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Marketing

How Marketers Are Using Chatbots to Increase Sales

It would be fair to say today that this bot-driven social media system is the future for all modern-day business needs
How Marketers Are Using Chatbots to Increase Sales
Image credit: Shutterstock
Founder and CEO of Appy Pie
6 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

You're reading Entrepreneur India, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media.

Chatbots, which began as a fairly unknown niche concept in technology, is now turning into a necessity for mainstream businesses. Given the tag of “conversational agents” by those in the industry, today’s chatbots are smarter, more responsive, and more useful. Positioning themselves in a region nestled between organic and the synthetic, these chatbots offer a glimpse of how we humans are making machines that could eventually replace humans in the long run. While chatbots have the capability to replace humans for certain tasks, they can also be used to augment what humans can offer their clients. The fact that chatbots are used directly in a communication channel means that the collaboration between the bot and a human agent is far easier to achieve.

As an integral part of the communication process today, these chatbots streamline interactions between people and services, enhancing customer experiences. According to a study by Gartner, chatbots will power 85per cent of all customer service interactions by the year 2020. Companies around the world have realized the potential that chatbots offer when it comes to improving customer engagement and operational efficiency by reducing the typical cost of customer service. In fact, chatbots will be responsible for saving over $8 billion annually by 2022, up from $20 million in 2017 (Juniper Research).

Brilliant For Brand

Big brands in India including e-commerce companies, banks, insurance firms, travel companies and entertainment and media firms have already started implementing chatbots. Experimentation plays a crucial role in such brands who want an improved customer experience. By adding a personalized touch to the efficiency of artificial intelligence, businesses today use chatbots to increase their revenue and build stronger brand awareness. The ability of chatbots to assist customers instantly cater to the modern-day customer’s sense of urgency and shows that the business takes customer service seriously.

Developing the Spirit

While conceptualizing the script for messages, it is important to keep the conversation topics extremely relevant to the purpose that the chatbot serves. For the designer, interpreting the user’s answers is important to develop scripts for a user interface that is conversational. The designer must also pay due attention to close-ended conversations that are easy to handle and open-ended conversations that allow a natural flow of communication.

Revolutionising Customer Experience

Businesses have over time realized how important personalization is today. The most important aspect of a business nowadays is implementing tools that can collect user data and offer a personal touch that the modern-day users are looking for, without overstepping the budget. Chatbots powered by Artificial Intelligence (AI)and automation is great for attracting customers and holding their attention.

With advances in big data analytics and tracking customers’ past purchasing behaviour, chatbots can make the customer’s experience easier, with a hitherto unmatched level of personalization. This also adds intrinsic value to customers, who begin to trust the chatbot’s recommendations based on their interactions with it over time. From an organizational point of view, this enhances a company’s marketing and sales targeting as they can nudge customers to try different products, which are complementary or related to their primary transaction. The ability of the chatbot to assist customers immediately, without them having to go through a long waiting period to receive help is also its greatest asset.

Best For Your Business

As companies are becoming more open to integrating chatbots, we are witnessing this technological marvel revolutionizing the customer experience today. Having a chatbot act as a point of contact can keep potential guests interested and push them further ahead in the sales funnel.

Chatbots can be programmed to track the patterns of your customer’s purchases, to address the customer by their name and also look at prior consumer interactions and purchase histories to ensure that they are pitching the most personalized upselling offers. By creating scripts that encourage the consumer to purchase more, chatbots can really increase your upselling ability. When used smartly, chatbots can increase your revenue by encouraging customers to try different packages. Apart from sales leads and conversions, chatbots play an instrumental role in customer support and nurturing a customer all through their sales journey.

Speaking Out Via Social Media

Not too far in the future, as technology evolves in leaps and bounds, it shouldn’t come as a surprise, if chatbots are the first point of contact for a consumer with a brand. With functionality increasing every day, consumers might soon start depending on these for everything from making purchases, confirming flight/hotel booking or to inquire about a brand and its services. When that happens, the realm of search marketing is also bound to get revolutionized, as users will spend a lot more time engaging with chatbots as opposed to checking the results of search engines. Smart assistants like Alexa, Siri and Google Assistant is already adding voice-based functionality, and if combined with the abilities of a chatbot, the possibilities are virtually unlimited.

As opposed to the traditional concepts of online advertising where engagement refers to playing a video or an ad click, engaging with a bot is essentially about having a real conversation with a bot that sounds human. Integration of chatbots with social media platforms like Facebook Messenger, LINE, WeChat, and WhatsApp makes it easier for businesses to provide 24*7 customer service to the client. It’s a win-win situation for both consumers and businesses, who are finding it easier to navigate their way through reduced ad fatigue and competition as well as increased monetization, resulting in better ROI.

Conclusion

It would be fair today that this bot-driven social media system is the future for all modern-day business needs. Research indicates that more than a third of consumers already prefer social media as compared to telephone for availing customer support whereby many of them expect real-time responses. Chatbots are bringing about massive changes, allowing businesses to thrive through customer interactions. The feedback and survey through chatbots strengthen businesses as they uncover the reasons behind different levels of customer satisfaction. Use of conversational AI chatbots brings about better engagement and addresses the relentless need for customer satisfaction in the near future. This presents a tough challenge for brands all over, but with the chatbots powered by artificial intelligence, the future looks hopeful.

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