Small businesses looking to improve their service offering should consider using chatbot funnels to boost their digital marketing efforts. Chatbots open opportunities for businesses better connect with their customers and facilitate human-like interactions that build trust.
Have you ever visited a website where within mere seconds a small chat window opens up to talk with you? If you’re like most people, you most likely have.
This is called a chatbot.
Chatbots are automated, AI-based programs designed to have online conversations with real humans, usually on websites, social media, or mobile applications.
While chatbots can be rather annoying at times, some customers are starting to recognize their value in providing high-level customer service.
As the chatbot trend continues, small businesses should strongly consider creating their own chatbot marketing funnel.
This article expands on the benefits of using chatbots to create additional marketing funnels and some of the associated cybersecurity concerns.
Benefits of Chatbots for Small Businesses
Automation has greatly changed the way that we can market our businesses digitally, and chatbots are a great example of that innovation.
Chatbots allow businesses to offer a helping hand to customers, clients, and website visitors in real time via mobile apps, social media, and websites.
There are five key benefits for companies that include chatbots in their digital marketing strategy.
Answering Customer Queries
It should be no secret that website visitors can be very impatient. They have a lot of questions and they want answers very quickly.
Because of that, it’s in any brand’s best interest to answer queries from customers in a timely fashion and to try to maximize on-site user engagement.
While the obvious solution to this may seem to be forming a full-time customer service team, the truth is not every online business has the resources to make this happen.
Chatbots are a low cost alternative solution because of their quick response capabilities.
Businesses should give their chatbot a name and a profile photo. This will make the interaction seem more human to customers even if they know they are talking to a bot.
Increasing User Engagement
Remember that a chatbot’s primary purpose is to provide customers with answers and information. Fortunately, this also works to successfully increase on-site user engagement.
One of the fundamental differences between quality chatbots and other marketing forms is how dynamic they are. The best chatbots mimic actual human conversation with great copywriting and are also able to adapt to the person they are talking to.
This helps increase engagement as the conversation goes on.
Successful chatbots can also provide links to products and services to keep visitors engaged for an extended period of time.
Personalizing User Experience
Personalization is essential when it comes to marketing because it is one of the best ways to increase customer loyalty and boost revenue over the long run.
After all, no business can survive without repeat customers — just ask some of the top branding agencies.
This is because customers are not likely to feel drawn to brands unless they can resonate with the messaging. Chatbots can do much to achieve this, because they can support the brand development process by welcoming a customer by name and ask how they can assist.
While the customer is obviously aware that they are communicating with a chatbot, the communication can still feel personal because of the human tone.
Chatbots can further help personalize the experience through machine learning — keeping track of each individual’s search and purchases history and offer product or service suggestions.
Furthermore, it helps businesses learn more about their customers and better optimize their marketing funnel to fit what your customers need.
At the very least, chatbots provide a more interactive way to get to know customers over using customer surveys or other methods.
One of the biggest challenges that comes with digital marketing is lead management, or the process of tracking and optimizing sales processes to create qualified business opportunities and new clientele.
Chatbots can help here, too. The technology can generate leads directly from your website.
Businesses can program chatbot to act immediately whenever a customer (or a lead) clicks on a critical website link.
For example, if a customer clicks on a ‘demo’ link the chatbot would immediately prompt a message to help the customer schedule a demo.
This real-time interaction means that customers don’t have to wait to work with an actual human customer representative, speeding up the lead generation process significantly.
Augmenting E-commerce Platforms
The ideal chatbot should be fully compatible with a company’s e-commerce hosting platform as well.
The best e-commerce platforms such as SiteGround, Shopify, or Squarespace already come with a number of important features like default hosting, regular backups, user friendly themes, suitable bandwidth, RSS feeds, and security protocols.
While these are helpful, chatbots can take an e-commerce platform to the next level when it comes to customer engagement.
For example, chatbots can do the following:
- Handle FAQs
- Provide online chat service
- Replace contact forms and surveys
- Offer 24/7 support
- Integrate with other support features
These are just a few of the responsibilities chatbots can take off a team’s plate.
Cybersecurity Concerns with Chatbots for Small Businesses
AI-driven chatbots clearly offer numerous, but they also come with some critical security concerns that are worth mentioning.
One of the biggest concerns is how customer or company information is transmitted or shared.
To mitigate this risk, businesses need to ensure that proper security protocols are in place with their chatbot of choice, and especially before they release the chatbot to provide customer support.
Any chatbot needs to be integrated tightly with existing enterprise security systems and include data security mechanisms, authentication, authorization, and auditing.
It’s also critical that only individuals with appropriate authentication are allowed access to the chatbot tool. The last thing a business should do is grant anybody unlimited access to edit what can pass between separate systems.
Chatbots Are Worth the Investment
In conclusion, the various chatbots available have much to offer businesses when it comes to digital marketing.
Adding a chatbot funnel can help to personalize the visitor experience to create repeat customers, provide 24/7 customer service, generate leads, and augment e-commerce platforms for a superior customer experience.
Ultimately, businesses have to ‘think human’ when it comes to dealing with customers who visit their site, and this is exactly how chatbots come into play.