As you peruse your favourite sites across the internet, you may have noticed a growing trend down in the lower right hand corner. A little chat window with a welcoming message pops up. Someone’s ready to help you right now. How cool is that?
There’s one, right now, see? We’ve got one too!
If you’re the kind of person who uses your phone for everything but actually calling, it could be your customer service dream.
So, what’s actually going on?
Chat Bots Vs Real Live Human People
You’re used to talking to your friends and colleagues via instant messenger. You’re used to calling customer service. So when you see that message pop up, you may be tempted to think that a company has real live customer service agents waiting to take your message.
Sometimes, there is a human on the other end. But often, the front line of chat-based customer service is a bot. Why?
- Many customer support issues can be taken care of in an automated fashion
- Bots can gather preliminary information before handing off to an agent
- Bots don’t have to take breaks or get paid — they can work 24/7!
Once Again: You Don’t Have to Pay Bots
If you know that many customers are just looking for some quick, simple answers to common questions, just build them into a chat bot and don’t involve a person.
Then, if you know that the majority of customer issues are going to require escalation to a human at some point, you can still save yourself time by developing a bot to gather the basic information such as name, email address, and nature of their inquiry or problem.
You’ve saved your staff some time that they can use on other tasks, and the bot is able to hand off the customer — whether immediately to a live chat session or into the customer service queue. You’ve got a convenient hard copy of the task, and the customer won’t have to re-explain themselves.
Chat Bots Vs the Rest of Your Site
You’ve already got a well-performing website. You’ve got your contact forms, you’ve got a public email address, you’ve got a phone number. Why build this extra layer of communication in?
The simple answer is that some people just prefer it that way. According to Facebook, 56 per cent of people would rather send a message than make a call to customer service — across generations.
Those who want a phone call will still call you. But those who would have left because they don’t want to set that time aside to make the call, or enter a big block of text into an intimidating form? You may be able to scoop them up with a well-designed bot. You’re also able to guide them toward specific content or others, and help them navigate the site.
The chat bot is a happy medium between the traditional means of customer interaction. The customer gets the convenience of being able to type out their thoughts — without having to commit to large, comprehensive blocks of text. But they also get the immediacy of a live phone call, at least to a point. They can get some answers right away, and they only have to wait for an answer when their issue really is complicated.
But even there, they at least have a more pleasant experience along the way. They’re not finding themselves on their site and left to fend for themselves. They’ve got more options.
Behind the Scenes: What Can a Chat Bot Do?
A marketing chat bot is not going to be a Siri for your website. That’s not quite the point of them. Essentially, you’re creating a conversation structure with branches and loops that learns about the customer. You design that structure and you write the messages that get the customer into the flow.
- Provide information in response to common queries
- Respond to the user in personalized ways
- Funnel users toward relevant offers and obtain contact information
- Free up customer service and sales agents from common, often low-value tasks
- So much more!
A bot can ease a person into an information-gathering sequence. A friendly face to your company, it can offer things of value — answers to questions, direction to interesting content — before it starts asking for anything. And when the time does come to request that personal information, it’s happening one manageable message at a time.
Chat bots can also be designed to allow the user to quickly select preset button responses. You remove the barrier of having the person actually type and can easily control the flow of the conversation. Your bots can keep track of the answers your users have selected and respond directly to them.
It’s neat, tidy, and it works. According to Juniper Research, bots are expected to save companies $8 billion by 2022.
How Do You Get a Chat Bot on Your Site — Pronto?
There are many options out there for developing chat bots. As HubSpot Platinum partners, Flawless Inbound’s recommendation is… HubSpot! Chat bots seamlessly integrate with the rest of your HubSpot CMS, augmenting your site’s ability to convert leads and maintain happy customers. You know how your customers have navigated your bot — and you’re even able to alter your chat bot system’s approach to returning customers.
Already know their name? Have your bot greet them personally next time they drop by. It’s those little touches that often make the difference.
If you’re looking to get started on chat bots — or any aspect of a marketing funnel – get in touch. At Flawless Inbound, we’ve helped more than 60 companies across Canada and the US achieve and exceed their revenue growth goals through marketing optimization. If you’d like to learn more, reach out and let's chat! You can also get more information for Marketing Managers here.
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