In recent years, Artificial Intelligence (AI) has been a game-changer in the world of sales and marketing. The scope of AI is diverse, and it can take up several forms to boost sales. Chatbots are one such AI application that has become a turning point in increasing sales.
In the initial days, chatbots started as a simple automated customer support tool that answered very basic pre-determined queries of a user. But the AI-based chatbots of today can easily understand the context of a question.
By answering up to 80% of standard customer queries, we can safely infer that chatbots are more than capable of replicating a simple human conversation and meeting customer expectations.
The fact that a chatbot can do this 24/7 is a huge benefit for brands that aim at providing quality customer service but cannot afford round-the-clock assistance.
Role of Chatbots in Boosting Sales
With easy access to technology in today’s world, a significant fraction of retail customers chooses online shopping as their preferred mode of purchase.
Access to a much larger collection, hassle-free delivery, and great discounts are some of the factors driving this momentum. In the new era of e-commerce, chatbots can help businesses leverage the power of AI to boost their sales. Here’s how:
Generating Leads From Casual Visitors
As a brand, you need to realize that the people who visit your website are the ones who have heard about your business and are interested in it. Not all of them are interested in an immediate purchase, and they might only want to browse.
A chatbot will answer any possible questions that such a person may have. A prompt response will create a good first impression and prevent such casual viewers from proceeding to check out your competitors.
Thus, if you are keen to harness the curiosity of casual visitors and convert them to loyal customers, knowing how chatbots work and leveraging their full potential is worth considering.
Serving Customers With Customized Recommendations
Businesses are always on the lookout for ways to simplify the process of shopping so that customers indulge in more of it. Chatbots can go beyond answering questions: they can effectively interact with customers to understand their needs and expectations.
Based on the customer’s past shopping history, past conversions, and present interactions with the chatbot, it can come up with purchase recommendations tailored for the customer.
A noteworthy example in this regard is Google chatbot. Since the items being shown by the chatbot are tailored to one’s taste, the chances of a customer making a purchase increase dramatically.
Shortening the Sales Cycle
A look at the sales cycle of any major brand will reveal that a reasonable amount of time and resources is spent on data entry work that goes into giving a lead to the salespersons.
Having an AI-powered chatbot allows the lead scoring information to be collected and compiled without any employee involvement. That way, companies cut down on the prospecting time as the chatbot itself uses AI to follow up with the prospects.
Not only is this a saving on the time and resources, but it also increases the accuracy of the results. With those, the sales professions can focus on people who are already looking for a similar product or service.
Service-Related Queries of Potential Customers
Access to information today is easier than ever before, and the promptness of replying to queries is a determining factor in the overall popularity of a brand.
Now, setting up a 24/7 customer support is not feasible for all companies, particularly those with a tight budget. That is where the role of chatbots comes into the picture.
With chatbots, small businesses can promptly reply to questions even without a dedicated human customer service team.
For larger firms with customer support teams, having a chatbot will answer basic queries and help direct potential customers who need additional help to human executives.
This reduces the wait time spent on getting a response, which increases the chances of a purchase.
Identifying the Scope of Up-Selling and Cross-Selling
For a brand that is keen to boost its sales, focusing on acquiring new customers will not suffice. With a chatbot, they can focus on up-selling and cross-selling to existing customers by making minor amendments to its configuration.
In essence, if a brand can offer products that a person likes, it increases the odds of the customer making a purchase.
For example, let us imagine a customer is browsing an e-commerce website to purchase a navy-blue round-neck tee for himself.
e may look at other e-commerce service If the website does not have a t-shirt, the customer will go away disappointed. Somproviders, causing the original brand to lose a loyal customer.
In such a situation, a chatbot can guide the user to round neck tees in other shades of blue and navy-blue tees in V-shape or polo neck. That way, the brand improves its customer lifetime value and lays the foundation of a business relationship that banks on customer satisfaction.
Such healthy relationships go a long way in boosting the sales of an organization.
High-Quality After-Sales Customer Service
It is interesting to note that the after-sales service of a brand is often a deciding factor in its sales.
Once a customer makes a purchase, he may have a lot of issues with the product. These may range from guidance on assembly and use of the product, queries on warranty, etc.
The response that they get to such questions will determine whether they will choose the brand for future purchases as well.
A look at the after-sales questions will reveal that most of them are along the same lines, and with a chatbot, a brand can automate such replies. That way, you can assure better assistance for your customers without investing much additional effort into it.
Factors Facilitating the Use of Chatbots in Boosting Sales
By now, we have established that if chatbots are used properly, they will bring in better sales for an organization. Many top products and service-based firms have leveraged the power of chatbots in charting their success stories.
