On October 15, 2019
With new technology hitting the headlines every day, it can be overwhelming trying to determine what’s a fad and what will actually make a quantifiable impact on your company. Case in point, chatbots. From smart speakers like Alexa to messenger bots, conversational marketing is everywhere, but it can be difficult to determine if it’s right for your company. On the one hand, they have documented success improving the customer experience and reducing overhead (when done right) but on the other, not all industries or audiences are well-suited for bots and even if a company’s audience is primed for one, it may not be in a place where introducing this technology is feasible. So what does that mean when applied to your business? Is your company ready to incorporate a chatbot?
One of the easiest ways to answer this question is to consider your audience. To get ahead of the competition, you have to meet your customers where they are – and where the other guy isn’t. Yet. So where are these elusive consumers? Consider this the easiest game of Where’s Waldo you’ll play this year – your customers are on messaging and chat platforms, and if you aren’t meeting them there, we can almost guarantee someone else is. According to Statista, “As of July 2019, 1.6 billion users were accessing the WhatsApp messenger on a monthly basis.” If you total up the monthly active users of the top three platforms (WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and WeChat) that number is over 4 billion. No company can afford to lose out on 4 billion consumers.
That brings us to our second consideration, though: if your organization isn’t on social media, that’s a pretty big hurdle to introducing intelligent chat into your strategic plan. Hopefully, you haven’t been living under a rock for the better part of a decade, and you can proudly say you have a presence on Facebook. Maybe you’ve even dabbled your toes in Facebook ads. Fantastic! You’re ready to make like an elevator and take your marketing plan to the next level. Even if your demo skews a little on the… mature side, Facebook Messenger might still be the way to go. As of February 2017, a whopping 43% of smartphone users over 60 used Facebook Messenger. The number only grows the younger the users get. “But my customers don’t want to talk to a computer; they want to talk to a person,” you say. “They’ll never hold a conversation with an algorithm.” Truthfully, they might not even know the difference. According to a HubSpot survey from 2017, 63% of people didn’t even realize they’re already using AI technologies.
So your audience is using chatbots, but why would they need to use yours? Conversational marketing platforms serve a diverse range of functions. From lead nurturing to on-demand answers and customer service, there are few limits to what this technology can deliver. Be careful not to leave your dreams of conversational marketing platforms shackled to the top of the conversion funnel. While it’s true chatbots are great for FAQs and answering simple questions, they have so much more to offer. With 73% of respondents in the 2019 Content Preferences Survey stating, “they have less time to devote to reading and research” intelligent chat can hold natural conversations with your audience and help swiftly and efficiently guide them to relevant content while capturing crucial buyer information along the way. They can recognize repeat customers and personalize content especially for them. The one thing no one has enough of is time, so if you can give some of that precious commodity back to your audience, you’re nothing short of a superhero. Without the hassle of cultivating a mild-mannered alter ego.
If you’ve made it this far, and you’re convinced – more than ever – you’ve got to have instant messaging in your company’s marketing plan, consider one final thing. People tend to say Rome wasn’t built in a day, and that’s true, but more to the point, Rome wasn’t built on a dime. Done right, a conversational experience powered by AI can catapult your company to levels of unprecedented success, but poorly made conversational experiences can be frustrating for your audience and detrimental to your public perception. In short, if you’re going to invest in this technology, truly invest. You need to be willing to commit the thought, effort, and long term commitment to not only build your conversational experience but maintain and evolve it for many years to come. Your company needs to be big enough to shoulder this venture, but if it is, you stand to reap the benefits many times over.
With each passing day, customer expectations continue to shift toward experiences that are increasingly personalized and instantaneous. As more and more companies continue to deliver on those expectations, across multiple industries and with staggering efficiency, it’s clear chat solutions are here to stay. Your customers and competitors are ready. So are you. It’s time to incorporate conversational marketing into your business.
The first step in your chatbot journey is actually a click. Schedule a briefing with the Botco.ai team today, and let us be your compass. We’re here to help you navigate the path toward a customer journey built on intelligence and a personal touch. So what are you waiting for? Let’s go!