Blog: 6 Ways to Increase Customer Retention Through Chatbots
Today, the stakes of customer experience are getting higher and more demanding. Customers demand effective and immediate solutions for their queries and would prefer companies that meet their expectations and standards. According to a report issued by Gartner, it has been concluded that the percentile of businesses catering to the use of chatbots for feasible customer experience operations might exceed from 2% in 2017 to 25% by 2020.
As comparable to the time when Artificial Intelligence was apparently experimental in business, today seems pretty hopeful in lieu of the vast majority of digital marketers who have opened up and warmed up to the idea of its application in their systems. Artificial Intelligence (AI) introduced a storm of opportunities — the chatbot, specifically — and with it brought a revelatory customer experience that we’re about to follow through.
Virtual assistants or chatbots have unleashed a greater customer-centric approach for companies aiming towards customer retention. Most customers with bad user experience stop catering to a specific company for their purchases while some may stop visiting their website in the first place.
What are Chatbots?
Chatbots are a genius of Artificial Intelligence — they weren’t introduced to take over the stage from humans, but to facilitate their digital marketing and decision-making strategies in business with impending convenience. Through natural language processing (NLP) and artificial intelligence, chatbots can adapt their behavior to customers and actively approach them at the right moments. Thus, AI chatbots offer enormous potential to increase your sales. Mentioned below are two different types of chatbots that the industry is slowly getting used to by programming artificial intelligence into their operations.
Rule-based chatbots are virtual assistants that provide help to operations as per the textbook. In simpler terms, rule-based chatbots work according to the rules coded into their programming without offering flexibility to the operations.
Similarly, it would take a long time to program a given set of rules, scenarios and questions into their operating system. Given this fact, rule-based chatbots won’t be able to answer queries that don’t correspond to the pre-programmed structure of sentences or usage of keywords and phrases in its system.
Machine Learning or Self-Learning Chatbots
As per their coined lineage, self-learning chatbots are Virtual assistants that have been integrated with a machine learning (AI) algorithm for flexible and crafted responses. Self-learning chatbots have the ability to recognize similar tendencies in sentence structure and keywords, hereby, analyzing the question with sheer complexity for unique and relevant answers. Self-learning chatbots, therefore, help to facilitate a customer’s user experience since they promote a livelier yet timed and unexpected but relevant response.
Increasing Customer Retention Through Chatbots
Implementing chatbots into your digital marketing strategy might be difficult at first since you’d be transitioning from providing a human customer experience towards one pandered with robots. Mentioned below are 6 ways that can help you to increase customer retention through the implementation of chatbots into your marketing strategy.
Customer Support Representatives
Since most business operations tend to work globally, there is a chance that your customer service representative (CSR) might be irresponsive to customers outside their time-zone. In order to facilitate customers from all around the world, businesses tend to incorporate chatbots as substitutes of CSRs during their off-hours.
This is a win-win situation for both the customer and the chatbot — since the chatbot will be tending to unorthodox queries as well, it will be tending to more flexible and relevant options by learning how to respond accordingly. This will benefit the customer in all situations since they’d be getting their answers without wasting their time.
You can also replace your customer care representatives with chatbots in order to save the expenditure of resources. In times of high-traffic or increasing customer inquiries, you can always deploy a chatbot to craft responses to your customers so that they don’t flee from your website due to poor customer experience.
Conduct Surveys for Buyer Personas
Buyer personas allow a brand to market their services or products towards their target audience with improved specifications and analyses. Chatbots, therefore, help you to retain customers by asking research-based questions and data for creating their buyer personas.
Whenever a new customer lands on your webpage, you can deploy a chatbot to ask questions related to their demographics, age, gender identity and interests. This will help you to feature products relevant to a customer’s search history and preferences so that they would return to your website for further purchases in the future as well.
You can start off by training your chatbot to initiate a natural conversation with your new visitors. Upon initiating a conversation, your customers will achieve a sense of personalization and trust which will allow them to reveal information regarding their demographics and psychographics for better customer experience.
Add a Touch of Personalization
In addition to creating buyer personas for your brand, integrating a chatbot with the ‘natural yet personal conversational touch’ might help users to relate to your services gravely. If your brand covers a global audience, then try to integrate your chatbot with language preferences so that your customers can feel at ease by talking to them about their queries.
Since chatbots are hosted independently on each landing page of your website, try to make sure that they ask your users’ name before interacting with them whenever. Make sure that your chatbot is advanced enough to ask the purpose of your customer’s visit. For instance, you can integrate it with a couple of basic questions such as ‘how may I help you today, Becky?’ or ‘What are you looking for, Daniel?’ in order to know what your customer is looking for.
If they’re simply looking to shop, they’d type in the name of their desired product in the chat’s interface which would allow your chatbot to gather information about similar products. If they simply came to your website to read your blogs or watch your guidance tutorials, then your bot can redirect them with links to their desired sources.
For instance, Offer Factor requires customers to enter their e-mail address with their name before initiating the chat with their chatbot. This allows a much more personalized experience than addressing the customer as per every user’s standards.
Source: Offer Factor
Generation of Leads
Another way that a chatbot can help you to grab your customer’s attention is through the marketing of other resources for the generation of leads. For instance, after a customer has successfully made a purchase, the chatbot can deliver a ‘thank you’ message via the chat’s interface with a request for a subscription deal or registration to the brand’s e-newsletter via e-mail.
The chatbot can keep an eye on each user and prompt solutions to make their buying experience easier. If a potential customer is busily scrounging through the offerings page, then the chatbot can prompt a link to a testimonial regarding the product in their wish-list so that they’d happily make a purchase.
The chatbot can also explain the entire shopping process to new visitors for them to turn into leads successfully.
Advertising and Pitching
If your brand is deciding to launch new products, then consider deploying a chatbot for their promotion and advertisement. Product advertisements are not only risky but inapplicable over a large audience as well.
While some might seem interested casually, others might require comparisons and differences from the previous products before buying them. Your chatbot can pitch the new product to customers who were either interested in buying a similar product previously or are currently with a list of differences that make it unique.
Your chatbot can also send links to your brand’s social media to customers who have successfully made a purchase via the chat in order to build your brand’s online presence.
Request for Testimonials
Integrate your chatbot with a feature that garners feedback from your customers upon purchase for an incentive such as a coupon for subsequent purchases in return. Moreover, the chatbot can encourage your customers to share their reviews on social media with reference to your website.
Your chatbot can also ask reviews regarding your website’s user-experience with relation to the page loading time and availability of products. The customers can also provide feedback to the chatbot in the form of advice and improvements, and ideas and preferences for the kind of product they’d want your brand to provide them with.
In December 2018, Facebook acquired around 2.32 billion monthly users, with the majority holding authority and usage over Facebook Messenger. Chatbots practically live in Facebook Messenger and prompt open with a message the moment you head over to their company’s Facebook page. Given the fact that more people use Facebook Messenger, businesses can use chatbots as one of their core marketing strategies for customer retention.
Author Bio: Megan Dennis is a passionate blogger who loves to write about latest SEO, SEM, and content related updates. She is a freelance writer and a part-time blogger for PNC Digital, an Orlando based digital marketing agency. In her free time, she loves to play chess.