It is interesting to note that although AI has been in existence for quite some time now, it is only recently that chatbots have made a significant contribution to sales.
Here’s a look at some of the top reasons that have made this possible.
Easy Availability of Digital Devices
With a greater number of mobile phones being manufactured every day, there is a steady decrease in the prices of smartphones. More than 3 billion people globally have smartphones that support chatbot interaction.
High internet penetration, even in remote parts of the world, has further accelerated this digital trend.
A Gradual Shift Towards E-Commerce and Consumer Affinity Towards Chatbots
With a personal device in everyone’s pockets, exploring the internet world, and using it for everyday needs like shopping, navigating, etc. has been in place for quite some time now.
With the coronavirus pandemic bringing life to a standstill, people are forced to stay home as much as possible. The global situation has only added fuel to the fire: more and more people are now turning to the web to meet every need.
People who were skeptical about making an online purchase earlier are now turning to e-commerce because of the dearth of physical shopping options.
AI Business Adoption for Small Businesses
For small and local businesses, it is not feasible to offer a 24/7 customer support service. But, given the current circumstances, it is undoubtedly an immediate need.
Such businesses prefer the adoption of AI-powered chatbots to offer prompt responses to their potential customers. Facebook chatbot is a prime example of small businesses moving to a digital form of sales and customer service.
Do chatbots increase sales?
The simple answer is yes.
In fact, chatbots help in increasing sales by up to 63%, according to the Intercom survey
A chatbot allows customers to interact with your business in a whole new way. Customers can ask questions, receive answers, or make recommendations. It is an efficient way to help customers who feel more comfortable texting than speaking. Also, this is free of human error, possessing the ability to bring your company closer to your customers.
For small businesses, offering real-time support is critical to their success. So, if you’re also having an online store where you sell products that needs a little explanation, then consider using a chatbot for your website.
Chatbots are a great way to offer users real-time, round-the-clock support that moves customers through the sales funnel. Customers expect speedy solutions, and chatbots can give them the answers they need no matter what time it is or where they are.
Ideas to Incorporate While Using Chatbots to Boost Sales
You’ve understood the importance of chatbots in boosting the sales of your firm. Now, the next step is identifying ways to incorporate this into your customer interaction.
With a thorough understanding of what chatbots are and the things they bring to the table, the team helps you utilize this technology to its full potential.
While there is a sea of possibilities and our experts personalize solutions to meet your individual brand needs, we share some generic ideas you can incorporate to have your chatbot drive home the sales results you expect.
Deliver Welcome Messages to First-Time Visitors
When a customer visits a shop for the first time, they may be uncomfortable due to the unfamiliarity of the place.
Let’s spend a minute thinking about a friendly sales representative greeting a customer with a smile. This gesture immediately puts the customer at ease.
The virtual world is no different! Since people who are new to online shopping often face similar inhibitions, having a chatbot welcome them helps to streamline their shopping experience and make them comfortable.
AI-powered chatbots can be made to take a note of a customer’s behavior on your brand’s website and identify a product page they frequently visit.
Later, this information can be used to send user-specific email to the customer when there is a price drop or discount on the product. This will tempt the customer into making the purchase, thereby boosting your sales and providing you with maximum ROI.
Recover Abandoned Carts for Old Customers
Shopping from home can be a tiring task because the customer may not be able to give it their undivided attention. It often happens that a customer adds items to their virtual cart, but some other thing may cause them to forget making the purchase.
A chatbot is an effective tool to make them aware of the abandoned items in their cart and remind them to buy them.
Engage Customers Who Are About to Leave
Online shopping can be frustrating for customers when they are unable to find the thing that they are looking for, causing them to leave your site.
Having a chatbot on your website will help you engage with such customers and prolong the time. The more time the consumers spend on your website, the higher the odds of their minds changing and them making a purchase.
A look into the questions asked by customers to an e-commerce platform would reveal that most of them center around return policies, payment options, size charts, and refunds.
With a chatbot, such questions can be answered in a fraction of a second! In fact, 37% of customers seek chatbots to quickly resolve their questions in an emergency, thus saving their valuable time and simplifying the shopping process for them.
Inform Customer on Incentives
When a new customer visits your website, they will not be aware of the incentives you offer. By having a chatbot tell them of existing and upcoming discounts, free shipping, exchange offers, etc., you cast a good first impression.
All your regular customers may not be aware of your seasonal discounts, and having a chatbot will help spread the word. Several chatbot examples have successfully done this in the past and boosted the results of their parent organizations.
