According to research from DemandBase, 80% of marketing executives believe that artificial intelligence will revolutionize marketing by 2020. Because the future relies so much on the implementation of artificial intelligence technology, it’s important for marketers to integrate AI into their marketing strategy (and other areas of the business). However, only 10% of CMOs are utilizing the technology.
What is the Role of Chatbots in Marketing?
While it’s clear most professionals understand where the future of marketing is headed, they aren’t exactly confident on next steps. To help guide you in the right direction, one of the easiest ways to get your AI initiative running is to start simple, with chatbots. Once you have set up a chatbot and understand the basic ins and outs of how this slice of AI tech works, you’re much better prepared to move on to other types of AI tech.
Chatbots Create More Informed Customers
“Messaging apps provide an amazing opportunity for brands to connect with customers, exactly where these customers spend a majority of their time,” says Cardinal Digital Marketing, an Atlanta-based agency that specializes in marketing tech solutions. “And chatbots are the technology that can elevate your messaging strategy to a whole new level.”
One of the best ways a chatbot can help improve your business is by streamlining customer service. A business’s customer services can make or break their revenue. It’s a commonly known fact that keeping existing customers is much less expensive than acquiring new ones. And to complement that, happy customers can help you sell more to new customers.
Improving Customer Retention through Chatbots
On the flipside, bad customer service can impact your business in crippling ways. After all, more consumers are relying on online reviews to help them make better purchasing decisions, and most people will research a business before making a purchasing decision. Retention is the best way to improve your bottom line, which means you have to capitalize on every customer support ticket that comes your way.
Fortunately, the growth of AI has paved the way for chatbots. Chatbots not only make it easier for you to manage and better your customer service efforts, but to appeal to millennials (the largest purchasing group), who prefer multiple ways of communicating with a business—particularly through methods that don’t involve having to get on the phone. Deep learning chatbots can access entire neural networks of information, including customer information you’ve stored up over time. One study conducted by Oracle found that 80% of businesses expect to be using chatbots by 2020. Here are popular types of AI chatbots you can use:
- Facebook Messenger Bot
- MobileMonkey (FB Messenger Marketing tool)
Chatbots answers the easy questions that are asked over and over, which, statistically speaking, comprises 80% of all customer questions. The other 20% will be handed to live agents—via Messenger or other means—if necessary. The Facebook AI chatbot is a great example of this, and many businesses today are using it to communicate with their customers—especially in the ecommerce space. For example, 1-800 Flowers has reported that 70% of Messenger orders come from new customers, while makeup company Sephora books 11% of its makeover appointments through Messenger’s chatbot. Overall, chatbots can intuitively upsell and downsell, provide exposure for your brand through lead generation, and cut your customer service spend.
Chatbots Help with Personalization
One of the other benefits of artificial intelligence is personalization via chatbots. Many businesses are using artificial intelligence to glean even more insight about who their customers are. For example, a handful of today’s best health apps can gather data on how much exercise and sleep a customer gets, in order to deliver personalized lifestyle/diet recommendations to that customer. And you don’t have to be a tech or app company to achieve this level of personalization. The technology is available, and there are many ways you can take advantage of it. Today’s businesses are launching app components for this reason exactly.
Furthermore, artificial intelligence allows you to deliver the most accurate and laser-point recommendations to your customers. And with AI, you can do just that. When your salesbot knows everything, they need to know about a customer, they’re able to do this. For example, let’s say you own a clothing boutique. Perhaps the AI you’ve implemented notices that on customer in particular tends to buy high-end graphic tees and items with kitschy quotes. Your bot could then gather a list of recommendations that your client is likely to buy. It could also siphon the most relevant discounts to that customer, ensuring that you don’t waste marketing dollars trying to sell the wrong things to the right customers, or vice versa.
Chatbots Are Here to Stay
Marketers are finding that chatbots are changing their career in fascinating ways. They are becoming more advanced every day and are one of the most disruptive forces in the profession.