Chatbots are computer programs designed to simulate conversations with human users. The exploding popularity of messaging apps, coupled with the advances in artificial intelligence – has enabled a new generation of chatbots to communicate with customers at a reduced cost.
Here are some strong reasons why you should consider adopting an AI-enabled chatbot, as part of your social media strategy –
Chatbots can increase your topline
The biggest opportunity to increase your topline through social media comes from millennials. Roughly 1.8 million people worldwide (close to 25% of the population) are millennials. As a demography, they have the highest purchasing power (predicted to contribute to 30% of entire retail sales by 2020), while being truly digital. They prefer shopping online, and they spend over 6 hours a week on social media.
If you want to tap into this high-purchasing-power segment, then, clearly, you cannot ignore social media.
Popular social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram have already made it easier for brands to market on their platforms. Most of them also support chatbots, making it convenient for brands to scale up effortlessly.
Some examples of companies that are using chatbots to increase their topline are:
- Dominoes, one of the early adopters, allows users to order a pizza by texting a pizza emoji to @Dominoes, as a DM. To do this, they need to follow @Dominoes. Dominoes not only saw an upsurge in sales but saw a massive increase in its followers on twitter.
- Tacobell recently unveiled its Tacobot within Slack, to enable busy workers order tacos without leaving their messenger platform.
- A lot of companies are working with Facebook’s messenger app that supports chatbots. Some of them are 1-800 Flowers (you can chat with the bot to order flowers), niki.ai (you can book cabs, hotels, movie tickets, etc. by talking to the bot), Andchill (type in a category and it gives you recommendations from Netflix), Kayak (lets you book hotels and flights via text, by a chatbot) and Sephora (you can book a makeover on the messenger app). A number of companies have seen an increase in sales, bookings, and productivity as a result of Facebook messenger bots.
Chatbots are more efficient than customer service agents
Millions of people are taking service issues to social media as their preferred communication route. These questions and complaints are public, and the way companies respond to them has a big impact on their brand as well as on sales. Research from JD Power states that 67% of customers prefer to tap into networks such as Facebook and twitter for customer service.
Bots as customer service agents score over employees in several ways –
- They are available round the clock and can reply immediately to a customer’s request.
- They remove the element of subjectivity while responding to customers. Instead of multiple people with their own subjective interpretations, you now have a single bot with a single knowledge-base replying to customers and hence, there is consistency in response.
- They can make instant recommendations based on the customer’s preferences and context. While an employee’s response can be delayed, owing to the lag in accessing different systems – chatbots are directly linked to a company’s systems, and hence respond much faster.
- The training costs of your company are substantially reduced. To introduce a new workflow, a change in the algorithm will reflect in all instances of the chatbot.
Bots relieve employees from mundane, regular and dull tasks. They let them focus their energies on tasks that require greater skill.
Chatbots can handle large volumes of data easily
The biggest advantage of using a chatbot is its ability to handle big data with ease. Facebook users like over 4 million posts a minute. Instagram comes a close second, with over 1.7 million users “liking” every minute!
Scaling up your team to analyse data of this magnitude is clearly impossible. Chatbots, enabled with natural language processing, can decipher human conversation – and are not bogged down with the volume of data.
Limitations of chatbots in social media
For all their advantages, chatbots are far from perfect. The core of their limitations arises from the fact that AI is not yet developed enough to substitute human interaction. Even after deploying a top-class chatbot with the highest degree of automation, make sure you have a backup customer support service while the chatbot is being trained. You can also avoid a lot of issues by planning the chatbot’s flow thoroughly.