It has been a longstanding belief that robots are the future of human communication. While we’re not exactly at the level of Bicentennial Man effectiveness when it comes to artificial intelligence, many of us have welcomed catchily-named chatbots like Alexa and Siri into our technologically saturated personal lives. Siri, Alexa, and other digital personal assistants can make personal lives easier, it makes perfect sense from a business standpoint, to consider the implementation of AI to help foster efficient engagement with consumers. In fact, as we head into 2018, more businesses are beginning to explore the use of this new digital marketing trend. Chatbot marketing allows businesses to nurture relationships with their consumers and grow their business. In this post, we will show how your business can integrate and leverage chatbot technology to streamline B2B marketing automations for better overall customer experience and lead conversions.
Chatbots: What Are They, Exactly?
A chatbot is a computer program designed to simulate human-like conversation. For those of a certain age bracket (looking to you, fellow millennials) SmarterChild was one of the first chatbots to grace our screens. After waiting for the pain-stakingly slow dial-up internet connection of the late-nineties, SmarterChild would always be available to chat on AOL’s Instant Messenger when friends were offline or away from their computers. The idea behind SmarterChild was super simple - a user could ask a question and within seconds, the sometimes sassy SmarterChild would return an answer sourced from a quick internet search. SmarterChild was beloved by many users for a few reasons - the program was efficient, knowledgeable, and provided personable interaction without its user needing to make the ever-dreaded phone call to a friend!
Applying Chatbots to B2B Marketing
In traditional B2B marketing, content is created, emails are blasted to consumers, and virtual fingers are crossed that these customer engagement experiences will be well received. At times, consumers might consider these marketing tactics as impersonal and forced because one crucial ingredient is often missing: trust. As we know, trust is the foundation of solid relationships. Like all relationships, brands must work to build and earn the trust of customers. Chatbots are one way to strengthen that trust. Businesses that employ chatbots offer unique, personalized customer experiences - what human doesn’t love that (especially potential customers.)
Chatbots come in different forms. They can be messenger applications, which could be your own company’s messenger app, a messenger app on your website like PureChat, or an app you build through a social media platform, like Facebook Messenger.
3 Ways B2B Companies Benefit from Chatbots
1) Increased engagement:
Consumers are busier now more than ever! Feedback and/or inquiries by phone or email are rare. Consumers are thirsty for information with as little effort as possible. Chatbots allow for a quick back-and-forth conversation, increasing interaction and the exchange of valuable information between the prospective customer and your company - all without picking up the phone or drafting an email!
2) Convenience and efficiency:
Chatbots are always available to clients for their urgent 2:00 a.m. questions with immediate responses, and they are constantly gathering and analyzing data for your business to review and implement new tactics to your marketing strategy.
3) Smoother transitions from marketing to sales:
Chatbots are able to ask questions and, based on the answers received, qualify prospects and send them directly to your sales team - effectively streamlining the lead generation and qualification process.
Overall, chatbots, rather than something to be feared, can be very powerful business-to-business marketing tools if implemented correctly. By incorporating a chatbot, you will enhance your B2B marketing campaigns, helping you to better engage with your audience, turn them into leads, and eventually, long-lasting business relationships.