Collect Information for Creating Email Broadcast Lists
A chatbot is, by far, one of the most effective non-human ways of interacting with first-time visitors. In the course of the interaction, the chatbot can collect the visitor’s contact details such as email id and phone number.
You can program your chatbot to ask such questions in a non-invasive tone so that people are not annoyed by the questions. The information can then be used to create an SMS or email broadcast list where you can share relevant information with potential customers.
Help Users Track the Status of Their Orders
Another common reason for customers to visit your website is to track the status of their existing orders.
As a brand, you can incorporate your dispatch and delivery data in your chatbot so that customers can get updated information about their purchase status by interacting with the chatbot.
If you use a Shopify account, the same can be incorporated in the Microsoft chatbot to increase the accuracy of results.
Cater to Users When Operators Cannot Take Calls
For brands with a customer service team of their own, they may experience a sudden spike in the call flow, but not have enough operators to handle the number of calls.
This is especially applicable during the pandemic, where many businesses are forced to maintain social distancing protocols and operate in limited staffing.
In such a situation, the caller may get frustrated with long hold times. Having a chatbot will allow them an alternative means of reaching out to the firm without wasting a lot of time.
The chatbots can be designed to answer basic questions and even note down the callback number of the customer. That way, even if human intervention is required, the chatbot can pass over the contact details to an executive who can then call back the customer.
Enable an Assisted Shopping Experience
Some potential customers who visit your website may be digitally challenged and require assistance on the entire e-shopping workflow. An assisted shopping experience for such people is one of the rare arenas where chatbots can boost your revenue.
From guided tours and assisting users on shortlisting items to choosing a product and making the purchase, all the way to tracking the order, chatbots can give consumers a holistic shopping experience in a portal they aren’t familiar with.
Tips to Keep in Mind While Using Chatbots to Improve Sales
The power of chatbots is huge, and it is for brands to use it well. Incorporating a chatbot in one’s sales strategies may seem overwhelming initially, but a deeper introspection will reveal that it is pretty simple.
As a part of the definitive guide to boosting sales with a chatbot, we present some tips to help you introduce chatbots to your business.
Be Clear on Your Budget
Before you start on your journey of introducing a chatbot to your sales crew, you need to know how much money you are ready to invest in this technology.
Develop the Spirit
The concept of chatbots centers around the fact that a machine will replicate a form of human interaction. Make sure that your chatbot is provided with enough relevant information to be able to strike a human-like conversation.
Work in close collaboration with your web designer so that they interpret the customer’s plausible questions appropriately, and scripts are developed accordingly.
Both open-ended and close-ended questions should be addressed as the latter enables the chatbot to help the user, whereas answers to open-ended questions help one to take the conversation forward.
Don’t Ignore the Power of Social Media
In the future, a day might come where users prefer to engage with a chatbot instead of browsing through search engines!
Voice-based assistants like Siri, Google Assistant, and Alexa are leading this revolution. If your brand is able to combine such a voice assistant with your chatbot, the opportunities are endless.
In such a situation, your brand can take its baby steps by introducing chatbots as the first point of contact with their social media page. By having chatbots as a part of your social media campaigns, you bring a tone of personalization that is known to work well with the audience.
Program Chatbots for Sales Data Analysis
In today’s world, data is the most powerful asset of an organization.
A chatbot makes the assimilation of data much simpler, and you can then automate the chatbot for segregation and analysis of the same.
Such reports will put you in a better position to understand the expectations of your target group and give them what they expect of your business.
Working on Achieving Personalization Through Chatbots
People love being referred by their names, and with a chatbot, you can do that and a lot more. A chatbot can remember a customer’s past choices and shopping patterns and use this data to recommend products.
This instills a sense of familiarity and makes the customer more comfortable in a digital setup. Considering that it is a natural human tendency to prefer purchasing from someone familiar, this will play an instrumental role in boosting your sales.
The present situation is a clear indication that chatbots are the one-stop solution for all modern-day business needs. A whopping 74% of consumers expect to find a chatbot when they visit a website for shopping!
By not knowing how to make a chatbot and choosing not to do anything about it, you establish that your business is not really keen on keeping up with the times. This sends a negative impression to a first-time visitor.
By adding chatbots to your sales team, your business will thrive on customer interactions. You can attract new customers, conduct surveys, provide better service to existing customers, and do a lot more to boost sales.
Having a chatbot meets the relentless need for better customer service in the future and provides brands with a stronger foothold. Only when brands leverage the power of artificial intelligence will they be able to compete with the increasing customer expectations of the future.