Utilizing Chatbots to better customer experience

Today more and more companies are using Chatbots to better customer experience because how you make your customers feel is a much bigger differentiator, than the product or service you offer.

Surpassing customer expectations with each engagement is the new benchmark in the industry.

So it won’t matter how great your product is or how efficient your service is, if your customer’s emails are rutting in the dark corners on your inbox, or if they’re trapped in the black hole of your IVR [Interactive Voice Response].

They’re certain to move over to a competitor that treats them better.

People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, people will never forget how you made them feel” – Maya Angelou

And with a finite number of working hours and employees, you have a limited competition against large enterprises with 10x more resources.

This is when you can utilize chatbots to better customer experience without burning many resources, to engage, deliver and delight the customers.

By 2020, 85% of the customer interaction will be handled without humans, says a report by Gartner. And these are not the metrics of the future. A lot of websites are using chatbots to better customer experience and reported in 150% more leads than conventional methods.

How to utilize chatbots for better customer experience?

Chatbots can be used to make the human interaction with an organization seamless, where a chatbot can answer the most common user problems without the use of human intervention. There are a number of ways in which you can use a chatbot utilized to better customer experience, based on the customer journey, requirements and industry;

Chatbots as support agents

People are already familiar with chat support, but there are only a limited number of hours when a support agent can be there for assistance. Also, you must be familiar with those 15 minute hold time, just to get your very basic queries answered.

Or going through an email chain for over a week for something similar.

With chatbots, a customer can get the information they’re looking for without wasting their time in time-consuming customer support mediums, or going to twitter to rant about it.

Another benefit of having chatbots for customer support is 24×7 customer support, which is either difficult and definitely costly with humans.

And in cases, the query is complex to be handled by a bot, it can be transferred to a chat support executive.

Chatbots as an account manager/ Personal Assistants 

So, you logged into the dashboard of a vast tool, and come across an hour-long introductory video on how to use the tool or a large number of user instructions.

Not many people actually go through them, only to later dive into those long and boring FAQ pages, which offer very little help compared to the time it takes to find the solution.

Adding a chatbot in the software itself as a personal assistant can go a long way for software companies. Instead of those text-filled FAQ platforms, or a vast library of videos, using chatbots to answer your customer’s FAQ in an easier and more accessible.

Assistants can also be tailored based on the client’s industry or business type to give a more personal and smart experience.

Chatbots for feedback collection:

No metric tells you better about your business than the voice of the customer. Using chatbots to collect feedbacks can tell you how your customers feel about your brand and help you work on the areas that might be unsatisfactory.

Instead of using a long scary survey form, and asking users to spare anywhere from 2 to 15 minutes, use chatbots to collect feedback about your business. As the surveys involve some cognitive load, which holds back people from actually filling them out.

So instead of asking your customers to spare their time, use an interactive approach to improve your services and user experience.

Chatbots for lead generation: 

Lead generation is one of the major goals of an online business, as it’s the start of a potential buyer’s journey with your organization.

Instead of putting lead generation forms and link every here and there on your website, use chatbots to capture leads and user information while solving their problems.

Often first time visitors of your website are more likely to seek help from a chatbot, than trying to navigate through the web pages. This is the time where along with providing assistance a chatbot can be seamlessly used for lead generation.

Chatbots for product suggestion:

E-commerce websites to integrate their websites with chatbots, to become their customer’s personal assistant.

A few pre-set options can be defined in the chatbot which is triggered by specific keywords to help people explore new styles or collections or the one that suits their needs.

Here you can also explore the power of AI chatbots by allowing them to make suggestions based on a user’s browsing history.

Chatbots are not a technology of the future, they are here right now and can help you improve customer experience manifolds, with the implementation of this simple technology.

B2B Marketing – The Do’s and Dont’s

We all get it B2B marketing is not as easy as B2C marketing, losing a potential lead will cost you way more than it ever would with B2C.

Stakes are high, decision making is not a straight forward process and there’s little room for mistakes.

I won’t go over again the marketing basics; how social media needs to be leverages, or how content should be long for or how video is the next big thing [I don’t know why it’s called the next big thing anymore while it’s happening right now] or your catchy email marketing headlines.

Or having a chat-support; which you should be having anyway, un-responded customers are not good for business.

So, let’s discuss some marketing trends; are they really what they are and letting you figure out the answer to the more important question “Do I incorporate in my marketing strategy?”

Personalization

No matter how much other marketers say personalization is the next big thing in the B2B marketing landscape or helps you bond with customers, but it isn’t for certain reasons.

