and insights for your business. They can be specifically programmed to collect this data and monitor customer behaviour patterns, which can give you insight into the consumer’s buying patterns.
This, in turn can help you to understand more about how your customers think of your products and services, and use this insight to inform your other digital marketing campaigns.
Boost Your Social Media Campaigns
For brands using Social Media to promote their products and services, chatbots are an excellent add-on for existing campaigns. On Social Media, Chatbots can be added to solve basic level enquiries and improve the customer’s overall experience with the brand.
What Companies Are Currently Using Chatbots?
- Spotify: Spotify uses a chatbot on Facebook Messenger to help its customers search for, listen to, and share music on the platform.
- Mastercard: Mastercard also uses a Facebook Messenger chatbot. The aim is to make it easier for their customers to check their account transactions.
- Sephora: Sephora has a chatbot on message app Kik that directs users to makeup tutorials that they might like as well as providing product reviews and ratings for online shoppers.
- Starbucks: Starbucks added a chatbot to its app, My Barista, to help users with the ordering process and reduce waiting time in store.
Customers will continue to demand excellent experience and customer service. Chatbots are one way of doing this, without adding several extra employees to your business. If you are considering trying one out, speak to a digital marketing agency Hong Kong for more information. The experts at Digital Squad can help you with SEO Hong Kong, Facebook Marketing Hong Kong, and AdWords Marketing Hong Kong.