Chatbots have caught on with businesses and brands. These programs allow companies to quickly share information with visitors, answer general questions and direct users to specific spots online. They can also increase engagement, keeping visitors on the site longer as they gather information and have their questions answered through AI.
All of this can help sales: An active customer is more likely to stay and purchase, especially if they feel confident about what is being sold.
There are a lot of specific details to weigh when adding a chatbot to your site, especially when seeking to improve sales. We asked nine members from YEC how they leverage chatbots and why they work for them. Here’s what they had to say:
1. Help Visitors Find the Right Information
I’ve redesigned my website to include a chatbot, which helps my visitors find the right tools, resources and calculators to make smarter investing decisions. It also offers a quick way to ask me a question. The more value I create, the more likely it is that a visitor will want to work with me. It’s a way to showcase your authority, provide value and make a sale. –
– Abhi Golhar, Real Estate Deal Talk
2. Have Your Top Sales People Train Your Chat Crew
When it comes to sales, nothing is better then experience. If you want your chatbot to sell, make sure your top sales people are involved in each step of the customization process. They know the right qualifying questions and the correct pain points that a closeable lead is looking for. They also know the ideal direction and key points of information that a prospect will need.
– Nicole Munoz, Start Ranking Now
3. Provide Answers Outside of Business Hours
Customers browse sites at all times of the day and night. A chatbot can help answer customer service questions during the evenings, weekends and holidays when a human customer service representative is not available. If the question is too difficult, the bot can pass the customer inquiry to a human agent during regular business hours.
4. Answer Frequently Asked Questions
We use a chatbot that has canned answers to our most-asked questions. If the question is out of the scope of the answers, it either connects to a real person in a customer service center or, if after hours, asks for an email which is manually answered within 24 hours. We find this helps eliminate a certain percentage of would-be cart abandoners.
– Chris Van Dusen, Parcon Media
5. Focus on Escalating and Prioritizing
If you’re using a chatbot, then it’s best to focus on escalating higher-priority customers. No one likes to say some customers are more important than others, but if I have an extremely angry customer or my top client chatting on the website, I want to address them ASAP.
– Baruch Labunski, Rank Secure
6. Preload the Chatbot with Pitch Materials
Leveraging a chatbot that provides quick access to meaningful information can help speed up the sales-flow process. Preloading the chatbot with access to pitch materials can help provide relevant information to potential customers quickly. Additionally, utilizing a chatbot to qualify potential sales leads in terms of budget and overall commitment can help as well.
– Jordan Edelson, Appetizer Mobile LLC
7. Give It Access to Purchase Histories
The chatbot should have access to your database so it can determine which customers have bought what and when. When they sign onto the mobile site, the chatbot can pop up for a chat and offer a promotion based on their previous purchases.
– John Rampton, Due
8. Let the Chatbot Test Different Sales Approaches
Chatbots are a great small-scale way to split test how customers respond to different attitudes about your copy. For example, if you have more formal copy, a chatbot can be a good way to test a more cheery or hip approach to visitor engagement. If you get a lot of responses to a new approach, you now have something you can build on for future improvements.
9. Pay Attention to How Customers Are Interacting With Your Bot
Your chatbot is only as smart as you program it. Pay attention to how customers are interacting with your bot and make changes accordingly. For example, if people are asking a certain question about your product, make sure the chatbot has an answer. Monitoring interaction allows you to make your chatbot smarter over time, which will make it a better tool for selling.
9. Act as a Marketing Strategy
Chatbots are thought of as mostly a support or guidance tool for customers and visitors to a website. And that still holds true. However, many brands are being to leverage social media bots, through platforms such as Facebook Messenger’s chatbot. Many e-commerce brands are using Facebook’s chatbot features as a weapon to increase their sales, and even as a shopping-cart abandonment strategy. Currently there are over 300,000 brands using Facebook’s marketing bot features and have exchanged over 8 billion (with a b) messages. But that is just 1% of all brands who have a Facebook business page. Look for chatbots to become a bigger tactic for marketing teams going forward.
Using Chat Bots and Automation to Scale Your Business
As internet-based businesses, we already know the benefits and value in automating wherever possible. With the exciting outlook for chatbots and advanced IA, there is no question that your business will be changing and developing in such a direction in the coming months and years.
Now that you’ve heard what some of the industries top experts had to say about chatbots and AI, it’s time to start thinking about how you can start using such methods within your own business.
If you enjoyed this expert round up, I highly recommend you take a look at this roundup with 83 online marketing experts and their best advice on “How Do I Start a Successful Blog?“. If you don’t already have a website or blog of your own, follow my blogging guide to getting started with one today.