Marketing is not really a cakewalk as there are a million things that keep on changing. The buyer’s journey, known to be moving in an orderly fashion across the funnel is affected by other attractive objects, shifts in budget, fear, doubt and many more. In today’s world, just opening company doors or website is not enough. We need to do more, and hence we require an ideal marketing strategy which is unique, efficient and makes the brand visible to a large number of people. Thus nowadays, new marketing automation features like Chatbots are being used to create an ideal marketing strategy. What are they? How can Chatbots improve marketing for your SaaS business? Let’s find out.
What are Chatbots and why it is a big prospect
A Chatbot is a service, driven by artificial intelligence that people use to communicate with the help of chat interface. The idea of chatbot is to mimic a human in conversation and answer whatever question the customer may have. From a marketing point of view, using chatbots can help your customers engage with the brand 24/7, enjoy a unified experience and have real-time access to valuable information.
Chatbots come in two variants
- Virtual Assistants which help you find information or remember data like Think Apple Siri, Amazon Alexa, Microsoft Cortana and Google assistant. They are driven by machine learning to learn and understand what you want.
- Messaging apps like Think Facebook messenger, Kik, WeChat and Slack. They help businesses to provide 24/7 customer support.
A recent study by Gartner tells us that by 2020, customers will be handling 85% of their relationships with brands without interacting with a human and as per Forbes, Chatbots will be the reason.
How can Chatbots be used to improve marketing for your SaaS business
In SaaS business, sales funnel plays an important role where the potential customer goes through a process while making buying decisions. Until now, traditional marketing tools have been used, but currently Chatbots are being used to lead potential customers virtually through sales funnel. Let’s explore the implementation of chatbots in different stages of the buyer’s journey.
In this stage, the customer gets to know that a product or service exists, via emails, social media, video and so on. Now, Chatbots could be used to provide product and service-specific information to potential customers. Chatbots are currently existing on a website or messenger apps like Facebook and Kik. Customers may automatically interact with these bots once they land on the website or app. Bots would wait for some time for the customer to look around the website and then ask if they need any help to find something. Thus, when a potential customer comes to your website to know about some additional features of your product, bots can act as your customer support representative and guide them with their queries. Chatbots can be programmed to provide standard answers like “Yes, we have found all the information you need and will send it to you by email”. This is how qualified leads could be generated. Bots could even be customized based on the past data of how the customer reached the website or what he/she was previously looking for on the site and build a strong relationship to generate qualified leads. Bots start the conversation which develops an interest in the customer and it is very time-consuming if we need to personally talk to all the potential customers without any computer program. Thus, bots are automated programs which reduce our efforts and make marketing efforts more effective with minimum investment. With Chatbots being easily accessible we can provide the right information to potential customers anytime which could make them move forward in sales funnel. Chatbots can help to provide personalized experience on your website which can act as a guide and influence their buying decisions as they move ahead.
In this stage, the lead will start showing interest in a product or service by asking more information about it. In this case, Chatbots are used to answer most common questions. In case the questions are not common Chatbots will help connect leads to customer sales representatives who can help them further with the answer. In this way, customer service will be available 24/7 and businesses do not need to spend money or time in providing human representatives all round the clock. The program also learns from its previous interaction with the customer and uses this data to provide better quality of interaction for the next time. With the use of AI, Chatbots can help to gather data on leads and help marketers understand the most qualified leads who would purchase and focus accordingly.
Chatbots are also useful in customer satisfaction in the following ways
- Customers do not need to wait and Chatbots will provide quick response.
- Chatbots have the advantage of being less difficult than an email or phone call.
- Chatbots can use data of customer’s purchase history or interest to create interest in additional products that they could be interested in.
H&M uses Chatbots to provide live fashion recommendations by asking customers which styles they are into this season, thus, making online shopping a fun experience.
In this phase, the lead decides to make a purchase. Chatbots provide answers to queries raised by an individual based on person’s past interactions and the typical questions others ask at this stage. This data could be used by a salesperson to influence the person’s purchase decision. The information evaluated and gathered by Chatbots can provide personalized experiences to customers and influence their purchase decisions in a positive direction. Tracking the data can help identify the common problems and provide solutions and can also aim at micro influencers that can promote the business. CPA will be effective since marketers will be able to create advertisements after analysing the data captured by Chatbots.
During this stage, the customer takes action of purchasing the product or service. At this point, the human takes over to help the sale, but in case of small purchases, customers can directly use the bot. A human sales representative can also make use of data tracked by Chatbots to upsell other products and ensure a long-term relationship with the customer. The company could also communicate with the existing customer through Chatbots if they visit the website and remind them of subscription renewal or send information about other products that they could be interested in. There are many ecommerce websites that make personalised suggestions to shoppers based on products left in the cart. These methods have helped to successfully retain the customers and develop a long-term relationship.
Chatbots are being used in magical ways to improve marketing for SaaS businesses. Chatbots are not only being used to handle simple queries, customer data and provide an active and personalized experience but also in developing new marketing content, generating more qualified leads and improving conversion rates. In future, Chatbots are predicted to transform the marketing experience in a more holistic and personalised manner.