Are Chatbots Right for Your Marketing?

chatbotsChatbots are emerging as the hot new way to make a great impression on your customers online. With a chatbot, Web visitors never have to worry about sifting through an FAQ to get the answers they want: Instead, they get a personalized and interactive experience.

When marketers talk about chatbots these days, they’re generally talking about AI-based widgets that can instantly respond to questions based on certain keywords. However, that’s not the only way to implement a chatbot: Real people can be behind them, too.

Why Your Business Should Consider Chatbots

There are plenty of reasons why chatbots are becoming more popular:

Better Service at a Lower Cost

The ultimate goal for any chatbot is to create a convenient customer service experience that drives conversion. A well-designed bot is capable of doing this with minimal human supervision, which can cut down expenses in your enterprise. Basic chatbots, intended to be operated by humans, can simplify answering and help representatives be more productive.

Upsell and Cross-Sell Potential

Early chatbots were simply focused on answering basic questions, but today’s most advanced models can do more. Working from a user’s questions and buying history, it’s possible for them to recommend products that would otherwise go unnoticed. A gentle nudge at the right time can significantly increase the long-term value of your e-commerce business.

More Analytics Data

The more data you have, the more powerful your marketing apparatus can be. When you launch your own customized chatbot, it has the opportunity to gather user response patterns from your customers – gradually learning more about how they behave. As a result, you can use your bots to build greater customer insight and optimize many areas of your Web presence.

chatbotsImplementing Chatbots as Part of Your Marketing

Chatbots can be embedded into your website so only active visitors will be able to interact with them. They can also operate through third-party services like Facebook Messenger, potentially extending their reach and value to customers.

When you implement chatbots, it’s important to be realistic about your expectations. It simply isn’t possible for today’s chatbots to completely replace humans, so be sure to have a plan in place when users want to escalate to a live representative.

Likewise, it’s important to be sure all the data your chatbot is collecting is going to a good use. A member of your marketing or analytics team should periodically review chatbot activity and make any configuration adjustments that may be necessary.

Chatbots are an exciting trend that’s been picked up by some of the top B2B trendsetters. Use them wisely and you can extend your brand’s promised experience without having to break the bank on a bigger team or vast technical resources.