What Are Chatbots?
The days when social media was optional for companies are long gone. Platforms like Facebook and Twitter have become mainstream communication channels that businesses must leverage to be — and stay — competitive.
Sixty-nine percent of adult Americans use social media, up from just 5% in 2005, according to Pew Research Center. The report found that at 67% and 69%, of men and women use Facebook, as do 76% of individuals with annual incomes of $75,000 or more. Social media is central to consumers’ daily lives and, increasingly, it plays a massive role in customer service, product promotion and building a memorable customer experience.
Given social media’s prevalence, it’s not surprising that a wide array of marketing strategies and tools have cropped up to support the industry. Chatbots may be a relative newcomer, but they are quickly becoming a necessity for companies that want to have a highly competitive social media strategy. These handy web-based tools have come a long way since their inception as customer service pop-ups on websites, and are becoming an important element in any effective social media campaign.
Benefits of Chatbot Marketing in Social Media
Although Facebook Messenger was the first major social media platform to adopt chatbots, the technology has since become mainstream is now available on most platforms, Twitter and Slack included. Companies can use chatbots to provide quick and personalized customer service across all the platforms they use. They can also use the technology to share new offers and promotions, take orders and share customized messages with different market segments.
Chatbots are especially helpful when trying to connect with millennials. Fifty-eight percent of 500 Millennials said they’ve already use chatbots, and 71% said they’d be interested in using one to interact with brands, according to a study from technology firm Retale. Millennials are only a fraction of the population, of course, so don’t forget to test your chatbot on other users!
Ready to try Chatbots? Get Started with These Conversations:
Welcome messages initiate contact with new users in your communication channel and can be used to greet them, provide instructions or incentives and to begin building rapport.
Example: We’re so happy to hear from you! How can we help you today?
Example: Hi there and thanks for reaching out. Pick one of the following options we can get you the help you need ASAP.
Quick replies give users several options to choose in response to the Welcome Message. We suggest offering between two and six quick replies.
Example: There’s a problem with my order.
Example: I need technical support.
Example: I want to talk to a customer service representative.
Chatbot Best Practices
Once you’re up and running, keep these tips and best practices in mind:
- Be Prepared for customer service requests beyond your preset options by including a Quick Reply button for “Other” or “My issue isn’t listed.” This will ensure that chatbot works for everybody, not just users with common issues.
- Auto-Responses are how the chatbot responds to your customers. You can adjust the responses to correspond to the quick reply chosen. A good example? The user chooses “My order was incomplete,” and the chatbot responds with: “Sorry to your order was incomplete! Please give me your order number or email address and we’ll resolve the issue as quickly as possible.”
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