Process automation is now more habitual for businesses than ever before – we strive to take advantage of new technology to improve, optimize, and make more profit.
Chatbots present a stellar example of how an AI solution can become a game-changer for your brand. It is one of the fastest-growing brand communication channels in the post-pandemic era.
No matter which business sector you are in, you and your company can reap a number of significant benefits from introducing a chatbot into your customer communication process.
In this article, we will break down 6 ways button bots can – and will – positively influence your business marketing ROI.
What is a chatbot for lead generation?
Simply put, a lead generation chatbot is a piece of software created for the purpose of conducting an online conversation.
But what is so great about chatbots that make more and more companies turn to this solution?
- Chats are already the most natural and convenient way for people all over the world to communicate. So people are embracing bots quickly and organically.
- Chatbots are time-saving. One paid agent can handle one client at a time on the phone, and 3 to 4 on a given chat. A chatbot, however, can deal with an almost unlimited amount of interactions at the same time.
- No matter what industry you are a part of, they provide round-the-clock service. A chatbot will not get tired or ask for sick leave. It is available and efficient 24/7.
- They have a large knowledge base. A well-developed chatbot has ready-made answers to the most burning customer questions and offers convenient solutions to their problems.
- People find chatbots convenient. HubSpot reports that more than 70% of customers prefer addressing a chatbot to help them with a purchasing procedure. This number is not surprising when you consider that around 2.5 billion people are using messaging apps on a daily basis, and chat is a natural communication channel for most of us.
- They help foster a better company image. For instance, research shows that people perceive retail companies that use chatbots as efficient (47%), innovative (40%), and helpful (36%).
How chatbots influence marketing ROI
Now that you know why chatbots have solidified their spot as the best new customer communication technology, let’s take a closer look at how they can affect your marketing ROI.
1. Chatbots are cost-effective
Chatbots will save you money. It’s as easy as that.
Juniper Research indicates that chatbots will have delivered up to $11 billion in cost savings by 2023 across just three business sectors – retail, banking, and healthcare. And the tendency is here to stay for other sectors and industries.
Cost savings come from the following areas:
Source: BI Intelligence, 2016 Chatbots Explainer.
Take customer service expenses as an example. The more customers you have, the busier your customer care team will be. You’ll have to hire additional staff, which always entails expenses related to wages, training, insurance packages, infrastructure costs, etc.
Chatbots eliminate the need to spend precious resources on these operational aspects, and you can still deliver quality service to your clients.
When added up, the money you have saved can really make a difference for your business growth.
2. Chatbots provide simplified scalability
When you deal with customer service staff scalability, things can get tricky. Depending on the workload and customer activity, you may feel the need to hire new people or remove employees. These changes always put a strain on the HR department, and the people working for your company could feel vulnerable.
Implementing a chatbot will make scalability easy and effortless. Chatbots can handle multiple customer interactions, and putting them “on hold” would cost you nothing.
Pro-tip: if you are looking to improve scalability with the help of a chatbot, consider the following:
- Implement personalized bots. Have your bot go beyond delivering the FAQ function and make it sound more human. Almost 80% of marketers in North America believe that chatbots are a great technology for personalizing interactions with buyers.
- Introduce targeted, department-specific chatbots. The narrower the scope of enquiries the chatbot deals with, the more accurate and valuable information they can provide.
- Keep adding new features to your chatbot. It will keep the engagement and customer satisfaction rates up.
3. Chatbots boost customer service quality
Perhaps the most valuable change chatbots can deliver to your business is the visible boost in the quality of customer service. And the reason is simple: chatbots successfully address major buyers’ pain points. These include:
- Absence of a 24-hour customer service communication channel;
- Long response periods from live agents;
- Not being able to reach the call centre;
- Inappropriate behaviour or conflicts with agents.
And if you’re worried that the only type of communication bots can offer is dry, matter-of-fact replies to standardized questions, you’re way behind modern trends. Natural language processing software is getting more and more advanced and adaptive, so customers will feel like they are having a real, organically unfolding conversation.
Besides, the range of customer service functions chatbots can carry out is growing by the day. For instance, a KLM Royal Dutch Airlines chatbot works across several messenger platforms (Facebook, Wechat, Whatsapp, etc.) and can help customers with multiple questions, requests, and concerns. The chatbot assists people with:
- Receiving flight confirmations and boarding passes;
- Updating check-in info and flight status;
- Getting access to a live agent, etc. – all in one chat.
