Amazon’s robot-run supermarket. Delivery drones. And, even those pesky robot call centers.
In today’s world, we’re pretty immune to various jobs being automated (and “outsourced” if you want to call it that) to robots. So, are they taking over the world and dominating us humans out of our jobs anytime soon? Probably not. But, when it comes to running your business efficiently and effectively, you need to be thinking about building your very own bot.
No, I’m not talking about something as technologically-advanced as the eerily, human-like robot named Sophia, which made headlines late last year. Instead, I’m talking about chatbots.
Ever heard of them? If not, you might be a bit hesitant to give them a go—especially if you’re not a techie like me! While they can’t replace humans, however, they can make your life as an entrepreneur so much easier and hassle-free. Not to mention, help you better serve your customers so you can stand out from your competition.
All that said, I’m here today to share with you what exactly these so-called chatbots are and the reasons why you should invest in building and using one for your business in 2018.
All about those bots, ‘bout those bots.
It’s time we put bots on center stage because we’ve got lots to chat about. No pun intended.
Okay, maybe it was. I just couldn’t resist! Anyway, back to the good stuff—aka what exactly are these chatbots I’m speaking of? Well, as SproutSocial.com explains:
Chatbots are programs built to automatically engage with received messages. Chatbots can be programmed to respond the same way each time, to respond differently to messages containing certain keywords and even to use machine learning to adapt their responses to fit the situation.
Here’s an example of what one looks like, which I’m sure you’ve seen at least once before:
Pretty snazzy, huh? You better believe they’re pretty dang cool. And, the best news? There’s a substantial list of chatbot platforms you can choose from to successfully build one for your business’s sales page. Take a look at some of my personal favorites below:
- Flow XO—this platform is the only one that offers more than 100 integrations (Google Calendar, Stripe, and LinkedIn to name a few). So, if that doesn’t already make it a winner in your book, I don’t know what will. It also gives you pre-made templates so you can get going with your bot right away.
- Recast.AI—this bot-building platform allows you the awesome capability to train, build, and run your chatbot so it understands predefined queries and provides responses to your prospects and customers as quickly as possible.
- Drift—as a leading marketing chat software (both people and bots), Drift gives you the capability to chat with prospects and qualify them, schedule meetings, send sales email sequences, and so much more! If you don’t have a team yet to take care of your sales for you, the personal membership level is, get this, $0!
And, while you now get the gist of what chatbots are (and the top platforms you can choose from to build one!), I still don’t feel like you’ve got a good taste of just how cool they really are.
First off, there are some stats from Oracle.com I’d like to share that prove their worth and that your customers will love them just as much as you will.
- 65% of consumers prefer using a messaging app when contacting a business
- 50% of consumers would make a purchase through a messaging app
- More than 50% of consumers expect a business to be open 24/7 (more on this in a bit!)
So, do you love the idea, but want to know the reasons why you should build a chatbot for your business this year?
I thought so. After you read through this list I’m about to unveil, I’m 99.9% sure you’ll be doing your own version of The Robot, just like Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson from Zoolander.
1. Saves You Some Prized Time & Money
Who doesn’t want to save time and money when it comes to running and growing a business? Yeah, I couldn’t think of one person—even if I tried really hard. But, if you think you’ve tried absolutely everything when it comes to this reason, think again.
You see, building your very own chatbot and using it on your sales page gives you the opportunity to automate conversations that would’ve required you (or someone on your team) to have with your ideal prospects and customers. So, you’re not only saving yourself time, but you’re also saving yourself money it would’ve taken you to invest in a customer service guru to handle inquiries that come in on your behalf.
Oh, and one more fun fact for you before we move onto the next one! Chatbots are significantly less expensive to build than an app. And, while they won’t replace apps entirely, they do provide a viable, relatively low-cost solution to connect with customers due to the crowded apps marketplace.
