Chatbots are becoming an increasingly popular way for companies to interact with potential and current customers. A recent survey showed that 80% of consumers reported a positive experience with chatbots, and another 40% said that they are interested in chatbot experiences with brands. These numbers show just how prevalent chatbots have become, and consumers’ willingness to interact with a bot which simulates human conversation.
So how can chatbots be used to increase marketing efficiency? Here are a few ways marketers can untilize chatbots within their marketing strategies.
1. Generate Leads
Chatbots are available 24/7 to interact with customers and give them the information they need, when they need it. More than 64% of consumers see 24-hour service as the biggest benefit of chatbots. Helpful chatbots make it quick and easy for users to find what they are looking for at any time – instead of making visitors search a brand’s website or landing page to fill out a contact form, chatbots respond immediately.
Using chatbots via messaging apps, websites, and landing pages can quickly turn visitors into time-sensitive leads. Lead quality degrades over time, so a swift response is critical.
Research shows that 35-50% of sales go to the vendor who responds first. In a competitive marketplace, the ability of chatbots to provide an immediate response can give brands an advantage over their competitors.
For example, MongoDB, a cloud-hosted database program, increased lead generation and qualify leads more efficiently by using the Drift messaging tool on its site.
The chatbot works by answering prospects’ questions, and advances the most qualified leads to a sales call. MongoDB increased new leads by 70% in three months by engaging its visitors via chatbot.
2. Launch a Product
When launching a new product, it can be difficult to get immediate feedback from consumers and gauge overall product reception. Launching a product via chatbot can be an excellent way for brands to get in front of customers and introduce a new product.
For example, marketers can advertise a product on the web and direct incoming ad traffic to the chatbot instead of a website. Videos, interactive quizzes, and games are all ways that brands can engage with consumers and create interest in the new product. Marketers can also share product updates and ask for customer feedback after purchases are complete.
Absolut Vodka used Facebook Messenger to get consumers to try their latest product by offering them a personalized coupon for a free drink at a nearby bar.
This resulted in a 2x increase in conversions on Messenger, compared to other channels. In addition, Absolut can now reach out to customers via chat to let them know about product launches or special promotions in the future.
Cosmetics brand Smashbox is another company which launched a chatbot via Facebook Messenger, allowing shoppers to browse new products, read content about ways to use products, and even virtually try on make-up through its augmented reality function.
Through bot engagement, brands like Smashbox can gain valuable consumer insight to help steer their product collection.
3. Collect Data
Implementing chatbots throughout social media platforms and websites can result in an enormous amount of data. The question is, what should marketers do with these valuable insights?
Automated tools like DashBot and ChatMetrics can help marketers analyze bot functions and conversations. Using this information, marketers can improve the customer experience, and gather insight into their current marketing efforts. A look at the chat history can also reveal commonly used keywords and phrases which can be worked into marketing campaigns and online content to improve SEO and connect with customers better.
For example, Pizza Hut’s chatbot collects transaction data to speed up the checkout process for future purchases. It also suggests new items or promotions based on this data, giving franchisees the opportunity to up-sell..
4. Increase Brand Loyalty
Chatbots engage consumers in a two-way conversation that’s beneficial for the customer. Chatbots only deliver information that the user asks for. This increases trust and creates a powerful bond between consumers and brands.
Research by Harvard Business Review found that reducing customer effort can significantly increase brand loyalty, and chatbots are certainly a way to minimize customer effort and maximize customer satisfaction.
For example, cosmetics retailer Sephora partnered with messaging app Kik to build a chatbot which offers skin care tips, product reviews, and makeup tutorials.
The brand also launched Sephora Reservation Assistant, a chatbot designed to help customers locate brick and mortar stores and book services.
Sephora reported an 11% increase in booking rates, and experienced an increase in in-store sales from shoppers, spending on average $50 more after booking a service via chatbot.
Chatbots offer robust technology to increase overall marketing efficiency, and free up marketers to focus on other important tasks. To get started, companies can use resources to develop their own chatbot, or consider out-of-the-box solutions like MobileMonkey or Flow XO.
Implementing chatbots can help companies meet consumer expectations, and stay ahead of their competitors.