According to Gartner, more than 25% of all customer interactions will be through virtual assistants by 2020.
Thanks to recent developments in Artificial Intelligence, the use of chatbots has expanded across industries and applications. These days, bots can be used to facilitate and automate a number of tasks such as: data collection, lead qualification, customer service, etc.
In fact, the Salesforce State of Chatbots Report found that people from all 195 countries are actively using online chat software to engage with business websites.
Simply put, if your business does not use a chatbot to connect with leads and customers, then you are missing out on a massive opportunity to grow your sales.
So, Why is Everyone Using Chatbots?
The short answer is: people appreciate one-on-one, personalised interactions.
Consider this – more than 50% of customers believe that a business should be open 24/7. A bot can help companies automate their service for such clients and save up on costs related to traditional customer support.
It’s no wonder that messaging apps and chatbots can create better engagement, leading to more downloads and ensure more time spent by customers on site. In other words, personalised conversation bots can be used to significantly enhance User Experience by engaging visitors.
Where In The Sales Funnel?
As per the Chatbot Report 2018, 67% of millennials are more likely to purchase from brands using a conversation bot.
From building awareness to lead generation, answering queries, etc., chatbots have quickly proven to be an asset at each phase of the sales funnel. Here’s how:
Businesses must establish a mutually beneficial relationship with a prospect at the very start of the sales funnel. A chatbot can help initiate the conversation, engaging the visitor and giving them all the info they need to move further down.
A chatbot can be programmed to ask questions about the likes, dislikes and purchase history of customers to suggest new products and services.
It can also provide answers to basic queries and frequently asked questions, and direct visitors to the right page on the website to find out more. If none of this works, it will put them in touch with a human sales representative.
The chatbot can help drive the decision to purchase by sending additional ads and info based on past interactions with the lead. Essentially, it collects valuable data at each stage of the sales funnel, pre-qualifying prospects and saving businesses considerable time and resources.
Once the sale is final, the chatbot can follow-up with the customer using previously gathered data. This feature comes in handy if you want to run a retargeting campaign to create a loyal customer for life.
How Do Chatbot Sales Funnels Work?
Automated chatbots deploy a sequence of messages with a purpose based on various triggers or prompts.
Your job is to move as many people as possible into the funnel; then, the subsequent messages take them on a journey towards conversion.
There’s bound to be cold traffic at the top of the funnel – some of these leads leave right away while others can be attracted through welcome prompts, suggestions, quizzes etc.
For instance, a bot can ask a lead their favourite colour and display products that are tailored to them. This is especially important since over 33% of consumers rely on chatbots for recommendations.
Machine Learning, Natural Language Processing and AI have made it possible for bots to produce in-depth and often engaging conversations with users – if used properly, these can save businesses nearly 30% in customer support costs.
Overall, there is no denying the fact that these bots are fast becoming an essential part of the sales funnel – leading to a better brand image and higher conversion rate.