PART 1. About Chatbots: The Foundation of Chat Marketing
To fully understand what chatbots all are about, let’s first define what they are. Chatbots are software programs or applications that simulate human conversations via audio or text. A chatbot can either be powered by pre-programmed (or pre-determined) responses or artificial intelligence to drive conversations. Conversational marketing or messenger marketing is driven by chatbots.
It’s very likely you’ve already seen chatbots in action and have probably interacted with them. They are on websites like mine, retail stores, phone service providers - most major enterprise businesses have them.
They are pretty much ubiquitous.
Chatbots can be as simple as answering frequently asked questions (FAQs) or as complex as having a ‘real’ conversation in which you are fooled into thinking you are having a conversation with a real person. In very advanced chatbots sometimes you can’t tell the difference as they are so intelligent. Typically, chatbots in business are used to message, chat or text.
Why You Should Care in This Moment
There is no denying that the pandemic has changed the way consumers behave and what they expect of businesses. It’s also important to recognize that the way people connect with businesses always follows the way they connect with each other and these days we are all connecting via texts, chat, and messaging.
Have you noticed that the big tech giants like Facebook and Google have gone all-in on chat and messaging?
If you recall, about 5 years ago Facebook launched Messenger (messages using chatbots) as another way to interact on its platform. Now, they have launched automation for Instagram DM (again using chatbots) (which is still not even available to all Instagram accounts).
Follow the money with me – if Facebook is going all-in with chatbot automation it means they have the DATA to prove that behaviors have shifted, and its users (all 2.8 billion-plus) prefer chat and messaging as the way to communicate. Just in case you are not aware, Facebook also owns Instagram and WhatsApp so they are dominating the messaging space.
A tip here: If you want to succeed in business, always take note of what the tech giants are doing and where they are spending money. They have a great handle on where the puck is going.
It’s for this reason, your business must pay attention to chatbots and chat marketing as a legitimate new marketing staple in your marketing toolbox.
This is NOT a ‘new shiny object’ syndrome. It’s here to stay. The tech giants are placing their bets here and so should you.
Why? The chatbot market size is projected to grow to a whopping $9.4 billion by 2024 (Business Insider, 2021) Do you want to miss that boat? And if that doesn’t convince you, be aware that your prospects and customers have become intolerant of slow and delayed responses.
Who wants to wait 24 hours to get an answer to a question when the competitor ‘next door’ can respond in five (5) minutes? On any given day, your leads and prospects have a very small window of interest in your product or services and the longer you delay your response the chance of closing drops ten-fold.
So, if you take 10 minutes to respond to a lead your chance of closing fall by 80% compared with responses within 5 minutes. This is where chatbots shine and solve that problem as they provide answers 24/7/365.
They are FAST and FRICTIONLESS.
They are extremely useful for many different things like answering questions and being the first point of contact in the sales process. Imagine having a customer service representative working all day every day – no time off, no sick days, no holidays, no complaints!
In many cases, chatbots can help with problems much faster than if someone contacted customer service through traditional means. Your prospects or clients are answered while you sleep. This is truly your workhorse. In addition, it’s a huge time and money saver as you can use fewer employees to carry out mundane and repetitive tasks.
It also frees up valuable employee time so they can shift focus to higher-value tasks. Chatbots are estimated to cut operational costs by 30%!
Learn more about chatbots here
Download the free chatbot guide
Watch for Part 2 coming up!