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Using chatbots for marketing

Chatbots are increasingly used on the web. They can automate repetitive tasks and increase the engagement of website visitors with personalised support.

With the growing number of products and services, which are also becoming increasingly complex, many consumers find it difficult to get an overview and find the right information. Here chatbots can help, by asking the customer's needs and assisting them in their search for information.

The market for chatbots is expected to grow to 1.25 billion USD by 2025 (https://www.grandviewresearch.com/industry-analysis/chatbot-market). So this is by no means a short-term trend.

What is Chatbot Marketing?

A chatbot is a digital dialogue system that has the ability to recognise text and voice messages and react accordingly by applying rules and routines. In marketing, the chatbot is used to advise website visitors and answer any questions they may have. Chatbot marketing is used to advertise products and services through the targeted provision of information. The primary aim is to increase the engagement of website visitors and generate new leads.

Chatbots are available in different forms. There are chatbots that are characterised by simple questions and answers. Others have a self-learning system in the sense of artificial intelligence (AI) and deep learning. These bots can understand contextual meanings and infer complex interactions. With each interaction, the robot learns.

What are the advantages of chatbots?

A purchase decision is always associated with a certain degree of uncertainty. In order to reduce the uncertainty, a customer usually turns to an advisor. Often, this is a trusted person or sales staff who takes away the customer's uncertainty about a product by answering their questions and pointing out features.

In the digital world, chatbots are now increasingly taking on the role of such advisers. In doing so, sophisticated chatbots do not rely on the help of humans. Potential understaffing caused by too few workers or an unexpected flood of inquiries is thus eliminated. Typical waiting times that occur when processing a request are also eliminated. The customer receives an answer within seconds of entering their question.

What are the disadvantages of chatbots?

In the early phase of implementation, chatbots are prone to not always being able to answer questions accurately. Only through numerous interactions do chatbots learn the appropriate answer to various questions via a self-learning system (AI) or through human programming. Until then, inadequately answered questions can lead to frustration among customers.

Depending on the product and the target group, humans are preferred as a source of information. Through personal contact, an advisor also receives much more context and can better respond to the person based on body language or tone of voice, and is able to answer their questions more appropriately.

When should chatbots be implemented?

Chatbots are perfectly suited for answering factual and frequently asked questions. Examples include questions about shipping: a customer wants to know how long it usually takes for the ordered item to be delivered. Instead of him clicking through the website to find out this information, he can simply ask the question to the chatbot and get the answer without leaving the page he is on.

Chatbots are also suitable for requesting certain information from the customer. For example, the personal details of the insurance company SWICA are requested via a chatbot. With these interactive elements, the customer gets the feeling of personal care.

Tips

If a chatbot is an option for your company, here is a list of tips for successful integration:

  • Give the chatbot a name: this makes the interaction with the chatbot seem less robotic
  • Make sure the chatbot can be accessed at any time, for example by having a chat icon visibly placed on the website
  • Make your visitors aware of the chatbot the first time they visit your website.
  • Provide ready-made questions and answers so that the customer can get their information more quickly

Conclusion

The chatbot offers many possibilities in the field of marketing to provide customers with

targeted information and to positively influence the buying behaviour, the buying decision as well as the buying experience. Depending on the product or service, interpersonal interaction cannot be dispensed with. The chatbot is also not a substitute for providing missing or difficult-to-find information on the website. Important information must still be as easy to find as possible on the website. Chatbots merely provide an alternative route for website visitors to query and find information.

References

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