Why use a chatbot for marketing your business?

Blog | 05 Nov, 2018

Robot looking for a chat

What is a chatbot?

A chatbot is a computer programme designed to simulate human conversion online. It can be integrated on various platforms such as websites and social networks, which include an element of messaging, for example Facebook, Twitter and WeChat.

Anyone who has dealt with a call center will be familiar with the frustrations of long response times. People who  work in areas such as customer services are limited by the technology and systems they need to access in order to provide a good solution to a customer query. Think about it, how often have you been on a call with a customer service agent only to hear, “Sorry for the long wait, our systems are slow today.” Or “All of our agents are currently busy, please hold for the next available agent.”

Chat bots on the other hand are not limited by technology, in fact each solution can be built into the technology and in some cases the bot can be developed to learn a solution via artificial intelligence based off previous interactions.

Rule-based chatbots vs machine-learning chatbots

Rule-based chatbots work on triggers and actions, for example: When a user says ‘hello’ (trigger), it’s prompted to perform a greeting message ‘Hello, how can we help you today?’ (action)

Considering the above, your bot will only be as smart as you programme it to be. Therefore, if it receives a query its not been programmed to understand, it won’t know how to respond. Adequate research and planning is therefore vital to help your bot respond in the best possible way.

TIP: Always include a ‘Stop’ or ‘Connect to human’ trigger. 


Machine learning chatbots harness artificial intelligence. These chatbots have an element called natural-language processing, which assists them in picking up conversational data. It then stores and turns the data into patterns that it can easily extract at a later point when a similar conversation occurs.  Therefore, the more conversations an AI bot has with people, the better it will be at understanding and responding to humans. 
 

Why use chatbots for marketing your business?

The popularity of texting and messaging is rising. According to a recent study conducted by BI Intelligence, the number of global active users on messenger apps has surpassed social networks - that’s a big deal!

BI intelligence (eMarketer)


Within the messaging landscape, Messenger and WhatsApp are the most widely used messaging apps worldwide in terms of monthly active users. And, messaging is replacing other forms of communication:

Facebook statistics

According to a Facebook survey of people in sub-Saharan Africa, chat apps such as Messenger and Whatsapp are key to staying connected.

Chat apps are key Facebook statistics

Considering the above insights, it should then be natural for brands and services to be present where their customers are. And, in the most efficient way possible. Enter, chatbots...

How can chatbots improve your business’ marketing performance?

The key is to create a chatbot that provides consistent value and works toward your overall business goals. Customer service and content marketing are two business tasks that can be made more efficient by the implementation of chatbots. Remember that chatbots are not here to replace a human connection, rather they are available to enhance productivity.

Customer service

Since chatbots never actually need to take a break, are not personally affected by disgruntled customers and are able to respond immediately - they are the perfect customer service agent. 

Speed/Response time

A chatbot’s response is immediate and also allows the user to respond in their own time. 
The usual solution to frequently asked questions for your average community manager would be saving the responses in a working document. In the case of a chatbot, these responses can be saved and extracted in no time thereby automating repetitive tasks. 

Response rate

Facebook defines response rate as “the percentage of new messages to your page that are sent an initial response on the same day.”
All conversations are attended to by chatbot,s thereby keeping your response rate at 100%. This badge is shown to people who visit your page, which will encourage them to message and engage with your business. 

Documented

The entire conversation between a user and a chatbot is saved in the messenger application, ensuring that  the user will always have a means of referencing the information.

In the case of using a bot over a human for example, a community manager for your social page. We’d recommend the side by side method for now. Encourage your community manager to contribute to the bot building process. Take down common queries and complaints, as your community manager would be essential to the success of your chatbot. 

Availability

Chatbots are available 24/7, so even if your customers are most active online after your employee working hours, they can still be attended to in real time. 

According to Facebook Audience Insights, 70% of users in South Africa access the channel via a mobile device. They are accessing the internet from wherever they prefer, be it from bed, the couch or whilst they’re in the taxi. Installing a chatbot will ensure that your brand is able to respond to consumers even when your staff is not.

Content marketing

If you’re looking for another way of getting eyes on your website content, chatbots provide a few options to do so such as subscription lists and call-to-action buttons.

Subscription lists

Most chatbot platforms offer a feature where a subscription list is built from every person who interacts with your bot on Messenger. These lists can then be treated similar to email subscription lists where you can send out personalised and relevant content to subscribers. 

The advantages of this are:

  • Chat messages look informal and may spark conversations easier than emails do
  • Content sent through is short and sweet, which means an improved retention rate
  • Significantly higher open and click-through rates due to the nature of the messenger platform

Call-to-action buttons

Example of chatbot welcome message

In addition to the standard CTA buttons chatbot platforms offer, there is also the handy option of personalising buttons to encourage your audience to perform certain actions such as reading blogs. 

This is a great method of featuring your latest or trending blog articles to people who have already shown an interest in engaging with your brand.

We’ll leave you with a quote by Gillian Tans: 

“Things like chatbots, machine learning tools, natural language processing, or sentiment analysis are applications of artificial intelligence that may one day profoundly change how we think about and transact in travel and local experiences.”
 

 

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