The cherry on top: modern chatbots are not only accurate and multifunctional, but they also have quite a sense of humour. Customers are increasingly choosing chatbots with friendly, vivid “personalities”, so building a bot that’ll appeal to your target market will be a significant contribution to your customer satisfaction rates.
4. Chatbots successfully nurture leads
Chatbots are also excellent at leading people into your sales pipeline. 55% of businesses are already using chatbots to generate leads of high quality.
Indeed, a conversation with a chatbot is an easy yet solid start of a customer journey, especially today when people prefer texting rather than making or receiving calls from agents. And some chatbots can process the entirety of a customer journey from start to finish without human intervention.
You can build a bot and teach it to generate leads or use a special lead generation chatbot that executes lead nurturing functions, such as:
- Offering a discount for a first-time visitor;
- Offering a newsletter subscription;
- Offering useful product-related information;
- Engaging visitors through conversations, quizzes, recommendations, etc.;
- Helping make an appointment with a live agent;
- Inviting them to join an informational webinar;
- Sending promotional messages;
Whole Foods is one of the major brands facing lead generation through the use of a chatbot. Their bot – initially built for Facebook Messenger – lets the visitor browse the store and look for products and then offers exciting meal recipes based on a person’s choice. The brand also offers meal-prep recommendations and various discounts through the bot.
Source: Social Media Today.
This combination of lead generation tactics keeps visitors engaged with the bot, which increases conversion rates.
5. Chatbots effectively collect valuable consumer data
Another more subtle way to increase your ROI with the help of chatbots is to have them collect insightful customer data to understand people’s behaviour, wishes, and concerns. This information will prove extremely valuable when you develop your demand and lead generation strategies and make other crucial business projections.
Take customer intent analysis as an example. Customer intent data provides you with insight into people’s buying goals and ideas. You can leverage this knowledge by relating intent to the most relevant product offers and responses. This adaptation tactic is essential: 91% of consumers choose brands that provide relevant, personalized offers.
A chatbot will effortlessly collect and analyze customer intent data for your marketing endeavours. On top of that, this data will prove useful in other business processes.
Consider such universal data a chatbot can harness for your business purposes as:
- Language preferences;
- Concerns and pain points;
- Customer’s persona, etc.
How can you encourage customers to give away more information while interacting with a chatbot?
- Have the bot collect names, emails, and other personal info;
- Have the bot ask a customer specific questions about your products and services;
- Organize quizzes or polls your chatbot will distribute.
A piece of advice: don’t make your bot ask too many questions too soon.
Research shows that customers need to build trust in your brand before they are ready to reveal more personal data. Have the chatbot offer valuable materials in exchange for information and be patient with communication. Establishing rapport between two members of interaction is key even when AI is at play.
6. Chatbots can function as reminders
If you believe this function of chatbots seems insignificant in comparison with other benefits they provide, think again.
Every online business out there dreads one thing: the issue of the abandoned cart. People simply don’t go through with their purchasing journey too often. Fundera reports that the average cart abandonment rate in 2020-2021 was almost 70%. The number is even higher with mobile e-commerce carts – 85.6% of carts do not become real purchases.
Here’s where chatbots come to the rescue by becoming a great reminder tool. Your bot can pop up and let the customer know they have a pending purchase that was never finalized.
Reminder bots can also provide missing information that frequently casts a doubt on a potential customer’s buying intent, including extra costs, product availability, etc. Having the necessary info at hand is encouraging for a dubious buyer.
Finally, reminder bots keep the visitors engaged, preventing them from bouncing from your website.
And these perks get reflected in your financial success! According to Chatbot Magazine, implementing reminder chatbots alongside Messenger significantly reduces cart abandonment rates and boosts online business revenue by 7-25%.
Chatbots are not mere interactive FAQ replacements. This type of conversational AI is a worthwhile investment that can boost your customer service quality, lead generation, scalability, and much more.
Go with the trend flow and implement chatbots into your customer interaction operations today. You’ll see your ROI increase almost immediately.
Next, download our free guide and learn how simple it can be to build a chatbot.