AI is a hot topic these days, but some of the humbler offshoots of AI can be overlooked. AI-powered chatbots are one such application that can actually pay off big time for businesses looking to boost their demand creation in a manner that is effective, engaging and enjoyable for their customers. Aside from demand creation, chatbots can also be used for a multitude of functions such as tech support, customer service and sales enablement.
B2B marketers must keep in mind the user’s path and their mode of arrival to chat when designing the chat experience. Other factors to consider are: expectations of the user, information requirements and the platform where the chat takes place. Business objectives and the desired user experience usually determine the type of chat operator and platform. Depending on your demand creation goals, chat can be integrated into your web site, mobile app or 3rd-party SMS and messaging apps. The goal here is for chat to support conversion optimization goals for attracting, engaging and qualifying leads.
Let’s consider the 3 stages of conversion:
Think about where the chat interaction begins at this stage. The most common starting points are your web site, user communities, social platforms and mobile apps. How are you going to present your offer to chat? It’s a good idea to use it as an opportunity to create brand awareness. Consider offering a discussion with a chatbot that is theme-based to entertain or educate the user. For example, present the chat session as “Ask an Expert” on your web site and promote it via social media, emails and possibly paid media to drive traffic to your site.
As chat is essentially a conversation, it is a good mechanism for driving a higher level of engagement and providing support to potential buyers as they look for information. Chatbots can have a conversation with potential buyers regarding their specific area of interest, instead of making a user wade through multiple web pages to get the same information. It’s a very user-friendly and convenient method of engagement to motivate visitors. ROI calculators and quizzes can also be implemented to motivate customers and provide more in-depth information. You should also be responsive to questions and customer support requests that occur via Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp.
Chat supports qualification of leads based on conversation, as well as the conversion path the customer follows after the initial interaction. Consider the output of chat for lead-scoring based on behavior. This lead data can be used for segmentation and continued engagement. At this stage, promote content assets that are relevant to chat topics. You must also entice customers to subscribe to your blog, email list, or engage in other social spaces where you offer interactive content.
How you introduce and implement chat should be based on your audience fit and their expectations as well as the delivery mechanism fit considering your goals. Ensure that you set clear, measurable goals for chat that you can map to your business goals. Chatbots can be a powerful customer-centric demand creation tool, so examine how your business can leverage this powerful new technology that saves time, lowers costs and pays off in terms of leads generated and new visitors.
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