The most important part of any business is acquiring customers and to not lose that potential sale once you have an enquiry. Replying quickly and efficiently is an important part of this process. Many companies lose their customers as they are unable to handle the infinite customer request and thus chatbots were developed to bridge the communication gap thereby nourishing the relationship between the company and the customers.
It was earlier thought that mobile apps are the way to generate leads, but it was not so. It is a known fact that consumers don’t download many new app although they are always active on the phone. This is because they are spending a majority of their time on the most successful social media apps like Facebook, Messenger, WhatsApp and other such messaging and social media apps. Customers today are keeping themselves isolated to the messaging apps, and hence chatbots have come up to generate leads through private messaging.
Messaging has been revolutionised in the world of smartphones. In 2009, Jam Koum developed WhatsApp, the first messaging app where friends could easily message each other. Text messages (SMS) were expensive, and millions of people joined the app within a few years. Looking at this, Facebook developed its messaging app – Messenger in 2015. Many people loved messenger as they could text each other privately and send cool GIFs and emoji’s that brought life to the dry texts.
Companies understand that most people are using these messaging apps daily and with the increase of advertising on social media there was a gap in how consumers can quickly and easily inquire about these products. Thus, Facebook introduced chatbots which could handle the customer’s conversation 24/7.
Every business is trying to understand the benefits of the chatbots and how they can integrate these chatbots into their business. Chatbots are an Artificial Intelligent system which mimics the human interaction. One of the most significant benefits of chatbot is that it can offer lead generation as it is user-friendly and can handle unlimited customer request on its own 24/7.
What are Chatbots?
A chatbot is a platform which offers conversational experience to the customers through text or voice. This is an excellent customer service tool and is revolutionising the entire process of lead generation
A lot of customers connect to the companies through live chat process, and it is known that Facebook messenger chatbots have 1.2 billion active monthly users. This can be helpful in generating lead, and you cannot afford to lose this considerable number of potential leadswhich can impact your business significantly.
Chatbots are becoming a must in any industry which requires handling of endless customer queries; companies however must understand that chatbots are a tool developed for relationship building. Chatbots can never be an alternative to the salesforce. Chatbots answer the questions according to the data that has been fed. Hence it will always require human intervention to answer the queries which the chatbots cannot handle.
Humans must always look if the chatbots can answer the queries posted by the customers, if not, then the company must answer them and allow to chatbot to learn and better answer that question next time it is asked by a potential customer.
Lead generation is a process where the prospects of the customer are converted into the real customer by engaging him with the company. It is a complete process of identifying and persuading the customer to make themmake the decision to purchase a company’s product or service.
Chatbots are helpful in generating lead as it initiates the process of contact building. Chatbots are developed with the ability to predict about the customer at what stage a customer is at of purchasing in order to advise the business how to best deal with that lead, therefore increasing the conversion rate of a company.
How chatbots can help in lead generation
Let us imagine a customer comes to a sales representative to inquire about the store working hours and a particular product. The sales representative would handle his asks politely, and the customer would go back to make his purchase.
To ease out this customer handling requests, chatbots were developed so that they can handle million such queries at one time along with storing this data from the customers, gather the customers information such as his likes and dislikes and compile all this information to present it to the marketing and the sales team so that they can prepare better strategies. This information is gathered from his Facebook profile, data generally not known to businesses from a sales perspective.
Chatbots have the potential to use the data from the customer queries to move the leads to the purchase channel by creating personalised and customised recommendations based on the preferences of the customer.
These are top 5 ways in which the chatbots can help the business in lead generation:
1. Generates cold leads:
Many times, customers become cold leads, and they need to reminded about the company’s products. This can be quickly done through Facebook messenger chatbots as people promptly respond to the messages than the emails; hence chatbots can send them messages to remind about the existing products and redirect the user to the website where they can influence the customers buying decision by offering him some new coupons.
2. Content Sharing
Chatbots are used to share the content about the company’s products and services with the customers. Chatbots answer the queries of the customer without any human assistance thus sharing the content of the company with the customer 24/7 and delivering the right content to the right target group. This also allows your time to remain free and not answer mediocre questions from customers.
3. Customer engagement
The chatbots are user-friendly and can engage the customer for longer through their conversational interface by giving an instant response. Chatbots participate in two-way communication to generate leads. Chatbots initiate a conversation to understand and identify the customer’s requirement and then recommending them the products based on the interaction.
4. Gathering information about customers feedback
While interacting with the customer, chatbots gather all the information about the customers such as their requirements, expectations, preferences, dislikes. This information is precious to the marketers and helps them in improving their services which leads to the generation of leads. This facility of gathering information by the customer enhances the understanding and interaction of the chatbot thus chatbots become smarter with every interaction it has with the customers.
5. Influence the purchase decision
The chatbots can engage the customers fully through their conversational interface. The chatbots can guide and recommend the products to the customer thus influencing the customer’s purchase decision.
Apart from having the famous messenger chatbot, many companies may require a chatbot on their website or landing page, mainly if it is e-commerce. Chatbots provide better, more specific information to the customers than the content that has been written on their webpage. Companies have found that when the customers are forced to do a live chat, the conversion rate is four times higher than the small non forced interaction with a chatbot at the bottom of a page. Although you may not like forcing your customer’s chatty customers are happy customers.
Does chatbot help in generating leads?
A simple answer to this question is YES! According to a survey conducted at Facebook, it was found that 50% of the customers made a purchase after a live chat and it didn’t bother them if they were chatting with a machine or a human.
Companies are not looking for chatbots with complex functionalities but a tool which handles the customer request 24/7 and use the data from these queries to generate leads. Chatbots have re-defined the competitive strategy thereby increasing the leads and enhancing the customer base for businesses. Chatbots can create revenue and lead to long-term engagement with the customer which is beneficial to the companies in the long term. Apart from generating leads, chatbots today have become a necessary customer service tool which saves the time of the representatives and their efforts in answering the repeated customer queries at all hours of the day.