The very first issue with personalization is ethics, it’s a different thing to have an email address your potential customer by their name but it’s entirely different to know the things you shouldn’t just to understand your customer better and give them a personal experience.

And in cases like B2B, that information is sensitive!

Even when you’re not going that personal; Imagine sharing a piece of content for A. The problem with the content is it will never get shared or passed on to B who might have done business with you, because it was personal to A.

The more broadly relevant marketing is, the more effective it is. Not to be confused with segmentation, it is mandatory to have customer segmentation to target the right efforts in the right direction, but the more granule you get the less effective it gets.

And not to mention no marketer has the resources and bandwidth for the same, unless your potential client is Google or Facebook, there you might want to go somewhat personal.

Another issue with personalization is setting the customer expectations higher every time for the next interaction, and not being able to meet them in the future will do more harm than not setting any.

Test and Learn

As I said, unlike B2C, stakes of losing a potential client in B2B are high. Even though test and learn sounds like an innocuous approach, it in-fact is flawed than you think.

One reason being the period used to predict the effectiveness of a tried strategy is way too short to give any significant or real outcomes.

Moreover, as per Blockbuster by Anita Elberse; it’s go big or go home!

Test and learn strategy doesn’t achieve much in the long run than the Big Bet Strategy [Which are based on best practices and pure hope] where you bet on a single strategy and stick to it rather than optimizing your strategy every once in a while.

Though the Big Bet Strategy may sound risky, still it’s far less risky than Test and Learn strategy.

Hence, it is better if you just learn and implement the best marketing practices and hope for the best, instead of optimizing your marketing over and over.

Thought Leadership

It may sound like an omnipresent word in marketing these days, but it sure has reasons to be that popular after all.

When it comes to B2B marketing one thing that customers look into a business is trust and thought leadership bridges that gap. It singlehandedly helps drive sales, build your brand, penetrate cost barriers in the market.

Thought leadership is most effective in the consideration stage, according to Edelman and LinkedIn survey of decisions markers and c-suite executives; 45% said that they were led to do business with an organization because of thought leadership, and 82% said to have built more trust over an organization because of it.

So now you know what’s a must-have for your marketing strategy.

Telling the Brand Purpose

A lot of organizations show how altruistic they’re in their marketing campaigns, which is something good for your employees to know about, but your customers couldn’t care less.

Though if given a choice to buy from a good and a bad brand, people will pick the brand which is doing good.

But that’s not your brand is all about! Is it?

Every organization is trying to make the world a better place and that in fact is a good thing to do, but it’s more of an underlying value that must be there at all costs; it’s like saying “our organization is not racist” it shouldn’t be at all costs, but that’s not something you’d go out and say it’s like basic ethics it just has to be, not something to put on advertisements. Just be there like air.

Drooling over Data

You must have heard it by now – “data is the new oil” while it holds for the organizations with a team of 100+ dedicated data geeks for the extraction of useful data.

That still isn’t everyone’s cup of tea!

With more data comes more noise, the more data you capture the more confusing things will get.

If you’re a marketer I bet you open those analytics tools every day or every other day if not 10 times a day, something we’re all guilty of.

But the less frequently you check it the more sense it will make.

View data in bigger churns rather than those weekly reports, though for some those reports might be the way to align with their targets, despite have they ever did anything good apart from freaking you out?

Complex Marketing Metrics

We all run a campaign with different metric goals, some are trying to achieve more signups, more engagement, more money! [Well we all are] But in the bigger picture the only metric you should be freaking out over is the simple metric like Reach!

Your reach should always be greater than your market share, though definitely, it should be relevant, and even more importantly unique.

Yes, it’s important to touch a potential customer 6-8 times to convert them or get them to the consideration stage, but they’re not the only people you want to keep targeting; that’s reach is all about getting to more and more potential customers. And it is one of the most beneficial factors in the long run.

Trying the next new

While nowadays marketers are so obsessed with going all creative, changing things, doing the next new, next contrarian, that they forget what customers want.

Though it’s an example of a B2C brand, it might deliver the message; why iPhones are still a thing? Because Apple didn’t go all new and big on their phones but made small incremental changes.

Because customers more than anything want familiarity. That’s a strategy called MAYA; most advanced yet acceptable.

If given the facts from marketing; as per LinkedIn’s internal data, only one in 5 new campaigns outperform an old one! Or let’s rephrase it; 4 out of every 5 new campaigns are unsuccessful.

These were a few most popular B2B marketing trends, through the trends don’t change so rapidly as B2C, yet they continue to change with the demand landscape of organizations.

What B2B marketing trends has been working for you? Let me know in the comments below.