2. Provides After-Hours Assistance
Put yourself back in the shoes of being a customer and shopping with your favorite brand. As you’re browsing the website after a long day in the office, however, a question pops into your brain, and you go to the Contact Us section only to find that their hours don’t match up with yours.
You can’t chat with them until tomorrow while your busy working away?! Nope, that won’t work. Thus, you move on and just accept the fact that you won’t get an immediate response to your question. Or, you’ll just forget about it altogether.
So, that brings me to my next reason as to why your business needs to invest in building a bot this year—chatbots give you the ability to provide support after typical hours. You know, when most prospect and customer questions seem to come up.
I love the way ChatbotNewsDaily.com further explains this:
Chatbots have no working hours. They don’t go home after 6 pm, they don’t arrive late. Working in a sales company, I realised how often customers would write emails, make applications or inquire in the small hours of the night. In many cases, there might be a hefty time difference between you and your prospects. Giving them the opportunity to get the information they want when they want it will immediately transfer into more sales.
Yup. I couldn’t have said it better myself. What a great way to make your business stand out from your competitors!
3. Offers a Straightforward & Quick Method to Address Problems & Questions
In the fast-paced world we live in, we often want a super quick fix to our problems or a speedy response to our questions.
Often, however, that’s not humanly possible on your end as an entrepreneur who still wishes to live a flexible lifestyle and achieve work-life balance. But, if you don’t offer that to your people, you can almost guarantee they’ll look elsewhere for a business that values customer service more than you do.
The good news is, chatbots give you the ability to provide your people with a tailored, straightforward, and quick response to their problems and questions. This is especially important as studies have found that 64% of consumers and 80% of business buyers said they expect companies to respond to and interact with them in real time.
So, you can go ahead and wave goodbye to the traditional (and often frustrating) “Press 1 for English, 2 for Existing Customer, and 4 for Customer Service” method!
4. Compels Prospects to Inquire About Your Product or Service
Ever show up to a website and get the “NEW MESSAGE” alert in the bottom right-hand corner of your screen? Well, that alert is provided to you by none other than a chatbot. And, it immediately catches the eye of your ideal customer and motivates them to engage with you right then and there after they’ve had some time to explore your sales page and identify a question they’d like to ask.
Can we just pause for a minute and think about what exactly that means for your business? You’ll generate more leads! You know, versus the other outcome—you losing out on potential new business because people scurry off your site in frustration at the fact that they just couldn’t find what it was they needed or were looking for.
5. Keeps You In Control of What’s Being Communicated to Your People
As you and your business grow, you could find yourself in need of building up your sales team to respond to inquiries, follow-up, and nurture current customer relationships. But, the problem that comes with that is you must ensure you’re giving them the correct talking points. And, not just that, but they’re also utilizing them correctly—day-in and day-out.
Talk about a challenge. That said, chatbots give you full reign over what’s being communicated to your people. When building your very own chatbot, you’ll have the opportunity to create a script for it. This script should be built off of the questions customers are likely to ask, the best possible answers to them, and even the tone of voice you want your chatbot to have to humanize the experience even more.
What does all of this ultimately mean for you? Never again will your prospect get outdated information, rude attitude because someone on your team is having a bad day, or incorrect details.
Well, there you have it. My two cents on the reasons why you need to invest in building a chatbot for your business in 2018. It seems as if we’re in the midst of a chatbot revolution! So, don’t waste any time implementing this technology. Because, when you do, you’ll be a few steps ahead of your competitors and win over new customers with your improved customer engagement, sales, and service capabilities!
Need help driving traffic to your sales page to reap the benefits of using a chatbot? I’m giving you access to a freebie list I created just for you—Top 50 Ways to Ramp Up the Traffic to Your Sales Page. To get it right away, just enter your email into the box on the right side of the page, and it’s yours!
Have you built a chatbot for your business? Or, do you have a question about doing so? I’d love to hear your experience or be of any help. Drop me a note in the comments section below!