WHAT ARE CHATBOTS? HOW CAN THEY HELP IN MARKETING?

Technological advancements are continually transforming how businesses sell their products and services. Chatbots are one such advancement which can be extremely useful in marketing.

● WHAT IS CHATBOT MARKETING?

Chatbots are artificial intelligence-powered computer programmes that initiate and sustain conversations with customers. They have evolved to assist online shoppers in finding the best products and services to match their needs, as well as to answer commonly asked questions and give customer service following a purchase. Chatbots have now been fine-tuned to the degree where it’s practically impossible for customers to distinguish whether they are speaking with a human being or a chatbot.

Using chatbot marketing, brands can interact with prospects at any time and in any capacity, regardless of whether or not their marketing and sales teams are available. Chatbot marketing may be used to start conversations with website visitors, qualify prospects, upsell consumers and can also be used to address support issues. Chatbots aren’t operated by humans, but they are created by them. Based on the rules you specify, the chatbots deliver to your potential customers the precise message you want them to receive.

● HOW DO CHATBOTS WORK?

Chatbots learn from data insights and employ natural natural language processing (NLP) and machine learning (ML) algorithms for the same. The ability of a computer to interpret and analyse human speech and react in a language that people comprehend is known as natural language processing (NLP). This gives the impression that the interaction is between two humans. In this, there are two processes involved, namely, Natural Language Understanding (NLU), which enables the bot to understand a person by turning text into structured data that can be understood by a machine and Natural Language Generation (NLG), which. converts structured data into text, allowing humans comprehend the conversation.

● TYPES OF CHATBOTS

Chatbots are generally of three types: –

  1. Rule-based Chatbots
  2. Rule-based chatbots can be interacted with by clicking on buttons and selecting specified options. However, you can only make a limited number of choices, making these chatbots the slowest to assist your consumers.
  3. 2. Intellectually Independent Chatbots
  4. These chatbots employ machine learning to learn from the inputs and requests of users. You may teach these bots to recognise specific keywords and phrases that cause them to respond. These bots can learn to interpret more and more queries with time.
  5. 3. AI-powered Chatbots
  6. AI-powered chatbots are a hybrid of the previous two types of bots. These bots combine machine learning, artificial intelligence, and natural language processing to understand and remember the conversation’s context as well as the user’s preferences.

● HOW CHATBOTS CAN HELP IN MARKETING

1. Ensure Seamless Live Communication

Most customers do not like to wait for a long time to receive a solution for their issue. If the issue is not rectified swiftly, customers tend to lose their patience. The attention span of humans is low, which forces brands to rethink their interactions. Customers can simply engage with a chatbot if it is incorporated into your customer care system. There is no learning curve or prior training required. Customers don’t have to waste time attempting to contact brands because most brands now employ this in smartphone applications and on their websites.

2. Customer Service will be Available 24/7

Chatbots, unlike human customer care, do not require breaks or sleep. Your brand will be available for a customer when they need help, even if it’s outside of usual business hours. This improves customer satisfaction since individuals can obtain support without having to wait for a query to be returned.

3. Engage Customers After A Purchase

Chatbots can be used for outbound marketing as well. Most brands do not possess enough manpower or time to carry out as much consumer engagement as you want. Chatbots can be used instead to send follow-up messages to send regular follow-up communications to customers to ensure that they are happy with their purchase, make an announcement about new goods or services that are in the works or to wish customers on their birthdays along with a special offer to increase sales, etc. If your customers have a complaint, you can program the chatbots to refer them to a member of your team who can then. assist them. Chatbots can even ask consumers to input their problem, which is subsequently routed to a member of your staff.

4. Save Time and Money

While chatbots may seem like an expensive investment, especially for small businesses, it has been found that the Return on Investment (ROI) is worth the investment.

5. Minimize People-to-People Interactions

The time your staff will spend in dealing with consumer queries will drastically reduce. You can reduce engagement times across all channels, including phone calls, social media, and messaging applications, by phasing out customer service employees and replacing them with chatbots. This is one of the most well-known advantages of using a chatbot.

6. Remove Tedious Tasks

Some tasks performed by staff can be tedious and repetitive which makes them feel drained and dull. This can be removed by assigning such tasks to chatbots. It also enables staff to utilize their precious time for tasks which require application of mind and creativity.

7. Offer a Smooth Customer Journey

The presence of chatbots makes the entire purchasing journey of your consumer smoother. This will ensure that prospective buyers are not lost midway through the marketing funnel. It eliminates confusion and issues that consumers might face, which in turn drives sales. Chatbots can be used for a variety of functions, such as to provide additional product or shipping information, offer promotional codes, etc.

8. Engage and qualify leads.

You can also use chatbots to provide website visitors with simple suggestions, such as “Let us know if you have any questions,” to encourage them to engage in conversation. Bots can then ask further questions to gather basic qualifying information such as email address.

The possibilities that can be achieved using chatbots is bound to grow in the coming years with improving technology. Chatbots will soon be able to mimic actual human conversations and provide more intelligent replies. However, one must also keep in mind that chatbots cannot replace meaningful interactions between you and your consumers, but can be used to engage them and give information and suggestions about your goods and services.

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