Chatbots aren’t human – but sometimes they can pretend to be. With natural language processing and artificial intelligence advances, machines can understand questions and respond to them just like we do.
More importantly, machines are learning to handle more complex conversations in a medium that’s quickly becoming the biggest platform for communication after voice – text. It’s precisely what we do as humans, and it’s opening up a whole new level of customer engagement.
So how can you use chatbots for customer engagement? First, let’s review some advantages of using chatbots.
Before we delve into the “hows,” let’s review some of the “whys” of using chatbots in your customer communications.
Integrating a bot into your customer engagement software is much less expensive than hiring a customer support team. Plus, chatbots can simultaneously handle multiple conversations 24/7/365, reducing customer wait times.
This means they give your customers the safety of a text chat with a human’s conversational warmth. In addition, since 85% of smartphone users prefer texts to phone calls or emails, text-based business messages are likely to be better received.
Machines learn through assisted learning, training guides or real-life interactions. They can’t think independently, so they can’t make emotional decisions. Making data-driven decisions ensures that customer interactions are fair, accurate, and follow company standards.
When chatbots answer customer questions, you can program them to record reactions to a feature or product. This feedback helps your chatbots learn how to respond to future queries more effectively.
The flexible infrastructure of chatbots means that it’s effortless to integrate them with existing marketing channels or platforms.
For example, a chatbot can initiate a conversation with a customer who has made an online reservation. The chatbot can then lead them to an online purchasing page and close the sale without additional human intervention.
Ready to start using chatbots in creative ways? Here are eleven ideas to get you started.
Offer chat commerce. Enable your customers to engage in transaction services and account management within a chat window.
Generate auto-responses. Set triggers to respond immediately to a customer query or behavior (like placing an online order). This starts conversational flows that can result in upselling or cross-selling opportunities.
Provide customer service. Chatbots give your customers immediate one-on-one responses to commonly asked questions. This is what customers demand in an always-on world. This problem-solving assistance and practical guidance will make your customers happy and return for more.
Add personalization. Chatbots can learn responses and process a mountain of data in an instant. Customer information and history can easily feed into your CRM, meaning your chatbot can talk to your customers by name and create a personalized experience that deepens connection and loyalty.
Schedule reminders. If you have an appointment-based business, using chatbots to confirm appointments provides a convenience that customers appreciate. Appointment reminders reduce cancellations and add to your bottom line.
Send product information. A picture is worth a thousand words. If a customer asks a question about one of your products, you can easily send images or videos to display a product’s appearance or functionality.
Engage in real-time conversations. Texting is the fastest customer response channel available. Chatbots’ speedy response time solves customer issues quickly and easily.
Strengthen your brand. Consider chatbots as your ultimate brand representatives. Aligning chatbot language, tone, or humor with your brand voice creates memorable interactions that can set you apart from competitors.
Get customer feedback. Want to know what your customers think of a recent transaction or experience? Acquire feedback through a customer survey or poll to improve future marketing efforts.
Follow-up on transactions. Did a customer receive their order on time? Did they get the information they needed on a recent product inquiry? Sending timely follow-ups let customers know you’re serious about providing top-notch support.
Generate better leads. Obtaining customers’ contact information in exchange for a discount code or special offer is a great way to reach potential customers.
Chatbots are a valuable addition to any multi-channel marketing strategy. They can be used in tandem with email, social media and other channels to create a cohesive customer experience that delights customers while strengthening your brand.
With Clickatell, you can offer convenient self-service, making your business available all day, every day. In addition, our easy-to-use drag-and-drop functionality means you can provide a superior customer experience while driving revenue – faster.
Learn more about Clickatell's Chat Commerce platform today!
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