Chat Marketing Automation Systems (widely known as ‘Chatbots’) have risen fast in the world of business.
You can find a Chat Marketing Automation System on a business website, Whatsapp, Instagram, and Facebook. They are common on support or help pages as well. In fact, you may have one named Alexa sitting in your living room right now!
You may know about the practical benefits of using Chat AI online for Customer Relationship Management (CRM). They can resolve common inquiries and customer service-related issues.
The more sophisticated ones can provide nearly the same results as a human, with the bonus of being able to process multiple customers at once. They don’t have to be “spammy” or robotic, either!
The best Chat Marketing Automation Systems use artificial intelligence. The more scenarios they go through, the better they get at resolving inquiries. Therefore you end up with a higher level of customer satisfaction.
However, in addition to CRM, you can also use this AI to increase sales and generate leads.
Why a Chat Marketing Automation System could be the missing piece in your marketing
These virtual agents are the latest in the digital marketing revolution, with most consumers worldwide preferring to have them available.
Here are some of the reasons you should add a Chat Marketing Automation System to your marketing strategy.
Generations with purchasing power prefer text
Right now, the people with the most purchasing power belong to the Millennial Generation. Soon it will be Generation Z.
If you’re doing any kind of business in the digital realm, they should be your go-to demographic for everything you do.
They highly prefer communication over text (SMS and Messenger) rather than anything else. In fact, research is showing that they are significantly more likely to open and respond to short, text-based touches as opposed to emails, phone calls, and mailers.
If you have a virtual assistant handy on your sales page or social media page, you could have significantly more conversions with these generations.
They prize convenience in the sales process more than ever (sometimes even more than a competitive price). Using conversational commerce AI makes it easy for them to engage with your business, and start building a relationship with you.
Chat Marketing Automation Systems handle things when you’re away
None of us can work 24/7. Things can come up when you and your entire team are off. Since 80% of Millenials are willing to buy something the first time they see it, you should have a sales representative standing by around the clock.
This also helps you expand your reach to consumers in different countries. Say you live on the West Coast. There is a time difference of 7-12 hours between you and countries in Europe, a place where e-Commerce is on the rise.
Either you need a sales team that works odd hours or one native to the areas you’re trying to reach. Or better yet, hire a handy helper who never sleeps!
This is one of the reasons why virtual agents save businesses so much money. They cost exponentially less than staff who are on call to resolve issues and respond to potential leads.
Chat Marketing Automation Systems save you time
In addition to remaining on call 24/7, these virtual assistants can save you money by taking care of a ton of tasks that used to require people. Therefore you can reinvest your payroll budget to hire staff to take care of more pressing things.
The right Chat Marketing Automation System can handle most common inquiries, even things you might assume need a human. We’ve all started our workday and spent hours putting out inbox fires, answering chat inquiries, and resolving support tickets. The more you can offload to an AI, the better.
There are certainly CRM tasks that only you or another staff member can take care of. Why not free yourself up for those tasks?
Chat Marketing Automation Systems increase sales
We’ve shown how Chat Marketing Automation Systems are convenient and preferred by most consumers, but none of that matters if they don’t actually increase the bottom line. Fortunately, they do.
One study found that messenger-based marketing can increase cart size up to 30% for the average customer. This means that for the customers you do convert, you could see a 30% increase in sales.
People are also shown to buy products over chat entirely, even products that they wouldn’t have bought from another source. Are you concerned that a customer may look at your products and then try to find something similar elsewhere, but for cheaper?
Preliminary research shows that the opposite is true. They may end up buying something they would not have bought anywhere because of your bot.
How To Increase Your Chat Marketing Automation System’s Conversion Rate
This all goes to show that conversation-based marketing is the future of commerce not only in the U.S. but also worldwide. It’s time to start thinking of your Chat Marketing Automation System as the frontline in your sales force.
1. Invest In Natural Language Processing (NLP)
Natural Language Programming (NLP) is one of the best ways to differentiate your assistant from the rest.
