To say the nature of business has changed since the creation and subsequent rise of the internet, would be an understatement of epic proportions.
Even the most “old-school” business people and entrepreneurs know that having an online presence is crucial in order to compete and cater to customers.
Without a website, regular blog posts and a social media presence, you are doing your loyal customers, prospects and yourself a huge disservice.
Of course, the online marketing universe is vast, with a multitude of different tools, tricks, concepts and strategies to explore.
At Webistries Marketing & SEO, we will always talk about strategy over tools and tactics. However, if your strategy includes interacting with potential customers how THEY prefer to communicate, one such new tool that you can implement to take your customer service to a completely different level is the chatbot.
What is a Chatbot?
In layman’s terms, a chatbot refers to a computer program that utilizes artificial intelligence to mimic conversations with people through a website or app.
Naturally, chatbots can’t carry on intelligent conversations with humans (yet), but they can be programmed to answer some of most common questions people tend to ask, or be given a small range of self-initiated tasks.
This might sound a little complex, but it’s really not much different than setting up an automated email campaign. The goals of each are very similar, it’ the channel of delivery and “feeling” the end user experiences that are different.
Why Chatbots are the Next Big Thing
Today, people are using messenger apps more than they are using social networks (1.2 billion use Facebook Messenger every month), and among those people are your customers and prospects.
If you want to know whether or not your business needs a chatbot, look no further than the behaviors of the people you want to purchase your products and services.
Personalization and intimacy are what potential customers (and current ones) are seeking out and demanding of companies today. A chatbot allows you to fill those needs in an efficient way.
Benefits of Chatbots for Your Business
Chatbots help to remove some of the biggest hindrances of the online world, not the least of which are speed and time.
With a chatbot, you can respond to every single person that sends a message to your business, as soon as they message you.
Being top of mind is always important, but it’s absolutely critical with the diminished attention spans brought on by the web.
Even if you are diligent in your replies, by the time you get back to someone, they may be onto something new, or found what they needed somewhere else.
A chatbot enables you to qualify leads and build a connection to your brand, all while you are working on other things.
It’s not just all automated replies either.
If you have something to say, and this might be my favorite benefit, you can broadcast to 100% of your subscribers at once. That is something you cannot guarantee with a social media post.
Expanding Your Social Media Presence with a Facebook Messenger Chatbot
As mentioned above, use of Facebook Messenger is soaring, and your prospective customers want you to respond to them when they have a query or issue.
When looking for benefits of a Facebook chatbot for small businesses, the fact that you are keeping followers and subscribers engaged in your business is all you really need to know.
Of course, when a chatbot handles basic queries like ‘what are your hours” or “is that available in blue”, you will also be freeing up the customer service department to handle more important issues.
If you think of a Facebook chatbot as a valuable member of your customer service team that is engaging prospective customers how and where they want to be engaged, the decision becomes an easy one.
How Can I Learn More?
This is just a brief overview of what a chatbot is and some of the benefits that they can bring to your business.
Ultimately, you or your marketing team should evaluate if a chatbot is the right fit and if it would help push your marketing strategy forward.
Strategy before tactics!
If you would like to learn more about chatbots and how they can help your business, contact us today. If you’d like to check out our chatbot (which will also give you some free small business marketing advice), click this link: https://m.me/webistries