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A chatbot is a computer program that imitates real humans to communicate with users via audio or text. The main reason for using chatbots is to drive customer engagement. Customers find it easy to interact with chatbots to find answers to their queries than taking the pain of searching for information in the websites.
Chatbots were considered ineffective during the beginning stages of researches on Artificial Intelligence. However, nowadays, chatbots seem to revolutionize communication. Apple’s Siri, Google Assistant, Microsoft’s Cortana are all examples of popular chatbots.
Chatbots are normally used to answer simple customer queries or to provide product/company information. Some apps even use chatbots to answer more complex questions. In future, chatbots are expected to be smarter.
It may learn from previous conversations to give more effective answers. This expectation is the main reason to chatbots’ rising popularity. They started as experimental projects and now, chatbots are taking over the world!
It’s said that 2017 will see more of chatbots in marketing, where it will be used by businesses to communicate and engage with their customers.
The following features of chatbots are making it immensely popular among marketers:
At present, chatbots are serving only first line customer assistance by answering to simple queries. Tougher questions are passed on to humans in the customer service department to handle. Weighing the capabilities of chatbots, it’s not too far from them actually handling the entire customer service department, thus reducing the workload for the employees and saving time, money and other resources for the company.
Even one interaction with the customers can give away loads of valuable data to collect. For a human to do it can be a herculean task especially when the main aim is to provide good customer service. However, with chatbots, it is easy to collect the data while satisfying the customers by answering to their queries.
The analytics and data collected gives an insight of the customer needs and therefore, helps the company to provide with what is demanded. Though the data tracked by chatbots are put to temporary use as of now, it’ll be entirely used for the same in the years to come.
The chatbots are capable of answering the customers’ query at any time of the day. Also, the instant response by the chatbots will leave the customers satisfied. This will help improve brand awareness and your customers may even promote your brand through positive word-of-mouth.
Chatbots offer more than what you think. Apart from customer service, it can be put in any branch of marketing to improve customer experience, steer customer loyalty and to reduce workload. Also, even if it’s to collect customer data or to answer to customer’s queries, chatbots are capable of using their own behavioural data to estimate the best approach to be taken while interacting with customers.
These days, people prefer mobile phones over other gadgets. Therefore, if anything your business offers digitally isn’t compatible in their phones, you are in trouble. The chatbots come mobile-optimized, making it easy for you, saving you from additional expenses and work.
Now, how can this rising popularity of chatbots put to use in various aspects of marketing? Well, here’s how:
Chatbots mimic human behaviour and hence can be used to provide customer support for e-commerce apps. It can be used to communicate with the customers and inspire them to purchase the products. Since chatbots come with defined rules set for them to intelligently answer to customer queries, there is no doubt of providing relevant answers to the customers and rightly guiding them to what they need.
Also, since the chatbots answer instantly, customers will feel that they can actually trust the brand. Remember, the chatbots’ role in e- commerce doesn’t end with customer support. They can also be used to automate the order process, sell the products and build customer loyalty.
By customer service, we don’t mean just responding to the customer queries. It’s much more than that. Chatbots can be used to provide customer service 24/7. It saves you from the additional expense of appointing a customer service staff and providing them with monthly salary.
Chatbots can also be used to introduce a new product to the customers, offer promo codes, obtain customer feedback and provide notifications regarding shipping of products.
Chatbots can be used to instantly connect to the customers. When the customers see that they are being supported, they’ll start trusting the brand. Also, they may recommend the brand to the people they know, thus widening the brand’s customer base.
It’s true that chatbots are going to impact the future of marketing. However, it is necessary for businesses to familiarize themselves with chatbots to put them to good use.