Chatbots are the newest thing in marketing and they are taking the industry by storm. They have been gaining popularity in social media channels for a couple of years now. However, using them on your website is an area that has been overlooked. You can use them to really get ahead when it comes to engagement and customer service on your website. If you don’t embrace chatbots, you are likely to fall behind with your competition. Most internet users are getting used to the idea of chat boxes on websites, and many websites you visit now ask if you want browser notifications. These features can all be done through chatbots. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that automated bots can’t help your website’s customer service efforts. Here are eight ways to use chatbots to boost engagement on your website.
- Your Chatbot Can Be an Assistant. Many website visitors will appreciate having an assistant guide them through the process of navigating your website. When you set up the chatbot experience to serve visitors in this way, they will be receptive to the idea and more likely to take prompts and suggestions from your chatbot.
- Your Chatbot Can Suggest Purchases. You can program your chatbot to suggest purchases based on the pages and browsing history a visitor has while on your site. There are even ways to program a chatbot to suggest purchases based on past order history as long as the user is logged in and those details are programmable to be visible to the chatbot AI. This can help with cross sells and upsells of related products or services to what they are looking at, have added to their cart, or have purchased in the past. This is done through call to action posts through your chatbot. They can be generic, or you can have your chatbot ask questions to get a better idea of their preferences. For example, on a clothing website, you might ask gender, and then style, color, or size preferences to then make customized suggestions based on the information gathered.
- Your Chatbot Can Engage Based on Past Experience. Just as we explained about suggesting purchases based on past order history, your chatbot can also make suggestions or engagement based on the browsing history (of your site only) even when not related to purchases. Chatbots can now collect data on users including how often they visit your site and where they go when they do. This data can be used to engage users with pre-programmed messages and other engagement opportunities to help your website visitors have a better experience while making them aware of content on your website that they may be interested in.
- Your Chatbot Can Push Social Engagement. If you are looking to drive website visitors to your social channels, you chatbot is an excellent way to do that. Invite users to follow you on your social networks and provide links (that open in a new tab or window). You can even push relevant social content based on what they are looking at on your website, like a YouTube review, or a Pinterest board with related images and ideas.
- Your Chatbot Can Gather Data for You. As website visitors engage more with your chatbots, your chatbots will be gathering information on your users and aggregating it. Even though this sounds creepy, it really is not. It is anonymous data connected to a number assigned to each guest, similar to how cookies are tracked. The way you can use this data is by aggregating it to understand patterns and average habits of users on your website. If you know that users from a certain city are browsing or buying a certain product, then you can begin to automatically drive those users to those products for an easier conversion and better experience for your website visitors.
- Your Chatbot Can Make it Easier for Visitors to Ask Questions. One of the easiest and most common basic functions of chatbots is the ability to answer frequently asked questions. You program in the questions and the answers and the chatbot does the rest.
- Your Chatbot Can Provide Past Order Details. If your website is e-commerce, your chatbot can provide past order details along with current shipping and tracking notifications to keep customers up-to-date on where there order is.
- Your Chatbot Can Notify Your Visitors about Sales or Events. The notification function of chatbots can be one of the best tools. It can help you notify your website visitors and past customers who have enabled the browser notifications function about sales and events your business is having. It is an easy and excellent way to promote specials and keep your customers or visitors engaged even when they are not on your site.
Benefits of Chatbots
Chatbots won’t replace your human interactions, but they will keep your website visitors engaged until you can get them to a human. Chatbots are functional 24/7 and can serve multiple visitors at the same time. This helps today’s inpatient website visitors who have very limited attention spans. Chatbots can also filter out some easy questions that don’t need a person to answer them or just qualify visitors and get them to the right department. This can be done much in the way that automated phone lines work; however the big difference that makes chatbots better is that they are AI powered so they won’t frustrate your audience before getting them to a person. The current technology has enough intuitive intelligence that many customers may not even realize it is a bot. Over the next ten years, the technology will improve to such a level that it will be almost impossible to decipher the difference between a human and a chatbot.
Summary and Takeaways for Your Business
Chatbots are definitely a new and emerging technology and there will be a segment of website visitors that will push back as they are not ready for this yet. However, the majority of users will slowly but surely adapt to this new way of website interaction. You should always have an easy way for users to opt out or block your chatbots so that those who don’t want it, don’t abandon your website because of it. Yet, have an easy way to opt back in anytime so that once they are ready, your chatbot is ready to and waiting to help them. As with any new technology, chatbots are advancing very rapidly now so you should stay on top of the latest innovations. Chatbots are a marketing tool, so they should be heavily tested and analyzed to determine what works for you and your unique website audience. Although it may sound like chatbots replace humans, this does not necessarily have to be the case. Chatbots can engage website visitors until a human can get on the chat and will free up your staff to handle more complex functions and save time while not only boosting engagement, but also delivering an efficient and pleasant experience to your website visitors.