Using a chatbot to grow your business through conversational messaging, whether it's to acquire customers, help existing customers, or build brand awareness, is becoming increasingly popular. And it's is only going to grow exponentially. So, have you got a chatbot strategy in place?
Chatbots can achieve a lot for your business. The technology allows you to serve your customers while you sleep, without increasing your staff budget. It can target conversations and engage with people when they view your ad, visit your website, or land on your sales page. This helps speed interactions, which delivers a happier customer. A good chatbot can also move people down your funnel, allowing you to convert more of the right leads faster.
Now we are a few years into chatbots; we are expecting them to say more than Hello, how can I help you? The real goal of chatbots is to automate conversations so the user should still feel like they're having a one-to-one communication with your brand.
Essentially, the most basic chatbot should be able to get pieces of information to qualify a lead and let them know there is a solution. Then a human can step in and deliver.
The formula appears simple to implement a chatbot – create a bot and convert your users. But what happens between point A and B, requires knowledge and strategy.
There are several primary keys to a successful chatbot strategy – audience, goal, performance, key intent, storytelling, strengths analysis, and feedback. But you must consider these two aspects before you DIY or get an expert to deliver a chatbot strategy that works for your brand.
You need to profile your ideal customers. Your strategy's ultimate goal is to create an experience that connects to the audience in a relatable and useful way. Your audience is your guiding light. Every decision you make should start there.
To define the type of chatbot strategy, you need to begin with the end in mind. Envision the best-case scenario for your audience and what actions you want them to take to create the experience.
In customer acquisition, the goal is conversion. However, collecting a user's contact information to sell isn't enough. It is about what value the chatbot can provide the user. Can they give them a quote, get them pre-qualified, receive a personalized plan? The crucial key to your best-case scenario will include something a user can act on.
There are different levels of chatbot marketing. It is essential to consider where you are now and maybe build on that strategy.
Basic Chatbot – pick a button.
The most basic form of chatbots is based on buttons and menus. These bots are decision tree hierarchies that are presented to the user through a chat interface. They involve pre-programming of appropriate conversations and choices, but users won't be able to go outside those lines. These bots don't contain artificial intelligence or machine learning.
When a user makes contact with the basic bot, they receive a list of options – ‘make a payment,' ‘schedule an appointment,' or ‘contact customer support.' From this point, the user will continue to choose various options until they reach an answer. It allows businesses to automate large volumes and routine processes.
While this is effective for routine FAQs that comprise most support calls, it can't handle complex issues that require greater understanding. However, these bots can escalate a conversation to a live service agent if necessary.
Think of them as a scooter you hire during your summer holiday in Thailand. This mode is effective at getting you from point A to point B without any fuss. But you're not going to do any long-distance travel on it.
Intermediate Chatbot – keyword recognition
The next level tier of chatbot listens to users and responds accordingly. It achieves this by using AI technologies like natural language processing (NLP). These bots select keywords in a conversation or phrase and map them to a response database.
This level of bot allows the user to type in ‘make an appointment please,' and it will respond accordingly from the response database. While this is better than the basic bot, it can falter when asked to answer multiple questions with the same keyword. This issue can be circumvented by the bots responding to a user with a list of options based on the keywords, allowing the user to select the most relevant.
Intermediate bots are perfect for businesses that want to begin integrating AI and demand more efficiency out of their chatbot solution.
Think of these chatbots as the sports bike made for road riding. Stylish, fast, and convenient to ride around the city streets, but not supercharged for high-performance racing.
Advanced Chatbot – machine learning
These chatbots harness the power of machine learning and AI. They recollect conversations with specific people, learn over time, and improve at their jobs. You don't need to program keywords into the bot, because these babies learn from experience to figure out conversations. When a chatbot can access copious amounts of data, an AI-driven chatbot can handle complex issues, adapt to changes, and expand options for automation.
They provide a better user experience and streamlined functionality. This type of bot is the high-powered mean machines of the MotoGP. Highly sensitive and responsive in the right hands.
The right chatbot for your business depends on your customers, your goals, and what capabilities you need to reach those goals.
Many companies can achieve sufficient ROI by implementing simple menu-driven bots. In contrast, others may require a high level of sophistication.
So how do you develop a chatbot? Well, you can do it yourself via a platform, or you can get someone who knows the systems and help you make the right choices, so the implementation runs seamlessly.
This is where expert consultation makes all the difference.
At Allea Marketing, we go through all the keys to a successful chatbot and develop a comprehensive strategy and suggest a custom-fit model. We will determine the primary user experience and conversational flows to best reach the bot's goal. Additionally, once the bot is out in the wild, we can track feedback on performance against the KPIs identified in the strategy and plan future developments.
Why not schedule a call and let us show you how we can integrate a chatbot strategy into your current platforms to take your business to the next level.