Woman uses chatbots

To gain real value from chatbots, companies need to consider what website visitors would need/want from a chatbot and how to provide this service.

Chatbots are ideal for providing customers with a self-service option on their digital customer journey that ideally matches your brand and can combine automated services with a personalized experience. Given that the use and development of chatbots has been reduced in complexity over the last few years, even small companies can now implement different kinds of chatbots throughout their customer journeys.

More and more CRM and marketing automation platforms offer chatbot options that can easily be connected to lead generation, sales processes and service platforms. In addition, there are numerous software providers that specialize in easy-to-use chatbot solutions.

But with choices comes complexity because a successful chatbot needs to meet a clear user need. For the time being, companies fare better using simple chatbot solutions for singular services instead of trying to implement a solution that fits all needs. Even with the use of artificial intelligence, a chatbot with one task can perform better than a chatbot with multiple, intertwining tasks.

In the following, I present a few possible uses for chatbots in service and marketing.

Chatbot Types as Icons

Welcome

Welcomes new (or known) website visitors and can point out open shopping carts or recommended product groups for returning visitors.

Reception

Collects information from leads and customers who, for example, have a service request. This can then be forwarded directly to a (suitable) service/sales employee, who can take over the communication fully prepared and with the right information. The user doesn’t have to repeat their information and/or problem which in turn creates a more positive experience.

FAQ / Information

Answers frequently asked questions or offers information that is particularly often needed by leads and customers (e.g. opening hours, contact information, etc.).

By the way, these chatbots can also be used in online shops, for example, to provide information about product availability both online and in nearby stores or for questions about different variations of products (special sizes, versions, colors, etc.).

Smart Assistant

In certain industries, chatbots are now frequently (and successfully) used to relieve customers and users of simple tasks or to make them easier. In the finance, insurance, and healthcare industries, for example, customers can make transfers, check and change conditions, or submit an application simply by „talking“ to the chatbot. This way, tasks and processes that might be difficult otherwise (due to complex forms), can be designed in a way that they are easier for the customer simply through leading them step-by-step through the process.

Lead generation

Can be used as an alternative to a cold call or lead form to qualify leads, especially in B2B business, for example by asking about industries, company size, areas of interest, etc.

To generate a value for the lead, these can be contextualized as questionnaires to find the right solution or approach to a problem. The information will then be forwarded to the sales department for an individualized follow-up that already offers a fitting product/service.

Appointment

Provides the ability to schedule a demo, meeting or phone call via chatbot. This is not just an option for B2B markets, where the direct customer contact is more common. There are great US examples where online shops offer their customers video, chat and phone assistance for choosing gifts, buying the right size or finding the right product.

Event-triggered

Chatbots can also be set up so that they virtually „pop up“ when a lead or customer takes a certain action. In service, for example, a chatbot can be activated when a customer spends a noticeably long time on a self-service page. This way, the customer can receive help to a specific problem or get forwarded to a service rep in case they didn’t find the right solution on their own.

Other uses for these chatbot types would be offering short-term discounts when a customer leaves the page, congratulating loyal customers on their birthdays or offer tips or additional accessories for a product that’s in the shopping cart.

Out of Office Note

If users have a need/question outside of business hours, these chatbots can take service requests and inform of alternative communication channels. With a combined reception-function, users can also leave their information and preferred contact channel with the chatbot which then forwards the request to the service platform, generating a ticket, so a service rep can contact the user as soon as possible.

Goodbye

If a visitor wants to leave the website again, a chatbot can say a friendly goodbye, ask for an evaluation of the experience, or recommend a newsletter registration.

This „goodbye“ should not force the visitor to stay on the page but instead create a positive memory of the overall journey.


Learn more about what chatbots can do and how easy it is to deploy them with our English-language webinar recording.

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