What were you doing on the 12th of April 2016?
If you’re like me, you probably don’t remember, but something very significant happened that day.
Something so significant in fact it marked the day that the way we live and do business will change forever…
No, I’m not exaggerating…
So, what was this earth-shattering event?
Well, on that day Facebook announced their chatbots for Messenger platform.
What are chatbots?
Well, basically they’re computer programs that mimic conversation with people using artificial intelligence.
But, the more important question (for you at least) is…
How can making use of chatbots help you with your business?
To answer that, here are the 5 reasons you need to use them in your business.
1. They Increase Sales and Reduce Costs
Chatbots have been proven to increase revenue and profit by providing very efficient customer assistance, which requires a lot less human support.
When you take into account the fact that there are 2 billion + active monthly users on messenger apps in general and about half that being on Facebook’s Messenger app, it isn’t difficult to see the scope you could reach with a chatbot.
Want a few examples of how chatbots in the Messenger app directly produced growth in online revenue?
· Sephora a beauty and cosmetics business managed to boost their makeover reservation rates by 11 percent just by deploying their digital Reservation Assistant via Facebook Messenger.
· After using their own Facebook Messenger bot 1-800-Flowers reported that more than 70 percent of its Messenger orders were from new customers.
· Nitro Café (the world’s smallest café) increased their sales by 20 percent with their Messenger chatbot. They designed it for easy ordering, direct payments and instant two-way communication.
So yeah, these brands were able to see massive online sales boosts and gain more customers because of their Messenger chatbots!
But, it doesn’t stop there…
Engagement is another huge benefit of using chatbots in your business.
– The Sun’s Messenger bot drove almost half of its users back to their site throughout their football coverage.
To be precise, 43% of their chatbot subscribers clicked through during their best period.
It’s starting to become clear to you just how effective chatbots can be for your e-commerce site, isn’t it?
(Especially Facebook Messenger chatbots).
Now, I’m sure you’ll agree with me that increasing sales while reducing costs is the perfect situation for any business, right?
Well, you guessed it…
Chatbots will help you do exactly that!
– Did you know that a massive $79 billion is paid to customer-service employees in the US alone!?
Well, chatbots have the potential to replace 29% of those employees.
That would result in almost $23 billion in savings per annum.
But wait, there’s more…
· Chatbots enable 24/7 customer service and guidance, without the extra resource costs.
· They eradicate human error.
· Always remain on-brand.
· Streamline response times.
· Personalize the shopping experience at a potentially greater capacity than manual response, due to the speed and accuracy of customer data gathering/analysis.
2. They Improve Mobile Conversion Rates
It’s kinda strange that although people are spending an increasing amount of times on their phones, global conversion rates for e-commerce stores on smartphones are just 1.53% compared to 4.43% for desktop websites…
On top of that, making sure your website is mobile responsive isn’t enough to stay relevant.
But do you know what does work really well on mobile devices?
So much so in fact that messaging apps have surpassed social media apps in monthly active users.
This means that “conversational commerce” is a highly effective approach to mobile e-commerce.
It uses messaging to provide your customers with the best shopping experience by letting them discuss their needs and ask questions about your products in real time with a chatbot.
3. They Provide Personalized Shipping Updates and Customer Service
The days of SMS links and HTML emails are quickly coming to an end when it comes to things like sending…
· Button menus
· And even boarding pass.
What this all translates into is an awesome user experience for your customers which is all contained in one message feed, instead of spreading out across multiple tracking notifications and emails.
Also, the novelty and convenience of receiving detailed shipping updates via chat will encourage conversions and increase user interaction with your brand.
Speaking of brands…
4. They Enhance Brand Image
Let’s face it…
Making sure you have an exceptional brand image = trust
And trust = $$$
These days, you don’t get your customers to trust you simply by providing them with awesome customer service and products (I mean yeah, that is the main way to earn trust, but…).
But also through the perception of being up-to-date and innovative.
You know that feeling when you find out about a really awesome business, but then when you look for them online, they don’t even have a website?
You know that you’d feel much better about them if they did have an awesome and modern website, right?
Well, chatbots are no different!
Don’t be the business people love, but wish had a chatbot to engage with.
Trust is the difference between making the sale and not…
So, the more you can build trust with your potential and current customers, the better it’ll be for your business.
– Of course, just having a flashy website, app or chatbot isn’t enough, but if you provide a seamless and enjoyable customer experience, you’ll come out on top every time.
Now, in order to create the best chatbot experience for your customers and to make sure you don’t damage your brand, keep these points in mind:
· The chatbot’s purpose
How do you want your chatbot to represent your brand?
– All 3?
In order to optimize and futureproof your chatbot, you’ll need to outline specific objectives.
Please don’t try and create a “general” bot with no thought or strategy behind it.
· It’s limitations
Realize the capacity of your bot.
Play to its strengths and stay away from its weaknesses.
Ask yourself questions like…
“Is it smart enough to recognize sentiment?”
“Will it acknowledge confusion and agitation?”
(Yes, these things are possible with chatbots).
Also, remember that placing visible safeguards such as human if/when required is a very smart move.
It’ll reinforce trust and it’ll show that you care about your customer’s experience.
Also, also… keep in mind that a bot which functions incorrectly or disappointingly will do more harm to your brand than not having the tech available in the first place!
Plan for the worst and even users just messing around.
Pro tip: Setting up real-time alerts for danger words is a good idea.
Don’t stress yourself out though.
Your bot will improve and get better over time as your processes improve as well.
5. They Help You Automate and Scale Your Business
Finding new ways to automate and scale your eCommerce business is always a priority and chatbots help you do exactly that.
With language processing more accessible, the automation Chatbots provide might extend beyond customer service and replace some of the tasks you might hire a virtual assistant to do.
Also, according to Zandesk, customers prefer self-service when possible.
Chatbots enable this by handling things like returns and answering FAQ’s.
So, as you can see, chatbots are awesome and if you’re not using them for your business, you definitely should be, or you’ll end up getting left behind!
If you’d like to know more about how you can use chatbots to benefit your business, leave a comment below and I’ll get back to you!