Chatbots are an easy entry into the world of artificial intelligence (AI).
Although terms like “chatbots” and “artificial intelligence” seem overwhelming, I promise you they’re not.
Chatbots can take Facebook Messenger, for instance, and open up a whole new world of customer service via pop-ups.
Read on for a deep dive into what chatbots are, and how we’re currently using them to ease our clients into AI.
What Is Artificial Intelligence?
First things first, I feel like many business owners hear “AI” and think of Will Smith in iRobot.
It’s not that scary.
While there are as many as six definitions for AI, the easiest to digest is probably from Encyclopedia Britannica.
“Artificial intelligence (AI), the ability of a digital computer or computer-controlled robot to perform tasks commonly associated with intelligent beings. The term is frequently applied to the project of developing systems endowed with the intellectual processes characteristic of humans, such as the ability to reason, discover meaning, generalize, or learn from past experience.”
Marketers are looking to AI-powered solutions to help them improve the customer lifecycle.
Secondly, there are endless ways intelligent teams have used AI.
- Keyword discovery
- Automating content
- Analyzing data
Chatbots Power Conversational Marketing
Now that we’ve had an AI overview, let’s get into chatbots.
It’s no coincidence that chatbots are also known as “conversational agents” since their AI makeup has them mimicking humans for the purpose of conversation.
Think about Siri and Alexa. Though your business doesn’t likely need something that robust, the technology is the same.
AI-powered chatbots allow you to have real-time conversations with current and potential customers through AI.
For example, my go-to makeup distributor, Sephora, uses chatbots like a champ.
Sephora uses its Kik chatbot to ask questions, display emotions with emoji, and ask users to take quizzes.
On top of that, they also use a Facebook Messenger chatbot which uses AI to convert customers and book in-store appointments.
Think of the implications of something like this with Sephora.
You would need an army of humans to have these interactions with thousands of customers day in and day out; it would be a logistical nightmare.
Using their Facebook chatbot, Sephora saw an 11% lift in appointment bookings and took five extra steps out of their booking process!With the use of chatbots, you can conquer customer service inquiries and gather behavioral data from your audience at scale.Click To Tweet
A Few Eye-Opening Chat Stats
If you’re still on the fence about marketing with chatbots, stay with me.
Wizeline, a company that helps build intuitive AI, is a great place to read all about chatbots.
Here are a few golden nuggets from their site.
- 60% of U.S. online adults already use online messaging, voice, or video chat services
- Chatbots will power 85% of all customer service interactions by the year 2020
- 67% of consumers worldwide used a chatbot for customer support in the past year
- Chatbot technology could save businesses $8 billion annually worldwide by 2022, up from $20 million this year
- 31% of business executives believe “virtual personal assistants” will have the largest impact on their business, more than any other “AI-powered solution”
Trust me, chatbots and AI are altering the way marketers go to work.Don't let the chatbot trend pass you by due to fear of the unknown!Click To Tweet
How B Squared Media Uses Chatbots
It’s no secret that we are stark raving fans of Sprout Social here at B Squared.
Last summer, Sprout released Bot Builder, which allows us to use the Sprout platform to build chatbots for our clients. We’re currently building chatbots around
- Customer Care
- Lead Generation
- Shopping, and/or
- Content Discovery chatbots
Using Sprout’s Conversation Map, we can easily visualize the conversation we want to have.
Also, by introducing Quick Replies and Auto-Responses, we can guide current or potential clients down interactive paths depending on which buttons they engage with.
Our Staffing Agency Example
Recently, we introduced chatbots to a staffing client since they have a high volume of applicants who reply to ads for job postings.
The way the process works looks like this:
- We run an ad for a job posting to a specified target audience on Facebook
- Applicants see the ad and can submit their application and resume directly on Facebook
- With a high number of job postings, ads, and applicants flowing to the client’s inbox on Facebook, we set up our chatbot to answer common questions from applicants
- For specific applicant inquiries, our bot directs applicants to call HR or the office where they’re applying for direct answers
And setting it up was super simple thanks to Sprout!
We’re brainstorming ways we can bring this marketing technology to more of our clients and help them automate sales & marketing.
Ready To Join The World Of AI?
Lastly, if you’re interested in how we can help you use chatbots in your own business, book a (free!) conversation with me, Brooke, to brainstorm a few ideas.
Knowing that 85% of customer service will be handled by bots in 2020 should be the fuel to light your chatbot fire!
If you’re more DIY don’t want someone (or us!) to manage your bots, or don’t have access to Sprout Social, don’t fret.
Here are a few chatbot building tools to try:
- Motion AI (recently acquired by HubSpot)
- IBM Watson
And, if you’re currently using chatbots where you work, SPILL THE TEA! ? Let us know how chatbots are helping you in the comments section below.
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