Brand Experience: How Powerful AI-Powered Chatbots Have Transformed Customer Engagement
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Online communication is continually evolving.
For a long time, marketers focused on email marketing because it was the best channel to generate the most Return On Investment (ROI). However, today, email has become overcrowded. Professionals receive approximately 141 emails every day, and the Click Through Rate (CTR) for a typical email marketing campaign is only 5-10%.
Facebook is shifting focus too. Once an ally of digital advertisers, recent algorithm changes prioritize posts from family and friends over brands and advertisements.
These are some of the reasons why Artificial Intelligence (AI) powered chatbots are growing in popularity. Today, 80% of businesses aim to implement a chatbot by 2020 as per a survey conducted by Oracle.
With the typical outreach CTR of 15-60%, chatbots are revolutionizing how businesses communicate with their target audience. Chatbots are dynamic, can qualify sales leads, provide 24/7 support, and can deliver services to multiple people at once.
So What Exactly Are Chatbots?
A chatbot is a virtual assistant that is powered by AI. They are smart enough to emulate real conversations with users via chat applications. In essence, a chatbot is a service that can have a dialogue just like a real person.
Chatbots employ machine learning to gather information that allows them to simulate human discussions and respond to written or spoken inquiries. Since the chatbots available today use AI they can understand language, not just commands. Consequently, the more discussion chatbots have with users, the more knowledgeable they become.
Chatbots can seem intimidating; however, they create enormous opportunities for generating and nurturing leads. Moreover, 57% of businesses agree that chatbots deliver substantial ROI with minimal efforts and can answer up to 80% of common questions.
Let's take a look at the top 5 benefits of chatbots, and gain a better understanding of how they help nurture leads:
- Exceptional Customer Assistance
According to Econsultancy, 83% of people need support during online shopping. So the customers of an e-commerce business may require help trying to understand products that fit their needs and budget at any time of the day. Furthermore, online shoppers may also have trouble finding what they are looking for due to navigation issues; they may even have questions regarding registration, payment, and delivery, among others.
In all these scenarios, chatbots can provide the same type of assistance as a salesperson can in real-time. Moreover, chatbots can also carry out interactive communication wherein they ask questions to better understand problems. Apart from text responses, they can also provide customers with product pages, images, blogs, videos and more to help them complete their sales journey.
- Readily Available Customer Support
Today, customer service is one of the most critical factors for a company's success. Both international and local business can create a positive impact and increase customer satisfaction with the help of 24/7 customer service.
Chatbots can provide customer service 365 days of the year. These bots can be programmed to respond using automated answers to repetitive questions immediately. Moreover, they can also forward the query to a customer service representative if the problem requires a more complicated action. This allows customer service representatives to save time and solve more complicated cases instead of spending time clarifying simple doubts. For instance, Zomato uses a bot for its customer service that asks relevant questions. If it cannot find the right solutions, the bot connects customers to a real person.
In addition to that, chatbots can also help organizations carry out multiple tasks at the same time so that patrons don't have to wait to have their doubts clarified.
- Dynamic Customer Interaction
Typically, organizations follow a passive customer interaction policy. In other words, they only respond to the customer when they are contacted and not initiate communication. With the competitive business landscape of today, brands no longer have the luxury to be passive.
However, businesses do not have enough workforce to initiate communication with all their customers regularly. This is where chatbots are transforming the customer service landscape. Chatbots can start a conversation with every customer regarding any issue at any time of the day. Such proactive communication will improve brand perception and loyalty over time.
- Enhanced Consumer Engagement
It goes without saying, it's essential to keep customers engaged with a brand. Organizations that engage with their customers on social media platforms said that their customers spend 20% to 40% more money, according to Bain & Company.
While social media is supporting consumer engagement, chatbots are also making engagement more interactive. Chatbots, usually, only give out a slice of information at a time and can guide the interaction based on the inputs provided by the user. Therefore, chatbots, by providing relevant information, keep customers on a platform longer and keep content flowing by sustaining the conversation.
- Monitoring Customer Data & Gaining Insights
As stated earlier, chatbots are great tools to interact with consumers. However, they can also help a business gain insights and monitor customer data. With the feedback that chatbots collect by asking simple questions, a brand can make improvements in their service or product.
Moreover, the insights gained by chatbots can also help a brand optimize their low converting webpages. For instance, if a landing page brings in massive organic traffic but doesn't convert well, chatbots can reach out to customers to collect information about why they are leaving the page without making a purchase.
Chatbots are also great tools to track consumer behaviour. This helps businesses decide the products they need to market differently, which to market more, and which to relaunch.
Chatbots provide immense support for customer service employees by carrying out basic and repetitive tasks with high speed. Implementing chatbots in marketing strategies can lead to increased leads and conversions. There is no denying that chatbots are changing the way organizations approach marketing.