With the increased use of machine learning and artificial intelligence in marketing, there is a continuous shift in companies’ relationships with their consumers. While real, live customer representatives are still at the core of solving complex support problems and developing sales relationships, the implementation of chatbots has created an entirely new avenue for marketing campaigns, and with it, new challenges for customer interaction. These new opportunities can be utilized through your company’s website, social media pages, or even through Facebook chat, all of which benefit from the use of conversation design.
What is Conversation Design?
Conversation design is the response to the frustrating, robotic, and often less-than-helpful voice assistants that many of us are used to. Google has been a leading voice in the development of conversation design, and its Duplex project represents a major step forward in automated interactions. This conversation expands far beyond the design of automated menus and making sure that Alexa understands what you want to put on your grocery list.
Chatbots traditionally work off decision trees, with the bot’s conversation path being dictated by the responses that it receives from the customer, with a finite number of options and not much in the way of evaluating or anticipating consumer needs. As artificial intelligence and machine learning have grown, however, so have the capabilities of chatbots. Rather than a bot having to follow the consumer through the interaction, merely responding to the input it receives, chatbots can now provide surveys, gain demographic information, and even evaluate whether individual conversations have a possibility for a sales conversion.
The key to making these advanced interactions successful is conversation design. It is fine to have the tools available to evaluate the consumer interacting with the bot, but building a smooth flowing, genuine feeling interaction with potential customers is what helps build confidence in your brand, loyalty from your consumers, and trust in your customer support.
Meet People in Their Spaces
With customers looking for a more natural flow to their experiences with companies, you can capitalize on social media to engage potential clients on platforms where they are already comfortable. Facebook Messenger marketing can be an excellent tool that lets you reach out to an established consumer base in an active way. Messenger marketing operates through an automated chat message that users see when they visit your company’s page, creating an instant opportunity for engagement, and providing them with an immediate introduction to the company or product.
While many businesses have yet to leap into fully developed business page on Facebook Messenger marketing campaigns, there is already data to support that it is an extremely viable avenue to pursue, with a 70 to 80% open rate, a massive increase from the 5-10% seen in most email campaigns. The engagement rate with this type of marketing is an indicator of the importance that consumers put on being able to interact immediately with the businesses they want to support. As a standard, we have consistently increased the level to which technology is involved in our day-to-day lives, and businesses can thrive off of that opportunity for immediate connection.
While this is a relatively new technology, chatbots are already going beyond simply engaging your client with a minimal script and answering simple questions. Through the proper conversation design, you can use the interactions with the chatbot to determine the necessary level of engagement, need for escalation, and promotional opportunities. You can even use the opportunity to build added trust in your brand, deliver a consistent, positive experience to current and potential customers.
Improving Your Chatbot and Building Trust
Conversation design and analysis focus on the clarity and smoothness of interactions with artificial intelligence, giving plausibility to consumer interactions with your website, marketing campaigns, and social media. There are some basic guidelines for creating a bot with a human “feel” to it, including reducing technical jargon and keeping your chatbot friendly and engaging without tipping in to overbearing and saccharine. Making the bot’s language conversational and more casual, rather than technical, helps expand the conversation beyond yes and no answers, and reducing the use of punctuation like exclamation points can keep responses natural and the enthusiasm more warm and genuine, rather than forced and stilted.
Conversation design that is implemented when building a chatbot helps establish a better customer experience, while also allowing you to more carefully craft the tone and message of your company. Having a clear voice and designated tone for all of your customer service interactions not only maintains consistent standards and policies, but the continuity builds trust with your client base and serves as a strong persuasive tool with customers. By ensuring that customers will not only have a positive experience but a consistent one, no matter how they contact you, solidifies you as a well-run company.
Find Qualified Leads
A major benefit of utilizing chatbots is that you can use them to determine the type of engagement that a client needs to be converted or if they are even a viable lead for conversion. By designing your chatbot’s dialog properly, you can make the client’s interaction more than just a fact-finding mission. Including features like surveys and properly placed questions about clients’ preferences, you can gather information about their demographic, interests, and mindset. Once your chatbot has determined if the consumer fills the requirements for a qualified lead, it can offer specialized recommendations, continue the engagement, and potentially even close a sale.
On the other hand, if an interaction is determined to not be a qualified lead, the bot can choose to provide them the necessary level of engagement, and then move on to the next person in the queue. The automation of decisions like this can optimize the time that your customer service representatives spend in one-on-one interactions, and acquire information about demographics, age groups, or other metrics that may dictate where marketing campaigns should focus on expanding. Creating exceptional user experiences is at the core of digital business interactions, and chatbots are an excellent tool for knowing where to allocate resources and invest sales efforts.
Chatbot marketing is an entirely new avenue for marketing campaigns, and it is just one of the forces that are revolutionizing how digital marketing is approached. As artificial intelligence is increasingly implemented to not only build consumer engagement with a product, but to actively seek out interaction, data, and useable metrics, conversational marketing has become an important tool to make customers keep coming back. By incorporating conversational design into your campaign, you can create more focused, optimized consumer interactions.
The introduction of chatbot marketing is only one of many examples of how technological advancements in artificial intelligence are impacting businesses. In this case, it is opening up new opportunities for marketing and engagement, and providing companies with the chance to generate new leads, expand their support of existing customers, and streamline multiple departmental workflows. By incorporating conversational design and chatbot marketing into your campaigns, you can prioritize quality, trust, and consistency at even the most basic level or your business.