Chatbots

“We have to stop optimizing for programmers and start optimizing for users.” — Jeff Atwood, software developer and book author

It’s no secret that just about everything is going digital these days. Businesses are increasingly looking for ways to automate and streamline their services, and everywhere you look, there are new and inventive uses of cutting-edge technology like artificial intelligence and virtual reality. AI-equipped chatbots are a great example of this! By allowing companies to connect with customers interactively while streamlining the customer service processes, chatbots have grown in popularity so much that they’re now considered a successful digital marketing strategy.

You may be familiar with the concept of a chatbot, but unsure of what exactly it is. Essentially, chatbots utilize AI to mimic conversation, while Natural Language Processing (NLP) gives them the ability to comprehend and interpret what a user is saying. This isn’t a new concept – AI programs have been around for decades, and you could even consider automated phone messages as an early form of chatbot technology. However, today’s chatbots are far more sophisticated. The high-level AI involved in creating them makes many chatbots almost indistinguishable from actual human communication. This ability to successfully respond to user queries without the need for human assistance is transforming the way consumers interact with the internet!

Artificial intelligence and machine learning has been a top digital marketing trend for the last few years, and the technology is constantly evolving. Chatbots are now able to reply to users with text, audio, videos, and even GIFs. The one-sided question and answer format has expanded with increased intelligence, letting chatbots change the subject, suggest related topics, and demonstrate a sense of humor and emotion. Informational chatbots  like Siri and Echo are excellent examples of this, and exist to help consumers with a wide variety of informational needs. But what about branded chatbots? How can they work for you?  

Branded chatbots – sometimes referred to as service chatbots – are built to improve the services provided by companies. You can use them to improve your brand’s customer service experience, optimize your marketing strategies, collect customer feedback, and otherwise enhance your overall business performance. Other reasons to implement chatbots in your marketing strategy include:

Keeping up with conversations on messenger apps

Chatbots make it easy to incorporate an effective form of communication into your social media marketing strategy. With more and more consumers preferring to communicate through messaging rather than by phone, chatbots give you the chance to save money but still remain available to your audience 24/7.

Optimizing the client’s online customer experience

Customer satisfaction is the holy grail of marketing, and in today’s world, many consumers expect service around the clock. For most of us, this is impossible to provide with human manpower, but chatbots are available at any time! While a personal touch is always preferable, chatbots show customers that you’re attentive to their needs and willing to explore innovative solutions to meet them.  

Gaining valuable analytical insights

Chatbots can produce quite a bit of useful data about customers, like the way they’re interacting with your brand and how they’re engaging with your website. You can capitalize on this information, using it to tweak your marketing approach, and it can also provide essential insights into problems your audience may encounter. This allows you to make any necessary changes quickly and efficiently.

Ensuring personalized communication and targeted advertisements

When someone begins a conversation with your chatbot, it will greet them and gather some preliminary information before addressing their inquiry. This information can be used to generate personalized advertisements. Because the advertising is intelligent and generated in the course of on-demand customer service, it feels more like an organic conversation and less like a hard sell!

Creating proactive interactions

Even through chatbots, direct messaging enables more productive interactions with customers. They provide answers to queries at any time, creating endless opportunities for your target audience to engage with your brand. Chatbots are designed to make us feel like we’re talking with another human, so most customers don’t view them as a marketing move, which is always appreciated.

At the end of the day, your digital marketing strategies should be driven by results. When compared to more passive methods of customer interaction, chatbots are an easy way to reach out first to let your audience know you are present and available to assist, boosting a feeling of “closeness” or familiarity with your brand. In this way, chatbots can be the perfect vehicle for delivering a personalized customer service experience while driving increased business and brand recognition. That said….

A human touch is still the gold standard!

Your practice is unique, and your brand should reflect that. As much as customers crave immediate attention to their needs, many still prefer communicating with a person rather than a computer program, however sophisticated it may be. Services such as OrthoChats provide trained chat specialists who are able to respond to customers with organic conversation, making patients feel as though they’re speaking with a staff member instead of a robot. This can have a ripple effect, with an increased level of customer satisfaction leading to a boost in brand loyalty and recommendations to friends and family.

If you’re not already using live chat as part of your marketing approach, Neon Canvas can help you set a clear goal and strategy for doing so! Whether you’re looking to use chatbots or trained chat specialists, our team can monitor and optimize your chat responses in order to increase performance, ensuring your brand is getting maximum returns from this service. If you have questions about live chats and how they can help grow your business, we’re happy to talk with you anytime!

As always, we appreciate you and your trust in us as we continue growing your brand together.

 

                                                                                                                     Kyle Fagala, DDS, MDS

                                                                                                                Co-Founder, Neon Canvas