Why Intelligent Chatbots Should Be Part Of Your Marketing Strategy
Chatbots are trendy and are currently best known for their use in customer service. But the digital assistants also bring some valuable advantages and possible benefits for marketing. So why chatbots should have a permanent place in your marketing strategy, you will find out in this article.
Before we delve deeper into the subject, I first refer to chatbots themselves.
Because: chatbots ≠ intelligent chatbots, not every chatbot is based on artificial intelligence (AI) and understands human language using natural language processing (NLP) to be called “intelligent.” Rule-based chatbots work without AI and NLP and therefore do not develop independently and usually do not allow free text input.
Rule-based chatbots are often referred to as “click bots” because they offer ready-made conversation threads that users can click through. The degree of automation is more limited than with NLP- and AI-based chatbots since click bots do not develop independently based on conversations. In addition, there is no possibility of free text input, so that users have to limit themselves to the topics specified by the chatbot.
In the case of an AI chatbot, on the other hand, the degree of automation is high, as the chatbot develops thanks independently to AI features such as self-learning and learns about it through conversations.
Why Is There A Need For Chatbots In Customer Communication At All?
Aside from the obvious advantages, such as 24/7 availability or automated answering of recurring questions, chatbots in marketing offer other opportunities and benefits, which I would like to explain based on the following problems.
Even today, many company websites are still ambiguous and not user-friendly. Website visitors are sometimes entirely overwhelmed by the number of different options, interaction elements, and content, leading to a bad user experience.
At the same time, however, most websites are dependent on many different elements, e.g., navigation, search, FAQ area, configuration filter, etc., since they have to serve website visitors with various intentions. At first glance, however, it is difficult for many users to see where they can find the solution to their concerns.
Those Who Search Will Find – Sometimes “More Bad Than Right”
This situation can be transferred to the analog world. For this, we choose the example of a library. A person enters a library searching for a particular piece of information that they will find on a specific book page. But how and where should you start your search? Presumably, the person wanders through the corridors for a short time and looks “here, there.”
At this point, an assistant would be the best help. An employee who knows his way around the library well and takes the person searching by hand leads them to the right shelf and the right book and possibly even opens the correct page, thus answering the visitor’s question.
If we transfer this situation from the analog world to the digital world – namely to companies’ websites – the external circumstances change. Still, the intention of a website visitor and the given solution by an assistant remain similar.
Many users visit a website because they are looking for specific information. Not all visitors find their way around straight away. This is understandable because, as already mentioned, most websites offer a wide variety of interaction options and content.
Accordingly, a website also needs a method to help visitors achieve their desired results quickly. This is where – who would have guessed – the chatbot comes into play and leads us to the first reason why chatbots should find a place in your marketing strategy.
A Chatbot Optimizes The User Experience On A Website
As already mentioned above, many websites do not offer an ideal user experience today either: Users cannot find their way around and are not presented with any (or at least not immediately) solution to their concerns. This could also be why the bounce rate – depending on the industry – is up to 60%.
Frustration on the users and the inefficiency at the company ultimately lead to the fact that website visitors ask many recurring questions via telephone and email. These questions are not very specific but straightforward and recurring – but still waste valuable resources, namely employees’ time in particular.
And what is it called so beautifully? Time is money. So it is no coincidence that answering an inquiry from an external call center costs an average of 42.50 euros. This avoidable situation is exacerbated because around 80% of all service inquiries to companies are recurring.
+10 Steps To Customer Inquiries: Contact Form Vs. Chatbot
Many companies use contact forms on their website to avoid high service costs. “Per se” is not a bad idea because part of the inquiry volume is diverted from the call center, and essential inquiries can be preselected and forwarded directly. However, for users who want to ask a question quickly and get an answer, this is usually not a pleasant experience.
The problem for website visitors with contact forms is the time-consuming filling out. If things go wrong, there are more than ten individual steps that a user has to fill out or click on to send his request finally. But that’s not all, users who have made a request often wait far too long for an answer.
Understandably, processes of this kind do not trigger storms of enthusiasm among website visitors.
These types of “contact avoidance” strategies don’t feel good to website visitors and, to put it bluntly, are bad for business.
An alternative to the tedious website form is a chatbot. A chatbot allows website visitors to ask a question briefly and bureaucratically on the website at any time – and to receive an answer within a few seconds.
This demonstrably ensures a high level of satisfaction among users.
This means that 90% of the inquiries are fully automated by the chatbot within a few seconds and are usually answered satisfactorily by the user.
An impressive result – with relatively little effort. An AI chatbot, therefore, offers an uncomplicated and fast way to increase the satisfaction of website visitors.
