If you’re wondering how to integrate chatbots into your marketing strategy and encourage higher engagement, this article is for you.

A chatbot (also known as a talkbot, chatterbot, Bot, or IM bot) is a computer program that conducts a conversation in natural language via auditory or textual methods. It can understand the intent of the user and send a response based on data and the business rules of the organization.

Chatbots help businesses increase their availability to customers by working 24/7, while also replying to queries in personalized ways that are predetermined by the company.

Most of us have likely encountered these at least once – knowingly or unknowingly – and there’s a good possibility we’ll start seeing them more often now in the wake of the coronavirus epidemic.

That’s because numerous businesses have turned to marketing automation to manage the large flow of online inquiries and sales resulting from Covid-19 and quarantining. Business operations that didn’t rely so heavily on an online presence before are now forced to perform well in this unfamiliar territory in order to hold onto their clientele.

As customers become more accustomed to online communication and more literate, their expectations in this area will grow. 82% of consumers have already asserted the importance of receiving quick replies to their queries, according to Business 2 Community, while E-consultancy found that 57% of customers prefer the option of live chat.

If you’re considering integrating chatbots into your operations, or have already done so, here are four ways you can use them to optimize your marketing strategy and boost sales engagement.

1. Use Historical Data To Your Advantage

Your customers are your biggest source of content ideas, as they can offer essential input through questions, comments, and likes that guide you toward creating content that is useful to them.

In this case, the collection of data through the use of chatbots and call center dashboards combined offers a much larger scale of information than many companies are used to. Imagine how much you can learn about your target market by being available for communication 24/7!

You can customize various questions to help you find out what you need to know about your clientele. Important data such as where they came from, how they found out about you, or what else they may be interested in can be handy in planning upcoming campaigns and ads.

By including a friendly chatbot in this process, you’re less likely to miss out on opportunities because you’re low on staff at certain times.

What’s more, data from your chatbot conversations can reveal any flaws that your customers encountered with your products/services. This can help you to continuously improve your brand by extracting useful information from your software.

Before picking the right cloud-based call center software to use, a good starting point is to focus on analyzing the customer journey. By going over the exact path your customers take to reach your business, you’ll be able to optimize your bots’ performance on the channels that matter most.

2. Optimize Your Omnichannel Experience

In addition to offering better quality customer service by being available around the clock, chatbots can significantly contribute to your omnichannel customer experience. Reaching out to your customers with strategies like email marketing is great for bringing awareness to your brand, but when it comes to customer service, consistency is king. What better way to integrate consistency in your communication than chatbots that manage inquiries on all channels?

Seeing as you can customize bots to accurately represent your company’s voice and values, this is a no-brainer when it comes to sustaining your business’ image and reputation. Different customers may prefer different ways of contacting you, but they must receive the same quality of customer service regardless of which path they choose.

What’s more, you can update the bots’ knowledge based on current events taking place, such as sales, new products, or special days like Black Friday or Cyber Monday. In this way, you ensure everyone who engages with your chatbots is as up to date as you want them to be.

Many visitors will often cross-reference among several channels of your brand to find as much information as possible. It’s up to you to ensure that everything adds up.

Leave the texting to the chatbots and let your employees focus on calls instead, making the most out of power dialing.

What is power dialing and why should you use it? While chatbots can satisfy a majority of your customers’ requests, there will be times when human intervention is required. Power dialing makes this process easier by automatically connecting your agents to the next caller in line. This saves them time, increases the calls made per agent, reduces dropped calls, eliminates delays, and more.

3. Personalize Conversations

After analyzing your customers’ behavior for some time, certain topics will likely come up more often than others. You can use this information to personalize your visitor’s journey by offering various options that you believe are close to what they’re looking for.

For example, offer shortcuts to your latest blogs that seem to be gaining popularity, a direct link to your contact details if someone wants to get in touch, or a pricing list for your best selling products/services.

Not only does this improve the customer journey experience, but it increases the chance of them interacting with the chatbot. In case a visitor is initially skeptical of whether they’ll find what they’re looking for on your website/social media channel, your ready-provided suggestions will make that decision easier.

A useful tip for starting this process is to use exceptional customer service software that suits your company’s needs. Finding the one that’s right for your brand and target market will ensure a smooth experience that ultimately leads to higher engagement and customer satisfaction.

Similarly, you can use the data extracted from your chatbot conversations to become even more familiar with your customers’ needs. Finding out what their topics of interest are or which products/services they like the most can lead to a plethora of ideas for your marketing strategy.

4. Manage Your Bookings/Sales

For many businesses, such as ones in the entertainment or hospitality industry, a chatbot can also be effective as an online booking system. Customers are always looking for quick ways to complete purchases or bookings in an attempt to save time.

Just like a call routing service that sends callers to the right agent or department, chatbots can quickly redirect your customers to the page or platform where they can complete their purchase. What’s more, they can serve as a comparison system that’s especially useful for businesses like airlines or hotels, where prices tend to fluctuate based on dates and demand.

The more up to date your chatbots are, the better they can become in executing such services. Once customers see how effective this booking process is, they will not only return to use your services again, but adopt the same method to make any future arrangements.

It’s important to note the savings associated with digital marketing strategies for small businesses, specifically chatbots, as a result of such processes. According to Invesp, companies can save the time and cost associated with around 80% of routine questions, as well as an additional 30% in customer support overheads.

As part of your company’s online presence, chatbots offer direct contact with your audience and customers and can be used to strategically communicate your brand values while helping with requests.

Chatbots can become an optimized representation of your business that helps to significantly increase marketing conversions too. This, combined with the continuous improvement of natural conversations and communications with customers, compliments the business-consumer relationship and can strengthen trust over time.

Chatbots also provide marketers with a way to make the most of conversational marketing and ensure customers feel close to the brand. By engaging with target markets directly and personally, businesses are able to build longer-term relationships. A simple chatbot pop-up in the right-hand corner can instantly encourage interaction in a much more organic way and on a bigger scale than standard interaction.

The Takeaway

So, to summarise, chatbots can be used to improve your marketing and boost customer engagement in four key ways:

  1. By using the data they provide to shape your marketing strategy and improve the customer journey.
  2. By using chatbots to free up your employees and improve the customer experience across your channels.
  3. As a way of personalizing your visitor’s onsite journey.
  4. To manage your bookings and take care of sales.

What fresh insights will you take away from this article? And how will you use chatbots to boost customer engagement among your customers?