For a long time, science has studied the intersection between machines and humans. How do they interact? Can humans truly feel understood by machines? Far from science fiction, the answers to these questions affect the marketplace today.
NLP closes the gap between your customers and the agent they interact with. It is a measure of how well your Chat Marketing Automation System can interpret and respond to human language. It matters immensely because very few people talk to AIs in perfect English (Or any language, for that matter).
The best NLP not only understands the user’s words, but also understands the intent behind the words, and delivers a fitting response.
When you select a Chat Marketing Automation System to use for CRM and sales, make sure that it has robust NLP.
2. Fine Tune The Scripts
Many AI interactions follow pre-written scripts. You can think of these as a flowchart guiding the conversation from one place to the next depending on the customer’s responses. The prevalence of scripts leads to both an opportunity and a challenge.
Imagine you had a sales force that always phrased things just the way you like. This is the power that conversational commerce gives you. The upside is that the script doesn’t change from one customer to the next.
The downside, however, is that the script doesn’t change from one customer to the next! When the script is bad, it’s going to be bad every time.
Have a professional copywriter look at your automated chat scripts. The goal is to be conversational, not robotic.
A higher-converting Chat Marketing Automation System will have expert scripting, and be thoroughly tested.
3. Name Your Chat AI
Now more than ever, people prefer a human touch. Because your virtual agent is often the very first time somebody interacts with your brand, the agent should be a near-perfect representation of your brand identity, all the way down to the name.
Treating it like it’s a member of your team will help customers engage and help you train it to respond the way you want it to.
Giving your AI a name is the first step to giving it a unique personality. This can help your business stand out in a crowded market. Larger companies like HelloFresh (Freddy) and LEGO (Ralph) are already using them to great effect.
There are plenty of guides around for naming yours if you’re short on inspiration. We recommend giving it a robot name rather than a human name (to minimize confusion) and perhaps making the name a twist on your business. For example, if you run an electrical services company, you could name your bot “Sparky.”
4. Give Your Agent Emotions
This is another important step in building the personality of your bot. When it has a better personality, it will develop strong relational equity and therefore convert at a higher rate.
Ask yourself, how do you want the customer to feel at each stage of the buying journey? You can completely program to correspond with those emotions.
When you’re introducing the product, you want the agent to sound excited. When you’re closer to making the sale, it should sound assuring and incorporate risk reversal.
As you script the AI, don’t be afraid to use emotionally-charged language. It beats robotic, cold language every day of the week. This will also help in CRM, as the more your Chat Marketing Automation System can emphasize with a customer, the more likely they are to resolve a situation successfully.
5. Make Sure It Knows When To Escalate
Most of the resistance to using Chat Marketing Automation Systems comes from users wanting to interact with a real person instead. Some may refuse to engage, but others try to escalate to a human as quickly as possible. So when your system fails to escalate correctly, you will lose them. This is notwithstanding the situations where a human is better suited for the task at hand.
We’ve discussed how there are many things that bots can take care of to free you and your team up. But frankly, they are still not able to take care of everything.
Consider three possible sales situations:
- The sale can be made exclusively with the AI, without any human involvement.
- The sale cannot be made at all, even with human involvement.
- The sale can be made where the interaction begins with a conversational AI and then gets “sent up the line” to a real person.
If your bot doesn’t know how to escalate properly, you will miss out on all sales from situation C.
The proper escalation comes from scripting and training. Consider the situations (unique to your business) where you want a human to step in, as well as the situations you want the AI to handle fully. Then adjust accordingly.
6. Use It To Generate And Nurture Leads
This is a relatively new use for Chat Marketing Automation Systems that has grown as they have become more sophisticated.
An AI can help you segment your audience by either asking the right questions or by picking up on contextual clues. This could lead to helpful demographic information and targeted follow-ups.
Additionally, artificial intelligence can use algorithms to assign scores (think 1 to 100) to your leads depending on their level of activity. This can lead to target recommendations or even alternate scripts depending on the user’s score.
In addition to scores and segmentation, new ways to use Chat Marketing Automation Systems for leads are coming out all the time.