A Chatbot Generates Automatically
Chatbots are ideal for the automated generation of leads. By addressing them directly, chatbots often transform passive observers into active website visitors by “approaching” users and doing what is in human nature: starting a conversation.
An AI chatbot can act as a digital assistant to advise visitors. This creates a kind of personal relationship and ensures that the user is advised perfectly tailored to his needs. He receives precisely the information he needs – no less and no more.
In this way, companies create extraordinary discussion results and thus reflect personality and individuality without having to invest a lot of time or resources.
The great thing about chatbots is that they don’t just talk to website visitors and get them excited about products or the company. Chatbots can also generate leads automatically and forward them via interfaces. The chatbot automatically requests the required data, such as name, email address, and telephone number, and forwards this to a CRM system ( e.g., Hubspot or Salesforce ) if needed.
You Can Imagine This Process As Visualized In The Graphic
A person visits an energy supplier’s website looking for a new electricity tariff. She becomes aware of the chatbot, which she says with “Hello! How can I help you? “The person now states that they need a new electricity tariff. The chatbot asks if it should make an offer. This is answered in the affirmative; after that, the chatbot asks for the user’s contact details and all other necessary information.
The chatbot then forwards this information to the company’s CRM tool; after that, an offer is created, and an employee accepts the person or lead and can make personal contact to discuss the proposal.
But as inviting and pleasing as that may sound – in the end, the most important thing for your use case is the extent to which a chatbot pays off. To find out, I recommend the conversion calculator.
With This Dynamic Calculator, You Can Calculate Your Advantage Based On Four Parameters
- Monthly website visitors
- Share of website visitors in the chatbot
- Conversion rate percentage
- Value of a conversion
Generate Insights And Benefit From Unexpected Side Effects
What is going on in the mind of a user? How satisfied is a customer with their order? Companies rarely find answers to some questions, and in some cases, they will probably stay that way. Because if a user or customer does not want to communicate, it is difficult to change this. However, it can be easier and bridged by proactively seeking feedback or analyzing the information from chatbot conversations.
Because, through the user feedback that chatbots collect, a company can improve its services or products based on direct feedback.
For example, if the organic traffic is excellent, but the conversion rate is relatively low, the reason for this should be determined. An AI chatbot can play a crucial role by collecting and evaluating user insights. Chatbots automatically generate user insights (of course, GDPR-compliant and encrypted).
This makes it easy to see whether customers are currently struggling with specific problems or whether a product is experiencing greater interest than usual.
Chatbots, therefore, offer suitable options for tracking and evaluating consumer behavior – ideal for planning marketing processes or quickly helping customers and inspiring them.
Speaking of enthusiasm: not every website visitor is, without exception, enthusiastic about a chatbot. In addition to innovation, a chatbot also exudes something else, namely anonymity and neutrality.
An Interesting Side Effect And The Solution To A Core Problem
A few months after the chatbot was in use, the company observed an interesting side effect that, although not planned as such, was nevertheless welcomed as it represents the solution to a core problem. The company uses the chatbot for “Aquaclean products,” i.e., shower toilets. In Europe, where this product is not yet so famous, questions keep coming up on the subject of shower toilets. However, customers and interested parties are reluctant to ask these questions, especially face-to-face conversations with employees. Understandable – after all, intimate hygiene and shower toilets are not topics that are often spoken about freely.
A short time after the chatbot went live, it was observed that customers and interested parties would much rather ask the chatbot questions about the shower toilet than the employees. Knowing that the chatbot is not a human but a machine, website visitors felt “freer” in their questions.
The chatbot thus achieved something that no one had expected before: It lowered the psychological hurdle in communication about the shower toilet.
A Chatbot – Real Added Value For Your Customers And Your Company
Improving the user experience, automatically generating leads, and gaining user insights: It has been shown that AI chatbots are an asset in marketing. Because, in addition to the well-known advantages, such as permanent availability and answers in seconds, a chatbot offers many possibilities to optimize your marketing strategy so that you can achieve your goals faster and more efficiently.
To find a final word, here is a short digression on the subject of user acceptance about chatbots. The assumption that people do not want to communicate with machines is widespread. It can be said that people are not naturally severely like to share functioning machines – just as people also want to talk to unfriendly service staff reluctantly. Ultimately, it does not necessarily depend on whether the user is sitting across from a person or a machine, but whether the conversation brings them real added value.
An AI-based, well-trained chatbot that understands long and complex sentences based on NLP can give its counterpart a quick and helpful answer. For this reason, the focus should not be so much on who gives the answers but on whether the solutions offer the user added value and appropriate and quick assistance.