Innovation and automation have become guiding principles for agile businesses looking to inject disruptive technologies into their workflows. One such disruption that has proven to be a game changer in recent years is the Artificial Conversational Entity, otherwise known as the chatbot.
While AI-driven technology is not a new concept, businesses have found much more useful ways to make use of the automation and efficiency it affords. Sales and marketing teams, in particular, are now using chatbots as the primary tool to help them gain and nurture leads through the selling process.
In fact, many companies are abandoning what they think they knew about marketing principles and selling techniques and are now relying on social media chatbots to streamline their business operations.
How Chatbots are Used in Social Media
Chatbots are essentially software programs that can perform many tasks, and do so intelligently. These automated solutions are designed to mirror human intelligence, giving them a great solution for live chat services and providing answers to users. What makes chatbots so useful in an organization is their ability to develop deep learning processes – the bots then learn from, and adapt to, certain inquiries and commands.
This advanced functionality has been useful when deploying chatbots on social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook. Businesses can now build and integrate conversational interfaces on messaging applications to help leverage social media interactions. Facebook Messenger has been one of the most popular integration choices, due to its ease of use and capabilities. By using this powerful tool, businesses can automate nearly all interactions with their customers, including order processing, collection of feedback, and management of brand reward programs.
Better Sales Support
As more companies concentrate their efforts on improving user experience (UX), social media has proven to be an important outlet in supporting the sale of products and services. Statistics show popular social media outlets and chatbots are now an integral part of the sales funnel, and more and more customers are using them to help make their purchasing decisions.
Studies prove companies can lose up to 15 percent of their sales simply by ignoring social media requests from current or potential customers. This growing trend has put significant importance on a company’s ability to manage their social profiles consistently and with greater efficiency. Chatbots help sales teams by providing automated support to customers, ensuring that brands give the right first impression to new leads. This inevitably leads to better sales conversions down the road.
Generating Higher Quality Leads
Navigating customers through the sales funnel can take time and patience, but it also requires adequate responsiveness. Customers need to be led through the buying journey, and being able to answer their questions and provide helpful resources in a timely manner is key to generating more qualified leads. While chatbots may not be able to automate every conversation effectively, they are efficient at recognizing the gradual progression of a dialogue and know when human intervention is required.
Positive UX removes any unnecessary friction when dealing with an organization. By creating a great UX from the outset, chatbots can help nurture new leads as they’re acquired and help determine if a customer needs to be transferred to a human salesperson. Machine learning and automation can significantly reduce the number of hours sales teams spend qualifying their leads and trying to convert new sales. Chatbots can intelligently recognize when a potential customer is getting closer to making a purchase and direct them to a live person to continue the dialogue. This efficiency makes it easier for salespeople to separate the wheat from the chaff and focus more of their efforts on closing rather than qualification.
Upselling and Cross-Selling
Social media chatbots are used for more than just support and lead generation, however. When using a chatbot, all historical data and past customer interactions are stored, analyzed, and used to make chatbots more intelligent over time. This intelligence allows these automated workers to target specific user interactions based on a customer’s proven interest. Chatbots can be extremely useful when notifying customers about new products and services as well as any promotions currently running. Because these tools work directly with social media messaging apps, they have a higher likelihood of being reviewed and clicked through.
When customers interact with chatbots, they allow the company the ability to track specific customer behavior and purchasing habits. This not only makes sales and marketing teams more aware of what their customers are looking for in products and services, but it also helps to identify when there are cross-selling opportunities for salespeople to take advantage of. What’s more is that chatbots are much more personalized in assisting customers with their purchases. Rather than sifting through mass email marketing campaigns that appear like spam, customers who interact with live chat services can feel like their offers are much more curated and personalized – and many times they are.
Chatbots are a new and progressive way of reaching a broader customer base through social media platforms and other popular applications. These automated software solutions make it easier for companies to compile and analyze customer feedback and buying behaviors while significantly improving how internal departments manage their resources and bandwidth.
Chatbots continue to change the way organizations view and adapt their operational efficiencies. By incorporating AI-driven technologies into your sales and marketing processes, your business can continue to benefit from better customer relationships and improved lead conversions.