As a consumer, how many times have you sent off an email to customer service only to never receive a reply? And how many times have you made a repeat purchase from a brand that treated you this way?
If you’re looking to increase online sales, chatbots can be a secret weapon in your marketing arsenal. Even if your customer service team already is topnotch, it’s clear that consumer culture is changing in a drastic way. Today, consumers operate with an expectation of instant gratification. When they send off a question, whether via social media or email, they want to receive an almost-instant reply.
“Conversation as an interface, assisted with artificial intelligence, neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) and multi-node neural networks are not only able to successfully engage with customers and provide them with choices to perform specific actions, but also able to assist customers while the humans are out on lunch or finished their shift,” says Omer Khan, CEO of VividTech, who has over 14 years of experience in engineering customer service solutions. Multi-node neural network is a type of machine learning which models itself after the human brain.
In this sense, chatbots can effectively streamline your ability to service customers and increase sales. Providing customers with instant responses, answering basic questions, helping with common order questions, resolving complaints quickly, and providing a consistently friendly and on-brand voice are all reasons that chatbots provide an elevated customer experience.
“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 ,” adds Khan.
Personalize The Chatbot Experience
While chatbots are an efficient way to strengthen relationships with your customer base by helping you organize order history and customer service inquiries, it’s critical that the technology is used correctly. Because chatbots are programmed to look for certain keywords and respond with pre-determined answers to customer’s inquiries, it’s important to ensure that the responses are as personalized as possible. There is a fine line between a customer feeling satisfied because they received an instant response, and feeling frustrated because they are speaking to a machine.
Think of how many times you have called a company’s customer service department and been routed through their voice-activated prompts that simulate human conversation, only to get stuck in a loop and not be able to get an actual person on the phone. Or the voice-activated system didn’t understand what you were saying, making you repeat it over and over again. It’s one of the most frustrating experiences, and a perfect example of conversational bots not being utilized effectively.
Chatbots Allow Having Conversations At Scale
When done right, chatbots can be a great way to engage with new leads and further establish your reputation as a brand putting customers first. This is partially due to the fact that this technology gives you the opportunity to set up sequences of messages for new followers or subscribers.
Whether you decide to use these intro messages as a platform to tell your brand story or share your latest offerings, you will be connecting with audiences in a way that goes beyond a simple customer service message.
Chatbots give you the peace of mind that customers and new leads are being acknowledged without the need to be connected 24/7 or having a team work around the clock, and allow you to converse with your audience at scale. Not only does the technology allow you to significantly increase the number of customers who can be addressed at any given time and immediately, but it also allows mundane tasks that team members would typically perform to be reassigned, freeing up even more time for your sales team.
Simply put, there is a massive opportunity for e-commerce businesses wanting to connect with their audience online. In fact, 77% of customers have improved perceptions of a business after chatting with them online , according to Neil Patel. If you’re ready to start making an impression that counts, chatbot software such as Manychat or Mobile Monkey can be useful, both of which offer free plans.
Between inventory, marketing, budgeting and sales, saying e-commerce store owners are stretched thin would certainly be an understatement. Utilizing advancing technologies such as chatbots can assist in alleviating some of those pressures.