Billy Swain | 5 Mar 2019
The battle for customer attention is more competitive than ever. Not only is there more competition, the tools used to grab this attention are constantly improving and diversifying. Customer attention, engagement and satisfaction are driving innovations in marketing technology. The companies who find the most effective and efficient ways to engage with consumers are set to win out in the coming years.
Not only can chatbots improve customer engagement and satisfaction, but consumers have come to expect higher quality interactions with the companies they’re dealing with. In the rapid paced, information-packed world we live in, consumers expect technology to guide them through their transactions with ease, security and authenticity.
Chatbots are giving companies the ability to interact with millions of potential customers every day, something which was impossible to do just a few short years ago. Companies that fail to grow alongside technology will be left behind by those that do. Consumer engagement and satisfaction are undergoing major changes, largely due to artificial intelligence and AI.
Today, technology is everywhere. We use it at work, for leisure and through education. For the majority of us, our smartphone never leaves our side. For the first time in business, companies have a direct, constant line of communication with consumers. Not only does technology allow for constant, real-time communication, but it provides omnipresent communication through a variety of channels.
Consumers can look at a product on at work, be retargeted through email, and finally sent a discount code through a messaging app on their way home & all this conveys is that marketing channels are everywhere.
Chatbots give companies the ability to massively scale their consumer engagement. In 2016, 1.6 billion people used mobile messaging apps. That number exceeded 2 billion people, or 80% of all smartphone users. In 2019 chatbot platforms like EngageOne Converse can facilitate businesses with optimising and deploying chatbots through a range of messaging channels, reaching consumers through a range of messaging platforms.
Chatbots not only improve the rates of consumer engagement, but they can also improve customer satisfaction. The artificial intelligence that power chatbots have the distinct advantage of multitasking to the degree that humans could never reach. They also don’t have to sleep, chatbots can send out messages, reply to queries, find information and store data all at once, all day long. With these capabilities, chatbots have the potential to meet and exceed consumer expectations like never before.
The vast amount of information chatbots can collect on customers allow brands to better target consumers and build more loyal relationships. The information, services and products chatbots can provide is driven by hyper-relevant data. In addition to this, the way these things are delivered to consumers can be much more effective which simply put, with a data-driven approach, chatbots can foster consumer relationships in a much more efficient manner than any human is capable of.
With every company battling for consumer attention, these relationships are paramount to success. Harris Interactive found that 89% of consumers have switched to doing business with a competitor following a poor customer experience. Taking these findings paired with the fact that attracting a new customer is 6-7 times more expensive than retaining a current one shows just how important maintaining customer relationships is.
A common concern is that artificial intelligence could never form the relationships that human to human interactions could. On the contrary, chatbots can’t get frustrated or have days off. Many consumers may not even realise they’re messaging a chatbot. At the same time, it’s important to understand that humans and chatbots must work in conjunction. The data chatbots can capture should be used by human agents to further solidify relationships.
With the data and scaling capabilities, it’s no surprise that chatbots can reduce costs for businesses. Traditional customer service solutions are notoriously expensive and inefficient. Not only are they costly for businesses but traditional customer services can be a big pain point for customers themselves with long waiting times and restricted hours.
Chatbots are available 24/7, removing the need for teams of customer service representatives. Not only is this more cost-effective, but it makes it easy for customers to communicate with brands. These streamlined interactions have the ability to improve customer satisfaction and meet the modern consumer’s expectations.
Messaging is an amazingly efficient way of communication. It’s quick for both businesses and consumers, there’s no need to be physically present, or hold an actual conversation, there’s no need to put customers on hold and nearly all messages are received instantly. With one estimate stating that roughly 8 trillion texts are sent a year, with a 99% open rate and a response within 3 minutes, it’s easy to see the impact chatbots can have on business.
With the ability of omnipresent communication, data-driven targeting and reduced costs, chatbots have huge potential to increase profits. Not only do chatbots allow businesses to promote products and offers in an effective manner, but they also allow businesses to retarget potential customers, capturing more sales. In addition to this, they can provide more options and greater convenience to customers. With this improved engagement and satisfaction comes the potential for improved sales.
With chatbots fostering customer relationships and building brand loyalty, brands can offer highly targeted recommendations to customers. Consumers would much rather have the convenience of suggestions from a brand they know and trust, rather than hunting through online reviews and making decisions based upon other primary sources. Of course, it depends on the product but as consumers begin to trust and utilise technology, the more they want it to work for them.
Chatbots are changing the way businesses interact with consumers. They have the ability to streamline marketing channels, making it more affordable for businesses and more convenient for consumers. With the advancements in AI, this trend is set to continue changing consumer engagements and satisfaction.
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