A variety of new tools have been created to help make communicating with customers simpler in an increasingly digitised age. One of the major developments in this field has been the creation and cultivation of chatbots. In this blog, we’ll look at the ongoing importance of chatbots, as well as the role they play in human-computer interactions.
Put simply, chatbots act as a kind of virtual assistant. They are used in a wide variety of different fields, and allow companies to provide a customer services front-line which traditionally either removes the need for online digital staff, or acts as a sort of screening service, dealing with small customer queries and providing assistance outside of office hours.
Chatbots utilise artificial intelligence (AI) to create a friendly, simulated conversational tone via websites, apps and online messaging applications. They have continued to grow in sophistication since their original introduction, and now provide a service which is at once promising and technologically advanced.
The tech is used to answer questions, using Natural Language Processing (NLP), and creating its responses in a way which is approachable for the end user.
The way chatbots function behind the scenes is surprisingly straightforward. They are predominantly used for a front-line analysis of individual user requests, before then providing a response to the customer. This process is very handy for organisations in many sectors, as it helps to relieve the burden on human staff, transferring some of the more mundane customer service tasks to chatbot functionality.
A chatbot can often be a preferable solution for the customer, also – as they have access to a vast wealth of pre-programmed information courtesy of the AI functionality, giving chatbots the ability to firstly identify the needs of the user, and subsequently provide a satisfactory answer by accessing the relevant information to process each request.
There are many reasons why chatbots are continuing to grow in popularity, including:
Handling customer enquiries in a way which keeps those users happy can be a tricky thing for even the most advanced and customer-friendly companies to master, but chatbots help to enhance the user experience by focusing on providing an accurate and cordial service.
Staff rarely work round the clock, so some companies use their chatbots as a way of continuing the customer service capabilities outside of usual working hours. This can help ensure customers have access to ongoing assistance regardless of the time they send a query, encounter a problem or need to use a service.
Companies are increasingly looking for ways to streamline the services they offer, and this is vital in the digital space. By utilising a chatbot, the company can also ensure customer needs are met without going through a lengthy hiring process.
One of the major problems of running a company is ensuring consistency and quality control at all levels of the organisation. Businesses are able to gain this consistency by programming the appropriate response they feel reflects the company’s core messaging.
A functional chatbot will help to reduce unneeded costs, helping the business to perform at a high level without an equally high price tag. This is particularly crucial as companies continue to provide more and more services to a demanding public.
All of these offerings can be boiled down to one key concern – boosting customer engagement and efficiency. It should be noted that chatbots do not completely eliminate the need for a ‘human touch’, as this is essential for the accurate optimisation of the chatbot system each company puts in place within their organisation.
Every company is different, and so are their commensurate chatbot needs. There are a wide variety of tools on the market which provide different results depending on the client’s requirements. When making your selection, always be sure to analyse the chatbot’s capabilities against what is truly needed.
Accompanying the explosion in the use of chatbots, there has also been an ongoing growth in online selling, with sellers on Amazon becoming increasingly sophisticated when applying marketing and customer care methodologies. Facebook’s marketing capabilities are also continuing to evolve, and when used in conjunction, the two can make a powerful partnership which leads to a boosted profile, more customer reviews and more sales.
Facebook gives sellers access to specific target audiences, and also allows sellers to distribute their own coupon codes using chatbot technology, via Facebook Messenger.
Using coupon codes is an established, popular way of boosting conversion rates, particularly during the early launch dates of a new product. This is because coupons appeal to customer psychology, helping them to try something new whilst also thriving on the appeal of a bargain. A particularly ingenious strategy was created by a fellow Amazon seller, Marc Staller, and utilises coupon codes, chatbot AI and Amazon to help give your company and seller profile a big boost.
Whilst coupon codes can be distributed on numerous online platforms, Facebook often proves the most popular thanks to the sheer volume of potential customers at the sellers fingertips. There are millions of users ready to make use of a coupon code when it arrives, giving private sellers a vast audience to segment and target via Facebook’s user-friendly interface.
Customers will gain access to each sponsored ad purchased by the Amazon seller, depending on their selected interests, likes and demographics – whilst Facebook Messenger allows the buyer to interact with these customers, free from any intrusion from Amazon itself.
The customer perspective for your Facebook ads and coupon codes is simple. Firstly, they will see the ads in their social media feed, advertising a discount offer for a particular product you have selected. The ads include an option to send a message to begin the chatbot sales funnel, before providing an automated message for the customer to read, detailing further information (pre-selected by the buyer) concerning the availability of coupon codes, discounts and stock.
After clicking on ‘Check Availability’, the customer will then gain access to a subsequent message confirming the availability of the coupon codes, helping to provide further interaction with the customer and enhancing their interest in also accessing the deal in question.
After clicking on ‘Get Coupon’, the customer will be shown a follow-up message which provides them with the applicable coupon code to use when purchasing the product on Amazon. The chatbot can then direct the customer to Amazon via another button, and lead them directly to the product page, complete with their coupon code, ready to make a reduced cost purchase.
The approach is so impactful because it uses two of the largest online platforms (Amazon and Facebook) and appeals to the customer’s innate desire for a bargain, as well as enhancing urgency by indicating there are only a certain number of coupon codes available. In turn, this gives a feeling of exclusivity which is quite seductive from a customer point of view.
There are numerous benefits inherent to using a chatbot as part of the marketing mix, particularly making use of Facebook Messenger. Some of the key benefits for both the seller and the customer include:
By enabling sellers to interact directly with their audience, this allows them to help provide a more personable, personalised service. In turn, customers frequently find this a more appealing way to buy online, helping to alleviate their worries and make them feel they have a real connection to the company or individual they are purchasing from. The desired effect is one of almost interacting with an individual in-store, thus satisfying any emotional requirements pre-purchase.
Using Facebook messenger in a chatbot capacity allows sellers to request a review, which in turn can help to increase their presence and credibility on Amazon. Whilst Amazon itself sends e-mails requesting reviews, the notion of interacting in ‘real time’ with a chatbot has the potential to help persuade customers of the overall urgency of each review request – without making them feel forced or pressured into doing so.
The most popular chatbot platform for Facebook messenger is ManyChat, which is not only a convenient tool, but also designed to be user-friendly and free of cost. Users can test their chatbot ahead of setting it up, and use the capabilities to help increase their leads and online sales – as well as providing exemplary customer care.
For the greatest chatbot results as an Amazon seller, focus on programming the system to sound conversational and approachable. Many people are still concerned about increased automation and the role of AI, even as it continues to provide greater opportunities and a more effective service. However, lots of these concerns are assuaged by the presence of a pleasant tone to each chatbot interaction.