So, your company has got the Facebook account and Twitter feed up and running, and you’re engaging with clients or customers and have mastered digital marketing. In that case, why, when you visit other sites, is a chatbot the first thing that pops up? Welcome to the never-ending trend of advances in technology.
Chatbots are either script-based or AI-controlled methods of having a conversation with a visitor to your website, Facebook Messenger feed or other touchpoints. The benefit to your business is an ever-present agent who can help people with their enquiries. The benefit to the customer is a non-judgemental point of contact who can be friendly and approachable, and provide the information they need faster than searching or trawling a website – all of which happen to benefit your business too.
This new way to build a relationship means your valuable support or sales staff have a new front line point of contact that can solve many of the common queries that people have. It can direct people to the right product category or solution for their issues and gather more information for when it is appropriate for them to deal with one of your team.
All of this can be done with a touch of personality, making chatbots a fast-growing favourite method of user interaction, and allowing marketers to extend their brand, without sending customers to yet another FAQ or boilerplate inquiry form.
Script-based chatbots help field a fairly narrow stream of conversation. The chatbot builder can string together questions and likely responses, sending the visitor to the next part of the conversation or an appropriate jump off point. Anyone can build a chatbot, with many examples to try that can deliver a working bot to your website, Facebook Messenger, Skype or a range of other touchpoints. SnatchBot is free to build and deploy and comes with a range of use case templates. Ubisend has solutions for customer service and sales, with analytics to help the business understand engagement. AI or natural language processing chatbots are more complex to create but can link to deep sources of information based on the user input to develop longer, more natural conversations.
Whatever your marketing needs, chatbots are just the latest arrival on the landscape. They can provide solid returns on clicks and engagements, and save time for your business, so why not give one a try as part of your social media effort?