Chatbots can be the perfect solution for a lot of companies. Especially those companies who want:
- to better streamline their customer service by easing the burden on their customer success team to provide quick, relevant answers to customer questions and problems.
- to help out their sales team by routing leads through to the right salesperson right away.
- to complement their inbound marketing strategy and provide leads with the content they’re looking for quickly and easily.
Hang on...isn’t that every company? Yes! Or at least every good company...
So why isn’t everyone using them?
Many believe chatbots are beyond them; that the technology represents an incredibly expensive marketing solution that offers no guarantee of results. The technology itself can represent a hurdle to marketing managers too; how can something like a scripted chatbot seriously replace human conversation?
The answer is that they shouldn’t. Chatbots aren’t a replacement for the human element of your business. They’re there to support your overall strategy; they can provide answers to the most common questions to customers in a simple way, for instance, negating the need for them to frustrate themselves spending time going through multiple customer service channels.
They can send across relevant pieces of content or sign someone up to a webinar without your marketers getting involved.
And they can ensure a lead who wants to speak to a human is routed to the right salesperson based on their location and who they are already assigned to, to avoid wasted admin.
This frees up valuable time for your marketers, salespeople and customer success teams to do what they do best.
More than 50% of customers anticipate that businesses are open 24/7.
Chatbots are a fantastic way to nurture leads for your business, providing interested leads with the information most relevant to them at the beginning of the sales process and all the way through. This can help you to better collect the most relevant data in a transparent way, introduce them to your products and services and better inform them for when they’re ready to be contacted by your sales and marketing teams.
Be human even without the human
We’ve already discussed that chatbots aren’t a replacement for humans. And whilst no one’s pretending they are, that doesn’t mean that they should talk-like-a-ro-bot.
So here are some top tips to avoid falling into the trap of creating a bot that sounds like a bot:
- Make the conversation flow - Don’t be static or unnatural in your language.
- Type as you would talk - the people engaging with your bots are your prospects, script your bots in the same way you would speak to them in person.
- Use gifs, memes and jokes if that fits in with your brand voice...
- ...Or use a professional, educational tone if that’s more your cup of tea.
- Either way, let the chatbot be a part of your brand and use your brand’s tone of voice when scripting your bots.
A great example of being human with chatbots comes from makeup brand Covergirl in 2018. They created a chatbot modelled on popular influencer Kalani Hilliker, with conversations scripted to reflect her personality. It was hosted on a social media app where their target audience spent a lot of their time, with interactions helping to boost coupon downloads.
The strategy was a hit, with a 91% positive sentiment among users and generating 14-times more in conversations than a simple sponsored social media post from the influencer it was modelled on.
Covergirl’s customers knew they weren’t really chatting with their influencer idol. They knew they weren’t even speaking to a real person. But the bot channelled all the traits and values they admired.
The same can be true for your brand. Your customers will know they aren’t speaking directly to you, but if your chatbot can offer the same friendly, helpful, informative tone that your brand emulates, it won’t matter.
69% of consumers prefer chatbots because of their ability to provide quick replies to simple questions.
Building chatbots in 2020
Chatbots are growing to be an essential part of the modern marketing mix, and are much easier to implement than you may think. Chatbots don’t equate to having robots man your stations with artificial intelligence running the show; they can be simple to create (depending on your needs) and can be dispatched amongst the channels most relevant to the growth of your business.
They’ve been around for several years now but they’ve stepped up recently. I mean, it is 2020. Using chatbot specialists Drift, you can programme your chatbots to differentiate between statements and questions and respond accordingly. They can also reply 24/7/365 and base their tone and language on how your salespeople have responded in previous live conversations.
Chatbots can perfectly complement any inbound marketing strategy
There are many success stories out there regarding chatbots, and how they’ve helped brands across different backgrounds to boost sales, streamline their customer service capabilities, collect better data and much more.
The customisable nature of chatbots can help brands to target the customers most relevant to them to achieve specific goals as part of an overall growth strategy. To that end, chatbots are the perfect ally for any and every inbound marketing strategy, providing information to the people who matter to you most in a quick, effective and personal way.
Chatbots are set to be a key marketing tool for the year ahead. They’re also more affordable and less complex than you may have previously thought. The sooner you implement a chatbot into your inbound marketing strategy, the sooner you can have more relevant conversations with potential customers and build strong, long-term relationships with them.
For more detail and insights, here’s how to balance brand positioning in your conversational strategy.
Find out more about how chatbots could be your secret marketing weapon in 2020 by downloading our Conversational Marketing Guide or why not try chatting to our FloBot 👉