And the award for Breakout Performance in a Content Marketing and Customer Experience Role goes to (drum roll)…the bot.
2017 gave rise to the use of mixed mediums, high-octane video content, and a host of automation technologies. So why is the bot lauded as the must-have tool for 2018? It’s simple. Bots benefit brands and boost business. Say that 5 times fast.
Between its rookie status and ties to AI, the bot had many new users questioning its viability. Fast-forward one year and the bot has cemented its place in social business. In fact, 80% of decision-makers among top brands worldwide are now integrating bots into their social media marketing strategies.
Good things come to those who don’t wait.
Gone are the days when a customer will pick up the phone and wait patiently on hold for a service rep to save him from an endless loop of curated elevator music. The 21st-century customer has been conditioned to expect instant gratification. They want an answer. And information. And a resolution. And they want it NOW. Employing an around-the-clock customer support staff is neither cost-effective nor sustainable. Bots to the rescue.
Your customers are not strangers to real-time messaging platforms. Take Facebook Messenger for example. It boasts over one billion users. Yes. Billion. With a B. When it comes to bolstering customer interaction, no need to reinvent the wheel. Facebook currently offers over thirty-thousand bots which brands are employing to connect with users.
With other popular applications like WhatsApp and Snapchat readily available, chatbots offer customers the convenience and efficiency they’ve come to expect. By including bots in your repertoire of communication channels, you are meeting customers where they are. A bot provides instant, friction-free customer service and can field a broad range of standard requests, inquiries, and service issues.
I know what you’re thinking. A bot is the tone-deaf, Neanderthal cousin of Siri. It’s a machine. It can’t possibly detect or decipher emotion, right? Not true. The sophistication and functionality of today’s bots allow for recognition of happiness, frustration, confusion, and other emotions expressed by customers. The chatbot can formulate an appropriate response or transmit the exchange to a human rep if the situation warrants it. Efficiency and emotion? No wonder Joaquin Phoenix’s character fell in love with that operating system in the movie Her.
Don’t hate. Automate.
Are you represented among the 35% of people who are downright scared of artificial intelligence? If so, let me put you at ease. For one, a chatbot apocalypse is highly unlikely (a zombie takeover — now that’s a different story). In other words, a bot army will not send you and your team to the unemployment line any time soon. Humans and bots: they’re not mutually exclusive.
Through machine learning, a bot can perform basic tasks and services allowing you and your team to pour time and energy into more complex business functions. Not sure if your brand can benefit by allowing a bot to take the reins? Let’s see.
- Does your brand receive high-volume inquiries through its social channels?
- Are many of the questions and responses repetitious in nature?
- Would a more efficient response time drastically improve the overall customer service experience?
- Do you have marketing practices or campaigns that would profit from interactive components and auto-generated content?
If you answered with a resounding yes to any (or all) of these, it’s time to consider the automation prowess of a bot. You can equip a bot with comprehensive product and brand information that allows it to not only craft accurate and speedy replies to your customers, but also furnish information about other relevant topics. This in turn drives more traffic to your website and seamlessly promotes other services and products in your brand’s pipeline.
Wait, there’s more. Chatbots are also a go-to resource for auto-delivering customized content, updates, thank-you notes, and the oft-neglected but always-appreciated follow-up messages to loyal customers. After all, your brand’s loyalty to its customers begets customer loyalty to your brand.
It’s all aBOT data.
Don’t worry – bots haven’t been so busy masquerading around as humans that they’ve abandoned their roots. They still act like computers sometimes. And that’s a good thing when it comes to collecting, aggregating, and analyzing customer data.
During real-time interactions, a chatbot can capture customer information and funnel it to a live rep. This allows your support rep to quickly locate the customer’s past activity, purchase history, and communication with the company, and give pointed information that meets his current needs.
On a macro scale, chatbots immortalize thousands and thousands of customer interactions. This enables you to create an archive where informational gems are stored. For example, chatbots allow you to identify key customer behavior including purchasing trends, frequency of certain product issues, or common inquiries. This information will help you craft and automate specific outgoing messages and replies.
Bots are also a great resource for analyzing demographic information about your customers and the products and services they use and buy. Knowing information about the age, gender, and geographic location of your customers is invaluable when it comes to creating strategic marketing campaigns and promotional content.
With chatbots poised to pick up even more steam in 2018, you can’t afford to let the bot bus pass you by. Contact us today to learn more about how chatbots can help grow your business and boost brand loyalty!