In marketing, first impressions are everything. When a user lands on your page, you have a small window in which to get their attention. Marketers have utilised many methods in the digital realm, from visual CTAs to animated video. The newest and, in some ways, most untested trend is chatbot marketing – targeting the human need to respond.
As an extension of interactive content marketing, chatbots have been lauded as the answer to everything, from effective customer service to up-selling. Usually, chatbot usage falls into four categories:
- Quick, concise answers to customer service questions
- An extension of a complaints procedure
- Detailed, quick answers to specific queries
- Connecting people to the right human customer service agent.
There are avenues to involve chatbots in up-selling and advertising, but this is much more complex than the customer service focused bots.
Hurriedly throwing a chatbot up on your isn’t the answer to all digital marketing problems. That said, this new technology could be an interesting step to upscale your marketing campaigns and customer interaction.
Faster, More Immediate Engagement
Nobody likes waiting. While patience is a virtue, you don’t exactly want to be exercising that virtue with your customers. Of course, immediate response time is a dream for traditional, human-based marketing and customer communications. With chatbots, though, immediate responses are very much in the realms of non-fiction.
Social media was the old engagement booster, but chatbots can do the same outside of mainstream social media, including chat systems like Slack. Chatbots can make engagement and responses more immediate with the same sense of humour customers would find in human customer service. Instead of customers waiting in a phone queue or for a social media notification, they can avoid jumping through hoops with immediate, responsive communications.
Gathering Data With Chatbots
For those struggling to attain decent data from their customer base, chatbots may be the remedy.
For example, if you can find out which landing pages are not converting or are performing poorly, then you can set up a chatbot specifically for that page with a survey or a range of questions for the user. The user will feel engaged with while you and your business attain a source of focused, information on certain pages.
Alternatively, chatbots can be used to track purchasing behaviours and patterns by monitoring and reviewing user purchasing data. Chatbots also lend themselves well as incognito data scrapers.
Keeping up with a customer post-sale is an important yet often forgotten principle of customer service and retention. Chatbots can work as marketers post-sale, augmenting your marketing campaigns with a sense of proactivity. By sending follow-up messages, chatbots can send out appreciation posts, surveys and bespoke discounts, allowing the brand to effortlessly build relationships with consumers by automation.
The scope of personalising chatbots is yet to be forecast. Some brands offer personalised messages on a customer’s birthday, ensuring a customer remains personally invested in the brand.
Mixing Chatbots With Influencers
There have been cases of companies interweaving chatbots with the personalities of celebrities and influencers in branded partnerships.
For example, cosmetic brand CoverGirl created a chatbot based off model and influencer Kalani Hilliker, ensuring the chatbot’s mannerisms and language matched that of the 18-year-old star. Due to Hilliker’s popularity with her age group, the chatbot was a successful step in facilitating the brand’s popularity with the Millennial and teen market.
Chatbots needn’t be the one-dimensional, customer service focused robots we’re used to. By imbuing them with personality-focused marketing, they can become significantly more human and, by extension, more effective.
Chatbots Are Still Emerging
Chatbot marketing is still an emerging tool. While 80 per cent of consumers report a positive experience with a chatbot, 60 per cent lack any sort of strong enthusiasm for the technology. This figure of 60 per cent may seem troubling, but the fact that the majority of people have positive experiences with chatbots implies there is an upward trajectory on the horizon; the more positive experiences people have, the lower the lack of enthusiasm will fall.
The link to customer satisfaction is a major advantage for chatbots. As customer-facing tools, they can solve basic customer service problems quickly with no workforce. As described, the possibilities of the technology extend out of the realm of customer communications; much like the social media and influencer bubble of recent years, chatbots are well on their way to becoming the next step in digital.
Want to stay ahead of the chatbot curve? Fancy learning which types of chatbot technology will guarantee an ROI? If so, brush-up on Figaro Digital’s digital marketing case-studies; we offer comprehensive advice on how to bank on chatbot marketing the smart way.