Chances are better than great that you’ve interacted with a chatbot today, possibly without even knowing it.
If you typed in a question on a website, a bot probably answered you. If you posted an update on Twitter and immediately received many new followers, those new followers probably used a bot to follow you automatically.
Those are just two examples. Truth is: chatbots are everywhere now on business websites and social media. They can provide real customer service improvement and enhance the customer service experience.
So do chatbots help increase engagement and help close deals from a digital marketing standpoint?
Short answer? Yes! Long answer? These chatty robotic helpers have already greatly affected inbound and outbound marketing.
First, a definition: A chatbot is a computer program, one that mimics human conversations using speech or text. They “talk” to us using artificial intelligence and they’re mostly used – for the time being – to answer questions, usually the customer service sort, although they can also facilitate a purchase. After all, if a visitor is this close to purchasing, but needs a couple of questions or issues resolved, what do you think will happen if those questions are answered now? A better chance of a purchase made now is what will happen!
One – smallish – caveat: chatbots still can come across as somewhat stilted and “not quite human” (they aren’t, after all). Chatbot benefits outweigh this considerably, however. What’s more, they’re becoming more and more “life-like” with each passing day.
And they increase engagement digital marketing how?
While employing chatbots may not directly help with you inbound or outbound digital marketing – by definition, those who end up interacting with your bots must already be on your website or social media channel – chatbots have plentiful benefits.
Human customer service reps basically can handle only about three customer interactions online at a time, but your chatbot can “immensely alter traffic flow” on your site.
They can answer questions and resolve problems in real time. For example, McDonald’s now allows social media channel visitors to place an order online. With several hundred people doing so at once, no human CSR could handle them all. Chatbots can. Accurately, too.
Need help with data gathering?
Chatbots can act as research tools, pulling data from your social channels and providing you with customer metrics from your website.
Automate your social media marketing/posting.
While online platforms such as Buffer and Hootsuite allow you to schedule posts, look at analytics and even allow a human to reply to comments, chatbots can do the same while providing real-time communications.
If you’ve never worked with chatbots before, we can help: the team members here at Ingenex are experts at incorporating them into our clients’ digital marketing strategies. Contact us here for more information or, even better, schedule a time to chat with Jeff Hays, our director of client services. We hope you’ll reach out, no ifs, ands, or bots about it!