The New York Times points to automation as a potential threat to many sectors of the American workforce, and even those in creative fields such as marketing might initially look askance at AI. The good news is that marketing automation technology isn’t about to make marketing directors obsolete. The even better news is that automation is an outstanding asset for companies that need scalable, result-oriented marketing solutions because it frees marketers to do what they do best.
One particularly marketing-friendly aspect of automation, chatbots offer a way to provide better service to your leads while sorting them in ways that make sense for you. Here’s how to make the most of your new AI staff.
What’s a Chatbot?
You’ve already seen chatbots in action if you’ve visited a website and gotten a “how may we help you?” pop-up. Chatbots are automated responders that give visitors an opportunity to interact with a company directly. They can serve as troubleshooters, payment processors, message services, and pipelines to human representatives. By identifying a user’s needs and answering simple questions, a chatbot leaves you more time to handle more complex lead nurturing and customer care tasks.
Customers have gotten vastly more time-sensitive, and it’s no wonder: We live in a world with microwave ovens, telecommuting, and instant email delivery. We aren’t used to waiting around for answers; we go out and seek them. If we don’t immediately find them, we look elsewhere. Chatbots satisfy the need for instant assistance and feedback even when you and your customer care team aren’t available to help. Marketing automation technology is instrumental in learning more about what customers need to know so you can set up chatbots to respond intelligently and promptly to leads’ inquiries.
Your marketing chatbot does more than function as your assistant, handling smaller questions while passing the bigger ones along the line to you. It also serves as a way to learn more about your audience. What questions are they asking most often? How much time do they spend interacting with the bot? Where do they go after ending an interaction? How can your chatbot influence buying decisions more effectively? Answering these questions is a job for more AI assistance in the form of your marketing automation system. Integrating your chat feature with it and using the insights derived from marketing automation analytics helps you build a better chatbot.
Building a Better Bot
Chatbots deliver on their promise of easier workflows, better customer care, and improved prioritization of leads’ needs when they’re well designed. Put a name and face on your bot by linking it with the people who will ultimately answer leads’ questions if the chatbot feeds them through the system. Other ways to improve the functionality of your chatbot include:
- Defining process flows clearly
- Aligning chatbot questions and responses with buying journey maps
- Updating information regularly to reflect your current products and services
- Using an engaging, conversational tone that puts users at ease
- Offering a shortcut to talk to a team member immediately
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