Marketing, Technology

How Chatbots Improve Customer Engagement

Marketing revolves around customers and any brand that fails to leverage customer engagement is obvious to fail on customer expectations. Customers are the central point of any kind of business, and if you are facing very stiff competition from other players in the market, you can’t afford to toy with customer engagement.

Today customers want to have their questions answered instantly. This necessarily means that you should be equipped to provide around the clock service.

Since humans are known for certain frailties and cannot be expected to constantly provide 24/7 service, the coast becomes very clear for chatbots to effectively and efficiently engage customers. Chatbots technologically, are meant to only represent the natural evolution of a Question Answering system based on Natural Language Processing (NLP).

The formulation of responses to questions in natural language is one of the most typical Examples of Natural Language Processing applied in various enterprises’ end-use applications.

Chatbots outstandingly streamline interactions between people and services, thereby enhancing smooth customer engagement.

At the same time, they offer businesses new opportunities to improve the customers’ engagement process and operational efficiency by distinctively lowering the typical cost of customer service. The following are ways chatbots effectively help brands in improving customer engagement.

1. Around the clock chatting

Marketing is becoming customer-centric from product-centric. Brands now have to make sure that they reach out to their customers in their haphazard, complex journey.

Some of the basic things chatbots do to elevate and engage customers are, availing customers with instant responses, answering basic questions, helping with common order questions, quick resolution of complaints, and attending to customers with a consistently friendly and on-brand voice.

According to Omer Khan, CEO of VividTech, “Over two billion messages are sent between businesses and customers on Facebook alone. It’s no wonder over 100,000 businesses are using chatbots to deliver answers to consumers faster.”

Chatbots are utilized to answer specific service-related questions and collect contact information regarding customers at the perfect time, all the time. Chatbots also,

  • Collect information that lets you build a sales pipeline full of qualified leads
  • Offer better customer service and a superior buying experience
  • Address a pain point instantly—which wouldn’t have been possible if customers were just made to fill out forms online for a later treatment
  • Ask leading questions so that sales teams can appreciate the position of potential customers better
  • Turn around your sales cycle and save sales rep time—while giving customers a more personal and friendlier experience that mimics face-to-face marketing rather than the boring form
  • Catch their attention because you say things they’re already thinking
  • Make them feel like you understand them (because you do)
  • Enhance their understanding of the value you offer

2. The borderless market

There isn’t any way you can become a partaker of the $4.5 trillion estimated global online market in 2021 if you decide to stay glued to the confines of your border, online customers are increasingly looking outside their country’s borders to carry out purchases. You must meet them where they are when they want, and how they feel it must be delivered.

You should be kicked into action by the fact that by the end of 2019, 40% of large enterprises will have implemented chatbots and over 25% of the global population will be using messaging apps, which will help to integrate further the chatbot adoption. Live-chatting shouldn’t be seen as a strange thing as roughly 40% of Millennials interact with bots on a daily basis, which means that these types of customer engagements will only be further regularized.

A notable source of concern as regards across the border marketing is the language barrier, however, the advent of AI chatbots have reduced this into a non-issue as they have the ability to live-chat your customers at scale and in any language of their choosing. Forbes reports that chatbots do not only chat in multiple classic human languages but can also be trained to recognize less formal shorthand, internet speak, or even typos that might confuse a human agent.

Common Sense Advisory in a survey, reports that  67% of people prefer navigation and content in their native language and 75% of buyers want to make purchases in their own language. Nothing could be as friendly, heart-warming, and outrightly disarming as hearing your own dear mother tongue from the “lips” of a supposedly complete stranger?

3. Opportunity for upselling and cross-selling

Customers are usually wary when a salesperson starts propping them up for upselling or cross-selling. The fact that chatbots don’t have the disposition to be deceitful allows customers to be better engaged in the discussion and are more positively disposed to suggestions.

Personalized product recommendations leverage information chatbots have gathered about the customers to help curate products that may be of particular interest to your customers above and beyond the mundane here’s what’s new in town or the generic this is a popular demand.

With chatbots, brands are able to create, curate, and manage even the overzealous of customers. They add more value and substance to every customer interaction by procuring first-party data and building lasting customer loyalty. Chatbots are inevitably the best way to engage customers and keep them engaged over the long term with a longer customer lifetime value.  
Photo Credit: labhackercd Flickr via Compfight cc

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About John Ejiofor

John Ejiofor is a curious life-researcher, whose quest to finding answers to life's pertinent questions has led to founding Nature Torch. This blog aims to debate and explore many questions about our earth -- including those a lot of people are uncomfortable with asking. He has been published on some of the internet's most respected websites, which you can find online.
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